Rosemary Can Boost Memory 15%

The UK Telegraph has an article citing scientific studies at Northumbria University in the UK that rosemary can enhance memory significantly.  Even being in the same room with the live plants was found to improve the memory of a group of retirees in the study.

“English folklore advises slipping rosemary into the pocket of an errant lover to help them remember their vows, while Ophelia confirmed the herb is ‘for remembrance’ in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.  Now scientists have shown that the plant really is linked to better memory.”

Read the full Telegraph article here.  Included is a guide to growing herbs.  There are also some good recipes, along with findings by the same research team that peppermint tea can boost memory.


Growing Vegetables Indoors in Creative Ways

I just love to learn how people can grow their own food in creative ways.

Dr. Andrea Levinson, one of my customers at the New Bern Farmer’s Market, grows some of her own vegetables in her home.  She even integrates her mini-farming scheme into the interior decor and it works well.  Here are a couple of photos she sent.

Click to see details and the wide range of plants she’s growing.

Vertical growing systems are available online, or you can of course create your own from found materials.


We’re Now “Loca-vores”

Well, sports fans, I just found out we’ve all acquired a new ‘handle.’ We’re all “loca-vores.” Yep, just read the latest newsletter from ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project). Apparently, that’s what they call someone who values eating locally. I like it!

Having eaten my way through a copious helping of microgreens this morning and having also just biked back from the farmer’s market with a basketful of fresh goodies, I feel quite smug about my eating habits and I have patted myself hugely on the back for being a “loca-vore.”

There is a growing trend in agriculture for eating local, sustainable foods, and I am amazed at the number of folks here in Oriental who value eating fresh picked goodies. My microgreens business started out as a way to get fresh, quality produce into a diet controlled by my hectic schedule. Now I’ve got a growing business and I’ve made a lot of great friends. I also feel like I’m part of a well informed, ‘hip’ community that’s serious about taking care of themselves. Thank you all for your support these last few months! And here’s a new recipe to try – take them to your next ‘bring a dish’ party and impress your friends. Happy Eating!

Microgreens Roll-ups

1 small zucchini (preferably a fresh zucchini from the farmers market – SUCH a difference in taste and texture!)
1 cup Microgreens
1/3 to 1/2 cup Garlic and Herb Goat Cheese at room temperature
2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice and 2 Tablespoons of water

Wash the zucchini and slice lengthwise on a mandolin slicer and place slices in a shallow dish.

Add the lemon juice and water together and sprinkle over the zucchini slices. Use your fingers to cover each zucchini slice with the liquid.

Spread the Goat Cheese on the zucchini slices.

Take enough microgreens to form a small bundle with the heads all facing up in one direction and lay the bundle on one end of a zucchini slice.

Roll the zucchini slice up creating a ‘holder’ for the microgreens with the greens sticking up out of the top of the bundle (like flowers sticking up out of a vase). Secure with a decorative toothpick and repeat the process until all the slices are rolled. This makes a tasty treat that looks amazing as well.

Food Antioxidants and Cancer

“You can’t trap Mother Nature in a bottle.”

Michael Greger, MD writes for and has an informative post about antioxidant food supplements here.  We’ve all seen those ads from the supplement manufacturers that boast about how their product has more (fill in the blank with blueberries/cranberries/leafy green vegetables) antioxidant than the actual food itself.

He cites research that shows that “dietary antioxidant capacity intake from different sources of plant foods is associated with a reduction in the risk of (GC or stomach cancer).”  Dr. Greger notes that the statement specifies plant foods— not supplements.

On the other hand, research has suggested that relying on the megadoses of antioxidants contained in dietary supplements– instead of the normal dietary intake– increases mortality.


The Whole Foods, Plant Based Diet – Part 1


“Jackie has me living on berries and roots,” as my husband would inform any sympathetic ear.  I suspect he was only half joking because they say misery loves miserable company.

However he, like myself, has finally come around to know the benefits of a vegetarian diet.  The facts have become, to us, irrefutable.  Incontrovertible.  I’d like to introduce you, too, to the work of the world-renowned clinician and the research scientist who gave us our own personal epiphanies.  But first, let me give you some background.

I come from country folk.  Uncomplicated.  Salt of the earth, hard-working and devout.  Among my earliest memories are my mother preparing a traditional country breakfast consisting of fried eggs, sausage and biscuits with gravy.  Then we would all go forth and work hard all day.  This hearty fare was served every morning.  Oh, what wonderful, tasty, artery-clogging meals!

Mom came by it honestly.  She was raised on a farm and everybody worked at hard, physical labor.  They raised their own cows, pigs and chickens and they were prolific gardeners.  I have fond childhood memories of that old place!  It was common knowledge then that robust, active lives required robust meals, and Mom continued cooking in the tradition of her people.

When we had vegetables they were often cooked almost to mush, like most other southern country home cooking.  (I remember the culture shock at my first Chinese meal– as a 27 year old– when we first moved to New York.  I didn’t know quite what to do with those crunchy, wok-fried vegetables at the restaurant in Manhattan’s Chinatown.)

Fast forward now about 30 years to our 25-year-old daughter.  That’s the elder one– a pulled together young woman who my husband and I both lovingly called a “foodie” or a food snob.  She is an eclectic vegetarian and has a wonderful eye for the unusual meal.  In a case of daughter teaches mother, she nudged me toward the plant based diet.  She recommended to me the videos and books titled, “Forks Over Knives.”

Once she and I had a conversation– well, a teaching moment for me– when I was lamenting her perceived inadequate vegetarian diet.  “Sarah, you’re in your child bearing years.  Honey, you need protein.”

“Mom,” she gently admonished.  “Just go watch Forks Over Knives, and if you still want to argue with me, we will.”

And it came to pass that I, too, walked in the light.  I was converted and have since become an advocate for the whole foods, plant based diet.  I do want to impress upon you that this lifestyle isn’t just another one of those trendy doctor or celebrity diets, destined to run its course and then become sooo last year.  I’ve tried my share of those, just as many of you have.  I would respectfully introduce you to the astonishing natural lifestyle that could save your, and your loved ones’ lives.  You will devour the solid, fact-based information and begin to live a healthier life.  Warning–  I can attest:  it’s not easy to shed a lifetime of habit, bad information and, yes, propaganda but you will find this is powerfully compelling stuff.

If you have Netflix you can view the videos there.  If you don’t, click here to view the books, DVDs and Blu-rays so that you can experience your own epiphany.  (Note:  if you decide to buy any product we may receive a small commission as an affiliate.)

I’m looking forward to provide you with more details in Part 2!




What is DIM that’s found in Microgreens and Why is it Important?


In an article posted in the Life Extension Foundation online magazine, the writer points out the significance of DIM (diindolylmethane) in fighting cancer. The author points out the scary fact that hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent on fighting cancer but we do not yet have a definitive cure for this insidious disease. In response to this, many adults are taking matters into their own hands by employing a preventative approach to disease.

So what is this important substance in microgreens? DIM are particular compounds found in cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and kale. Scientists have found that they can protect against the cellular changes that can lead to several cancers such as breast cancer and colon cancer. Many studies have shown that DIM alters estrogen metabolism in both men and women. And that’s important because cervical, breast and prostate cancers are interrelated to estrogen metabolism.

In the article, the American Cancer Society stated that lack of adequate exercise, combined with poor diet can be linked to approximately one third of all cancer cases among the adult population. They further stated that, with adequate exercise and improved diets, more than 400,000 adults could prevent their own cancers from developing in just one year alone.

That’s a staggering statistic. We truly are what we eat! And we all know that most of us don’t have the time, energy or inclination to eat organic, high quality raw vegetables in the consistent manner that we should in order to help our bodies fight off various forms of cancer.
Microgreens just might be the answer.