SUNSHINE PASTA SALAD

Make this for the next barbecue!

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RECIPE BY ELIZABETH FIEND
Serves 4, Time: 45 minutes

Category: Vegan / Vegetarian Recipe

With the arrival of summer you’ll really enjoy this cold pasta salad which capitalizes on freshness. This tangy, light pasta salad features the color orange. It will brighten your outlook and your look because it’s made with a dressing that contains lots of healthy herbs and spices, but no fat! The spices used in the dressing weren’t chosen randomly. They taste good and have health benefits. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that increase circulation, give energy, alleviate aches and pains and help reduce symptoms of allergies and sinus congestion. Mustard fights stress as it is a good source of magnesium, a calming mineral. Garlic is an immune system booster.

Salad Ingredients:
1/2 lb thin whole wheat spaghetti
4 tablespoons parsley chopped
2 carrots grated and diced
1 orange bell pepper cut into thin strips
3 oranges peeled and cut into bite size pieces
½ pint grape tomatoes cut into quarters
1 cup pecans broken into halves

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HAWKS IN THE CITY

These are two of the hawks that visit my back yard which is right in the middle of the Philadelphia. They’re Cooper Hawks. Female hawks are generally much larger than male hawks. The lady on the right has red eyes which means she’s an adult. The hawk to the left still has yellow eyes, indicating he’s a teenager.

These two stop by every few days to relax in the giant holly tree. Sometimes they stay for a bit and take off after a tasty pigeon. Other times, they sit on the branch and snooze the day away.

Generally they only hang out back in the  winter. In the summer we can spy them flying way high, up in the sky, circling and gliding on the noontime currents. We love to see them and appreciate them so much.

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WARM PEAR SALAD with GORGONZOLA and WALNUTS

BY ELIZABETH FIEND
Serves 4 as lunch or main course, 6 as a side salad
Time: 20 minutes

Category: Vegetarian Recipe

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This salad is all about contrasts.
The pears are served warm, making this a great dish to serve on a chilly, rainy day. The sharp cheese, crunchy nuts and creamy honey-lime dressing each stimulate different taste buds providing satisfaction and a feeling of fullness. I’ve divided up one serving between the cheese and nuts so even thought you’ll be eating cheese AND nuts (both contain fat) you will be getting just the right amount of fat and protein.

There’s an optional fun part in this recipe for the kids too. Instill in them a love for vegetables by having them cut the cucumber slices into stars with cookie cutter.

Salad Ingredients:
½ pound spring salad mix
¼ head endive – tear off and discard ends; break into bite size pieces
1 cucumber (see below for treatment)
1/8 lb gorgonzola cheese – break into pieces
3 pears (any kind) – cut into slices
½ cup walnuts – break into pieces

Dressing Ingredients:
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons lime juice
Blend above with a spoon or small whisk until honey is dissolved, than add:
½ cup buttermilk (or 3/8 cup soy milk plus 1/8 cup lemon juice)
2 stalks scallions diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste

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Dangerous BPA Lurks in Canned Food

High levels of a dangerous chemical, BPA, are being found in the urine and blood of people who eat canned food. BPA is used as an epoxy to line cans. As of now there’s only one brand of canned foods, Eden, that doesn’t contain this hormone-mimicking, possibly cancer causing chemical.

See two articles below, the first about the dangerous of canned foods the second from the company Eden detailing how they’ve solved the BPA problem. Posted By Elizabeth Fiend

Source: My Health Daily News.com and Eden Foods

Soaring BPA Levels Found in People Who Eat Canned Foods

Eating canned food every day may raise the levels of the compound bisphenol A (BPA) in a person’s urine more than previously suspected, a new study suggests.

People who ate a serving of canned soup every day for five days had BPA levels of 20.8 micrograms per liter of urine, whereas people who instead ate fresh soup had levels of 1.1 micrograms per liter, according to the study. BPA is found in many canned foods — it is a byproduct of the chemicals used to prevent corrosion.

When the researchers looked at the rise in BPA levels seen in the average participant who ate canned soup compared with those who ate fresh soup, they found a 1,221 percent jump.

“To see an increase in this magnitude was quite surprising,” said study leader Karin Michels, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.

The levels of BPA seen in the study participants “are among the most extreme reported in a nonoccupational setting,” the researchers wrote in their study. In the general population, levels have been found to be around 1 to 2 micrograms per liter, Michels said.

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Want to Do Something to Help the Environment?

Start With This: 12 Resource Heavy Products To Avoid


Source: CNN.com Posted by: Elizabeth Fiend

So you’ve decided to take the plunge — to embrace lighter living, green your life and do something to help the environment. But where to begin?

The best place to start is by moderating your consumption. You can dramatically reduce the size of your footstep on the planet by making smarter choices in the things you buy and the amount your household uses. It’s not something you have to do all at once: just commit to steady, incremental change. Small steps become big journeys over time.

If you’re ready to take on taming your shopping cart, we’ve put together a list we call the Dirty Dozen. These are 12 unhealthy or resource-intensive products you should consider reducing or eliminating from your life entirely. Once you’ve tackled these, you’ll probably think of others — and you’ll be well on your way to a lighter, more sustainable lifestyle.

1. Styrofoam
Polystyrene foam is actually recyclable, but most of it ends up in landfills or scattered around the environment. Being made of petroleum, Styrofoam is a non-renewable resource — and it’s not biodegradable. Carry your own reusable coffee mugs, skip the fast food, and use glass and metal storage containers whenever possible.

2. Plastic food containers with bisphenol-A (BPA)
You’ll recognize these polycarbonate bottles and containers by their #7 recycling codes. Health concerns have dogged BPA for years. If you really must use plastic, choose BPA-free varieties (such as those marked with #2, #4 and #5 codes). And be sure to recycle them when you’re done.

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Are Animal Rights Activists Terrorists?
Activists challenge a federal law that defines a broad range of actions against the animal industry as “terrorism.”

Source: Mother Jones    Written By Kate Sheppard     Posted by: Elizabeth Fiend

In 2006, Congress quietly passed the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a sweeping new law that classified many forms of animal rights campaigning as terrorism. Now the law’s critics have taken to the courts to try to kill it. In a case filed last week, five activists argue that AETA violates their rights by criminalizing constitutionally protected actions.

AETA, which replaced an earlier, weaker law called the Animal Enterprise Protection Act (AEPA), prohibits anything done “for the purpose of damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise” or that “causes the loss of any real or personal property.” (The earlier version of the law only covered “physical disruption” to operations.) The law also prohibits “economic damage” to an enterprise, which includes loss of profits and pressure put on any investors or other companies that do business with the animal enterprise. Even the definition of “animal enterprise” is so broad that it could be construed as covering any institution that has a cafeteria selling meat or cheese products, argues Rachel Meeropol, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, which is backing the plaintiffs in the case filed against Attorney General Eric Holder.

“Basically, the law is saying if you cause an animal enterprise to lose profits, then you’ve committed a terrorist act,” Meeropol says. “The whole point of many protests is to cause a business to lose profits, to convince the public that a certain company doesn’t deserve to be patronized.”

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Cranky? Thirsty? Slurp some lettuce or melon
Water content of fruits and veggies helps the hydration equation.

Written by: By Carolyn O’Neil    Posted by: Elizabeth Fiend

Source: ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

When the mercury hits 90 and above, tempers can get pretty fired up, too. But another glass of water or a slice of watermelon might help, because irritability is a classic side effect of dehydration.

The first physical sign is thirst, of course. But other symptoms are more subtle. You might get a headache. You can become cranky, forgetful, tired, and dizzy, and your skin appears dry and wrinkly.

Remember the old admonition to drink eight glasses of water a day? Well, in 2004, the Institute of Medicine issued new general fluid recommendations indicating women should drink 11 cups per day and men 15 cups.

These amounts include the water in all food and beverages we consume. Iced tea, fruit juice, and even hot coffee and soups all count as hydrators. It turns out that 80 percent of our water intake is from drinking water and other beverages, and the other 20 percent is from food.

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Nature in the City

When the Cooper’s hawks are hanging in my, South Philly / Italian Market, backyard I can’t tear my eyes off them!

But I guess a pigeon wing in the peach tree is the down side.

Photo by Elizabeth Fiend

Chuck the Caterpillar. Part of the series “Fiend Garden Notes”

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Photos and Story by Elizabeth Fiend

This is Chuck. He lives out back.
Chuck’s interests are eating bronze fennel and hiding from birds.
Chuck hopes to grow up and be just like his mother a beautiful Black Swallowtail butterfly.

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I touched Chuck once. He was eating the fennel I was going to use for Mr. Fiends lunch. I moved Chuck over to a different fennel plant, one I could share. Touching Chuck was really super cool. He felt like no other thing I had ever touched. He was sort of marshmallow like. But he was alive! The way he felt stayed with me for several days. I wanted to touch him again. But I haven’t. I don’t want to stress him out. He already was going super still every time I took his picture.

Chuck will have a pretty interesting life. Having started out as an egg, he’s now a caterpillar. Soon he’ll be a pupa and then a butterfly!  WOWZER. Love, Elizabeth Fiend

Click to learn about a Swallowtail butterfly’s life cycle.

Low Carb, Without the High Protein:

The Glycemic Index

Written By ELIZABETH FIEND

To eat healthy, eat low on the glycemic index. White bread is at 100 and the list works down from there. Foods ranked at 55 or lower are considered ‘low.’ To start out, eat at least one food that’s 55 or lower at each meal. Throw in a serving or two of something over 55 but less than 70. You’ll lose weight and be more nourished. Foods ranked over 70? Danger, danger, Will Robinson!

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The Glycemic Index could save your life — literally. It could make living with diabetes easier. Or prevent diabetes in the first place. It can reduce your risk of heart disease. It will lower your cholesterol. It will make you thinner. It might even get you laid.

The Glycemic Index is a scientific measurement of how rapidly foods release their sugars into your blood. It’s an invaluable, easy-to-use tool for maintaining or getting to a proper weight. Forget diets. Get jiggy wit’ the GI instead.

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Research on the Glycemic Index originally began as a way to pin-point the best foods choices for diabetics; to help them better control their blood sugar and therefore insulin production. But soon it became apparent that the Glycemic Index was a great tool for people to use to control their weight.

The concept was popularized in diets like Atkins, The Zone and The South Beach Diet which center around the philosophy of low-carb/high protein. The problem with these diets is that they rely on too much protein and not enough fruits and vegetables to keep you healthy in the long run. Carbohydrates are found in foods like bread, pasta, cake and fruit as these foods contain sugars. Foods that are low in carbs are fish, meat, cheese; these foods contain fat and protein. Also low in carbs are most vegetables which usually are very low in fat.

The Glycemic Index was built by sitting down 10 people and measuring their blood sugar after feeding them a specific food — and then measuring their blood sugar again two hours later. Days later, the process was repeated and the numbers were combined and averaged. So yeah, they made a list checked it twice, and found out which foods were naughty or nice.

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