The 7 Big Health Benefits of Matcha Green Tea


It’s another WHAT’S ON THE #MENUMONDAY everyone — and today we’re going to discuss something that the Zen monks have known about for centuries — Matcha Green Tea!

Today, green tea is a beverage of choice for many people the world over. It was first discovered, however, in China more than a thousand years ago. And, from China the craze migrated to Japan where the tea was named “matcha.” It was this tea that the Zen Buddhist monks drank to enhance their experience of peaceful awareness during meditation.

So, what is it that makes matcha green tea different from the well-known regular green tea?? Why is it catching fire as the trendy, new beverage on the block??

First, true matcha tea is a product of Japan. You see, the Japanese use an ancient technique in which the green tea leaves are carefully shaded with straw mats for 30 days before they are picked from the plant. This allows the leaves to grow super rich in amino acids and chlorophyll. Then, when the leaves are picked, they are dried and finely ground into a bright green powder. In this way, the entire leaf is dissolved in water for a cup of tea rather than steeped in bags.

OK then, that’s the process. But what does that mean to us? Well, hang onto your hats everyone because here’s where it really gets fun!

Matcha is loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants! According to, it contains 6.2 times the antioxidant level of goji berries, 7 times that of dark chocolate, 17 times that of wild blueberries AND 60.5 times that of spinach!!

But don’t turn the channel yet! There’s more! It has been estimated that one cup of matcha green tea has 137 times more of the antioxidant EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) than a cup of regular green tea.

So, when we take our tea break with matcha we’re also:

— Fighting cancer-causing free radicals

— Reducing inflammation

— Slowing the aging process

— Aiding weight loss

— Adding dietary fiber

— Reducing stress

— Improving clarity of mind

HOLY SMOKES!! Is that amazing or what??

Now, you may ask, “Sounds good. But, does it taste good?” Hmmm, well, let’s just say it might be what is often called an “acquired taste” — it’s strong — but, give it a chance — it’ll grow on you. And, to make sure you’re getting the best cup of matcha you possibly can, try following these simple tips:

1) Boil water and then allow it to sit for five minutes.

2) Measure 1 teaspoon of matcha into a “matcha bowl” or large cup.

3) Add a cup of the boiled water to the bowl. Whisk the mixture briskly until the tea is absorbed and a light colored foam forms on the top.

4) Drink immediately before the powder has time to settle — insuring the benefits end up inside you, not at the bottom of the bowl :)

And once again it’s time for,


True aficionados of matcha tea say the water and tea should be stirred with a bamboo whisk instead of a metal instrument. This, they say, will prevent the beneficial qualities of the tea from being altered or diminished in any way.

So, enjoy. Relax. Have a cup of matcha tea — a Zen monk-approved, rich tasting, so-good-for-you hot drink that will calm, sooth and heal both mind and body!

Thanks for joining me everyone. And, until next time,




Image courtesy of zirconicusso at FreeDigitalPhotos.Net


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Five Tips to Protect Your Dog from Skin Cancer

dog with shirt FDP Stuart MilesCANINE SKIN CANCER:


It’s #FACTUALFRIDAY everyone — and since it’s still summer we’re going to talk about skin cancer once more — but this time, our focus will be canine skin cancer.

You see, our four-legged friends are susceptible to the same skin conditions — including cancer — that we are. What’s more, this disease in dogs is surprisingly similar to the disease in humans.

First, the RISK FACTORS include:

Heredity: Some breeds are more likely to develop skin cancers than others. For example, dogs with black coats develop more melanomas in the nail beds and dogs with thin, short and light-colored coats develop more squamous cell carcinomas.

Sun Exposure: No great surprise here. Harmful UVA and UVB rays cause damage even if most of your skin is covered in fur.

Female Hormones: Estrogen and progesterone — culprits even for the four-legged girls.

Skin Inflammations and Lesions: Remember our conversation in the SSCC?? And, our Cancer Blueprint?? Cells that have been injured — over and over again — become weakened and damaged — and more susceptible to illness and disease, including cancer.

Papilloma Virus: It may not be Human Papilloma Virus, but it can wreck just as much havoc with our pups — causing small warts around the mouth that can lead to squamous cell tumors.

Of course, the most vulnerable doggie body parts are those that are more exposed such as the nail beds and paw pads, the mouth and muzzle, the nose and ears AND the abdomen.

So, HOW DO WE PROTECT OUR PETS?? In the same ways that we protect ourselves!! That’s how!!

Talk to your Vet. Make sure you understand the hereditary cancer risks your dog may face based on breed and coloring.

Stay away from dogs that appear to be sick. The best way to treat a virus is to avoid it in the first place.

Stop excessive licking. This may contribute to the development of cancer-related mutations. Treat any skin inflammations, lesions or infections immediately.

Have regular check-ups. Make sure you schedule an annual exam for your pup replete with a full-body inspection. AND always visit your Vet if you notice any lump, bump, sore or discoloration on your pup’s skin.


Practice SUN SENSE. Remember, sun sense is really just common sense. Don’t expose your pup to the hottest hours of the day and the strongest rays of the sun. Always provide a shady area for rest outdoors. And, be careful of piping hot surfaces like asphalt, sand and concrete that can burn and damage delicate paws.

And if your pooch spends a lot of time swimming at the beach or hiking in the mountains — or in any other adventurous activity — consider these great options:

Sun Block Clothing: Protective gear like vests and hats. These products not only block the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays but often are infused with SPF protection as well.

Doggy Sun Screen: Yep. It’s special-made for the canine in your life. Just apply to the vulnerable areas we discussed like the nose and ears.

Doggy Sun Glasses or Goggles: Affectionately known as DOGGLES. (Really, is that cute or what?) They come in a variety of sizes and styles — designed to please the most discerning dog divas. Great protection from sun, spray and wind.

So, there we have it!! The low-down on canine skin cancer. Just as we protect our own health, please protect that of your pet. It will help insure years and years of togetherness for you and your best friend!

Thanks for joining me everyone! And, until next time — WOOF!


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at 

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Avocado’s Health Benefits + Super Easy Guacamole Recipe


Welcome back to WHAT’S ON THE #MENUMONDAY everyone!

Gosh, we’ve finished our five part series on Organic Produce – so now, why don’t we continue with a few facts about ONE of our TOP TEN BEST VEGGIES that we never have to buy organic – and one with great nutritional value to boot — the amazing avocado!

Now remember, we don’t have to buy our avocados organic in large part due to the thick skin on this veggie that protects the delicious edible part from pesticide residue – or pest res. But, that’s just for starters. The avocado also has high levels of potassium. Indeed, two and a half avocados have as much potassium as ten bananas – or approximately 4,700 mg – which is the recommended daily requirement for the average adult.

In addition, avocados are loaded with healthy monounsaturated fats and are one of the few natural foods that contain significant levels of both Vitamin C and E. Now, this is important because studies have shown that these two vitamins work together in a process known as antioxidant recycling. In other words, these two vitamins join forces to boost the amount of cancer-fighting antioxidants in the body. AND, this combination of C and E also may slow the formation of plaque in our arteries – which can help protect us from potential strokes and heart attacks.

And just to round this out, avocados also provide us with Vitamins A, C, E, K, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and more fiber than most fiber-filled snack bars.

SO NOW, let’s really rev this post up and throw a few other ingredients into our avocado for a yummy and surprisingly nutritious guacamole dip!


                                                   SUPER EASY GUACAMOLE

2 Avocados, Mashed

Added Nutritional Value:

1 Small Onion, Diced                      Vitamins C and K, B6, Biotin, Calcium, Folic Acid

1-2 Garlic Cloves, Diced                Vitamin C, B6, Calcium, Copper, Manganese, Potassium, Selenium

1 Tomato, Diced                             Vitamins A, C, K, B6, Copper, Folate, Lycopene

Juice of 1 Lime                                 Vitamin C, Flavonoids

Dash of Pepper                                Vitamin K, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Manganese


Dash of Cayenne                             Vitamins A, C, B6, Capsaicin, Manganese, Potassium

So, that’s it! Just mix everything together in a bowl and you’re done! Easy, right??

And now for our…


When the flesh of an avocado is exposed to the air a chemical reaction occurs, which turns this gorgeous green veggie into a bitter brown sludge.

To keep your avocado or guacamole fresh and green:

  1. Squeeze a little more lime juice over the top so the exposed avocado or dip is completely covered. The acids in the fruit impede the browning process.
  2. Then cover with plastic wrap – making sure the wrap is touching the entire surface of the avocado. This helps prevent oxygen from interacting with the dish, thereby reducing the amount of discoloration.
  3. Now, if you are fresh out of lime juice and plastic wrap, simply cover the entire dish with water. The water also protects the avocado from oxygen. Then, when you’re ready to serve, just drain off the water and enjoy!

And, there we have it! A really tasty snack that works with our health – not against it!

So, continue to have a great summer everyone – thanks for joining me and until next time, EAT WELL and BE WELL!

                               TAKE THE COURSE AND TAKE CHARGE!!


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Top 10 Health Benefits of Meditation

Woman meditating Welcome back to #FACTUALFRIDAY everyone! As you may have guessed from Wednesday’s post, we’re going to talk about the connection between mind and body today – and the physical benefits we derive from a mental activity.

OK – so we’ve all heard about meditation. And, of course, we all probably have LOTS of misconceptions about it. Must we sit crossed-legged on the floor? Do we have to “turn our minds off?” Do we need to isolate ourselves? Should we remove all noise and distractions – and shoes – before beginning? Does it always involve repeating the phrase, “Omm?” Is it necessary to fast before or after? And, on and on and on.

Well, in a word, the answer to all the above is simply, “No.” You see, meditation is really a very simple technique that anyone can do anywhere at any time. I know. I’ve been practicing Transcendental Meditation for over 30 years. Since I was in my teens. In fact, my whole family started together – Mom and Dad – and all my siblings. It was, indeed, a family affair.

Now, that’s what I do. But, there are many different types of meditation. Think of it this way. There’s only one New York City — but there are many different ways to get there. You see, essentially all meditations involve a technique that allows us to relax while sitting quietly with our eyes closed. The techniques may vary, but the end result can be surprisingly the same.

And, it’s that end result we’re interested in!

So, based upon research that has taken place over many years, here’s a list of the TOP TEN BENEFITS associated with BASIC MEDITATION. Spending just a few minutes a day in this pleasant non-activity can help us:

  • Overcome Stress
  • Increase Focus and Improve Attention
  • Aid Weight Loss
  • Help Overcome Anxiety, Depression and Anger
  • Improve Digestion
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Decrease Risk of Heart Attack
  • Improve Sex Life and Increase Libido
  • Boost Creativity
  • Decrease Perception of Pain

Wow – that’s what I call a great result! For only a few minutes a day!

Now in light of this, you may be wondering — is meditation the new medication?? Well, in my opinion, no. Yes, the benefits of meditation are substantial. But, traditional medicine also is a necessary component to overall well-being. The trick is to combine the two in a complementary and synergistic way – with each one highlighting the strengths of the other. You see, it’s not a matter of Eastern philosophy OR Western technology – it’s a matter of Eastern philosophy AND Western technology. More bang for our buck, so to speak.

So, why not look into meditation? Ask a friend. Do a little research. Pick a technique that makes sense to you. Try it out. See what happens. And, remember – sometimes less really is more!

Thanks for joining me everyone! Until next time,

                                               TAKE THE COURSE AND TAKE CHARGE!



1)University of Massachusetts Medical School, 2003; 2) University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2007; 3) Journal of Emotion, 2007; 4) Psychosomatic Medicine, 2009; 5) Harvard Medical School, 2009; 6) Harvard Medical School, 2009; 7) The Stroke Journal, 2009; 8) The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2009; 9) ScienceDaily, 2010; 10) Wake Forest University of Medicine, 2010.

Image courtesy of Tiverylucky at



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