Hello everyone, and welcome to another Monday! I had a quite enjoyable weekend. I have plant seeds in hand, and am dabbling with the idea of planting a vegetable garden. I found organic, non GMO (genetically modified) seeds at Earth Fare and was so excited, I grabbed every type of vegetable I thought I would like to grow, along with seeds to plant a lavender bush to perfume the house (Oh how I love the scent of lavender, especially on sheets). One of the produce guys whom I know well jokingly said, “What you gonna do with all those seeds? Are you getting ready for the apocalypse?” I had to laugh, but funny aside, an organic vegetable garden is a great idea, and now is the perfect time to start getting seed ready to go into the ground after our last spring frost is over. I ran into another customer in the store looking at seeds who educated me on the best fertilizers to use, which veggies he grew and liked, and gave me many other helpful hints. That is why I love Earth Fare. There is such a sense of community among customers alike who are on the journey to whole food living, and they are so generous in helping their fellow neighbor along the way. We even joked about both being left-handed (I personally think that lefties are the most smart, creative, and intelligent people on earth 😉 OK, maybe I am being partial… Lol!
Today, I want to share another food is medicine natural food that I consider to be “liquid gold” – extra virgin olive oil! It does not take a rocket scientist to know that olive oil is the healthiest oil to cook with and has a myriad of health benefits. The research is busting out the seams over olive oil. Pick up any healthy food cookbook and I promise you will find olive oil sprinkled in about every recipe. The Mediterranean diet (a good one, I might add, for healthy living) liberally uses olive oil in alot of their dishes. Olive oil has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body (a precursor to disease process), lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol, prevent cancer, help heal ulcers, nourish the skin, moisturize the hair, is anti-aging, helps the brain, the list goes on and on. One of the greatest benefits is its effect on the cardiovascular system (heart) and healthy cholesterol levels, of which I can most definitely attest to personally. Here is my story…
Being I have a very strong family history of heart disease, I make sure to stay on top of my annual doctor’s visits and get all my lab work done, especially my cholesterol levels. Years ago I had a slightly elevated level, did not pay it much attention, just start revamping my diet and using olive oil as my oil of choice to cook with. At my last annual visit, my lab work came back and all 3 of my cholesterol levels were in PERFECT range! On top of that, to the surprise of my doctor, my HDL cholesterol (the good one), was 93 (average normal around 60). She told me out of all her patients, she has never seen anyone with a high healthy cholesterol level like mine and asked me what was I doing. I told her the only change I can think of was that I use a lot of olive oil in my cooking, and she told me to keep it up! I am happy to report that I boast excellent cholesterol levels, in great part due to adding this liquid gem into my diet. You can too!
Click on the link below and read up on more health benefits of olive oil. We will talk more on making sure your olive oil is a virgin on Wednesday’s blog 😉 Enjoy!