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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Hydroponic Gardening

My mom gave me this great Long English Cucumber. I love cucumbers and I juice them often, but this one was different. It was “packaged” wrapped in a tight plastic and stated hydroponically grown.  I guess I’ve been living under a rock because I have never heard this term before. I ran to the computer to learn more and to my surprise, I knew exactly what it was, just didn’t know there was a name for it.

Here are some facts I learned:

What are the benefits of hydroponic growing?

Cultivating plants hydroponically is an easy and environmentally sound way to grow a wide variety of healthy plants. It offers numerous benefits over growing in soil, including:
• Plants grow up to 50% faster because they have easy access to food and water.
• Plants become “vacation-proof” and “neglect-resistant” as rockwool retains water so well, you only need to water every three to six weeks.
• Plants can “tell” you when to water, because they droop before wilting and damage occurs.
• The absence of a buffer in the growing medium means plants get all the nutrients available (they don’t remain “bound up” as occurs in buffered mediums like peat moss and coco fiber).
• Little or no pesticides are necessary. Plants start our in a disease-free medium.
• If disease occurs, it may only affect one plant, not a whole row.
• You use smaller containers, because the roots can grow throughout the media without being root bound.

Hydroponics Is Simple
Plants don’t use soil; they use the food and water that are in the soil. Hydroponics basically is growing plants without soil because it is simply a more efficient way to provide food and water to your plants. Soil’s function is to hold nutrients and anchor plants’ roots. In a hydroponic garden you provide your plants’ roots so they have easier access to the food and water.

In a soil garden, food and water are randomly scattered; plants have to expend a lot of energy growing roots to find them. In a hydroponic garden, the food is dissolved in the water so it goes directly to the roots. The plants will grow quicker and be ready for harvest sooner because their growth will be above the surface, not under it. Since the root systems will be compact and not competing for food and water, you may also have many more plants in a given space.

Hydroponics Is Not New
Hydroponics has existed in different forms for thousands of years. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon used hydroponic techniques. Today hydroponic installations can be found in all 50 states and many countries around the world. In fact, in colder climates, a majority of vegetable and flower crops are grown hydroponically.

I LOVE this idea and now that we’ve settled into our new house, I can consider starting the garden. The photo alone make me want to do this. It’s visually stunning to me and such a cool idea.

~Rawma

 

Brain Fog…Just say NO!

Is your head in the clouds…or could it be more of a FOG? He’s what I know for sure. When my intake of food shifts from the Standard American Diet to RAW, my body begins to detoxify and my mind fog begins to clear.

Since we live in a world of toxins, it’s normal to encounter the fog often without even realizing it. For me, since I’m usually between 70-80% raw, I really notice a big difference in my clarity. The higher raw, the more clear I am able to think. Thank goodness there is a cure for brain fog that doesn’t include a dose of pills. If I add in more greens and wheatgrass, it speeds up the process even more. I also know that if this happens in wintertime, my winter blues will fade away, which lead me to believe that processed foods are depressing. They make me fat and my mind goes to this foggy place. Depending on what I eat, even if only on occasion, I get really sleepy immediately after eating. The odd thing is that it’s hard to remember that bad things happen when eating processed foods especially when our senses are heightened with the aroma of pizza, bread, or apple pie.  It’s like being in a comatose state. I know because I’ve been there and it sucks. The after effects and repercussion of eating the SAD way have a terrible back-handed result for me and for many others.

Significant improvement in brain function is a common side effect of proper nutrition.

The brain requires many nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, a range of amino acids, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and other nutrients. Among the most important nutrients are calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, L-glutamine, L-taurine, choline, thiamine, B6, B12 and other B vitamins. B-vitamin deficiency is known to cause confusion, irritability, stupor, and even death.

Don’t punish yourself and think you can’t beat it. It’s a process that may take some time to work through. It happens to everyone who tries to make significant changes in their lives and change is hard, but so worth it. Just think about how much you can save in health insurance is you instead focus on your health right now and are consciously balancing your life with PREVENTATIVE care for your body. That’s what I practice by eating Raw, Living foods. I care about my future health, and I care about yours as well. Today I see so many seniors using their social security checks to pay for their bags of medications and I just want to cry, and then show them how to make green smoothies. Seriously, we can learn a lot from our elders. In this case, it would be a lesson in what not to do. PREVENT disease now, so you can have a brighter future that doesn’t rely on pills that cause other issues for your health. Ok, I can hear some of you screaming…”some people need meds”, yes I agree, but many do not need the add on drugs prescribed.

When there is a problem, does the doc give a pill, or an organic menu enhanced with a protocol to resolve the underlying problem? This debate can go on forever, but I just witnessed my own father taking meds that had side effects and the doc gave him yet another pill for that symptom when I know it can be fixed with better nutrition. He’s a stuborn guy who is very set in his ways, so I encourage him as much as he allows me to with better health ideas.

Anyone experiencing brain fog can begin by improving diet and lifestyle. Eliminate junk food, sugared foods, and highly processed foods. Reduce, or preferably, eliminate wheat, dairy, and other foods that may be causing allergic reactions. Rather than soda pop, coffee, or juice drink a minimum of 8 glasses of good water every day and add in some lemon to help out the detoxifying process.

EAT REAL FOOD and watch the miracles in your life and your health.

~RawMa

 

Kale Chips OMG!!!

Wow…that’s the best word to describe these amazing little chips I made last night. I surprised myself. I don’t usually like Kale alone, but dressed up, this one’s a keeper. I do use Kale in my green drinks, but I can’t even taste it with the apple or banana throw in along with it.

This was so simple. I had some Kale that didn’t get used in the morning drink, so before wilting, I washed it thoroughly, tore it up into small pieces and threw it in a bowl.

In the vitamix, I threw in:
1 cup sprouted pumpkin seeds
3 Tbsp sesame seeds or 1/4 c. tahini
juice of 1 lemon
1 piece of garlic, or more if you like
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c water

blend it all up until paste like
hand mix in 1/4 c of nutritional yeast and sprinkle of sea salt (optional)

toss this mixture with the kale leaves and dehydrate overnight

I’ve also had these with broccoli leaves instead of kale, but couldn’t find them this time.

The kids and hubby gobbled up the whole bag full by the time dinner was ready tonight.

They’re really savory and make you feel like you’re being naughty! Enjoy

~ RawMa