Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Bittersweet Dog Story from Honey Book Author

Cinnamon bites and kisses simultaneously.
--Vanna Bonta (1)
I faced sweet and spicy experiences on my road travels, like a honey bee in flight; I was stricken by untimely challenges.  One afternoon in Las Vegas Tiger and I were in front of Lady Luck Casino. It was my idea to leave my long-haired partner in the shade with water at the doorstep of the entry way while I tried to hitch a safe ride back home to California. As I was walking inside an older man called out to me: “Nice dog.” I got an uneasy vibe but tuned it out.
      Fifteen minutes later, I left the casino. My best friend was MIA. Shocked and disoriented like a beekeeper with stolen bee colonies, I stood outside in the hot sun. I tried to fight back the tears.  After a long search there was no rescue. My canine buddy was gone. I cried all night long.
      At dawn, at a cafĂ© I ordered a cinnamon roll, tea, lemon and honey. I was like a devoted beekeeper without his girls. I was alone.  It was one of the worst experiences I endured on the road. And flashbacks of our travels from coast to coast haunted me then but now are cherished memories of a dog and a girl—an amazing human-animal bond. I left a photo of me, the hippie girl with her dog in Ontario, on the bulletin board at the local animal shelter. Through all the pain and loss, I moved on.
     A few months later, fate paid me a visit. A black Labrador pup with soulful brown eyes came into my life on the road. We rescued each other at Ocean Beach, San Diego. We bonded instantly like a beekeeper with new queens and Stone Fox and I, California Butterfly continued on our journey together. A loyal dog and its dedicated human are similar to super powers of two superfoods--honey and cinnamon.

     The delicious taste of hot cinnamon buns with sticky honey and the warm memories they invoke in me from childhood when I smelled a homemade apple pie baking in the oven. The earthy, inviting flavor of cinnamon has been used worldwide by a multitude of cultures for its versatile seasoning powers as well as for its healing powers for thousands of years.
     Cinnamon comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree found mostly in Ceylon and China.  It can be found in several forms, including the stick, which can be grated or used to stir or season beverages—such as hot chocolate and apple cider. In ground form, it is the most common spice used for seasoning and baking.  There are countless dishes that call for both cinnamon and honey—two of nature’s finest foods that complement each other as well as provide medicinal properties.
      A new feature on the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid is the addition of spices, for reasons of both health and taste. Also, spices contribute to the natural identities of various Mediterranean cuisines.
      So, can a spice, like cinnamon paired with honey, which enhances the taste of many foods and warms the hearts of all who enjoy its aroma—hold healing powers to relieve pain and rev up your sex drive?  I took a look at the popular claims and this is what I discovered.

10 Real Reasons the Duo Is Sweet
            Honey and cinnamon have a lot in common. Like honey, cinnamon’s healing powers since biblical times have been praised from folk medicine to modern day. Cinnamon’s powers can help prevent age-related diseases like cancer, heart disease, and obesity.
            Cinnamon, like honey, contains antioxidants. Also, both functional foods are used for home cures. You’ll also discover both cinnamon and honey provide natural healing powers from head to toe.  Here, take a look at the real research behind the claims of this powerful duo.
Aphrodisiac: Is cinnamon really a way to reigniting passion? Perhaps, it is, according to past research at the Smell and Taste Research Foundation in Chicago, Illinois. When men where exposed to dozens of scents, the only one that got a positive sexual response was the aroma of hot cinnamon buns. 
The Real Honey and Cinnamon Cure: Refer to Chapter 18, “Ciao, Honey!” for cinnamon and honey recipes to get that romantic touch with cinnamon and honey. If it doesn’t provide results at least you’ll be getting nature’s sweetest foods with nutritional benefits—without fat or cholesterol--and that can also help enhance libido for both men and women.
Arthritis:  Aches and pains from creaky cartilage and joints like a lackluster love life, can wreak havoc on your lifestyle and well-being. While cinnamon is not a magic bullet to gaining flexibility and losing pain, it does contain anti-inflammatory compounds that may be beneficial in reducing pain and stiffness in muscles and joints.
The Real Honey and Cinnamon Cure:  Try a cup of cinnamon tea teamed with a fresh cinnamon stick and a teaspoon of honey. You may get the pain relief from the anti-inflammatory compounds in cinnamon; and the honey (also with anti-inflammatory properties) will provide instant energy so you can do daily stretches (or even make love and that’ll provide relief of pain due to the feel-good endorphins).
Cholesterol: While pain isn’t fun, tallying up out of whack cholesterol numbers is no picnic either. Powerful phytochemicals in cinnamon can reduce blood sugar, as well as triglycerides (fat in your blood), total cholesterol, and LDL “bad” cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes.  Team that with honey, which has no fat or cholesterol, and you may just be able to keep your cholesterol levels healthy.
The Real Honey and Cinnamon Cure: Incorporating honey and cinnamon powder in your diet regime, which should be a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. Also, if you are overweight, honey and cinnamon can help you to lose weight to keep your “good” HDL cholesterol numbers up. Don’t forget B vitamin-rich foods, such as vitamin B6 (fish with a honey glaze, smoothie with wheat germ and honey) and vitamin B12 (French toast with egg, milk, and honey and poultry with a honey glaze).
Colds: If cinnamon and honey can help keep sugar levels steady, can it stave off catching a common cold? There are many home cure remedies that call for honey and cinnamon to help cure the common cold. Does it work? The combo cold-buster may help stave off catching a common cold as well as speed up your recovery due to its antibacterial and antiviral properties. But if you’re immune system has been compromised and you’re keeping company with someone who has a cold—cinnamon and honey may not be 100 percent effective.

The Real Honey and Cinnamon Cure: Adding tea to your daily diet regime, especially antioxidant-rich green and black tea paired with honey and cinnamon can help you to keep your immune system strong so if you do catch a cold, you’ll be able to kick the virus faster. (More in the book.) 
*Excerpt from The Healing Powers of Honey (available wherever ebooks/paperbacks are sold).

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