MINT……It is not just good for your breath!



We have all heard that mint is good for your breath, but that is not all its good for….Everytime I make a cup of tea, I add mint…yes it gives it great flavor. But there are many other “things” that mint offers.

Mint has been used all over the Middle East for its great healing power, wonderful aroma and yummy taste!!!!

Mint is useful for an upset stomach, nausea and headache. It can help treat irritable bowel syndrome or other stomach disorders. It is able to smooth the digestive tract and it can reduce the severity of an upset stomach. It has been shown in animal studies to reduce the risks of colon and lung cancer! Finally, there is mixed opinion but it has also been shown to improve female fertility.

Try chewing fresh mint leaves in place of gum. It will definitelyl freshen your breath and may even last longer :-)

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So as the previous post mentioned, we know that GARLIC is good for us…..BUT is there a difference between fresh and powdered??

A study that was published in 2009 by the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry looked at garlic use in rats. They fed one group fresh garlic, another group dried (powdered) garlic and another group no garlic. They then monitored the rats’ hearts. They found that:

the group eating garlic was healthier than the group not eating garlic

AND  the fresh garlic PROTECTED the rats’ hearts more so than the powdered garlic. 

As we know from the previous post allicin in garlic is most potent 10 minutes after the clove is peeled and the potency diminishes continuously thereafter.

The take home message: garlic is good for you….but fresh garlic is even better!!!


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Ellen’s Favorite: Garlic….it should be your favorite too.


Garlic…Yes, it may make your breath stink, but it is DEFINITELY a food that you should try to eat at least one time per week week.

Garlic’s use dates back to prehistoric times. It was commonly used by the ancient Egyptians and ancient Greeks, and it is still used all over the Mediterranean today!! There is a lot of data that supports garlic can help lower your cholesterol, reduce your blood pressure and thin you blood.

But, what else can garlic do???  In my teens, I had a high addicition for Doritos (and still do :) ) even though they left that “garlic” taste in my mouth so I can say that I have researched a great deal about garlic and its benefits. So the question is…was it the garlic taste that I enjoyed in my Doritos or was it what garlic could do for me??

It was definitely the latter.

Over the years, I have learned that garlic is a very potent antioxidant as it contains allicin which produces a very an antioxidant. As we know, antioxidants are very healthy for us….they help prevent aging, cancer, heart disease diabetes and other chronic illnesses. Allicin is highest after about 10 minutes of crushing a garlic clove.

In general, garlic adds an amazing flavor to all foods, and just like tumeric, I think you should add it to everthing. I would not advocate taking the garlic herbal supplements. Instead, I advocate using fresh garlic cloves in your meals. Remember add garlic cloves to EVERYTHING :)

There is definitely something special about it.

Please send me your questions about garlic…….What are the differences between fresh garlic and garlic powder??? Stay tuned….. :-)

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FRIDAY FEAST!!! Yellow Rice….why is it yellow???


When I make a stew, I ALWAYS make “yellow” basmati rice as the side. My husband does not understand why I always make this “yellow” rice. He eats it, but with comments and smirks …. In other words, “why don’t you make “white” rice?”. Finally, yesterday, I realized that my husband thought yellow and white rice are two completely different types of rice. I realized that he must not be the only one who had that thought. So I would like to clarify that when rice is “yellow” it is because TUMERIC is added to “white” rice. The rice is actually not “yellow” by nature.

So what is TUMERIC???

Tumeric belongs to the ginger family. It is has been used for thousands of years.

I am going to give you the same answer I gave my husband last night as to why I ALWAYS make “yellow” rice.

  1.  Its easy! I sprinkle 1 teaspoon of tumeric on 1 cup of rice.
  2. It has antiseptic and antibacterial properties…(you can even use it directly on a scrape or burn)
  3. It helps treat people who have psoriasis and can help with various benign tumors
  4. It can help prevent prostate and breast cancer (there are numerous studies on this!!!)
  5. Chinese medicine has been using it for 100′s of years for depression

There are more reasons why tumeric is one of my favorite spices but these are the main ones. I say sprinkle tumeric on everything. It can only help, and my husband is going to have to eat white rice when we are not eating at home :)

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What is YOUR spice??



I would love to hear from YOU. What are some of your favorite mediterranean spices?? I have listed some below.

1. Basil
2. Bay Leaves
3. Caraway Seeds
4. Cardamom
5. Chervil
6. Chili Peppers
7. Chives
8. Cilantro
9. Cinnamon
10. Cloves
11. Coriander
12. Cumin
13. Fennel
14. Fenugreek
15. Garlic
16. Ginger
17. Juniper Berries
18. Mace
19. Majoram
20. Mint
21. Nutmeg
22. Onion
23. Oregano
24. Paprika
25. Parsley
26. Pepper
27. Rosemary
28. Saffron
29. Sage
30. Sea Salt
31. Savory
32. Tarragon
33. Thyme
34. Tumeric

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