Monday, December 3, 2018

Our Sweet Snoops went to heaven #straycats #rescuecat #lovecats #catmom #peaceatlast

Our Sweet Snoops went to Heaven
and took a part of me with her

Our senior cat passed away Friday at age 15. Our regular vet ruled out diabetes, but they could never figure out what was ailing our sweet Snoops. After several years of concern, we needed another opinion; sadly that came too late. 

Snoops was losing weight and looked terrible. She was not able to jump without falling - bad news for a cat. We took her to a specialist in our area for a second opinion. They did many blood tests and ruled out hyperthyroid. They still could not explain why she was losing weight and losing fur. One of her eyes was squinting and going bad too. 

We took her back to our regular vet. Based on her symptoms of weight loss and an enlarged thyroid, the vet thought maybe she did indeed have hyperthyroid. The veterinarian prescribed her medication to treat hyperthyroid even though she did not have elevated thyroid hormones T3 or T4. This made her sickness even worse.

Her lab work also revealed that her kidneys were beginning to fail - stage 2; our regular vet did not mention that fact to us. We didn't learn about that until we asked yet a third veterinarian for another opinion after forwarding the new vet the cat's lab results.

The new vet recommended surgery to get samples to biopsy. Could it be lymphoma or inflammatory bowel disease? This vet finally gave us her diagnosis. Our sweet girl had so many problems. In addition to two herniated disks in her back, she had an aggressive type of lymphoma AND inflammatory bowel disease. My gosh, our poor girl was doomed.

This past week, Snoops snuggled in my arms and curled her paws around my fingers. After her surgery, we let her sleep in a cage so she would not get hurt trying to move too much. She cried in the morning for me to pick her up. 

I wrapped her in a towel and hugged her like a baby. She rested her head on my chest and dosed off from weakness. She could barely eat; we think that perhaps the cancer spread to her brain affecting her eyes, mouth and legs.

Our sweet Snoops now rests in peace. The day we took her, the vet asked us if we were ready... we weren't, but Snoops most certainly was. We are so grateful for the skilled veterinarian, Jennifer Cromwell VMD, U of Penn graduate, and staff, who were able to finally give us her diagnosis. Special thanks to our friend, Ricki, who recommended Animal and Bird Healthcare Center in Cherry Hill; we can't thank you enough.

Blog post and photo copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

@American_Heart Walk Cooper River Park NJ Nov 10th @InspiraHN #hearthealth #heartwalk ❤️

❤️Heart Walk
November 10, 2018 
Cooper River Park, NJ
As you may know the Cooper River Heart Walk was rescheduled from Oct. 27th to Nov. 10th because of a terrible weather forecast. Hopefully the weather will be in our favor on Nov. 10th. Come out and join us. I'm walking with Team "Inspira Health Network Has Heart". Meetup is at the Inspira/Cooper tent bright and early. 

Check in is 8 am. Nov 10th at Cooper River Park in Pennsauken, NJ. The Heart Walk starts at 9:30 am. Just a few more supporters will help me reach my initial goal. 

Thank You for helping fight heart disease and stroke ❤️

Blog Post and Photo Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Today in Our Garden #Fall #saveacat #gardenphotography #gardenchat #dahlias #heirloomtomatoes

Today in Our Garden

In our gardens we have lots of birds diving in for the purple, Callicarpa beautyberries and seeds from native plants. Bluejays, squirrels and chipmunks visit daily for their feed of peanuts. And, since we haven't had a killing frost yet, we still have Lady in Red, Coral Nymph and Black and Blue salvias, along with dahlias, cannas, asters, zinnias, cleome, agastache, cardinal climber vine and coleus blooming; they sure won't last much longer. 
Dahlia - Mingus Philip Sr
Dahlia - Southern Belle

Our new pink dahlias weren't as large as I had hoped, but were beautiful none-the-less.
Under the grow lights we have a few flats of assorted coleus cuttings. Nearby, on the same shelves, sit the last few containers of fermenting tomatoes for saving the heirloom seeds.

I feel for the domestic cats stuck outside. Feral and stray cats struggle outdoors with all this recent damp, chilly weather. More cold rain is headed our way tomorrow. A sign in our great room says, "We Always Have Room for One More Cat." The sad truth is, we don't. If you do, adopt/rescue a furry friend asap!! Rescuing a cat from a shelter or from your own backyard is so rewarding. You will be blessed with purrs and loves forever for saving your cat(s) from a challenging life of parasites, cold, sickness and starvation.

Once we get a killing frost we will dig up the dahlia and canna tubers as usual. 

I did plant a few new fragrant peonys a few days ago that we got from White Flower Farm: Eden's Perfume and Moonstone. What's happening in your garden?

Happy Fall and planning your 2019 gardens!
Blog post and photos Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 28, 2018

What is Konjac? #GardenCuizine #guthealth #weightloss #diabeticfood #WLS

Magical Konjac
Zero Calories? 
Zero Carbohydrates? 
High in dietary Fiber

People who want to control or prevent diabetes, obesity, or who just want to succeed at weight loss, have discovered that a healthy diet and lifestyle are the keys to success. Healthy eaters never get bored from discovering new foods. Have you ever tried a food made with Konjac? Just what is Konjac anyway?

Low carb and no carb foods are popular with Keto and Paleo dieters. Personally, the clients I see that inform me they started trying a keto diet never really get to the stage of ketosis; we can talk more about ketosis another time. Just know that I do not recommend a ketogenic diet for the average person whose is looking to lose weight. 

Eating and cooking with lower carb foods and balancing carbohydrate intake throughout the day is always a winning strategy for glycemic control and weight management. Foods made with Konjac are often near zero calories and zero carbohydrates. 

Studies have shown that Konjac may promote increased butyrate, which improves gut health. And, people with diets low in fiber who suffer from constipation may notice improved bowel movements since Konjac is high in dietary fiber [1].

Knojac comes from a large plant native to China with the botanical name of Amorphophallus konjac. The corms (tuber-like roots) can grow to 10-inches and are the part that is harvested for use in foods. Konjac is most popular in Asian cuisine in flour, jelly, Konnyaku (yam cake) and Shirataki noodles.
Doesn't a food with no calories or carbs sound magical or like every dieter or diabetics dream food? Maybe that's why a noodle brand calls their noodles made from konjac "Magic Noodles." Often noodles made from knojac are packed in water with instructions to buyers to rinse them well before using. 

Reviews from people who have used Konjack noodles are all over social media. So check them out or try them for your self and let me know what you think.

Happy and Healthy Cooking!


References and photo credit
[1] Chen, HL; Cheng, HC; Wu, WT; Liu, YJ; Liu, SY (Feb 2008). "Supplementation of konjac glucomannan into a low-fiber Chinese diet promoted bowel movement and improved colonic ecology in constipated adults: a placebo-controlled, diet-controlled trial". Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
Photograph: By James Steakley [CC BY-SA 3.0  (

Sunday, August 5, 2018

#NationalOysterDay #EatRight and include Healing Nutrients #VitaminC #Zinc #GardenCuizine @l_oceano #Oysters

Healing Foods - Oysters
Today is NATIONAL OYSTER DAY. Have you had a recent surgery or have a wound that you want healed? If so, be sure to eat right (nutrient-dense foods from the Choose MyPlate Food Groups) and take a daily multivitamin. Of course, drinking plenty of water and eating food sources of nutrients like Zinc and Vitamin C will help you too. Oysters are the highest food source of Zinc.

>>> Follow any guidelines and medications as directed by your physician.

Recommended Dietary Allowance for Zinc
Females age 19 to 70*: 8 mg per day. 
               age 14 to 18: 9 mg per day
Note: nutrient needs increase during pregnancy and lactation

Males age 14 to 70+: 11 mg per day 

Food sources of Zinc include, but are not limited to:
  • Mollusks- Oysters: 1 medium (50g), 8.3 mg (55% DV); 8 mcg B12 bonus! (133% DV)
  • Wheat Germ: 1 oz. (28g), 3.4 mg (23% DV)
  • Sesame Seeds: 1 oz. (28g), 2 mg (13% DV)
Food sources of Vitamin C  include, but are not limited to:

Peppers - red and green
Citrus fruits

Tropicana has a healing combination blend with added Vitamin C and Zinc. Read the labels and remember, the recommended maximum of 100% pure fruit juice per day is no more than 8 ounces.

Happy National Oyster Day! And, good luck in your post-operative healing. Blessings for a speedy recovery if you are planning surgery or just experienced a wound or surgery.

Related Links
5 Nutrition Tips to Promote Wound Healing
Zinc Fact Sheet
Vitamin C Fact Sheet
Blog Post and photo Copyright (C)Wind 2018. All rights reserved. Photo taken at restaurant LOceano Ristourante Collingswood, NJ

Friday, August 3, 2018

Cumberland County #NJ #Greenhouse Ribbon Cutting #GardenCuizine #schoolgardens

New Greenhouse 
at Bridgeton High School, NJ

This summer, Bridgeton High School, located in Cumberland County, NJ, unveiled a new 1,500 sq. foot greenhouse that was funded and donated by the Procacci family, Revive South Jersey and NJ Community Capital. 

The new student greenhouse features a student-built hydroponic farm! In the fall, science and nutrition class students will plant herbs, fruits and vegetables there. 

Thanks to District Nutritionist, Allison Wentzell; Jacque Mermer, Assistant Director of Food Services and master of ceremonies, Mr. Warren DeShields, Director of Food Services of Bridgeton Public Schools for inviting me to attend; I love the new greenhouse and can't wait to see what your students grow! 

Dietitians and healthcare professionals take the challenge of reversing childhood obesity very seriously. Scientific evidence has long shown that kids who garden eat more fruits and vegetables. Eating more plant foods helps to prevent diseases, such as obesity, cancer and heart disease. The introduction of gardens in schools is a great gift to the students.

Many people were involved in bringing the idea of a greenhouse to the school district at Bridgeton HS to the students. Agriculture is one of the goals that some students are pursuing. The greenhouse will serve as a teaching tool for students in science class. Hydroponic gardening depends on an important nutrient blend and water testing the pH in order to grow food without soil.

Plant foods are important because they provide essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and other compounds. Fruits and vegetables are low in energy density so they also help people achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

"Imagine having your own greenhouse," said Dr. Thomasina Jones, Superintendent Bridgeton Public Schools. The students will be given an opportunity to "Cultivate seeds, nurture those seeds and watch them bloom and flourish." Best wishes to all with this exciting agriculture opportunity to grow their own fruits and vegetables. 

The first greenhouse for Bridgeton Public Schools will provide 540 plant spaces in the new hydroponic system. Raised garden beds and more outdoor learning spaces can be found at West Avenue School and Cherry Street School.

Related Links
NJ State Health Assessment Data

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Oyster Mushroom Nutrition @GardenCuizine #GardenCuizine

Oyster Mushrooms

Excellent Source: Niacin
Good Source: Potassium

Oyster Mushroom Nutrition: 1 cup sliced = 3g Protein (wow!), Niacin (21% DV); Potassium (10% DV), Riboflavin (18% DV); source Fiber, Folate, Iron, Zinc* and other important nutrients.

*Unlike Oyster shellfish, which are high in Zinc, Oyster Mushrooms are low in Zinc. One cup sliced Oyster Mushrooms contains 4% Daily Value of Zinc.

Where can I find them in NJ?
  • Drop the Beet Farms
462 Adelphia Road
East Freehold, New Jersey 07728
Related Links
Drop the Beet Farms 
Oyster Mushroom Recipes

Blog post Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

@kidseatright Creatine supplements not recommended for Adolescent Boys #GardenCuizine @InspiraHN @AmerAcadPeds #HealthyEating #eatright @CivilAirPatrol

Healthy Eating - Yes!
Creatine Supplements Not Recommended for Adolescent Boys and Girls

Photo shown was taken Thursday evening at my nutrition and fitness talk held at Cumberland Composite Squadron in Vineland, NJ. Civil Air Patrol was founded on 1 December 1941, and serves as the Auxiliary of the United States Air Force. 

The New Jersey Wing has over 1,000 members, consisting of cadets between the ages of 12 and 21, and senior members, who must be over 18 years of age. I was the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist speaker at the Cumberland Squadron's monthly meeting, along with staff from Inspira's Fitness Connection, Vineland NJ. 

Cumberland cadets live in South Jersey counties that have repeatedly been ranked poorest in health in the state. I presented my "Kids with Guts" program an interactive lesson about why our food choices are so important. I was impressed with the cadets' knowledge about the gastrointestinal system and how the digestive system works. 

We also discussed the importance of daily physical activity and healthy eating. Eating a variety of wholesome foods from the 5 ChooseMyPlate food groups is the best way to yield energy and nutrients needed to improve performance.

Like many boys across America, some of them want to use creatine dietary supplements to build muscle. Studies are extremely limited on effects of creatine on children and adolescents. This is why the Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement over a decade ago NOT recommending creatine use by adolescents. Studies for adults have shown some people had improved anaerobic resistance training using creatine; however, 30% of adults got no benefit at all. Overall, few benefits have been reported for improvements in cardio or endurance training.

Creatine is formed from 3 amino acids: Arginine, Methionine and Glycine. The body makes creatine with help from our kidneys and liver. Most of the body's creatine (95%) is stored in muscle and 5% in the brain. 

The daily requirement is about 2g to replace the amount lost as creatinine in urine. Meat eaters get creatine from diet and from endogenous production (the body making it). Vegetarians depend 100% on their bodies own synthesis of creatine.

The FDA does not regulate dietary supplements. The best source for creatine is your own body's production and intake obtained by eating quality proteins as part of a healthy diet. Dietary sources for creatine come from meat and fish. 

Creatine's biosynthesis (building blocks) come from essential and nonessential amino acids:
  • Arginine - The highest food sources for Arginine include: crab, shrimp, lobster, clams, scallops, spinach, spirulina, watercress, pork, beef, fish and game meats. 
  • Glycine - The smallest amino acid, glycine can be made by the body, but is also found in gelatin and many of the same proteins sources as Arginine. 
  • Methionine - A good food source for an essential amino acid, Methionine is found in: spirulina, broccoli raab, mushrooms, watercress, nuts, spinach, asparagus, beans, egg whites, fish, chicken and turkey.
Related Links
Should I use Creatine Supplements 
Creatine use by Adolescents Not Recommended 
Use of Performance Enhancing Substances
The Best Protein you can Eat 
Body Building Supplement Creatine too easy for Teens to buy
Creatine Use Among Young Athletes
Blog post and photo Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Race For The Cure Philadelphia is over, but @SusanGKomen #BreastCancerAwareness continues! #pinkribbons #getyourmammo

We celebrated Mother's Day this year walking in the Susan G. Komen Philadelphia Race for the Cure in honor of Mom, a breast cancer survivor.

Mom is over 80. Her doctors never recommended her to get a mammogram. Earlier detection would have been better for her. 

As Elaine Grobman, Komen's Chief Executive Officer says, "Saving lives from breast cancer takes funding."

"Funding for:
  • Research: Leading to more effective, less invasive treatments and, hopefully, one day prevention
  • Research: Leading to greater understanding of how metastasis works and how to stop it
  • Equal access to care: Whether or not a person can afford a mammogram, treatment and support services, he or she must be connected with the quality care that will save lives
  • Educational programs and grassroots outreach: Mobilizing all women—of all ages—to practice early detection and act immediately if something is wrong with their breasts
  • Male breast cancer awareness programs
  • Removal of barriers: language, cultural myths and practices, financial limitations cannot stand between any person and lifesaving services"
Mom is our Senior Star. Who is yours? 
We invite you to come Walk with our "Senior Stars" group next year in honor and support of the Senior Star in your life.

Blog Post and photo Copyright (C)Wind. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Today in our Garden #GardenCuizine #stormrecovery #NJ #gardenchat celebrating #nomorewetsnow

Fallen Garden for Wildlife post with sign and birdhouse after Winter Nor'easter
Today in Our Garden
South Jersey
USDA Zone 7a (formerly zone 6b)
The sound of chain saws still echo throughout our neighborhood. We've been dragging fallen tree limbs to the curb every chance we get. Yesterday was no exception. The recovery from the damaging NJ Winter Nor'easters will still take us some time. 

Piles of tree trunks and limbs can be seen in front of just about every house. The mounds are piled high and look like beaver damns!
Piles of white pine limbs throughout our hummingbird garden
Luckily, we didn't have any limbs fall on our house, so for that we feel blessed. 

During the last storm, at the exact time, both Harry and I watched the heavy weight of the wet snow slowly tip over our entrance arbor! Right before our eyes the metal completely bent and collapsed. In the video below you can see the arbor (at the beginning) full of wet snow before it went down. And, near the end of the video, you can hear the horrible cracking of the pines.
Harry cut apart the arbor's metal. And, I pruned away the vines leaving the roots and about 4 or 5 feet of stalks. A fragrant Jasmine and clematis were well established on that arbor. It was sad dragging away the chopped off remains to the curb. Now, it looks so bare. 

On a positive note, Harry may try to custom build us a replacement arbor. I found a plan online for one that he may use.
Meanwhile, Spring has sprung! Hyacinths are blooming, Daffodils are up, even the first dandelions are blooming. Lots of green growth can be seen on shrubs now.

Inside we have lots of coleus cuttings and veggie seedlings. We are growing salvias and heirloom tomatoes as usual. And, a few new things, including Rutabaga and Purple Peacock open-pollinated broccoli. What are you growing?

I'm not happy with the soil mix I'm using for the seedlings. The soils today all have moisture crystals added, which keeps the soil too moist for seedlings. If I don't water enough, the soil becomes the opposite extreme - dry and hard - and the seedlings die. 

Before these types of soil mixes, I never had this problem. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear what works best for you.

Over-wintered indoors:
Avocado * Bay Laurel * Coffee
Our Avocado tree is growing well in a large pot. It even bloomed this winter! Just one bloom and it didn't last, but none-the-less, it was exciting to see.

Potted next to the Avocado tree stands a tall bay leaf tree. Bay Laurel grows well in a pot and is one of my favorite kitchen garden plants.

A small coffee plant from a plant swap a few years ago will finally be transplanted soon. If only we had a greenhouse.

We keep a pot of Stevia on our deck during the summer. At the end of the season I take the pot inside and let the seeds fall from the dead stems. The Stevia regrows right in the same pot every year. 

The new growth looks a bit straggly now, but will perk up and bloom in summer once we put the pot back outside when the weather warms.
Happy Spring and Happy Gardening!
Blog post, photos and video (C)Wind. All rights reserved.