Friday, September 25, 2020

The Healing Powers of Tea -- #1 Bestseller Many Times -- 'Tis the Season for Wellness in a Cup

By Cal Orey

Oops. It did it again! The Healing Powers of Tea is ranking #1 bestseller in the past has hit #1 on amazon, kobo, and barnes and noble online bookstores... usually just in time for January--National Hot Tea Month! But we're in autumn and need a cuppa to help immune and heart health!
December 28:
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #891 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

So, I am surprised. Working day and night on the Healing Powers of Herbs and Spices #9 book (waiting for #8 Essential Oils to be released) I took a break to surf the Net...
I stumbled upon this Books Category Bestsellers list.  Wow.  My favorite book, The Healing Powers of Tea was #16 on the Apple Books US Bestseller List--05/05/19--Health, Mind, Body.  Gosh, I never knew. 
Lately, I've been mumbling, "Dad was right. I should have been a dental assistant." Well, I love this book, #6 (my lucky number). This finding makes me happy. I sense my father is smiling, too. 
* In April, The Healing Powers of Tea hit #1 in many categories on amazon, kobo, and barnes and noble bookseller websites.

The bestselling Apple Books in fiction and literature, mysteries and thrillers, health, mind & body, and more for the week ended May 5, 2019.

Apple Books US Bestseller List - 05/05/19 - Health, Mind, Body
1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson - 9780062457738 - (Harper)
2. Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis - 9781400201662 - (Thomas Nelson)
3. Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis - 9781400209613 - (HarperCollins Leadership)
4. Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan - 9780399588389 - (Random House Publishing Group)
5. Money: A User’s Guide by Laura Whateley - 9780008308322 - (Fourth Estate)
6. You Are a Badass® by Jen Sincero - 9780762448319 - (Running Press)
7. The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown - 9781592859894 - (Hazelden Publishing)
8. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz & Janet Mills - 9781934408018 - (Amber-Allen Publishing, Inc.)
9. Daring Greatly by Brené Brown - 9781101594995 - (Penguin Publishing Group)
10. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle - 9781577313113 - (New World Library)
11. Sacred Woman by Queen Afua - 9780307559517 - (Random House Publishing Group)
12. The End of Back Pain by M.D. & Patrick Roth - 9780062197771 - (HarperOne)
13. How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie - 9781451621716 - (Simon & Schuster)
14. The Irresistible Introvert by Michaela Chung - 9781510704794 - (Skyhorse)
15. 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson - 9780345816047 - (Random House of Canada)
16. The Healing Powers of Tea by Cal Orey - 9780806538273 - (Kensington)
17. The 48 Laws of Power by Joost Elffers & Robert Greene - 9781101042458 - (Penguin Publishing Group)
18. How to win friends & influence people by Dale Carnegie - 9789352613939 - (Diamond Pocket Books)
19. The Way of the Superior Man by David Deida - 9781622038336 - (Sounds True)
20. KetoFast by Dr. Joseph Mercola - 9781401956806 - (Hay House)

Nuclear Winter -- Tahoe Author Shares Wildfire Smokey Skies Saga


Nuclear Winter, Smoky Skies

By Cal Orey

As California wildfires ignited, I sensed my town of Lake Tahoe could be next in line—and in a round-about way it was affected. Worse, the drama was complete with tourists from pandemic hot zones. The ordeal was sci-fi-ish like a nuclear winter.

Here, are my memories of what it’s like to live and survive being surrounded by out of control wildfires in the mountains of Lake Tahoe…

Wildfires in the Golden State…

The August 2020 lightning-caused wildfires were a series of hundreds of wildfires that ignited across Northern California in mid-August, from a rare, massive thunderstorms and unusual hot dry air. The August lightning fires include three massive wildfires: the SCU Lightning Complex, the August Complex, and the LNU Lightning Complex… And there were hundreds more wildfires burning throughout our Golden State. On August 19, more than 10,000 lightning strikes, almost 400 fires happened. Thousands of people evacuated their homes…as firefighters fought the flames.

On TV I watched Santa Cruz Mountains, a place I used to live, struck by the wrath of nature. The beautiful historic redwoods burned. As a journalist I covered the Oakland Firestorm in October 1991, evacuated the South Lake Tahoe Angora Fire in 2007 – so I empathized with the events.  And I sensed danger coming to us amid forests.

Surreal Skies, No Sun

But this time it was worse. Locals and tourists were warned against going outdoors due to the air quality. First, one morning I noticed my food-loving, healthy Siamese senior cat wouldn’t eat and was lethargic. I rushed him to the vet for an ER visit. He was fine hours later. That night, my dog, a healthy seven-year-old cat was sneezing – and so was I. These were red flags.

Then, the next morning when I awoke at 4:00 A.M., my eyes were watering. I took an allergy pill to help lessen the symptoms of headache, sore throat, earaches, and itchy eyes. Upon getting up the smell of smoke, no sun were signs this what not normal-ish. I logged onto my computer and started looked at the numbers on the quality air indexes. We were in the high 200s and 300 one day. Icons of a human wearing a N95 mask were showing in towns around us and the words “hazardous” and “dangerous” faced me.

I ordered another air purifier, turned on the ceiling fan, two box fans. And I called the police. The dispatcher was clueless. She did not know if we would have to evacuate. I logged onto a locals group website and we shared physical symptoms. Not good.


Apocalyptic Skies – Orange and Red

 I was hardly alone. People in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Central California were coping with hazardous wildfires, unhealthy air – making all of us more vulnerable to COVID-19.

Worse, we were dealing with a historic heat wave – in mid-August August, Death Valley hit 130 degrees! At any time a blackout could have happened anywhere and here at Lake Tahoe. No fans, no purifiers. I was preparing for the worst – fight or flight response kicked in but there was nowhere to go.


Facing the Horrific Health Risks

My dog continued to sneeze. Both kitty and doggie threw up. I agonized looking at my aquarium. “Are my fish going to die?” I wondered as I recalled during the past 2007 Angora Fire. I did lose to dear fish. And the cable guy told me he suffered lightheadedness and nausea while working outdoors during the days of containing the wildfire.

High anxiety hit and OCD hit as I found myself checking the online current air quality index websites for the numbers. The air quality scale ranges from excellent, fair, poor, unhealthy, very unhealthy, and dangerous.

Decades ago, when I first visited South Lake Tahoe, we were surrounded by wildfires. All the roads were closed – nobody could come in or out. I walked my dog outdoors and only thought about how the ash and lack of sunshine ruined my tanning and fun. I didn’t know the consequences of wildfires and smokey skies.

Warnings for all people – healthy, too – were told to stay indoors. So, I stayed hydrated and drank water – lots of it – and was thankful for the purifiers on 24/7. We were told like in the past for sensitive people – all people and pets – to stay indoors, shut the windows, and cease physical activities.

Nowhere to Flee, Everywhere was Hazardous!

So, amid a pandemic with some people wearing masks and others not, there I was trapped. The air quality in California was bad everywhere – Nevada and Oregon were worse. The threat of a wildfire hitting our town was also a challenge. Stuck. I was hoping for the best and preparing for the worst-case scenario as authorities told us. Even worse, 18 of Tahoe forests and campgrounds were closed. And the spookiest scenario? During the red flag wildfire warnings (when the winds are high, thunderstorms and lightning) if we had to evacuate due to a wildfire there is only one highway out of town. Gridlock.

One night we were told a storm was forecasted and I couldn’t sleep. Once I shut my eyes the sky lit up like Fourth of July. It was beautiful and scary – it was obvious nature was on a roll and there was nothing I could do but go with the show.

But it wasn’t just California… Wildfires, unhealthy smoke in a pandemic – and reports of birds were falling out of the sky dead on the ground in Washington to New Mexico. Worse, the smoke made its way to the East Coast and even Europe.

On September 18, the wildfires were beginning to be contained. The air quality was improving. No more raspy throat. No more sneezing. The sun was shining. I screamed, “38!” when I saw the two digits showing me our air was good. And I went for a drive with pooch for the first time in weeks. I could see the mountains.


Climate Change VS Poor Forest Management

No, it’s not our fault – because we didn’t rake our forest floors. The deal is, 10,000 lightening caused fires in 72 hours – this is rare and unprecedented. Also, almost 60 percent of the California forests are national. So as Californians are reprimanded for not cleaning up the debris –- but we do not have proper national funding.

Years ago, I was taught by firefighters (all ranks) and climatologists that fire season will be year-round – not seasonal due to climate change. After surviving the summer of 2020, I am a believer. Climate change and weather are not the same thing. The California wildfires were not all of our fault. Climate change is real – and it is changing now as it has in the past, a cyclical effect. But taking care of our forests is important, too.


Sure, I survived as did my family and people in our town. But never in my lifetime did I envision me coping with a pandemic, wildfires, and deadly smoky skies all at one time. What I learned from these crazy challenges is that clean mountain air is a treasure as is staying healthy and coping with uncertainty one day at a time. I will never take these things for granted –I am truly grateful that I can see clearly today. And I can exhale once again.

Fall Harvest -- Superfoods Smoothies

 By Cal Orey

When I first moved to Lake Tahoe I was infatuated with the town, feeling like I landed in heaven. During the first fall I recall walking amid the towering pine trees and trails was my favorite mode of exercise. 
One afternoon after walking to the Lake, down to the casinos, and along Highway 50 I stopped at McDonalds. I ordered a chocolate shake with vanilla soft serve ice cream and chocolate syrup. (The calories I burned gave me permission to indulge, I rationalized.) When I left sipping the cold, creamy beverage, I started analyzing (blame it on the sugar high) the sweet shake. My health-oriented food cop inner voice said, “Uh, exercise negated by fast food. Hello? Can you hear me?" But I tuned out the voice of reason and continued this ritual walk-for-a-sugar shake phase.

As the seasons passed, I weaned myself off the fast food faux milkshakes--home-style is best. I time traveled back to the sixties and seventies--two decades when smoothies lured health-nut hippies. I’d whip up a superfood drink or buy one at a health food store. But then, I moved on to eating not drinking fruits and vegetables--and even buying frozen cobblers and casseroles for the quick fix. Then, I, like many folks including busy millennials and boomers, have discovered wholesome and scrumptious smoothie--umpteen varieties--for nutrition and convenience. So, this week I celebrated the changes we see, smell, and feel. I put together a group of fall fruit, warm spices, local honey, and some chill ingredients. Here, take a look at the Lake Tahoe-inspired recipe for smoothies with autumn stuff.
¼ cup pear, chopped
¼ cup Honeycrisp or Fuji apple, chopped
½ banana, sliced
¼ cup orange juice, fresh squeezed or fortified juiced
½ cup vanilla bean gelato
1 tablespoon wheat germ (optional)
1 teaspoon honey
¼ cup ice cubes
Ground cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
Basil or mint sprigs for garnish
In a blender put in fruit, juice, gelato, honey, and ice. Whip or blend (a Smoothie button is ideal) until thick and creamy. Pour into a glass mug. Serve with a straw. Serves one.
Serve with local honey and fresh herbs. Using premium gelato and fresh ice will make your smoothie creamy. The pear apple combination with warming spices is a nice touch for the beginning of a new season. And sipping the comforting mix is a super welcome to all the autumn changes we’re going to experience in the upcoming days and nights. Enjoy this fall harvest smoothie day or night for its nature’s goodness is good any time. *For super smoothie recipes, pre-order a copy of The Healing Powers of Superfoods! 32 color photos!
Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, Superfoods, Essential Oils, Herbs and Spices) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Book on the Amazing Powers of Coffee Makes a Comeback!

From the author of the hugely successful Healing Powers series (Honey, Vinegar, Olive Oil, and Chocolate) comes
 THE HEALING POWERS OF COFFEE: A Complete Guide to Nature’s Surprising Superfood.It’s the beverage we can’t live without—yet few consume it without some guilt. But the wonderful truth is that coffee has abundant health benefits. Coffee boasts more antioxidants than cocoa and tea, and even more than renowned antioxidant-rich fruits like oranges and blueberries. In fact, there are hundreds of healing compounds in coffee.

Recent studies have shown that coffee consumption can significantly decrease or reduce the risk of many conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, asthma, cancer, heart disease, chronic constipation, dental caries, diabetes, and liver disease.
As in her previous bestselling books, Cal Orey combines groundbreaking research into all these health and weight loss benefits with home cures, cosmetic uses, household hints, and dozens of heart-healthy Mediterranean style recipes.

CAL OREY is an author and journalist specializing in topics such as health, nutrition, science, and pets. She is the author of The Healing Powers series and has written countless articles for both health and women’s magazines about foods and their health benefits and home cures. Her articles have appeared in Woman’s WorldWoman’s Day, Men’s Fitness, as well as The Writer. She has a master’s degree in English from San Francisco State University and resides in northern California. Her books include The Healing Powers of Vinegar, The Healing Powers of Olive Oil, The Healing Powers of Chocolate, and The Healing Powers of Honey. The prestigious book clubs will be offering The Healing Powers of Coffee in One Spirit, QPB, Lifestyles, and BOMC2.  The Healing Powers of Vinegar (2nd ed., 16th printing) has sold in Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, China, Taiwan, and South Korea--where it is the #1 bestselling health book. The Healing Powers of Olive Oil is available in 3rd printing. The Healing Powers of Honey is currently one of the top selling books in Bookspan book clubs. All five books were purchased the book clubs.
A Complete Guide to Nature’s Surprising Superfood
Cal Orey
Kensington Books, August 2012, Trade Paperback Non-fiction
ISBN-13: 978-0-7582-7330/$15.00 ($16.95 – Canada)

Second Wave of COVID-19 -- Coming to the U.S.: Be Prepared

 By Cal Orey

As a former magazine journalist living in San Francisco, I wrote about the frightening AIDS epidemic, which we learned can affect all people of all ages. Later, I penned books, including Doctors' Orders: What 101 Doctors Do to Stay Healthy to the Healing Powers Series.

The glitch is, while this new respiratory virus--coronavirus--may not be as deadly as the deadly 1918 Spanish flu--it doesn't discriminate. Worse, it comes with a longish incubation period--and there is no cure yet. People with healthy immune systems are not immune. 
But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you get and stay healthier and you end up contracting the virus from getting infected by another person, your body will be in better shape to fight the symptoms of the flu and get well faster.

*  *  *

The Four Thieves Formula, different versions, can be found in the history chapters of both The Healing Powers of Vinegar and The Healing Powers of Essential Oils  I discuss in length how each ingredient works its magic with its antiviral properties. In other words, you can build up your immune system to guard against colds, flu, and even new viruses. (Books are available at all fine bookstores--ebook, paperback, mass market.)

Past research shows vinegar and herbs to essential oils can help kill  germs--and guard against a virus. People used it during the Swine Flu pandemic, SARS in China (actually, prices soared for nature's remarkable remedy). And even in the Middle Ages vinegar to a variety of herbs were used to fight bubonic plague...

During the Middle Ages, vinegar made its mark, too. Four robbers in the French town of Marseilles preyed upon the homes and belongings left behind by the people who fell victim to the bubonic plague, or "Black Death" of Europe. Eventually they were caught and brought before French judges, who wondered how these four thieves had protected themselves from the deadly plague while looting plague-ridden possessions. 
The legend is that the four thieves bargained and exchanged the famous Four Thieves Vinegar for freedom, explaining that they washed themselves with the infection-fighting liquid every few hours. Upon learning about these immunity-boosting qualities, the formula was used by priests and doctors who treated the ill. No one seems to know who wrote the formula, which differs from recipe to recipe, but it is basically the same and it works in various ways. It can be used to disinfect sick rooms. If diluted with water, if can be used as a body wash. Taken by the teaspoonful (consult with your doctor for the safe amount), it can be used as a preventive measure to stave off viral infections, such as the flu.

And now, Europe to the U.S., and other countries are being challenged again. 
10 Ways to Bolster Your Immune System

1. Drink plenty of fluids. Drinking water, herbal teas, and vitamin C-rich liquids can flush out any toxins that you accumulate.
2. Wash your hands frequently. (See the link and popular doctor who agrees.) Viruses can be transmitted by shaking someone's hand and then touching your face, nose or mouth. (This is probably the most important strategy. Use the recipe Four Thieves Formula--apple cider vinegar and herbs or the version with essential oils. It can be used topically, to clean surfaces in your environment, and more.)
3. Eat right. "There are many plant chemicals such as carotenoids and flavonoids that have antiviral and antibacterial activity," one California-based medical doctor told me. So eating nutritious produce daily will help keep your immune system strong. He also eats fish, whole grains, onions and garlic which help stave off flu, too.

4. Treat yourself well. "I try to minimize junk food, but I do succumb to chocolate or calcium-rich ice cream once or twice a week," said the good doctor. He added, "It's possible that lots of sugar can interfere with the proper functioning of the immune system."
5. Take vitamin C. Most of the research says that it improves the immune system.
6. Take echinacea. This herb is touted to have both antibiotic and immune-stimulating properties. But note, it's best used as a preventive measure before you get the flu.
7. Zinc yourself well. Zinc is a potent virus-fighters that can cut the time you spend in misery.
8. Drink herbal teas. Tea is a superfood chock-full of antioxidants.
9. Exercise, exercise, exercise. "It helps me sleep more deeply at night. Deep sleep is a time when the immune system has a chance to regroup itself and get revitalized," pointed out the health practitioner that taught me well.
10. Chill out. By keeping your stress levels down, you can keep your immune system up and healthy.

Update: I wrote this article back in February. Also, I predicted the epidemic would end up as a pandemic. At this writing, I forecast a second wave will hit the U.S. -- and likely it will be more severe than what we endured in the Spring months.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Fall into Your Favorite Superfoods--Farm to Table!

  By Cal Orey

The Healing Powers of Superfoods: A Complete Guide to Nature's Favorite Functional Foods


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The Healing Powers of Tea, Vinegar, Coffee -- All Have Hit #1 Bestseller Banner on Bookseller Sites

By Cal Orey

Many days ago, my long-time popular book The Healing Powers of Vinegar (published by Kensington Books) surprised me again. When looking at the author sales rank numbers via amazon's Author Central spot, the chart looked different. That line like in the stocks chart showed a huge spike--it was at the top--#1. Words above read: Author Best Seller. 

I was in shock like when my dog died but this time my book lived. My hardworking brainstorm baby hit number one in the Kindle Store ebooks! A 21st century feat my 20th century professors in SFSU grad school Creative Writing classes never told us could happen because the Internet changed the author's game in sales. But it did. (And yeah, I do weave informative creative non-fiction stories throughout the text in VINEGAR to make it a fun read.)

Turns out my first book of the Healing Powers series--The Healing Powers of Vinegar--is offered at a sale price via Kindle on amazon. Turns out many genres picked it up. That means the vinegar book hit #1 in many categories, including Healthy Cooking, Alternative Therapies, (scroll to the bottom of the page and the book is still #1 on Sunday, December 20) Health, Diet, Fitness.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Mediterranean Diet is heart healthy,
staves off cancers, obesity
Actually, while this event is still eye-opening I shouldn't be too wowed. After all, VINEGAR has been my number one "child" in the Healing Powers series. When I was assigned this book project back in 1999, I didn't know it would be such a competitive wonder.  I fell into theMediterranean Diet --an underlying theme in this book and the collection) (also very popular as I type). While doing research on the link between health perks of red wine vinegar and red wine--studies and scientists took me to olive oil (a key superfood in the healthful Old world European-style diet and lifestyle), and my second book (also available in 2nd edition--2 minute fun-to-watch trailer; due out in gift size mass market December 29 and can be on your doorstep).

So, as I continue to enjoy these two books gain attention, I do recall VINEGAR has been translated in more than a dozen languages, a story including the book graced the cover of Woman's World Magazine (I used to be the diet and nutrition columnist for this publication attracting millions of readers), Newsmax still touts the book (in online newsletters and their online store), and it was a best seller in South Korea. Plus, book clubs picked up both VINEGAR and OLIVE OIL for their readers... (HONEY, CHOCOLATE, AND COFFEE books in the series were also formerly featured in the club, including Good Cook and Literary Guild.) And not to forget VINEGAR is popular at Walmart stores--physical and online (page 1) Not only has VINEGAR been released in 1st and 2nd editions, the 3rd edition will be released this summer (new Mediterranean-style rustic recipes from me and renowned spa chefs, new research, new stories)--both books are keepers; dozens of current edition's recipes will be found only in the 2nd edition. And I still peek at the winning title of amazon kindle best seller in Healthy Cooking ... My mother, an awesome cook/bakeress would be proud of her daughter who didn't follow recipe directions as a kid in the kitchen; a teen who rebelled and went her own way in diet and health.
Meanwhile, folks who want lose pounds during the holidays and through the New Year can find vinegar diets, superfoods, and how it works to blast fat  in this kindle edition. And there is so much more to put to work... 

  • Discover the healing powers of apple cider vinegar--now widely recognized as a valuable weight loss tool and a potent elixir.
   • Find out how vinegar's curative powers can also help prevent age-related diseases like cancer, heart disease, and bone loss. 
   • Learn how red wine vinegar contains the same important antioxidants as red wine--without the alcohol. 
   • Put dozens more home remedies to work for treating allergies, arthritis, toothache, sunburn, swimmer's ear, sore throat, and other pesky ailments.
You'll also find a wealth of natural beauty treatments and environment-friendly household hints--from making kitchen countertops sparkle to cleaning up kids and pets. 

Incorporating the latest scientific evidence, plus Mediterranean-style heart-healthy "fisheterian" recipes, The Healing Powers of Vinegar is a must-have, invaluable resource that will show you how to make the most of this proven powerful healer! 

"Wonderfully useful for everyone interested in health." --Elson Haas, M.D., author of Staying Healthy with Nutrition