Thursday, April 19, 2012

Happiness is Pretending You're a Fish

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
As an author, columnist, phone psychic, fur mom--I know how important it is to find your balance. Eating superfoods is one key as is a cup of coffee in the A.M. and cups of herbal tea and water throughout the day.
But it's swimming laps (and chillin' in the hot tub) that works wonders.
As a kid, I was a competitive swimmer, thanks to my dad. These days, I thank him (he's in parent heaven) because swimming gives me time to relax, regroup, and revitalize my body from head to toe. And here are 10 more healing perks of swimming...
Coming back home to companion animals and chocolate is good--but pretending you're a fish is great.
P.S. I hope there are infinity swimming pools in heaven.

Friday, April 13, 2012

New Chocolate Fave Friend: Dark Chocolate Covered Ginger Snaps

Courtesy of 
By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

Today, at Lake Tahoe it's snowing (again). Plus, earthquakes continue to rattle nerves of me, and other people who live on the North America West Coast. It used to be eating popcorn before an oncoming shaker was a sign that the Earth was going to shake, rattle, and roll. But as a devout quake intuitive, I've moved over to chocolate. It soothes me. (Its compounds endorphins, serotonin, theobromine are good relaxers and mood boosters.) And, chocolate and ginger as a team work wonders for pre-quake queasies and high anxiety!

In my book The Healing Powers of Chocolate (Kensington), I included a chapter "Chocolate's Favorite Friends." And yes, ginger is one of them! I write, "Ginger root is a digestive aid like tasty cinnamon, that can be soothing medicine for the stomach and intestines, relieving indigestion, cramps, and nausea. Best Choco Blend: It is used in dark chocolate bars and combined with lemon, in truffles, and in baked chocolate goods."

Enter Dark Chocolate Covered Ginger Snaps. These cookies are so perfect. Not too hard, not too soft. They're not too sweet or too bitter. Like Goldilocks and the Three Bears tale, I've found the perfect place -- but in dark chocolate ginger snap CookieLand. 
Each cookie is satisfying, boasts a bit of protein, no cholesterol, not high in sugar, and dark chocolate is the first ingredient listed on the nutrition label. No need to eat more than one (or two). Paired with a cup of java or chamomile tea it's bliss. These cookies are special. 
What's more, I'd be proud to offer them to guests who come to visit me in my cabin. The deal is, nobody wants to drive in the snow or on black ice. So, I guess it's just me and these chocolate gems to get me through Mother Nature's moves. And the shelf life is a half year, so I'll enjoy these cookies with both hot and iced coffee beverages (all types) discussed in my new book The Healing Powers of Coffee (due out this summer). Thank you!
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 40g (~1.4 oz.)
(Approx. 11.4 Servings/Pound)
Amount Per Serving
Calories From Fat90
Total Fat11g16%
Saturated Fat9g43%
Total Carbohydrate27g9%
Dietary Fiber0g0%
Vitamin A0%Calcium2%
Vitamin C0%Iron0%


Dark chocolate(sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, (an emulsifier),vanilla), center (enriched flour (wheat flour niacin, reduced iron, thiamine, mononitrate(vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), folic acid), sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, molasses, ginger, sodium bicarbonate(leavening), caramel color, salt, soy lecithin (an emulsifier), cinnamon, cloves, nonfat dry milk, and red pepper)**Contains: Milk, Soy, and Wheat.

Storage in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months. We do not recommend refrigeration or freezing.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Healthy Honey Feng Shui Tips for Spring Cleaning

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

Welcome your sweet home to the art of honey-ized feng shui--the ancient Chinese art of placement. Its goal is to bring you peace and harmony. Read on--you can enjoy a well-balanced hive that feels good from head to toe, with a touch of honey.

*Use beeswax cleaners. It's time to clean your kitchen from top to bottom to be clean like a clean beehive. If you keep it eco-friendly it will provide you with better health and energy.
* Declutter your honeys. Getting rid of things you don't use will up your energy. You will feel lighter with less kitchen baggage. I cleaned out my pantry. Then I tackled each honey jar and wiped each one one by one.
* Clean the stovetop and oven. This was a chore, but it feels right to have the stovetop shine. Use vinegar and water. Trust me, this is a feel-good must-do before baking and cooking with honey.
* Boost your mood with plants. To help wipe out pollutants in your kitchen--like beekeepers do with their colonies--fill your space with healthy, hardy, happy plants.
* Fish, fish, fish. Goldfish can bring you good luck and prosperity. In fact, nine is the lucky number (and so is eight). The colors? Gold like amber honey. Also, this is a good strategy, for when you cook and bake honey dishes the odds are better that they will turn out better.
*Bring out the fresh fruit. Keep healthful seasonal fruits on display and ready to cut and pair with honeys.
More tips can be found in The Healing Powers of Honey chapter "Honeymania: Honey for the Household".

Thursday, April 5, 2012

More Kudos for The Healing Powers of the Mediterranean Diet

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

Introducing health expert Tom Corson-Knowles...He speaks out on the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet--a key theme in The Healing Powers series--including olive oil, a healthful, primary fat.

Why The Mediterranean Diet Reduces Heart Disease Risk

Ever since the 1990s when "The Mediterranean Diet" gained attention from researchers and widespread media, there's been a lot of buzz about it. Researchers started to notice that people who lived in Greece, Crete, Spain and Southern Italy and ate the typical local diet had much lower risk of heart disease. But why is it?
Many think it's the healthy olive oil used in so much of the Mediterranean foods. Others say it's the goat cheese and yogurt frequently eaten. Others say that the diet is high in monounsaturated fat and low in saturated fats - so that's why! Still others think it's the high intake of dietary fiber that really gives the Mediterranean diet it's heart-healthy powers.
But I have a different idea...
I think it's the simple fact that the Mediterranean diet does not include processed foods, junk food, or pre-packaged microwave dinners!
In America, I see people eat a so-called "Mediterranean diet" every day - lots of meat, dairy, yogurt, oil in their foods, and yet they tend to be overweight and have high risk for heart disease! Why is that?
Because in America our food system and food supply is so dramatically different than on the island of Crete. 
You see, when someone eats yogurt in Crete, it's fresh from that farm, unprocessed and often times even unpasteurized! In America, when someone eats yogurt it's often from a large corporation packaged in a small plastic container loaded with white sugar, food coloring, food dyes, artificial flavorings, and it's pasteurized! Not to mention the fact that our cows are fed corn, growth hormones and antibiotics on a daily basis.
So, is it the yogurt that makes the Mediterranean Diet so healthy? Or is it the simple fact that their food is unprocessed, natural and as fresh as possible?
What do you think?
This article written by Tom Corson-Knowles, founder of Authentic Health Coaching. Tom blogs regularly about natural diets, healthy weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle. You can grab Dr. Candace Corson's Top 5 Nutrition Tips Report for free at

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Forbidden Food Goes Good! Discover The Amazing Powers Of Chocolate!

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

Did you know?...
  • Known as Mother Nature’s “food of the gods,” the medicinal benefits of chocolate were recognized as far back as 4000 years ago.
  • Eating chocolate can help boost the immune system, lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes—even obesity!—and increase lifespan.
  • A 1.5 ounce bar of quality chocolate has as much antioxidant power as a 5 ounce glass of wine—without the side effects of alcohol.
  • Chocolate is chock-full of mood-enhancing ingredients, including phenylethylamine (the “love drug”) and serotonin.
  • Chocolate can relieve a host of ailments, including depression, fatigue, pain and PMS, as well as rev up your sex drive!
Drawing on the latest scientific research as well as interviews with medical doctors and chocolatiers, this fascinating book reveals how to live longer and healthier while indulging in one of nature’s most decadent and versatile foods. Explore real chocolate (infused with fruits, herbs, and spices), Mediterranean-style, heart-healthy recipes, plus home remedies that combat everything from acne to anxiety. You’ll also discover rejuvenating beauty and anti-aging spa treatments—all made with antioxidant-rich chocolate!
“Can dark chocolate boost brain power? This book shows you how regular intake of antioxidant-rich cacao foods is likely to do just that, and more.” --Ray Sahelian, M.D., author of Mind Boosters
A bonus: Not only is the forbidden food chocolate good for you. Surprise! Coffee--once believed to be another "bad" food is now getting a good reputation!  The Healing Powers of Coffee is percolating and will be served on July 31.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Is Colony Collapse Disorder Bee Gone? Catch A Bee Expert's Latest Buzz

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
"Beekeepers know that honey bees provide another service; as second-shift workers they pollinate one-third of the food we eat."  --The Healing Powers of Honey

Last night I was a guest on Coast to Coast A.M.  with host George Noory. While the topic was Quakes & Strange Sounds (even End Days), the subject of our shaky planet's vanishing honey bees aka "colony collapse disorder" was brought up, too. (I had to do it. After all, my latest book The Healing Powers of Honey (Kensington) is still abuzz.) 
Today, I received a message via email by an individual claiming that CCD is over. "There is a cure. Didn't I know that?" Uh no. I didn't. So, I contacted my trusty bee expert Dr. Eric Mussen. Here, take a look at his update:
Pesticides are one of many different stresses that bees are encountering in their environment.  However, similar, unexpected, total abandonment of hives continues to occur in commercial colonies and in some colonies kept by small scale (hobby) beekeepers.  We are seeing less of it, but it isn’t “gone.”
 * I’m not sure what that person’s cause of the day was, but if CCD is gone, we should all be told why.  Then, I could tell the folks who still have trouble with it how to straighten things out. ...two papers that demonstrated the effects of sublethal doses of neonicotinoid insecticides on honey bees, there could be the idea that those are the singular cause.  However, I think that exposing honey bees to sublethal doses of most insecticides would have measurable physiological and behavioral changes in the exposed bees.  So, the neonicotinoids are not likely to be any worse than the rest.  The commercial bees are living in a sea of chemical pollutants. 
* Beekeepers have been able to reduce what appears to be an every-other-year problem, with the even years beginning in 2006 the worse.  Colonies that are started from scratch (swarms, packages) or from “splits” or “divides” of larger colonies seem to be able to outrun their problems during that “build up” year.  But, if you don’t split them up the next year, they are much more likely to die over winter.  The problem with this approach is that the building populations are not large enough to rent for pollination or to produce a honey crop.  They are just able to make it through the next almond pollination, which is mandatory income for most commercial beekeepers.
 * Research has been refined since this problem was first brought to light.  For instance, now we are prodding into the roles of various “adjuvants” in the distribution and synergisms of pesticide effects on the bees.  If you wish to look at the names of some of those compounds, please go to my web page and read the Jan/Feb issue of my apiary newsletter.  There are two different references to some of the adjuvants that may be causing problems.
     And, in my book The Healing Powers of Honey, I devote a whole chapter "And the Bee's Buzz Goes On..." where I interviewed Dr. Mussen, Kim Flottum, editor of Bee Culture magazine, and hands-on, savvy beekeepers.  

UPDATE: "I side with Eric M.  -- multiple causes of CCD" -- Joe Traynor, agriculturist-author of Honey: The Gourmet Medicine