2.28.2013

Giveaway: Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal Book

Yesterday I wrote about how every season, there is a specific organ that we should be paying closer attention to due to the change in climate, and how certain foods can help in that department. Today, I am starting up a review/giveaway for the ultimate ailment book that covers it all!

So here is how you can win this book. Just follow the different possible entries below via Rafflecopter. 
*You must like Behold the Metatron on Facebook. That is the only mandatory entry... all other entries are extra, and some you may choose to do once a day, like tweeting!

*If you are not on Facebook, just tell me in the comments. I will still count your entry but please tell me.

You'll have until March 20th (first day of Spring!)
I will ship this book anywhere... but not the moon. 
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Now on to the review...



Reader's Digest's Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal is an amazing index of countless foods and ailments, and what their connections are. I could honestly look at this book for hours... days even. Knowing what to eat to help beat disease is a great way to stay healthy naturally. The more I learn about what foods do specifically, the more I want to eat them. Berries for less wrinkles? Salmon and Avocado for PMS? Sign me up! The book also delves into more dangerous ailments like fevers, bronchitis, and the flu.

Here's what the book will cover in a little more detail:

PART 1: NUTRITION

The real deal on all the ways foods harm and heal:
-Carbs
-High Fructose Corn Syrup
-Fats
-Proteins
-Weight-loss Trends
-Vitamins and Minerals
-Antioxidants and Phytochemicals
-Vitamin D
-Food Safety
-Pesticides and Chemicals
-Additives
-GMO's, BPA
-Factory Farming & Food Pathogens

This section will also cover:
-How much to eat
-How to store food
-How to prepare food
-How to cook food
-Cancer

PART 2: FOODS A-Z



From acorn squash to zucchini, this chapter lists out foods and covers the following:
-How they harm
-What they heal
-Healthy Benefits
-Health Risks
-Eating Tips
-Buying Tips
-Storing Tips

PART 3: AILMENTS A-Z



From acne to varicose veins, this chapter list out ailments and covers the following:
-Foods that harm
-Foods that heal
-Nutrition Connection
-Beyond Diet
-Myths

The book also includes foods for pregnancy and all stages, and the best foods from newborn all the way up to senior citizens.

You'll also get a full glossary and index in the back which makes for even easier reading.

I highly recommend this book and while I can't wait to give it away to one of you... I'm kind of sad that I have to give it up. It's an amazing book to have on your shelf if you come down with something, or are curious as to what foods can help a burn or a rash. Hopefully nothing worse happens than that, but this book covers it.

About Reader's Digest RDA is a global media and direct marketing company that educates, entertains and connects more than 130 million consumers around the world with products and services from trusted brands. With offices in 43 countries, the company reaches customers in 78 countries, publishes 91 magazines, including 50 editions of Reader's Digest, the world's largest-circulation magazine, operates 78 branded websites and sells 40 million books, music and video products across the world each year. Further information about the company can be found at www.rda.com.



For more information please visit http://www.rda.com/, and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter


2.27.2013

Seasonal Body Care... via Food

I came across a very interesting article the other day about how Chinese medicine focuses on caring for a specific organ during particular seasons. What really made my eyes open wide was that it said Spring was the season of the liver. How funny that I decided to seriously cutdown on alcohol (read more here) in the late Winter and carry on not drinking throughout Spring. Was my liver telling me something subconsciously (now that Spring is coming) when I decided to do this? I like to think so.

I decided to delve deeper into this and do some research on each season and what you can do (eat) to help the organs that need it most. 

So, lets start with Spring: Season of the Liver!

*I am not a Dr., but I think this subject is very interesting and will list all sources of information below.

The reason our livers are screaming when Spring has sprung is because we just stuffed our faces all winter on holiday cookies, party cocktails, and probably engaged in less exercise because it's much more cozy staying in bed watching Bridget Jones with some hot cider than sweating in a crowded gym.

We are in need of a major cleanse after all of this, and the liver is the unfortunate party that has to deal with all of those winter toxins. The liver is the organ that metabolizes all of our protein, carbs, and fats, and it's also responsible for keeping a balance of all nutrients in the body. So imagine how it must feel in winter. Pretty darn exhausted!

What can we eat to alleviate the poor liver?

1. Garlic
Garlic is a great anti-oxidant that will really activate your liver and get it going.

2. Grapefruit
High in Vitamin C, it's also great for cleansing flushing out toxins.

3. Beets and Carrots
High in beta-carotene, they are great for cleansing and also great for your eyes and skin.

4. Green Tea
We all know this tea is full of anti-oxidants and is great for helping you keep a balanced diet.

5. Leafy Green Vegetables: Arugula, Mustard Greens, Spinach, Chicory
You can juice, cook, or eat your greens raw. They are packed with vitamins and are also great for your bloodstream.

6. Avocados
A great healthy fat, avocados also produce glutathione, which will help the liver work it's magic.

7. Apples
Apples are going to help you digest your food first in your digestive tract... therefor, it does some of the work before your liver has to. Making it easier!

8. Olive Oil
Another healthy fat on the list! Olive oil and other cold compressed oils (hemp, flaxseed) are great when used in moderation for aiding in cleansing.

9. Whole Grains
Rich in B-complex vitamins, grains like brown rice, barley, and quinoa improve fat metabolization, liver function and decongestion. Avoid "white" flours.

10. Cruciferous Vegetables
Broccoli and cauliflower aid in enzyme production. You will flush out toxins and carcinogens, and there are tests that conclude these veggies could lower risks with cancer.

11. Lemons and Limes
Another vitamin C packed food! You can add these to drinks, squeeze on veggies and add to soups. I also like to add some citrus to meat dishes and on fruit. I read a trick once that you can freeze a whole lemon, and just continue zesting it on food until you have none left! Nice trick so you don't have to keep buying them and tossing after not finishing.

12. Walnuts
Are you seeing this healthy fat trend? This one in particular is Omega 3, which supports liver function. But make sure you chew them well to really get the benefits.

13. Cabbage
Cabbage acts a lot like broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables and you can eat it raw, in kimchi, coleslaw, cabbage soup and sauerkraut.

14. Turmeric
This spice acts like a wake-up for your liver. It also happens to have the same effect on your skin. If you want to brighten your skin up, you can add some to honey and make yourself a little pick-me-up mask!


So Spring is over and now on to Summer. Which organ is heating up? Your Heart!


This one is pretty simple. Things heat up in the summer and our bodies work extra hard to cool down.
We are also fighting inflammation. This is also why we sweat in the summer... to get rid of more toxins! All this heat can also make us sluggish and feel weaker than we should.

What can we eat to alleviate the poor heart?

1. Juicy Fruits & Vegetables
We need to hydrate and stay cool big time in the Summer. Water is great but try and get your water from food too. Watermelon, berries, tomatoes, cucumbers, greens, etc. The juicier the better! Fish is also a great protein with more water content. Go for salmon to get a healthy fat.

2. Eat Lighter and More Often
Eating lighter in the Summer, and more frequently, will help with energy. You won't fill up too much, but you will also speed up your metabolism, giving you energy throughout the day so that you don't crash.

Fall... My favorite Season and our Lungs need some breathing room.


The lungs are all about circulating oxygen into our bodies so this affects the skin, respiration, metabolism, blood circulation, immunity and emotion. And because summer is over, our body needs to start preparing for Winter. As the weather begins to change, we need to ensure we are ready for it so that we do not get ill with typical colds and flus. 

1. Garlic & Onions
Once again, we need these antioxidants!

2. Pumpkin
The pumpkin is obviously the symbol of Fall, but it also includes a ton of Vitamin A, which is key for a healthy immune system.

3. Pears
Another seasonal food, pears are high in fiber and folate. They are packed with a nice variety of vitamins: A, C, K, B2, B3, and B6... And minerals: calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese. A great versatile fruit to keep you healthy.

4. Sour Fruits
Sour fruit pretty much means Vitamin C: Grapefruit, lemons, pineapple, apples.... Not only will we get the C factor, we'll also keep hydrated from the juicy fruit.

5. Spicy Peppers
Spicy peppers will help keep our sinuses clear of mucus, which is full of infectious bacteria.

Tis the season for Winter... and the Kidney!


Now, remember when I said I overindulged over Winter last year? Let's see what we can do with this list so that we can find some balance. In Winter, energy is down, it's cold, limbs are achy, skin is dry, etc... This means our kidneys are in hyperactive mode and we need to calm them down. 

1. Healthy Fats with High Protein
Healthy fats that are also high in protein in the Winter will lubricate everything. They'll give us energy to burn off, and will keep us full so that we don't go diving for the cookies. Try: Salmon, beef, nuts and seeds, eggs, sesame, and some cold compressed oils too.

2. Bitter Foods & Less Salt
Asparagus, celery, kale, vinegar, and apricots will help alleviate the kidneys working extra hard, especially if you are watching the salt. 

3. Berries
I honestly eat berries everyday, no matter what the season, but berries are excellent antioxidants. You'll neutralize free radicals, prevent cell damage, and they also have anti-aging properties!

4. Warm Soups
A quick cure for any cold is a nice bowl of warm soup... so really you could have this in any season, but in winter a hearty bowl that includes garlic, low salt, high protein, and antioxidant rich vegetables will do the trick. You can also add another spicy/bitter food like ginger into your soup.


If you actually read this far... This whole article leads to an amazing giveaway that is coming up soon!


I will be reviewing the book Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal, and listing all possible ways to win it. It will be open to any address worldwide.





Article Sources:
Global Healing Center: 14 Foods that Cleanse the Liver
Moon Dragon
Shen Nong

2.26.2013

Product/Website Review: Gifts for Men

Men may think it's difficult to shop for their lady, but in my humble opinion, I think it's harder to shop for men. What the hell do they want? Women: You can't go wrong with make-up, jewelry, gift cards to something chic or beauty related, romantic dinners, etc. Men: God help me!

But when I was approached by Gifts for Men to do a review, I was honestly torn by all the great things they have. My husband would like everything!

Not only are there some great gift ideas here, you can also shop by the personality of your mate so it makes it very simple: Corporate Maverick, Funny Guy, Geek, Grill Master, Hipster, Manly Man, Parrot Head, Sports and Fitness Nut, The Intellectual, Traveler, Well Dressed Man

I ended up going with this Guitar Shaped Bamboo Cutting Board for a few reasons:
1) My husband loves music and owns a few guitars
2) I wanted something he could not only use but display (it's hung in the kitchen under a rock poster)
3) He loves to nibble

When I showed him the cutting board, I swear he said: I actually like that! 
Music to my ears!



Stay tuned for my next review... another great item for entertaining.

2.25.2013

Oscars 2013: FAVORITE LOOK

Usually I do not have a favorite dress or look from Hollywood Award Shows, it's a mixed bag. I would put someone's hair on another's face with make-up, pair different jewelry with a different dress etc.  But I gotta say... Charlize Theron took it for me. And that betch can dance!

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Gramercy Tavern Review

For years we've been wanting to go to Gramercy Tavern, and FINALLY, last Friday was the night. It was also my first night having a little alcohol after 20 days of none. Before I get into the food, let me just tell you what happened to me the next day... remember when I said that the one thing I noticed from not drinking was that my skin was clearer and less red and blotchy? Well the day after I had some wine with dinner my entire body got itchy in a major way. Everywhere! I had red blotches and was just crawling out of my skin. So... now I'm going on my next sober adventure... 60 days! I'm looking forward to losing this itchiness, but not looking forward to the next time I drink alcohol to be honest... Anyone ever do a drastic change like this?

Ok, now on to the food! We ended up going with the tasting menu at Gramercy Tavern. It was hands down one of the best meals I've had in New York. Here was the menu, which we had the waiter pair wines with:

A little amuse-bouche to start





Peconic Bay Scallops

Clams, Pickled Mushrooms and Cilantro Broth



Warm Lobster Salad Carrots and Chicory




Halibut

Barley, Shiitake Mushrooms and Parsnip Lobster Sauce





Sweet Potato Agnolotti Kohlrabi and Pine Nuts




Roasted Duck Breast

Quinoa, Lentils, Celery Root and Hazelnuts




A little palette cleanser





Chocolate Pecan Coconut Cake Butter Pecan Ice Cream 



What I loved most about this tasting menu was that it really built to the finish. Sometimes when we go for the tasting menu our favorite dish was the first or second one and there is no gradual build in flavor or intensity. Not so here. Every thing was perfectly matched and it got better and better. The duck was by far the most amazing way to end the meal on a savory note, and it was the best duck I've ever had... and it should be known that I'm not a huge duck fan.

So, have you been to Gramercy Tavern? What is your favorite restaurant in NYC?

2.22.2013

Giveaways and my "no booze" results!

Hello everyone! Happy Friday. I had a last minute trip to Los Angeles this week. I would have taken some shots of the city if I had time but I literally flew in at night, worked all day the day after, then flew back to New York the following morning. Crazy...

It's officially my last day of no drinking, and I will celebrate tonight by sharing a bottle of wine with my husband at Gramercy Tavern! So I did it... 20 days with no alcohol. It went by SO fast. How do I feel? Ok I guess. I could have used a nice glass of red in LA after a long day of work but that was the only "itch" I ever got. Any weight loss? No clue as I hit the kraft services table real hard in LA so I'm avoiding the scale right now. We are not friends at the moment. I do see a difference in my skin tone. It's a lot brighter and less blotchy. 

Now on to the fun part.... GIVEAWAYS!

And coming up... I am going to be giving away another special gift. Not a gift card, but something that will definitely make you feel fabulous. Here's a sneak peek. What do you think it could be?


I will also have some fun reviews next week... Stay tuned. :o)

2.14.2013

Top 7 Beauty Secrets You Should Know

Who doesn't love a good list of beauty tips? Especially on Valentine's Day. Read on!

Though we all have read hundreds and hundreds of beauty tips, only some are worth following. You might be tired of getting beauty advice from your grandmother or other older people. But, mind you, the advice is worth listening and trying. You would’ve read maybe more than a hundred magazines on beauty tips by now and would have also tried innumerable number of products. Anyway, who doesn’t want to look beautiful? Everyone wants to be the stunning one in a crowd. But now, it’s time for you to know the actual truth and real secrets about beauty. Here, we share with you the top 7 inside beauty secrets which are worth keeping.

Drink water
photo credit: massdistraction via photopin cc


Well, after looking at this title, I know what you are wondering – “Is this a secret?” Wait; don’t walk away from this tip. You never know how it can help your skin. You might have read in biology when you were a student that one must drink eight glasses of water every day. Well, that was for staying healthy. But, for staying beautiful, you need to increase the quantity to at least 10 glasses. In fact, water is a girl’s best friend. No matter how many beauty tricks you have tried in your lifetime, this is the most important one. You need to drink as much water as your body can hold. Adding a teaspoon of honey to it will make your skin smooth and shiny. It not only makes you feel hydrated but also makes your skin look healthy.









Care for your nails
If you don’t undergo manicures or pedicures, then, at least keep your nails clean and clipped. If you do want to grow them, then make sure all are of the same length. When you paint them, see that you remove it before most of it is worn out. And don’t paint them constantly; you need to give it at least a week’s break. Also, don’t grow your toe nails too long. Mark this, most people usually judge others by seeing the way they’ve maintained their hands and feet. To keep your nails smooth, apply olive oil on them at least once in three days.

Coriander for skin and hair
photo credit: shout it from the rooftops via photopin cc
This will be something you didn’t know – coriander helps in preventing hair loss. So, you can include this veggie either in your herbal drink or consume it directly, but either way, it will bring about a little control in your hair fall. You can also add some dried seeds of coriander to your hair oil. Another method is to boil a bunch of leaves in adequate quantity of water, cool it and rinse your hair in it. And I bet you didn’t know coriander was good for blackheads, dry skin and – a teenager’s worst nightmare – pimples. All you need to do is grind some coriander leaves, add a little turmeric and apply it on your pimples. Also, for soft lips, you can apply coriander juice.



Carrot juice
You were aware that carrot has many health benefits. But, did you know it has beauty benefits too? Yes, carrot is a natural beauty product. It not only keeps your skin healthy and nourished, but also increases it’s immunity against the sun and thus helps in preventing sun burn. So, it is well and good if you drink carrot juice regularly, especially during hot days and in summer. It also reduces your pimple marks and keeps away wrinkles. Carrot juice acts as a good treatment for acne and also uneven skin tones.


Coconut oil – Your number one beauty tip
photo credit: Chiot's Run via photopin cc
It is finally time to throw away all your useless lotions and creams. Coconut oil can act as your daily beauty treatment. It contains Vitamin E and many other fatty acids which are just right for your skin. If you have dark elbow patches, just rub some coconut oil on it twice a day. And they will be removed within no time. It can be used as the best remedy for dry skin and scalp. It is also a good treatment for acne. Apply a thin coating of coconut oil on the affected areas and leave overnight. Repeat the same every night and you’ll see the results yourself.




Lip care
Lips are very sensitive and they must be treated with care. If you have dead skin peeling off your lips, use a toothbrush (a dry one) and gently brush them off. Though flavored lip balms attract you to the maximum extent, it is best to avoid them. If you have chapped lips, before applying lipstick, rub your lips with a small piece of beetroot. It leaves your lips soft and hydrated. Also, to avoid darkening of lips, you can apply the juice of lemon peels.


Less is more
You might have some of your friends who look perfect even with no makeup at all. Well, it is good even if you follow the same. Makeup is toxic and when applied, the chemicals enter your body. So, always avoid too much makeup. If you are too addicted to it, then, at least take care to see that you apply it in very small quantities. Your skin also remains clean and healthy and is also toxin-free without makeup.
These are some of the natural beauty tips which help you to maintain your looks. To keep your beautiful face long-lasting, avoid alcohol and drugs. Always start your day with a positive attitude and your skin will get its own natural glow.

About The Author:   Kelly is a blogger by profession. She loves writing, reading and traveling. She contributes for bornrich. These days she is working on World'sbest Luxury Spa resorts.

2.13.2013

Sabi Sands... The Best Place on Earth

It took me forever to put this post together, mainly because of all the photos and video we took of our time at the Safari lodge in South Africa. It was the most magical place I have ever been. I fell in love with the animals so much so that I cried hysterically before leaving. I was so very sad, but the memories will forever make me happy.

We stayed at Leopard Hills, an appropriately named lodge because the leopards are everywhere. This lodge is built up on a hill and overlooks a little waterhole. Here is a typical day.

5:00 AM Wake up call.
As the African sun rises there is a knock on your door. Time to get up and get dressed for the morning drive. By 5:15 you can have a coffee and a biscuit or fruit before you get on the vehicle.



From about 5:45-9 you will drive around for miles looking for wild game. The rangers from different lodges talk to each other to share any animals that have been spotted. At about 8, you stop for a coffee/tea and treat for a break and discussion.







When you are back at the lodge at 9, it's time for breakfast. A delicious spread of coffees, teas, meats, cheeses, fruit, yogurt, and any egg you'd like!

Then, in my opinion. It's time for a cat nap.

Lunch is served at noon. If you choose, you can ask your ranger to arrange (ha) a walking safari after. With rifle in hand, the ranger will take you on a little adventure on foot. This time, you'll see more than animals. Gorgeous flowers, foliage, and little creatures. Our ranger Jehanne was fantastic. So knowledgable, and quite funny. You could write a book filled with his quips. 






After this long walk in the hot sun a dip in your plunge pool is a must.

At 4 PM, it is time to meet again, this time in the library for high tea. This is a good time to talk with the ranger about the plan for the evening. By 5 PM, you are back on the road looking for wildlife. As the sun starts to set (depending on when you are there of course) you stop around 7 for some wine and spirits (if you choose) and a snack. My favorite place we stopped was along the water where the hippos were socializing just as we were.





But the big cats were always my favorite to watch...









On our last ride... we caught an interaction between a leopard and a hyena. This is the video of the encounter. A hyena stole a leopards kill. Please so not watch if you are squeamish... there is no violence in this but it's a bit gory in parts...



On the drive home you are in complete darkness and the tracker looks out for wild things with a flash light. Amazing the things he could find!




Then by 8 you are back at the lodge and it's time for a communal dinner with the ranger and the other guests on your drive. Then time for bed, and by morning it's time to do this all over again. I just loved being out in the wilderness. No TV or computer in the bedroom and the sound of roaring lions at night. I would go back tomorrow if I could.


South Africa Posts: