Saturday, July 8, 2017

Georgia On My Mind

Hey Guys, 
   It has been a very brutal and hot two weeks of summer down here in Florida, honestly I'm not sure how much I can take. Does any else remember hot summer days and cool summer nights? It was a perfect balance giving adequate time for summer activities like the beach, block parties, picnics and the like while having a break from the sun at night allowing long walks, roof top get together's and sleeping with open windows. I miss those days. Speaking of summer I finally got a chance to travel again since the season began, my first stop was Georgia.

We started our road trip out of Orlando to Georgia an eight-hour ride with my friends. I will save you the details on the conversation and antics in the car; however, I will say the best way to get to know your friends is spending hours in a vehicle with them. Our First stop was Atlanta, Georgia a city known for its music, thick country accent, and historic sites. Atlanta is also home to two popular HBCU's and one former HBCU by the name of Morris Brown College, that is where we participated in the celebration of Juneteenth. A holiday known to diverse communities as the day slavery was officially abolished. Continuing our journey we went to the body exhibit & stumbled into the historic art and warehouse district of Castleberry where the above picture was taken. Castleberry I must mention is also the home of No Mas Cocina a Mexican themed restaurant with its own arts center inside of the spacious eatery. The best part of their art store was the new age hand-woven bamboo hammock, chairs, and furniture plus the African and Spaniard inspired artwork all around. Although we did not eat there the reviews are excellent.

Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to do much eating in the city of ATL however, we did get a chance to embark on some bbq at a popular spot called I'm Dyin for Daddy D'z the bbq joynt.  Once inside of the restaurant you get a homey feel, pictures of Billie Holiday, old newspaper clippings of the 90's, and memorabilia of Atlanta at it's prime stages were all over the walls. As I sat to look at the menu I noticed different crowds of people from suits to laid back attire walking in for this bbq. I would recommend the ribs and pulled chicken with fried zucchini as a side, you will thank me later.

All in all the city was bumping, busy and vibrant I absolutely will go back with intentions of riding the ferris wheel, trying new places and enjoying the nightlife plus day life in ATL.

This is the end of my adventure in Atlanta, Georgia for now next up Savannah. Hope you have a great week!

As Always,
 Bon Mangè

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Taste of Summer Series: Coconuts

Image result for coconut in water   

Hey Guys
  We are one day away from summer officially beginning! I do not know about you but I am excited for more beach days, water parks and bbq's. I know summer 2017 will be a memorable one. 

   This week coconut is our focal point in our Taste of Summer Series. Scientist have yet to discover where this fruit originated but are still doing research; in examining this study I found a palm scientist named Odoardo Beccar who "suggests that the coconut is of Old World origin and more than likely came from the Indian Archipelago or Polynesia". Made up of three layers the exocarp (the green shell), mesocarp (surrounds woody layer), and endocarp (layer surrounding the seed). Typically when purchased at grocery stores the exocarp and mesocarp are removed leaving the endocarp also know as the woody layer exposed. This peculiar fruit is technically under three types of classifications a seed, a drupe and a nut.
Image result for coconut water

   Many are familiar with coconut water and its mild naturally sweet taste, however some do not know that the water is a wonderful help to those with diabetes as it helps control blood sugar levels due to the glucose amount in the seed water. It is also a good source of rehydration second to water, having lots of potassium, dietary fiber plus the water comes straight from the seed of the fruit. I must mention that coconut oil is excellent for skin and hair; being antimicrobial, antifungal and a great moisturizer on it's own. I personally use it on both myself every day and attribute my soft moisturized hair and skin to coconut oil. Another fun fact is that the white inner layer also known as white meat can be eatten raw, toasted, dried, sweetened or creamed to make coconut milk. 

   Unfortunately, with the good there is also bad. Contrary to popular belif coconuts have little vitamin and mineral content; also it has the highest saturated fat attributes of all fruit/seed oils. My recommendations are using coconut oil for food maybe twice a week, opting more for olive oil or safflower oil. Additionally, limit drinking the water on a consistent basis. 

 Hopefully, you have gained new information on cocnut, cocnut water and cocnut oil in the this series, see you next week.

As always,
 Bon Mangè

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Taste of Summer Series

Happy June!

We are half way through the year! How are your goals coming along?  If not so great remember that it's never too late to begin or get back on the wagon. But for now, let's enjoy the beautiful season change from spring to summer. This includes sunny days, warm summer nights, many activities outside and of course luscious fruits. One of them being Mangos.

Mangos are a delicious, sweet, tart and juicy fruit. Native to the Caribbean; Haiti in particular, Latin America, India and some parts of Asia. Found in many fresh markets across the states, there is an array of bright colors and shapes to be seen of this fruit. Most popular being bright yellow, green, orange flesh. This fruit is high in Vitamins A & C, and also has a high dosage of beta carotene. Helping the absorption of vitamin A in the body, containing antioxidants to fight cancer, slow aging and detoxing your system.

 Most of the mangos imported into the United States are from Mexico, Central America, and Haiti. The Haitian mango better known as The Francine is very popular and in demand everywhere for its sweet taste and firm texture. They are especially desired in the summer months. This mango pictured below has a green & orange color on the outside with a sweet yet firm texture on the inside. Grown in the months of April to July with June and July being peak season. It is especially great with chutneys, smoothies and as a quick snack.

Image result for the francine mango
Photo Credit:
A quick way to incorporate this fruit into your diet this summer is adding it to salsas, using it with other seasonal fruits for a smoothie, eating it raw, making a fruit salad or following any of the recipes below.

Mexican Appetizer & Snack: Sliced fresh mangos topped with cilantro, and chili powder

Haitian Smoothie: Freshly sliced mangos, freshly sliced papaya, almond milk, sugar, and blend

Indian Dessert: Fresh mangos pureed, yogurt curd, cardamom, sugar, blended chilled and served

As Always,
 Bon Mange

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Wellness Spotlight: Cabbage

Image result for cabbage in water
Google: Napa Cabbage

Hey Guys,
 It has been a while since I have given the spotlight to a vegetable or fruit that I deem as super. To end the month I will be giving this special shout out to cabbage. I know what your thinking cabbage? really? But wait till you see the benefits of consuming such a bright  (sometimes) green vegetable.Here is my countdown of top five reasons we should appreciate and eat more cabbage in all forms. 

5. High In Vitamins & Nutrients 
 Cabbage is a vegetable found in many parts of the world. This vegetable was made popular in the Eastern region of the Mediterranean during the time of Rome's rain in power. It was also a stable food for families with little money as it was cheap and easy to grow.  Full of Vitamin C, K, folacin, and fiber this vegetable helps your cells and body regulate its function, causing a healthier you. 

4. Red, Savoy, Napa, Bok choy...
Image result for january king cabbage
January King Cabbage
   January King, choy sum, Portugal are just a few of the vast varieties of cabbage available on planet earth. Each has a distinctive color and flavor, that are known about. Take the Portugal cabbage for instance (pictured below) is only typically found in the Mediterranean and also used for soups. January King cabbage is bright purple and green, typically found in the winter, is best served grilled or roasted. Bok choy, on the other hand, are found in many Asian dishes inclusive of stir fry, soups and as appetizers. 
Image result for portugal cabbage
Portugal Cabbage
Image result for bok choy
Bok Choy

3.Cancer Hates Cabbage
 The glucosinolate found in cruciferous vegetables (vegetables rich in nutrients) can help fight cancer causing cells in the body through regular consumption. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory properties called flavonoids. This ingredient alone helps the body fight any abnormally sized cells or swelling in any area of the body, while shrinking cancer cells. Also as mentioned before being high in fiber, it will help the inside of your body get rid of toxic waste and cells. A healthy body helps you fight any abnormalities, flus, and colds. So next time you feel congested instead of taking OTC medication try increasing consumption of cabbage.

2. Healthy Digestion
 Bubble guts? upset stomach? inconsistent bowels? bloated? After years of eating red meats, poultry, processed foods, sugar and the like, our stomach lining as humans may get overwhelmed with natural bacteria. The bacteria is not the problem as it is supposed to be there, however, it can grow to become too much for the stomach lining causing problems. Cabbage naturally has antioxidants, amino -acids and glutamine a nutrient that helps digestive health and brain function. I suggest adding Kimchi to your eating plan, a popular Korean dish with cabbage that will help with gut health because of the fermentation process that takes place. 

1. Hydration & Detoxification
As a cruciferous vegetable, cabbage is naturally made of 90% water. The leaves and stalks are made up of water. Water, as we know, is a natural body cleanser and maintains balance. Drinking a few glasses a day hydrates skin, hair, nails, stomach and keeps blood flowing in every area. Adding cabbage to soups, or dishes also helps detox the liver, which has an important job of regulating sugar, blood, protein and fat that enters the blood stream. 

I hope these top five reasons persuade you to increase the intake of cabbage. I am not a doctor or medical professional, discuss all nutrition health and recommendations with a doctor.

As always,
   Bon Mangé

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Four Steps to Reversing Low Iron

Image result for  iron body

Hey Guys,
       Have you ever been out with friends or in a car  with someone and started shivering out of no where? How about at home and the temperature is 70 degrees, and notice your hands and feet are cold? What about fatigue? Weakness? Shortness of breath? These are a few signs of Low Iron or Deficiency Anemia.  Low Iron occurs when the body is not receiving enough oxygen to the cells and tissues which causes the symptoms listed above.  I have experienced these symptoms and a few others while dealing with low Iron, and after some research I have composed four steps to aid in reversing and maintaining Iron levels.

                                                                         Go to The Doctor 

The first step to reversing Low Iron is going to see a doctor. A doctor's office is the best place to to get a clear answer on your symptoms. In addition they would be able to clarify if in fact you do have low iron or another issue causing your body to give you theses signs. Blood work results do not take long at all, you'll have the result ready in about a week. 
              Eat More Iron producing foods

Step two is eating natural iron enriched foods. There's a good amount of natural food choices that aid with the reversing of Low Iron, many of which can be found in your produce and meat aisle. Iron keeps your body strong enough to fight everything that would hinder its purpose. Red meat is usually the first option recommended by most medical professionals; however for those who are vegetarian or vegan there are many options for you as well.  A few of the best food sources for increasing iron levels are 
  • Leafy Greens: Spinach, Kale 
  • Beans: Kidney, Garbanzo, lentils
  • Whole Grains: Quinoa, Bulgar. Rice
  • Beef : Liver
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Raw Beets (juice form fine as well) 
  • Foods high in Vitamin C 
            Take Daily Supplements 

Step three includes choosing a type of supplement. There are tons on the market inclusive of tablets, gummies, plant based and synthetic variations. The key is to find one that works well for you.  After that has been established be sure to drink plenty of water while consuming the supplement to better help with overall body absorption into your system. A popular supplement recommended to people with Low Iron is Iron (Fe) >50 mg.  Though  taking Iron (Fe) has great effects in helping the body operate more efficiently with this missing element; it is known to cause constipation. There is not much to help with this symptom, however I recommend taking a glass of water before and while taking the supplement to ease the effects. Another tip is intaking more fruits and vegetables which naturally help with digestion as well. 

Avoid Iron Blocking Foods

Finally, there is so much food in the market that are tasty and delicious but are bad for those who are trying to increase and reverse Iron levels; many of which we eat daily in the American diet. I am not recommending that you completely remove these foods from your diet, however if you decrease the intake I know that you will feel a difference in your body as a whole. I challenge you to try to remove these foods for a week and see if you notice a change in your system. The following foods are known to block and/ or prevent absorption of Iron intake : 
  • Dairy 
  • Carbonated Sodas & Sugary Drinks 
  • Coffee and Black Teas 

I hope that these tips and suggestions help in your journey to a healthier Iron balanced whole you. Let me know if you have decided to put them into practice. 

   As always
     Bon mangé