Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

What you need:
4 cups cubed peeled sweet potatoes (1/2-in. cubes)
1 small onion, chopped
24oz of Pasta/Marinara Sauce
4 cups water
1-1/2 teaspoons pepper
1/2 tsp chili pepper sauce
1/2 tsp Siracha

In a Dutch oven, add the potatoes, onion and pasta sauce. Stir in the water, pepper and hot sauces; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until the potatoes are tender and the soup has thickened.

Adapted from: Taste of Home

Milk and Antibiotic Resistance/Osteoporosis

How many of you drink milk because you think you need to for the calcium? Well, guess what? Almond milk has 50% more calcium per serving plus it has healthier fats, has less antibiotics and personally tastes better. Here are a few quick reasons why we need to eliminate diary milk from our diets.

I had a friend who’s husband was allergic to penicillin. He was in the military and started getting a chronic rash. Finally they found out that they had changed their chicken brand which had been treated with penicillin and he was reacting to it even after processing and cooking it. That is just amazing to me!

“Rising antibiotic resistance of Klebsiella species on farms, an issue that threatens cattle welfare, food safety, and public health in the United States. While adding to evidence that increasing antibiotic use on farms is driving up resistance.”

“bacterial load in raw milk revealed dominant micro flora as E.coli > Micrococus >
Lactobacilus sp.> Salmonela sp.> S. aureus > Klebsiela species. Out of 50 samples, only 8% of raw milk was
found in the category of good quality, 17% was in fair category and 25% was in the poor category”

“The pH of milk range varies from 6.7 to 6.9.”

Just to reference that Fish death occurs at 3, fish reproduction is affected at 4.

Keeping an acidic environment leads to many other health conditions but one in particular is osteoporosis. This is the result of bicarb and calcium being pulled from our bones. The bicarb is used to neutralize the acidity while the calcium just floats around unused but taken from our bones.

“An underlying metabolic acidity is a common denominator among — and a likely contributing factor to — all degenerative and autoimmune diseases. An acid condition has several adverse effects on cell metabolism, including impaired energy production, fluid accumulation and edema, and a likely increase in free radical production. Interesting enough, kidney specialists working with acid-base balance now recognize that most Americans, as they age, live in chronic, low–grade metabolic acidosis. This condition contributes to a series of health problems, including loss of bone mineral, loss of muscle mass, a reduction in growth hormone, and the development of kidney stones.”

These are just a few quick notes I found. I encourage you to branch out and find more if you are interested. Please ask any question and I can also provide you with more reference if needed.

So if do choose to quick dairy products how do you get your calcium because it IS important?

Here is a quick reference list:
1. White Beans: 191 mg (19% DV) in 1 cup canned
Creamy and light, these legumes are a great source of calcium and iron [4]. Add them to a pasta dish with veggies, or skip the chickpeas and make your own hummus with white beans.

2. Canned Salmon: 232 mg (23% DV) in ½ can with bones (which provides the calcium!)
To avoid putting a dent in the wallet, canned salmon is a great way to go. Here’s the catch: It’s the bones in canned salmon that hold all the calcium, so they need to be mashed up right along with the salmon meat for all the benefits! But don’t get turned off just yet — the canning process softens the bones so they easily break apart and are unnoticeable when mixed in with the rest of the can’s contents. For a boost of calcium and omega 3’s, try these salmon cakes.

3. Sardines: 321 mg (32% DV) in about 7 sardines fillets
There’s nothing fishy about sardines—they are one of the healthiest fish to munch on! Along with calcium, they also provide a hefty dose of omega 3’s and vitamin D. Try adding them to a Greek salad or eat ’em straight out of the can.

4. Dried Figs: 107 mg (10% DV) in 8 whole dried figs
For a sweet treat, this dried fruit packs an antioxidant, fiber, and calcium punch [5]. Eat them as a mid-day snack, or turn these delicious dried fruits into a creamy jam.

5. Bok Choy: 74 mg (7% DV) in 1 cup
This versatile Chinese cabbage provides a hefty dose of vitamins A and C, along with calcium and fiber. Stir-fry bok choy with garlic and olive oil for a perfect side dish.

6. Blackstrap Molasses: 172 mg (17% DV) in 1 tablespoon
When the sweet tooth strikes, it’s best to go natural. Blackstrap molasses is darker in color and richer in flavor than regular molasses, and is filled with calcium, iron, and other vitamins. Plus, it’s a great sweet and flavorful addition to many dishes. Drizzle some on pancakes, or use it to make brown sugar.

7. Kale: 188 mg (19% DV) in 2 cups raw (chopped)
This superfood is filled with calcium and antioxidants, and is perfect to use as the base of any salad when shredded into thin strips. A kale salad with apricots and avocado is a perfect springtime dish.

8. Black-eyed Peas: 185 mg (18% DV) in 1/2 cup canned
I gotta feeling this is not just a band. These beans are filled with calcium, potassium, folate, and more! Skip the fat-filled mayo and whip up this black-eyed pea spread to pump up any sandwich or appetizer.

9. Almonds: 72 mg (7% DV) in ¼ cup dry roasted (about 20 nuts)
You’re “nuts” if you don’t grab a handful of almonds every now and then! They’re the most nutritionally dense nut, packing a crazy amounts of nutrients per calorie and ounce. Aside from calcium, they also contain potassium, vitamin E, and iron. Sprinkle on a salad or make your own almond butter. Just watch out for portion size!

10. Oranges: 65 mg (6% DV) in 1 medium fruit
Orange-you glad we included oranges?! Full of vitamin C and calcium, enjoy this fruit as a mid-morning snack, or use its citrus flavor to brighten up any dish, like these honey-orange carrots.

11. Turnip Greens: 197 mg (20% DV) in 1 cup cooked (chopped)
This leafy green comes from turnip bulbs, and is filled with calcium, antioxidants, and folate, which could help improve mood. Sautee them as a side dish, or spice things up and make a turnip tart.

12. Sesame Seeds: 88 mg (9% DV) in 1 tablespoon
These unassuming seeds are more than just a hamburger bun decoration. Sesame seeds can help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and may even fight against certain cancers. Use their nutty crunch in a salad, or add to this sautéed spinach dish.

13. Seaweed: 126 mg (13% DV) in about 1 cup raw
Fish aren’t the only, well, fish in the sea. Seaweed is full of calcium, fiber, and iodine, which helps with proper thyroid function [6] [7]. Bring a bowl of risotto up a notch with this seaweed recipe. Feel like keeping it classic? Try your hand at a classic miso soup.