7 Dietary Changes to Stimulate Your Brain

Do you ever get that 2 PM lull?  You know what I mean…your energy is drained and you are not sure how you are going to make it through the afternoon?

There is actually a term for it…“afternoon slump.” 

Many people experience a noticeable dip in their alertness, energy level and ability to concentrate in the afternoon.

Dietary Habits to Stimulate Your BrainThere are several reasons this COULD happen.

  • Eating carbohydrates for lunch
  • Sitting for hours
  • You could be dehydrated
  • Your body temperature has dropped because you are digesting a heavy lunch


Avoid the Afternoon Slump

Dietary Changes to Stimulate Your Brain

Always incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise 4 days per week. Make sure you get your heart-rate up!

There are several things you can try to avoid the afternoon slump.

Get out in the sun for 10 minutes.  This can reduce the amount of melatonin your body produces, and boost your vitamin D.

Rub peppermint oil on your hands or get a scented candle. The scent of peppermint is a known to increase energy.

Do isometric exercises to encourage blood flow.  I like to contract my ab muscles by sucking in…holding it…then slowly releasing, consisting of about 10 reps, several times a day.  Think about doing it while driving.

Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

Dietary Changes to Stimulate Your Brain

The best way to avoid the afternoon slump is to make nutritious, dietary changes.

These recommendations are good for overall health and well-being – not just to prevent feeling groggy in the afternoon.   If devoutly adapted, you will even lose a few pounds.

7. Add spices to your food.  Cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric are all associated with improved memory and learning, especially in middle-aged women.  These can easily be added to morning eggs or your protein smoothie.

6. Probiotics and fermented foods are good for our guts AND OUR BRAINS!  Fermented foods are natural probiotics, which can help digestion issues, but also reduce stress and anxiety, which would result in improved mental outlook.  Pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi.

5. Eat a handful of blueberries every morning.  Several studies have linked them to better memory and delay memory decline.  Doctors believe it is the anthocyanins that help people perform cognitive function tests.  Add blueberries to a smoothie or to whole-wheat pancakes.

Other foods rich in anthocyanins are

Rabbiteye Blueberry bush

Rabbiteye Blueberries can live to be 75 years old. The berries can slow brain aging & improve balance.

  • blackberries.
  • cherries.
  • cranberries.
  • eggplant.
  • grape juice.
  • plums.
  • prunes




4. Eat FISH – especially those loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon.  In one study, those who ate fish at least once a week had a brain function 4 years younger than those who did not eat fish.

best baked salmon | diet changes | stimulate brain

3. Avoid too much sugar.  Overindulgence of sugar causes insulin fluctuation and can lead to diabetes.  Inflammation caused by sugar can cause brain tissue damage.  Avoid adding additional sugar to your diet, get your dose from natural sources like fruits, vegetables and dairy.

2. Avoid saturated fats. One study found women who ate steak, rich in saturated fat, performed the worst on memory tests (study link is here).  Diets high in saturated fat can cause plaque in your blood vessels, which deprives your brain of the oxygen-rich blood it needs for optimal performance.  Doctors believe memory decreases as a result of  high fat and high cholesterol levels, which can be reversed with a healthier diet.

   Saturated fats can be found in butter, red meat and many processed foods.

1. Try the Mediterranean Diet. Inspired by the regional culinary habits of southern Italy, the Mediterranean diet consists of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, bread, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil.  Foods to avoid are sugar-sweetened beverages, any product with added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils and other highly processed foods.

Not only do we need to take care of our bodies, but also OUR MINDS.

Click to read: Over 300 residents of Acciaroli, Italy are over 100 years old and do not suffer from Alzheimer’s



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Sprouts Brings Fresh Food to Greenville

Sprouts Farmers Market GreenvilleFinally visited my first Sprouts Farmers Market last week at their Greenville Grand Opening and it did not disappoint!  Kalia with Sprouts gave me and four other enthusiastic bloggers the grand tour.


Why Shop at Sprouts Farmers Market?

During our tour, Kalia explained how Sprouts targets the “transitional shopper.”

I am a transitional shopper – moving from traditional processed foods to more raw, healthy real food.

For foodies like me who hunger for a shopping experience, Sprouts delivers with fresh produce (many organic choices), meat and seafood, bulk grains, vitamins and supplements, a deli with freshly prepared entrees and sides, dairy, bakery, natural body care items and more.

Perusing the hundreds of products available at Sprouts could work up an appetite.  Good thing they have a wide selection of prepared foods, which shoppers can grab and go; such as a sushi bar, a juice bar, freshly made sandwiches and a salad bar with all the trimmings – all made fresh, in-house.

Sprouts Farmers Market Greenville South Carolina

History of Sprouts

Organic Vegetables at Sprouts Farmers Market

Sprouts employees can assist you in every department. They will even cut an exotic fruit, so you can try it before you buy it.

Initially, a family owned produce stand in southern California, Sprouts has grown to almost 300 locations but still focuses on value, farm-fresh produce and health-conscious products.

The store’s signature Sprouts Brand products are designed to offer high-quality items at a lower cost, according to the company.

When the first “Sprouts Farmers Market” was opened in Arizona, their motto of Healthy Living For Less was created and still holds true today.

Holding suppliers to high standards, Sprouts buys locally grown products produced in South Carolina or within 500 miles; verifies compliance with industry standards, and educates consumers through transparent labeling.

Simpsonville Sprouts

Launching the grand opening, local registered dietitian and nutritionist Wendie Schneider of PantryDr.com, gave a quick recipe demonstration, including her Mediterranean Grain Bowl, which was delicious. But I was more impressed with the Raspberry Lime Kombucha Mocktail.

Never trying Kombucha before, I was pleasantly surprised with how refreshing it was.

PantryDr. Wendie Schneider gives a cooking demo. Photo by Nicky Vanvalkenburgh


PantryDr.com Raspberry Lime Kombucha Mocktail

My first experience with Kombucha was this mocktail recipe. Refreshingly simple, it would pair great with light appetizers.

Course Drinks
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword drinks, Kombucha
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 servings


  • 1 bottle Sprouts Kombucha
  • 1 fresh lime juiced
  • 1 Tbsp mint
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • Lime slices for garnish
  • ice cubes


  1. Fill 2 serving glasses with ice. Pour Kombucha and lime juice into the glasses. Stir to combine.
  2. Make a small cut through each lime slice and place on the rim of each glass. Place a fresh sprig of mint and 2-3 raspberries in each. Serve and enjoy!

With tall ceilings and spacious aisles, the market is airy and bright.  Ceiling skylights make you feel like you are outside like a traditional roadside produce stand.

Spices at Sprouts Farmers Market Greenville

Customers can portion out any of the wide selection of spices Sprouts offers. Paying for only what you need.

Cut vegetables Sprouts Farmers Market

Many vegetables are already cut at Sprouts.




Although Sprouts does not have a loyalty card program, they do have an app.  Just download to your phone and receive mobile coupons, recipes, and promo codes.

One of the best features of the app is the ability to create your own shopping list.   
(Read the instructional video here)

Veggie Noodles at Sprouts

Trends in the food industry have created a new strategy to market vegetables – the Veggie Noodle.


Buying in bulk is often less expensive and eliminates waste. Sprouts offer almost every type of grain in bulk.

Sprouts’ Philanthropic Deeds

The Sprouts Food Rescue program donates unsold and edible groceries, including fresh produce, from its stores and distribution centers to food banks in all of its markets. In 2017, these efforts totaled about 23 million pounds of product donated in 2017, according to the company.

The Sprouts Healthy Communities Foundation assist local non-profits which reflect the company’s brand purpose of inspiring healthy living for all.

Final Thoughts

Sprouts Farmers Market is a great food shopping alternative for Greenville.

Their business model, store layout, and marketing strategy cater to the trending health conscience shopper.


  • Product is clearly marked. 
  • Vegetables are beautifully displayed.
  • Prices are very reasonable compared to other local supermarkets.

Sprouts can help you eliminate the temptation to buy “junk food” and move towards a more healthy diet – just make sure to eat those Sprouts chocolate chip cookies in moderation.

Sprouts Farmers Market
2200 Woodruff Rd.
Simpsonville, SC 29681
Open 7 days a week – 7 AM – 10 PM

Fellow Greenville Foodie Bloggers

Fellow foodie bloggers. From left to right – me; Audrey @theaudreyreel – Mariah @mariahhoughton – Mikayla founder of popgabble.com – and Angie @southernmodernmom

Do you shop at Sprouts Farmers Market?  




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Let’s Get This Garden Started!

JoAnn's Food Bites Vegetable GardeningGrowing up in suburban Georgia, with parents whose childhood immediately followed the Great Depression, there was always a vegetable garden.

Whether it was at my maternal grandparents, who mainly planted a few vegetables and all types of beans – to – my paternal grandparents, who grew everything under the sun – to my parents’ corn and bean garden…I worked in a garden from my grammar school years until I was old enough to drive – and I drove AWAY from gardening!

Far, far away…I swore off gardening FOREVER!


I was sick of it!   Okra pricking my fingers; shelling butter beans until my thumbs were blistered; stringing green beans so much, that I still do not like them; shucking corn, covering myself in silk; and then the canning process made my grandmother’s kitchen so hot, I thought I would pass out!

Funny how time changes everything!

Since college, I have lived in various apartments. When I finally got married, our property was not very conducive for attempting a garden. We had a few plants but nothing to write home about.

But NOW….we are in our dream home with plenty of room.  And of course, being older, I am much more health conscious, which means I care where our food comes from…so, WE HAVE A GARDEN!

Tiller for JoAnn's Food Bites Vegetable Garden

Rear tine tillers have wheels that are driven by the engine, which means that the tines work independently of the wheels. These are useful for tilling new or extremely tough ground.

Besides eating delicious fresh vegetables and herbs having your own garden provides great exercise.  The sense of pride and satisfaction after your first harvest is unmeasurable.

So, I knew I was going to have a lot of hard work ahead of me.  Our soil is not as bad as Georgia red clay, but it still contains mainly clay, with a sandy loom mixed in.  Soil amendment was going to be a necessity.

My husband used his rear tine tiller to cultivate the soil.  I used the tiller for about half the garden and was wore out.  I let him finish.  He added about a dozen bags of organic soil conditioner, which is ground wood and bark.

Once the soil amendment was tilled in; the plot was raked and leveled.  Next, we constructed our planting rows.

Tip: Do NOT walk on the soil you just tilled. It will compact the soil and defeat the entire purpose of tilling the garden.  

I have never actually planted an entire garden before.  During childhood, my presence was requested during harvest.  My husband, on the other hand, grew up helping his father plant their garden, so he knew exactly what needed to be done.

For your first row, you will use a hard rake or a hoe and pull dirt towards you, forming a mound.  You only need to go 5 to 8-inches deep.  Continue to move across your plot, to form a row.

Now, mark where the second walk path will go.  I wanted wider pathways, so I marked my next row 4 feet from the valley I just created.

Use a measuring tape to find 48″ from the dirt you just moved. Hammer landscaping spikes,  at the edge of the garden at the 48″ mark.  Extend string between the two landscaping spikes, one on each side of your garden.  Now, you have a line across the garden, to which you know the next walk path will form.

***REMEMBER: do not walk on your fluffy, freshly tilled soil!

Stand facing the row you just formed, with the bed of the garden in front of you. Using your hoe or rake, pull dirt from near your string marker, towards you. The dirt will be piled on top of the mound you already formed.  Again, only go to a depth of 5 to 8-inches.  This should form a mounded row of dirt approximately 12-inches tall.

Next, move your string marker down another 48″ or whatever width you desire.

Stand in the valley you just moved dirt from and reaching towards your string marker, pull 5 to 8-inches worth of dirt halfway towards you.  This mound will be your next plant row.

Make a smooth, flat surface on each mound by using the back of your rake and lightly moving across each mound of dirt.  The flat surface should be approximately 8 to 10-inches across.

Vegetable gardening JoAnn's Food Bites

Repeat until you have formed all the rows you want for your garden.

Garden rows and pathways JoAnn's Food Bites vegetable gardenGarden rows JoAnn's Food Bites Vegetable Garden

Planting the Vegetables in the Garden

Plants love fluffy soil – hence why we did NOT walk on our tilled soil and formed mounds to plant.

Our first two rows are green onions sets.

Next is a row of leek seeds. With the corner of a hoe, form a 1″ trough across the row.  Drop a single seed in the trough, approximately 3″ apart.  Use your hand to cover the seed with dirt.

Also in the garden are eggplant, various bell peppers, tomatoes, sweet banana peppers, zucchini, crooked neck squash, cucumbers and watermelon.

Watermelon mounds JoAnn's Food Bites Vegetable Garden

Immediate Care for Vegetable Garden

Because it was a very hot day, we watered the garden immediately.  Typically, first thing in the morning is the ideal time to water.

Thrive tomato food vegetable gardenFor the eggplant and tomatoes, I mixed up some Thrive, according to package directions and used a watering can, to avoid getting water on the plant leaves and preventing our fluffy dirt from washing away.

All other vegetables were given a half dose of Miracle Grow plant fertilizer mixed in 1/2 gallon of water, per plant, except for the onion sets and leek seeds.  Those rows received one gallon dispersed over the entire row.

I will keep you in the loop on how the garden is going and will share some great recipes using our bounty of fresh vegetables.

If I can do this….you can too!

Do you have a summer vegetable garden?  Let me know in the comments!

Related posts:  Braised Halibut with Leeks

Growing Your Own Tomatoes versus Store Bought

Organic Gardening at the Rodale Institute

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Reducing Cancer Risks with Food

It is National Fruit and Vegetables Month and new cancer research just released, affirms a long-held theory that what foods we eat directly influences our health.

Cancer Research | Foods Lower Cancer Risks

Click the image to go to the summary report

Since you may not want to read the 12,000-page report, nor the 100-page summary compiled by the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research; here it is in a nutshell…






Eat your vegetables
Don’t gain excess weight
Avoid excess alcohol & processed meats
Be active

The Continuous Update Project is the world’s largest source of scientific research on cancer preventative and survivorship through diet, nutrition, and physical activity.

CUP has compiled global research and released its 3rd expert report.  The 2nd report was released in 2007.

The report suggests strong evidence exists that WHOLE GRAINS DECREASE the risk of colorectal cancer.

What are the WHOLE GRAIN foods we should be eating to reduce our risk of cancer?

Whole Grains reduce cancer risk | eating healthy foodsMost grains we consume are refined grains. During refining, grains are broken into pieces which removes the bran and germ – the most beneficial parts of the grain.

Refinement removes most of the fiber, vitamin B and some protein which occur naturally in grains.

To be considered, WHOLE GRAIN,  the kernel of the grain has been cracked, crushed or flaked, but has retained the same proportion of bran and germ, found in the original grain, before processing.

CUP’s report suggests foods containing DIETARY FIBER DECREASE the risk of colorectal cancer.

Foods high in dietary Fiber to lower risk of cancer

Whole Wheat Pasta
Bran Flakes
Bran Muffins
Oatmeal, instant or cooked
Popcorn – Air-Popped, not microwavable bags
Brown Rice
Rye Bread
Whole Wheat Bread

Eating non-starchy vegetables and fruit can protect against several types of aerodigestive cancers

Yeap, your parents always told you to eat your vegetables…and this proves them right.

Research evidence, according to the World Cancer Research Fund, suggest consumption of NON-STARCHY vegetables decreases the risk of cancer in the mouth, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, lung and breast.

Regular consumption of fruit can decrease lung cancer; consumption of citrus fruit can reduce stomach cancer, and significant consumption of both non-starchy vegetables and fruit can decrease the risk of bladder cancer.

Shockingly – the research suggests low citrus intake – as low as 45 grams per day, can INCREASE the likelihood of stomach cancer!

“The evidence suggesting that low consumption of fruit increases the risk of stomach cancer (increase risk was apparent at intakes below about 45 grams per day when compared with an intake of about 100 grams per day) and colorectal cancer (increased risk was apparent at intakes of 100 grams or less per day when compared with an intake of 200 grams per day or more).” (page 12 of Continuous Update Project).”

Foods considered to be Non-Starchy

Green Beans
Bean Sprouts

Considerations for Lowering Cancer Risks

Increase your daily intake of Vitamin C by eating citrus – or taking a dietary supplement – because the research demonstrating how you can lower your risk of colon cancer.

Even for tobacco users, which were included in the research, showed a reduced risk of lunch cancer with a higher consumption of Vitamin C.

Increase your intake of beta-carotene, as it can decrease your chances of getting lung cancer, even if you are a smoker.

High in Beta-Carotene

Sweet Potatoes
Winter Squash

Set a goal for yourself during National Fruits and Vegetable Month to eat more of these nutritious foods to improve chances for better long-term health.

Watch our YouTube video on how to cook a

Used Tad McBride’s Samurai Sauce in the stir-fry


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Five Foodie Reasons to Visit Chattooga Belle Farms

I am always in search of places, which include some type of food theme.  After some Chattooga Belle Farm | JoAnn's Food Bites | foodie destinationfriends – thanks Dave and Andrea – visited Chattooga Belle Farm, they told me it was a MUST visit for me.

Returning from a trip to see my dad, my husband and I decided to take a small detour (only about 15 minutes) and stop by and see why Chattooga Belle Farm is a foodie destination.

Here I have narrowed my list down to FIVE reasons every foodie would enjoy a trip to this scenic place in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

5. Beautiful Chattooga Belle Farm Vineyard


Building my final home in the Appalachian Foothills should indicate, I am more partial to the Blue Ridge Mountains than anywhere in the United States.

Chattooga Belle Farm is a 138-acre farm and orchard, with picturesque, mountain landscapes surrounding a working vineyard, producing over eight different varieties under their own label.

Five Foodie Reasons to visit Chattooga Belle Farms

The well-manicured pastures provide panoramic views from anywhere on the property.

Perfect for a wedding, family reunion or any large gathering, the farm has a covered patio for 150 seated people and a 5,000 square foot “event barn,” including heated space for 100 people.

The vineyard and wine are secondary to the dramatic beauty this piece of property holds.

Chattooga Bell Farm Wine List

4. Chattooga Belle Farm’s Bistro

A great, cozy restaurant, located right on the farm property, Belle’s Bistro has great lunch choices including, light snacks, soups, salads, and sandwiches.

Not to mention their burgers, which are made fresh daily with their own grass-fed Black Angus beef, blended with a tasty selection of aromatic herbs.

Dining indoors or outdoors is available.

I recommend planning a day trip and enjoying a glass of Chattooga Belle’s Muscadine Blush wine, paired with the bacon burger.

This photo of Belle’s Bistro at Chattooga Belle Farm is courtesy of TripAdvisor

The bistro is open 11 AM – 2 PM, Tuesday – Sunday, April – October.

Weekends only during winter months.

3. U-Pick Farm

As fruit becomes available throughout the growing season, Chattooga Belle Farm offers the opportunity for visitors to pick it, fresh!

Various berries, peaches, grapes and a huge assortment of apples are ready for picking in this kid-friendly environment.

Produce schedule and availability dates can be obtained HERE.

2. Distillery

Chattooga Belle Farm WhiskeyLocated on the farm, just a short walk from the Bistro is the tasting room and whiskey distillery.

Open year-round, 9 AM – 5 PM, Monday – Saturday, Chattooga Belle Farm creates their own kind of Carolina Whiskey.

My favorite being the Block & Tackle; smooth, with a moonshine bite.

The Carolina Spice is great for winter-time sips by the fire.

Also available are the Oconee Belle Brandy and Camp Fire Brandy (strong cinnamon flavor).

Chattooga Belle Farm Distillery Tour

After you enjoy a sampling of what Chattooga Belle Farm creates, it is time to tour the facility.  Hand-crafting each batch is what makes this whiskey unique and delightful.

1.The Farm Store

No foodie trip would be complete without the opportunity to buy FOOD!

A good selection of jams, jellies, olive oils, gift items, kitchenware and Chattooga Belle Farm wine is available for purchase 9 AM – 5 PM, seven days a week from May 1 through Christmas.  The store is closed during the winter months.

Chattooga Belle Farm food products Chattooga Belle Farm Kitchenware








During peak harvest times, produce and fruit can be purchased in the store, along with various souvenir items.

Just be aware, the whiskey is only available for purchase at the distillery.

Foodies, if you are in the western South Carolina or Northeast Georgia area, I highly recommend taking a day-trip to this beautiful neck of the woods and spending time at the farm.

It is a great date opportunity, with plenty of space to walk around; take some pictures; do a little shopping and grab some lunch.

Do you have a weekend to get away?  Just TWO MINUTES from the farm, you can stay at the Chattooga River Resort and Campground
110 Blalock Place
Long Creek, SC 29658
(864) 873-7310
Primitive campsites; RV sites and lodge are available.

Chattooga Belle Farm
454 Damascus Church Rd.
Long Creek, SC 29658

Do you have a FOODIE day trip I should add to my NEED TO VISIT list?








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10 Foods Your Skin Will Love

10 Foods Your Skin Will LoveSummertime is just a weekend away and we will all be outside, soaking up the sun – whether on vacation – working in our yards – or getting our gardens to grow.

Our doctors have always warned us about long-term exposure to the sun and how it will accelerate the effects of aging and increase our risk of developing skin cancer.

“Cumulative sun exposure causes mainly basal cell and squamous cell skin cancer, while episodes of severe sunburns, usually before age 18, can raise the risk of developing melanoma.” 


According to WebMD: “Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light damages the fibers in the skin called elastin. When these fibers break down, the skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching. The skin also bruises and tears more easily — taking longer to heal.”

So while sun damage to the skin may not be apparent when you’re young; it will definitely show later in life.


Protecting Your Skin

According to the Academy of Determotolgy, keep in mind these five keys when applying sunscreen.

  1. Choose a sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher, is water resistant, and provides broad-spectrum coverage
  2. Apply sunscreen generously, 15 minutes before going outdoors.
  3. Use enough sunscreen. It takes approximately a palm full to cover all of your exposed skin.
  4. Apply sunscreen to all bare skin, do not forget neck, face, ears, top of your feet and legs.  Wear a hat to protect your scalp.  Use a lip balm for your lips. 
  5. Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours to remain protected, or immediately after swimming or excessively sweating.

Besides wearing proper sunscreen, there are a few items from the kitchen which can help preserve our bodies’ biggest organ – our skin.

10 Foods Your Skin Will Love

Avocados – full of healthy fat to strengthen skin cell membranes to lock in moisture

Beets – betaine-rich beets support healthy liver function, which contributes to glowing skin

Berries – Anthocyanins in the skin of berries – such as blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries – strengthen skin elasticity and offer a potent serving of antioxidants.

Cinnamon – this anti-inflammatory spice helps moderate the wrinkle producing blood sugar spike caused by sweet foods

Greens – kale, spinach, arugula, dandelion – a variety of leafy greens have vitamins A and C that help heal skin and support collagen production.

Foods Good For Your Skin JoAnn's Food Bites

Lemon – this detoxifying citrus fruit helps cleanse and balance the body’s pH, while also nourishing it with vitamin C.

Pineapple – rich in vitamin C and B6, it has long been known for its natural antibacterial uses; however, it also reduces acne, promotes an even skin tone, fights aging and reduces skin damage.

Sweet potato MuffinsSweet Potatoes – packed with beta-carotene, they help repair and smooth your complexion.

Yummy recipe for Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Muffins


Turmeric – this anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-packed spice offer a daily dose of anti-aging.

7 – Culinary Tips for Using Turmeric

Turmeric Tips

Wild salmon – this source of protein (a building block of healthy skin) is anti-inflammatory and helps protect skin from UV damage.

Water for our bodies

Of course, the best and most simple kitchen item which is good for your skin is WATER!

When we are born, approximately 75% of our body is made up of water, hence why babies have such smooth, soft skin.

At one-year-old, that amount has already dropped to 65%.

As we get older and our bodies change, our body fat composition changes as well. Body fat contains approximately 10 percent water, while muscle is approximately 75 percent water.

Ideally, men should have a total body water percentage between 50 and 65 percent, while the ideal range for women is between 45 and 60 percent.

There are many different opinions on how much water we should be drinking every day.   I try to consume at least 48 – 60 ounces of water every day.

A body fat/water scale is the only way of determining your total body water percentage.  You can buy one here!

Bluetooth Smart Body Fat Scale by Weight Gurus, Secure Connected Solution for your Data, including BMI, Body Fat, Muscle Mass, Water Weight, and Bone Mass, Large Backlit Display




I have a 20 ounce, insulated cup which keeps my water cool.  I try to fill it at least 4-5 times a day – sometimes more, but some days it is less.

How much water do you drink every day?


A Healthy but Creamy Guacamole Recipe

Perfect to get avocado into your diet.  This guacamole substitutes mayo, mustard, and other condiments. 

Course Snack
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword avocado, guacamole
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 people


  • 2 peeled pit removed avocados - only use meat of fruit
  • 1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 small chopped shallot
  • 1 chopped banana pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • splash of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves you can use the stems too
  • 1/2 t. coarse salt


  1. Place all ingredients into your food processor. Pulse till smooth. Scrape down the sides as needed. Serve with one of these more healthy tortilla chips:
  2. Tostitos Simply Yellow Corn Tortilla Chips
  3. Bearitos Blue Corn Tortilla Chips (made with organic blue corn)
  4. Green Mountain Gringo White Corn Tortilla Strips

What do YOUR plan to do this summer to protect your most vital organ – your skin?

Posted in Appetizers/Snacks, Food For Better Health, Healthy Eating, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Are You Eating Bioengineered Food?

JoAnn's food bites bioengineered foodIn the United States, I feel I have a right to know what is in our food supply and how our food is grown.

Global food policy research conducted by the Center for Food Safety confirms that 64 countries, including member nations of the European Union, Russia, China, Brazil, Australia, Turkey and South Africa require standards of mandatory GE food labeling. The United States is NOT included on the list of governments providing open, accurate information on the source of foods on grocery shelves.

Hence, why I am such a supporter of GMO (genetically modified organisms) labeling.

GMO labeling laws

As the spread of commercialized genetically engineered food products increase, the number of people exposed to GE foods globally has grown. Labeling of GE food ingredients has become increasingly fundamental to preserving consumer choice and protecting personal health.

Possible Bioengineered Labeling?

On May 4, the United States Department of Agriculture issued its proposed rule for the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (NBFDS), the GMO-labeling law passed by Congress in July 2016. Under the NBFDS, the USDA was given until July 2019 to finalize a rule that would implement the labeling requirements.

The USDA is seeking public comments about the proposed until July 3, 2018.

The current proposal would require food manufacturers and other entities which label foods for retail sale, to disclose information about bioengineered food and bioengineered food ingredient content, with exceptions.

Food is defined as “intended for human consumption.”

The proposal defines bioengineered (with respect to food as)…

  • (A) food that contains genetic material that has been modified through in vitro recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) techniques; and
  • (B) for which the modification could not otherwise be obtained through conventional breeding or found in nature.”

The proposal is still vague on whether or not  “highly refined foods,” which may contain material from genetically modified plants, will be included. (such as oils, candy, and soda.)

These “bioengineered” foods have long been coined as GMO’s (genetically modified organisms); why is the government avoiding GMO terminology?

And why do the proposed labels look so “healthy?”


Proposed labels to be placed on food

Non-GMO labeling JoAnn's Food Bites

Hunt’s VOLUNTARILY put these “non-GMO” labels on their products










What does the proposal NOT include?

Scott Faber, Vice President of Governmental Affairs for the EWG, Environmental Working Group explains;  the proposal is much too vague and does not provide practical solutions for our food labeling dilemma.

He concludes:

  1. The draft rule does not say whether or not companies will have to disclose genetically engineered sugars and oils, or ingredients that have been created through new technologies such as gene-editing.  This could exclude over 70% of GMO ingredients.
  2. The draft rule might also exempt foods from the disclosure requirements of the new law when 5 percent or less of the ingredients, by weight, are genetically engineered.  Even if a product has 1% GMO, I want to know!
  3.  If companies choose to make an on-package GMO disclosure, the draft rule would require companies to use the words “bioengineered” or “bioengineered food ingredient,” not the widely known phrases “genetically modified” or “genetically engineered.”                                                                                                                                       So, Hunts, who VOLUNTEERLY placed “non-GMO” labels on their products, would have to change the labeling – despite helping consumers with their clear labeling.
  4. The draft rule provides few rules for companies that choose to disclose GMOs digitally through a QR code, creating the possibility that smartphones won’t read the digital codes consistently.                                                                                                                     What if you don’t have a smartphone?  What if you do not have cell service inside the supermarket?
Information found at Scott Faber’s blog post for AgMag

In other global, civilized countries, food labeling is not as ambiguous.

Countries who require food labeling laws.

Food labeling laws JoAnn's Food Bites

Salad dressing label from The Netherlands.

Call to Action

I urge you to think about this issue!  It is my personal opinion, the rise in cancer rates in the United States correlate, to some degree with our dietary habits.

A study, just released in February 2018 was conducted in France and Brazil which concluded ultra-processed foods carry an extra risk of cancer, above and beyond being nutritionally bad for you.

The foods associated with extra cancer risk include:

  • mass produced packaged breads and baked goods
  • sodas and sweetened drinks
  • instant noodles and soups
  • sweet or savory packaged snacks
  • industrialized confectionery and desserts
  • meat balls, chicken and fish nuggets
  • other reconstituted meat products transformed with addition of preservatives other than salt (for example, nitrites)
  • frozen or shelf-stable ready meals
  • Other food products made mostly or entirely from sugar, oils and fats

No need to lecture here – but read my post about processed foods, HERE – PLEASE!


Less-processed foods such as cheese, pasta, and canned vegetables did not raise cancer risks.    Link to the study HERE.

Make your opinion matter and contact Regulations.gov to leave a comment about the proposed “bio-engineered labeling standard.”

HERE IS THE LINK TO LEAVE A COMMENT: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/05/04/2018-09389/national-bioengineered-food-disclosure-standard#open-comment



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