Getting Your Garden Ready This Spring

nursery-3Spring is nearly here, and it’s time to start thinking about your garden. After a quick trip to my local nursery, I’ve come up five questions to get you started . . .

1. Make a plan and have an idea of what type of garden you’d like to grow. Herbs, flowers or vegetables?

2. Most plants need about six hours of sunlight each day. Does your garden allow for this? If not, stick with herbs, flowers or vegetables that do well in shade.

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3. What is an annual? Annuals are plants that perform their entire life cycle (from seed to flower) in a single growing season.

4. What is a perennial? Perennials are plants that persist for many growing seasons. The top portion of the plant dies each winter and regrows from a bulb or root system the next spring.

5. Need help? Get to know the nursery staff. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. In the end, it’s better to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.


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Easy to grow plants:

Herbs

Mint, Lavender, Basil, Sage, Dill and Chives

Annuals

Marigolds, Geraniums, Sunflowers and Zinnias

Perennials

Black-eye Susans, Pansies, Purple Coneflowers and Day Lilies

Vegetables

Peppers, Tomatoes, Lettuce and Cucumbers (vegetables)

What will you be planting this spring?

Diabetes Prevention

Diabetes Prevention
Diabetes is a serious problem, not just in the US but all over the world. Diabetes diagnosis are rising and reports of type 2 in diabetes in children is increasing dramatically with projections of total deaths from diabetes increasing as much as 50% in the next 10 years.

This is scary stuff but there is a silver lining, diabetes can be prevented. Exercise and a healthy diet can drastically reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Adding 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity most days is a great start, but having a healthy diet is also very important.

Choosing the right diet for prevention and management

Despite what many believe there is no one single diabetes diet to follow, food that is healthy for diabetics is the same food that is healthy for everyone else. The main difference is carbohydrates, since they have more impact on blood sugar than fats or proteins it is important for people with diabetes or pre-diabetics to pay attention to their carbohydrate intake.

Opting for foods with a lower Glycemic Index is one way to do this. The glycemic index ranks foods based on the way that they affect blood sugar levels. Foods such as oatmeal, sweet potato, beans, peas, and rice are low glycemic index foods and have a lesser affect on blood sugar, while foods such as white bread, bagels, breakfast cereals, russet potatoes, popcorn, crackers, melons, and pineapple have a higher index and a greater affect.

Controlling sugar in your body

Fiber is another thing that can help with blood sugar control since it does not raise blood glucose levels while also helping the digestive system function, and lower cholesterol. Fiber can be found in most fruits vegetables, and whole grain breads.

Eating periodically is also a huge part in controlling blood sugar levels, since regular intake of food spreads out blood sugar spikes so that your body can react better. Avoiding sugary foods and alcohol are also important for people with diabetes, and for everybody for that matter. Sugar loaded foods spike the blood sugar, increase insulin, which overtime can cause insulin resistance which is the main cause of diabetes. Maybe I should also mention that insulin also blocks production of leptin, the hormone that makes you feel full, which also make your body think that you are starving so you then store excess glucose as fat. Foods with excess fructose can send your liver into overdrive and eventually cause fatty liver disease. It also decreases HDL (good Cholesterol), eventually leading to heart attack or stroke.  <

When you read through the basic information pertaining to diabetes the prescribed “diet” reads something like what most health magazine have been spouting for years to everyone. The basic way to help prevent diabetes is to exercise regularly, eat regularly, avoid carbohydrate loaded and sugary foods, and get enough fiber.

Now I have to ask: does that seem so hard?

Further Reading:

My Sweet Daddy

575921_10151889743730548_1188854147_n copyI’ve always been a daddy’s girl.  Growing up, my dad worked out of the house so he was always available for me.  I loved it, because, you know, I was a daddy’s girl.  Told my husband that our daughter is just going to eat him up because if she’s anything like me (or I guess any girl) she’s going to be a daddy’s girl.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my mom.  But growing up, it was definitely all about my dad.  Then, as I got older, I felt a strange need to protect my sweet daddy, especially because I kind of felt bad for him being surrounded my two strong women.  Poor guy didn’t have a chance sometimes.

He had his own way of disciplining me but he was always my go-to for snuggling.  When I was very young, maybe between 4-6 years of age, I would sleep in a sleeping bag on the floor next to him every night.  I remember sleeping next to my mom one night, but the rest of the nights it was next to my dad.  I have visions of when he would put his hand down and I would hold it until I passed out with my Barney stuffed animal.

I type this post on the couch at my parents’ house with my daughter napping on my chest, my dog at my feet, and my dad napping to my right as we are watching a show we used to watch when I was a pre-teenager (JAG).

Some of you may know that right now my dad is sick.  He is battling renal cancer and, though it would be equally hard for me if my mother was ill, I go back to how all I want to do is protect my sweet daddy.

Tomorrow at 11:30am EST, my dad will have a surgery to remove his bad kidney and any surrounding structures that are cancerous.  We’ll also know more about how advanced the cancer might be.  We might have good news, we might not.  I ask for your prayers and thoughts right now for him and for his doctors.  I’m not ready to live in a world without my daddy, but I’m trying my hardest to stay positive and take care of myself for my little three month old, hands down the only thing keeping us smiling right now.  I know my mom is trying her hardest to be positive as well, but she also could use some positive thoughts and vibes as I can’t imagine being in her shoes myself.

Thank you.