Sailing Through Winter with Your Health Intact Broadcast

Exciting things are happening at Grains of Hope. We now have weekly live broadcast classes on Google Hangouts.

Our first broadcast examined the way to Sail Through Winter with Your Health Intact. This class focuses mostly on essential oils and how they can enhance the immune system to avoid illnesses or lessen the impact if one manages to succumb to one of the numerous bugs that make an impact during the winter:

Watch for our next broadcast. You can follow our schedule on Google Plus

You can purchase the oils mentioned in the video at Young Living Essential Oils. We recommend Young Living essential oils. These are the ones we use most and find give the best results. Other brands of essential oils may not give the same results.

Which Fruits and Vegetables Must You Buy Organic?

Apples - #1Organic fruits and vegetables sometimes cost more than conventional ones.

Where do you think Strawberries fall on the list?Since we are all budget conscious, it is time to think about which produce we should make a priority to buy organic.

Onions - your best betThe Environmental Working Group produces an annual list assessing which fruits and vegetables are most likely to contain the most (or least) pesticides.

Cherries - it depends where they are grownYou may be surprised at the produce that occupy either end of the spectrum.

The Full List: 45 Fruits and Veggies | EWG’s 2012 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™.

Healthiest Foods on Earth


Pineapple – Speeds post-surgery, Promotes joint health, Reduces asthma inflammation.

Blueberries – Restore antioxidant levels, Reverse age-related brain decline, Prevent urinary tract infection.

Spinach – Helps maintain mental sharpness, Reduces the risk of cancers of the liver, ovaries, colon and prostate, Top nutrient density.

Red Bell Pepper – Reduces risk of lung, prostate, ovarian and cervical cancer, Protects against sunburn, Promotes heart health.

Broccoli – Reduces diabetic damage, Lowers risk of prostate, bladder, colon, pancreatic, gastric and breast cancer, Protects the brain in event of injury.

Tomato – Reduces inflammation, Lowers risk of developing esophageal, stomach, colorectal, lung and pancreatic cancer, Reduces cardiovascular disease risk.

Apple – Supports immunity, Fights lung and prostate cancer, Lowers Alzheimer’s risk.

Artichoke – Helps blood clotting, Antioxidant Superfood, Lowers “bad” cholesterol.

Arugula – Lowers birth defect risk, Reduces fracture risk, Protects eye health.

Asparagus – Nourishes good gut bacteria, Protects against birth defects, Promotes heart health.

Avocado – Limits liver damage, Reduces oral cancer risk, Lowers cholesterol levels.

Blackberries – Build bone density, Suppress appetite, Enhance fat burning.

Butternut Squash – Supports night vision, Combats wrinkles, Promotes heart health.

Cantaloupe – Bolsters immunity, Protects skin against sunburn, Reduces inflammation.

CarrotAntioxidants defend DNA, Fights cataracts, Protects against some cancers.

Cauliflower – Stimulates detoxification, Suppresses breast cancer cell growth Defends against prostate cancer.

Cherries – Alleviate arthritic pain and gout , Lower “bad” cholesterol, Reduce inflammation.

Cranberries – Alleviate prostate pain, Fight lung, colon and leukemia cancer cells, Prevent urinary tract infection.

Green Cabbage – Promotes healthy blood clotting, Reduces risk of prostate, colon, breast and ovarian cancers, Activates the body’s natural detoxification systems.

Kale – Counters harmful estrogens that can feed cancer, Protects eyes against sun damage and cataracts, Increases bone density.

Kiwi – Combats wrinkles, Lowers blood clot risk and reduces blood lipids, Counters constipation.

Mango – Supports immunity, Lowers “bad” cholesterol, Regulates homocysteine to protect arteries.

Mushrooms – Promote natural detoxification, Reduce the risk of colon and prostate cancer, Lower blood pressure.

Orange – Reduces levels of “bad” cholesterol, Lowers risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, breast and stomach, and childhood leukemia, Pectin suppresses appetite.

Papaya – Enzymes aid digestion, Reduces risk of lung cancer, Enhances fat burning.

Plums & Prunes – Counter constipation, Antioxidants defend against DNA damage, Protects against post-menopausal bone loss.

Pomegranate – Enhances sunscreen protection, Lowers “bad” cholesterol, Fights prostate cancer.

Pumpkin Seeds – Protects joints against polyarthritis, Lowers lung and prostate cancer risk, Reduces inflammation.

Raspberries – Inhibit growth of oral, breast, colon and prostate cancers, Antioxidant DNA defense, Lower “bad” cholesterol levels.

Strawberries – Protect against Alzheimer’s, Reduce “bad” cholesterol, Suppress growth of colon, prostate and oral cancer.

Sweet Potato – Reduces stroke risk, Lowers cancer risk, Protect against blindness.

Watermelon – Supports male fertility, Reduces risk of several cancers: prostate, ovarian, cervical, oral and pharyngeal, Protects -skin against sunburn.

Banana – Increases Fat Burning, Lowers risk of colorectal and kidney cancer, leukemia, Reduces asthma symptoms in children.


Growing Pains

I have big plans for this blog.

I have been posting articles here and here, as well as on Facebook from time to time.  I also have my regular website, which I hope to migrate to this one eventually.

But for now, I am getting the framework put together for this blog:

  • I am planning an almost infinite set of entries on various foods around the world, particularly those that we find in our ethnic markets here in the U.S.  We have come a long way in the past few decades, in terms of choices in our grocery stores, due in large part to the immigrant populations. Still, most Americans are unfamiliar with fruits and vegetables beyond our short list (most of which are heavily treated with pesticides):
    • bananas (this is a topic for another post)
    • corn (which is highly genetically modified)
    • tomatoes (I could go on and on about commercially available tomatoes)
    • potatoes (totally infiltrated with toxic chemicals, then we most often deep fry them, destroying any nutrition)
    • iceberg lettuce (which loses most of its nutrition within a couple of hours of harvest)
    • oranges (known for the ‘gas chamber’ that allows them to be picked and shipped green)
    • apples (which are waxed and ‘preserved with a potent neurotoxin).
    • seasonal fruits (like peaches, cherries, blueberries and strawberries) which we demand be available throughout the year, requiring a TON of technology.
  • Another project in the works is a list of blog carnivals related to foods and nutrition. I am looking for lots of reader input on this project.
  • From time to time, I will post excerpts from my healthy living classes (available by email here).
  • Of course, I will be sharing my ruminations on health, including lifestyle, informed consent, and food issues.
  • This list, I am sure, will grow as time and inspiration permit.🙂


What is Grains of Hope Anyway?

Grains of Hope began in 1983. I was newly married and pregnant with my first child — a miracle child (I need another post to tell THAT story). After teaching special education for several years, I wanted to stay at home to care for this extra special gift of life we were blessed with.

As I looked at my possibilities, I realized that there is a deep current of healing talents in my heritage.

On the Road in MassachusettsMy maternal grandfather was a wise old Polish man who had much knowledge of herbal remedies. Whenever one of our family succumbed to an illness, he had suggestions that helped us to overcome. In fact, he saved my life when I was a wee baby (but that is a story for another post).

As I was researching my family history, I found that my paternal great grandmother was a well known (at the time) French Canadian herbalist, living in western Massachusetts.

In college, of course, I went the easy route: eating whatever was readily available in the dorms’ cafeteria. By the time I finished my schooling, I put on a good bit of weight, and found myself getting sick at the drop of a hat.

Talk about being led:

One summer, I worked at a Kosher Jewish summer camp, teaching cooking (of all things). Before I started that job, of course, I did a good bit of research on Kosher diet. Apparently, people who followed Kosher guidelines had fewer chronic diseases and were healthier over all.

Back at school that fall, my roommate’s mother moved in with us. She was on a very strict diet (prescribed by the Mayo Clinic) to control her severe arthritis. I felt better when Laura and I were adventuring in cooking.

After living with Laura for the school year, I went back to eating a Standard American diet (SAD). I was sick, depressed, had no motivation…. So I ‘stopped out’ of school after my junior year.

During my ‘time off’ from school, I worked in an Orthodox Jewish institution. Even though it was still institutional food, they did keep strict Kosher. I lost 40 pounds (partly from walking the mile into town each night to find some ‘entertainment).

Then I realized that special education was something I fully enjoyed and was fairly good at. So I went back to school and got my BS (in Communication Science).

Oue co-op looked like healthy living pharmacy

In graduate school, I joined a food co-op. People there taught me more about eating healthy foods, letting go of junk food, and introduced me to herbs as an aid to healthy living.

I read everything I could get my hands on (which was not much back in the mid ‘seventies) and asked questions whenever I was around anyone with any expertise.

I got on top of my health issues and people began to ask me for advice.

So, as a potential Stay at Home Mom, I figured I could offer classes on healthy living, herbs, and nutrition. It was nothing big or formal, but just a group of moms getting together to share information on keeping their families’ health.

Grains of Hope“But why Grains of Hope?” you may ask.

In my research, I found that throughout history, grains — in fact seeds of all kinds — were basic, staple foods for the majority of peoples.

Hope is a supernatural gift which gives us what we need to carry on through whatever trials we might face.

So, my ideal is to offer the seeds of knowledge and resources people need to give them motivation to make their lives better.