Healthy Popcorn Perfectly Popped

Several years ago when my cholesterol went up and I learned that Monsanto had genetically modified corn, I tossed my electric popcorn popper .  The scientists had the best of intentions – they succeeded in making corn disease resistant and as a result gave a lot of people around the world food that they may not have had otherwise – but many people, like me, are sensitive to additives and GMOs.


A few months ago I discovered organic popcorn at the grocery store.  I was delighted and immediately put it into the cart.  On the way home I was wondering how I was going to pop it, since I no longer had a popcorn popper.  I searched for recipes and found a great one.  Unfortunately, I had to play around and adjust the heat.  I either heated the oil too much or not enough.  And coconut oil in solid form is a pain to measure, when you have to watch your intake of saturated fats.  I found fractionated coconut oil, which stays liquid.  I use coconut oil because it does not break down at high temperatures and it has little or no effect on cholesterol levels in the blood.  Organic corn is better quality corn and most, if not all, of the kernels pop.

I use a big stock pot with little vent holes at the top.

Here is my recipe:

  •       3 TBSP fractionated coconut oil
  •       1/3 cup organic popcorn

Heat the oil with 3 kernels in it on medium heat a little on the high side.  On my electric stove, I put the knob between 4 and 5 o’clock.  I guess for digital people, I should say 23 minutes into the hour?

When they pop, if they burn, you know to lower the heat a bit.  Remove the pot from the heat, add all the kernels, cover, and wait 30 seconds.  I count  – one thousand, two thousand, up to 30.

Place the pot back on the burner and wait.  Soon the kernels will begin to pop.  Give the pot a shake every so often.  When the popping slows down, remove it from the heat.  Keep the lid on until all the popping stops.

Top with your favorite herbs, spices, or chocolate.  I splurge and melt a tablespoon of butter with just a little salt.

I was so psyched to finally get it right.  I thought I was in heaven.  Until I noticed a puddle of water on the floor.  The pipe under the kitchen sink sprung a major leak.  So thankful I did not slip and fall.  Especially since I can’t get up!  Looking on the bright side, my husband is always happy to stop for cheese steaks on his way home!   The benefit of living outside of Philly, where the best cheese steaks are sold.


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Meditation and Prayer – Together

I knew I was different at an early age.  I remember a weekend retreat I went on with the Pioneer Girls, the religious equivalent of the Girl Scouts.  Sunday services were held outside.  I absolutely loved it.  As  a child I loved nature and always found peace and comfort outdoors.  I hated being forced to sit through Sunday school and then church.  To me, God was more evident in nature than in the circle we sat in for Sunday school or the congregation of a church.   I was not until I read The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer that I understood that I did not think like most people – I feel compelled to search for the spiritual, for my true self, and for a Truth that did not change with the times.

Back in the 1970’s, Zen and Transcendental Meditation were new concepts to me.  I thought only prayer was the answer.  Come to find that prayer and meditation are not mutually exclusive.  Jesus said, “Ask, and you shall receive, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and the door shall be opened to you.”   This, I found out after reading Rob Bell’s book, What We talk About When We Talk About God,  in Greek actually meant – keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking.  To me that did not mean going to church – it meant living a Christian life on a daily basis, not just on Sunday and when you are saying your prayers.  At the time I did not have a word for it, but now I know I was searching for the concept of mindfulness.  When I was in the woods or on the beach mesmerized by the ocean – that is where I felt God.  Nature reminded me to live a life of love and forgiveness, and to be mindful of the world that exists beyond our senses.

Now that I meditate daily, I use prayer as well.  On some days  when I get caught up in the drama of other people and in the stresses of life in general, it is harder to stop the thoughts from taking over my mind, or even to take the time to just be still.  On those days I pray for help clearing my mind so that I can meditate and hear what Spirit /God has to tell me.


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Common Drugs and Dementia

The more anticholinergic drugs you take, the greater your risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s.  This has been studied by Dr. Shelly Gray, at the University of Washington in Seattle.  Shelly (not Grey as in Meredith or Derek !) and she is a Pharmacologist.

This group of drugs include popular antihistamines sold over the counter as sleep aids and for allergy relief.

Commonly prescribed anticholinergic drugs are:

  •            tiotropium(Spiriva) for asthma  
  •            diphenhydramine, for aid in sleeping and allergy relief(Benadryl,                                                                 Unisom Sleep Gels Maximum Strength)
  •            ipratropium bromide(Altrovent) for bronchitis,emphysema, and                                                                                                                              COPD
  •            oxitropium bromide(Oxivent) for asthma and COPD
  •            chlorpheniramine; oxybutynin and tolterodine for overactive bladder
  •             tricyclic antidepressants, such as doxepin or amitriptyline, even                                              when used at low doses for migraine prevention or                                                                                                            neuropathic pain.

The rigorous 7 year study showed a correlation with only 2 months of use at a low dose.  These findings are a strong reminder to check the labels of everything you take, and read the information on side effects before taking any medication.  Then you can be aware if you feel any of the side effects and talk to your doctor.

Here is the link to the actual abstract published in JAMA(Journal of the American Mecical Association) Internal Medicine:


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8 Beers That You Should Stop Drinking Immediately!!!

Originally posted on Be Like Water:

b7119a5fb6d24f7eb2bd4c601250d322.jpgMany of us choose what we eat very carefully, or at least dedicate our minimum attention to it. But when it comes to drinks, especially alcoholic beverages, we do little to make the best decisions for our health. Which is a HUGE mistake. All the work for your body can be ruined in a weekend out. While foods and non alcoholic beverages are required to list their ingredients and are monitored by the FDA, beer does not belong in either. Alcohol industry had lobbied for years to avoid labeling its ingredients. Some to protect its recipes, but most – to hide harmful ingredients.

Beer For Dummies

Here’s some harmful ingredients that are commonly found in beer:

  • GMO Corn Syrup
  • GMO Corn
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Fish Bladder
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  • Natural Flavors
  • GMO Sugars
  • Caramel Coloring
  • Insect-Based Dyes
  • Carrageenan
  • BPA
  • & lots more!

Here are the 8 beers

View original 671 more words

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Growing Your Own Herbs

I tried hydroponic basil twice, and a window sill herb garden once.  Both times I ended up inflicting a slow painful death on these lovely plants in spite of their valiant effort to survive.  So I gave up on growing my own herbs indoors.

Last fall a friend of mine gave me fresh sprigs of basil and oregano.  No need to worry, she explained, all you do is hang them upside down to dry.  Ok, so I gave it the old college try.  I tied them with wired ties and hung them up.  Last week I found the forgotten pair.  I was just glad that they held together after I blew the dust off of of the shriveled leaves.

As it turns out, I am now a convert.  All I had to do was squeeze the leaves and they came right off of the stems.   I collected them in a bowl and used a ladle to smash them up.   You can use a mortal and pestle, but the feeling of ceramic rubbing against ceramic gives me the heebee geebees.  Like nails on a chalkboard.  Ugh!  Then I put them right into my spice jars with a funnel.

Fortunately my husband can grow them outside in the vegetable garden this year for me.  By next year I will probably forget what I did, so I am posting it here with pics.  Now I am thinking parsley, rosemary, thyme, and turmeric.  Although it would have been cheeky to put sage in there, I just don’t use it enough.


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“If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you’ that would be enough.”

Meister Eckhart, the German philosopher who strongly influenced the Quaker movement, said this in the thirteenth century.

This made an impression on me, being as most of my prayers are along the lines of “Help me, pleeeeeease!  I have been aware of the importance of gratitude for many years.  In fact, I make it a point to say thank you for another day each morning before I get out of bed, and I have a gratitude journal.  Still, I definitely ask for help more than I say thank you.  That will change.


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Detroit man walked 21 miles to work – soon he will drive

Here is a story that will warm your heart – How people got together to help this man:                                                                                    James Robertson walks 21 miles each day getting to and from work in Detroit because bus routes don't cover the distance. Crowdfunding campaigns have raised more than $40,000 towards getting him a car. (Image via Detroit Free Press)


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