Put These Items On Your Next Grocery List For More Healthy Eating

Quinoa: This super seed is an easy, delicious complete protein that only takes 15 minutes to make. High in fiber and iron.
Use for: Use it in place of rice or pasta and add to salads to make a complete meal. Heat up and eat for breakfast instead of, or along with, oatmeal. You can even throw some into your soups or wraps.


Kale: Great source of just about everything, especially vitamins A, C, K and calcium, even essential fatty acids and iron No wonder they call it a superfood.
Use for: Kale is ridiculously versatile. It can be dressed and massaged with olive oil and kept in the fridge for a great salad base throughout the week. Its easy storage makes life so simple. You can also throw it into a soup, bake some crispy kale chips or add it as a side dish.

Eggs: Get eggs that are organic and from pasture-raised chickens. They are an easy protein, but they’re also pretty much nature’s perfect food with too many benefits to mention including good amounts of fat-soluble vitamins A, D some B, fatty acids and tons of essential minerals like iodine. Eat the yolks, that’s where most of the nutrients are

Use for: Breakfast, lunches, on top of any salad, scrambled eggs make a fun addition to soups and stir-fries. Fried egg sandwiches or egg salad sandwiches are great, quick, nutritious lunches. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper on a boiled egg for a quick, portable snack.

Nuts: You should buy raw, unsalted and unroasted to avoid added, and excess sodium. Nuts are full of healthy heart and brain-boosting fats and they’re a good source of protein with lots of vitamins and minerals.
Use for: Eat a handful for a quick snack, add to salads, even crush on top of soups and pastas gives a nice crunch. Mix it up and try all kinds. Don’t go overboard though, because they’re high in calories. Limit yourself to a handful or two a day. If calories are a concern, eat pistacshios, as they are the lowest calorie choice in the nut family, and super healthy as well.


Nut butter: Organic and sugar-free are preferred. Great for healthy fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals.
Use for: Spread on apples, celery, crackers, on healthy toast, or add a spoonful to smoothies.

Seeds: Sesame, pumpkin, hemp hearts, ground flax, chia, unsalted. Seeds are tiny powerhouses of nutrition including healthy fats, proteins, fiber, calcium, and all sorts of other vitamins and minerals.

Use for: Salad toppers, add to smoothies, add seeds to almost any dish for added awesome.

Oats: Great for fiber and important minerals like manganese and a sustainable energy source to get you filled up and through the morning.

Use for: Just pop oatmeal and water/milk on the stove and let it boil while you get dressed. Top with seeds, nuts, fruit, coconut flakes or whatever. Great for baking too.

Hummus: A delicious source of protein, fiber and minerals like iron and calcium.
Use for: Hummus is a great and easy snack on just about anything. Veggies, crackers, baked chips, a condiment on sandwiches. Even use it instead of sour cream.

Nut milk, almond/coconut: These readily available dairy alternatives are everywhere now and a great source of proteins, healthy fats and lots of essential vitamins and minerals depending on which you choose. Good if you’re avoiding dairy products.
Use for: Use this in smoothies, oatmeal, dry cereals, or lattes.

Organic boxed broth: Sure, it’s better to have the homemade stuff hanging around in the freezer, but it’s very time consuming. Sometime, you just need a box on hand to help start you off. Try to stick with organic, preferably low sodium.

Use for: When you’re crunched for time, a little boxed broth is a simple base for homemade soups and other dishes.


Garlic and onions: Both are great healing foods. They’re antioxidants, anti- viral, anti-fungal and loaded with vitamin C, along with plenty of other vitamins.

Use for: Garlic and onions are a great base for almost everything you cook. Just, chop, slice or dice and sauté with a bit of coconut or olive oil for a huge flavor boost, and lots of great heathy benefits.

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans (canned or dried): Great for protein, fiber, B vitamins and lots of minerals like iron and magnesium.
Use for: salad toppers, mix with veggies and quinoa, combined with grains, like brown rice, makes a complete protein, throw in soup, or even make your own hummus.

Lemons: Like all citrus, lemons deserve a major shout out for their vitamin C, and lemons are particularly good at detoxifying the body.
Use for: Adding to water for a great detoxifying drink. Add to olive oil for instant homemade dressing, squeeze on top of veggies, fruits and fish for added flavor, use grated lemon rinds in baking or cooking.

Coconut oil: Good quality is key: Look for virgin, organic and cold-pressed. Coconut oil is an easily digestible, healthy saturated fat (MCT) and more stable for higher temp cooking. Don’t ever burn your oil.
Use for: higher heat cooking, stir-frying, roasting veggies, frying eggs, or baking.

olive oil

Olive oil: Same as any oil, aim for: organic, extra virgin, cold-pressed.
Use for: Easy-to-make salad dressing, also use for low-heat cooking.

Vinegar: Balsamic, apple cider, red wine, white wine, pick one and start there.

Use for: mix a little with olive oil to make healthy homemade dressings instead of buying overly-processed, store-bought salad dressing. Also add a splash to many other recipes to enhance flavor.

Murdering Babies

dagmar overbye

Dagmar Overbye ran a foundling center in Copenhagen from 1916 to 1920. It was supposedly a place where unmarried mothers could take their infants to be adopted, although they had to pay a fee for the infant to be accepted. The unsavory business of hiding the scandals of others was something few talked about, and Overbye operated under the radar for several years. It is unclear how well records of the babies she took in were kept, if at all. The parents who paid Overbye to take care of matters rarely even spoke of it, much less went back to check on their babies. One woman finally did.

Karoline Aagesen placed her newborn daughter with Overbye in 1920 and immediately regretted her decision. Aagesen went back to retrieve her child the next day, but Overbye told her the baby had already been adopted, by a couple whose address she couldn’t recall. Aagesen went to the police, who investigated Overbye and the “adoption agency” she ran out of her apartment. They found baby clothes and charred bones in the stove. Overbye was arrested and confessed to killing either 16 or 20 babies, reports vary. However, from the evidence found, she was convicted of only nine murders. The babies had been strangled, drowned, or burned, and some bodies were found in her loft and buried underground in addition to the evidence from the stove. More parents came forward after Overbye’s arrest, and estimates of the number of infants she may have killed range from 29 to 180. It is believed that the first child Overbye killed was her own, born a few years before she opened her baby business. She was sentenced to death in 1921, which was commuted to life, and she died in prison in 1929.

Revolutionary War Veterans During the Civil War

Nearly every American who has studied history is aware of the infamous Washington Crossing the Delaware painting, depicting George Washington sailing over the Delaware River in 1776. Similarly, the Harvest of Death photograph of the American Civil War is a haunting touchstone. Morbidly fascinating, the picture depicts Union and Confederate soldiers lying dead and bloated on the Gettysburg battlefield. When we think of these images, we usually file them away in separate compartments of the brain. They were taken in separate centuries, after all, with 16 presidents and almost 100 years between them. Yet, to nine extraordinarily long-lived men, these photographs make up the bookends of their lifetime.

Congregational minister and amateur historian Rev. Elias Hillard set out on what was truly a last-chance mission. In 1864, he decided to assemble records of the Revolutionary War, gathering the records of the veterans who. had been there.

Incredibly, Hillard found six veterans of the Revolutionary War who were alive 83 years after the end of the War of Independence. All of them were over 100 years old. His mission became desperate. When asked about his motivations, Hillard said: “Our own are the last eyes that will look on men who looked on Washington; our ears the last that will hear the living voices of those who heard his words.”

The names of the men he interviewed were Samuel Downing, Daniel Waldo, Lemuel Cook, Alexander Milliner, William Hutchings, and Adam Link.

Lemuel Cook, then 105, reported being present at the Brandywine and the surrender of British Lord Cornwallis to General Washington in 1781, where he recalled Washington telling his men not to laugh at the British, saying “it’s bad enough to have to surrender without being insulted.” Cook died at the age of 106 and was buried with full military honors.

Alexander Milliner enlisted as a drummer boy as he was too young to fight. He remembered Washington patting his head and the two sharing a drink out of his flask. Milliner cited the general as “a good man, a beautiful man. He was always pleasant; never changed countenance, but wore the same in defeat and retreat as in victory.” He was present at Saratoga.

Adam Link served three tours of duty in Pennsylvania; at 70 years of age, he built a farmhouse and lived there until his death.

Daniel Frederick Bakeman’s service in the War was not certifiable, however, Congress granted him a special act, which allowed him to receive a military pension for his alleged service.

Ostensibly, his death in April 1869 made him the last surviving veteran of the war (assuming his claim about fighting is true). Impressive also was his love life. At the age of 12, he married Susan Brewer, who was 14 years and six months old, on August 29, 1772. Their marriage, which lasted 91 years and 12 days, is the longest claimed on record and also the only marriage claimed to have exceeded 90 years.

Interviews with these men were published in Hillard’s book, The Last Men of the Revolution.

Herbs That Can Damage the Liver

Green tea might be might be tasty and refreshing, and it might seem like a natural way to ward off cancer, but it can also damage your liver. Comfrey is so dangerous that comfrey tea is no longer sold in the United States, and other herbs have also sent people to the hospital.

New guidelines from the American College of Gastroenterology caution consumers about relying too much on “natural” or “herbal” products, especially in the mistaken belief that they might be safer than prescription drugs.

They’re often not, says Dr. Herbert Bonkovsky, of the Carolinas HealthCare Systems in Charlotte, who helped write the new guidelines.

“A lot of consumers have a preconceived notion that if it’s a natural product, it must be safe. But that is not necessarily the case,” Bonkovsky says.

“Currently, there is not actually very much effective oversight. It’s pretty much up to the manufacturers of these supplements to guarantee what’s actually in there.”

Some products, such as green tea extracts, may contain many more times the safe dose of a product. Other times, products may be contaminated. Recent examples include “all natural” slimming products that contained not only the discontinued prescription drug sibutramine, but phenolphthalein, a laxative that’s also been pulled out of pills because it might cause cancer.

Tylenol can cause deadly liver damage, as can overdoses of vitamin A. Then there are the sexual enhancement products that are contaminated with prescription drugs.

But sometimes it’s the herb itself that is dangerous, says Bonkovsky. “Obviously, there are lots of things in botanicals, hundreds maybe even thousands of compounds,” he said.

Here are five the American College of Gastroenterology is warning about:

The active ingredients are a class of compounds called catechins. “They can deplete some of the protective molecules in cells such as glutathione that are there to protect us from injury. Green tea extract in some people can lead to quite severe or even fatal liver injury,” Bonkovsky said.

One of the catechins most suspected is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).

“We don’t really fully understand the basis for the susceptibility, but it seems likely to be a combination of genetic factors…but also maybe related to their diets, ” he added.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has rejected some of the health claims made by makers of products using green tea.

Comfrey contains toxic substances called pyrrolizidine alkaloids that damage the liver, sometimes fatally. Comfrey is no longer sold in the U.S., except in creams or ointments, but even used this way the alkaloids can build up in the body.

Kava kava is made from the roots of the plant Piper methysticum, best known as the basis for a ceremonial drink in Oceania but also sold to treat anxiety and insomnia. It’s been documented to have cause liver damage, however, and its use is banned or restricted in Germany, Switzerland, France, Canada, and Britain.

Skullcap was traditionally used by Native Americans to treat anxiety, stress and insomnia. Chinese skullcap is a different species, but both are suspected of causing liver damage. Skullcap is often used in products containing multiple herbs, so it’s not entirely clear that skullcap is entirely to blame. But it’s something to keep an eye on.

Chaparral, an extract of a shrub known as creosote bush, is used by people believing it can benefit conditions ranging from skin rashes to cancer. The suspected liver-damaging compound is one called NDGA. It’s possible that people with liver injury from the herb are having a type of allergic or immune reaction to it. But it’s been severe enough in some cases to have forced an emergency liver transplant.

Liver injury is difficult to diagnose, Bonkovsky says. “Symptoms are pretty non-localized,” he said. They can include feeling tired, low appetite, a feeling that food isn’t as tasty as usual. “There might be some pain in the area of the liver, in the right upper part of the abdomen,” he said. Jaundice – yellow skin – is a big red flag, as is dark-colored urine.

“If people have any sign of that, they should stop whatever they are taking and seek medical attention,” said Bonkovsky.

How The USDA Promotes Unhealthy Eating

The USDA’s MyPlate program recommends going easy on fast food: “People who eat out more often, particularly at fast food restaurants, are more likely to be overweight or obese,” it says.

Sounds sensible enough. But there’s one little problem: The USDA also oversees the dairy checkoff, a group that works hand in hand with fast-food chains. That’s one of the main findings in a new report by Michele Simon, a public health lawyer who writes about food politics. The bulk of the dairy checkoff’s work with fast-food chains happens through a marketing group called Dairy Management Inc., which regularly helps companies create and promote menu items that contain dairy, many of which are a far cry from USDA’s recommendations for a healthy diet. A few examples:

Here are a few more details on those partnerships:


• Since 2009, the dairy checkoff has promoted what it calls “cheese demand-enhancement” through a partnership with Domino’s Pizza. By creating a pizza with 40 percent more cheese, it has generated $177 million through sales of more than a billion additional pounds of milk. In 2013, the dairy checkoff helped Domino’s introduce a USDA-approved school lunch pizza called Smart Slice in 450 districts across 39 states.
• In 2013, the Dairy Checkoff partnered with Taco Bell to launch Cantina Double Steak Quesadillas and new cheese shreds, increasing its total dairy sales by 4 percent.
• In 2013, the dairy checkoff helped Pizza Hut create the 3 Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza, the chain’s first new permanent menu item in almost 20 years.
• A dairy checkoff partnership helped Starbucks launch its smoothies, which use more than 3.7 million pounds of whey protein each year.
• The USDA’s National Dairy Promotion and Research Program helped McDonald’s launch McCafé beverages and the Angus Cheeseburger.

The dairy checkoff also provides six dairy specialists—who offer “technical assistance, support, and dairy expertise”—to McDonald’s, and it employs an on-site dairy scientist at Taco Bell.

So how, in good conscience, can the USDA recommend limiting visits to fast-food restaurants on the one hand, while helping those very restaurants sell more junk food on the other? According to USDA spokesman Cullen Schwarz, he doesn’t consider the dairy checkoff, or any other checkoff program (they exist for practically every agricultural product imaginable), part of the USDA. He says that the agency’s power over the group is limited. “Check-off programs are not USDA initiatives, they are completely initiated, funded, and implemented by agricultural producers so they can join together to advertise their products,” he stated in a recent email. “USDA only has the power to ensure these industry efforts are conducted in accordance with the law, and any changes in USDA’s authority over these programs would have to come from Congress.”

Simon said she wasn’t impressed with that line of reasoning. She pointed out that the USDA sends representatives to dairy checkoff meetings and issues annual reports to Congress on its activities. What’s more, the US Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that checkoff programs count as “government speech.”

“So the USDA oversees it, but they’re hands off with how the money is used?” said Simon. “Frankly, that makes it all the more worrisome.”

Possible Origins of the Mayan Civilization

The Maya civilization is well-known for its elaborate temples, sophisticated writing system, and mathematical and astronomical developments, yet the civilization’s origins remain a mystery.

A new University of Arizona study to be published in the journal, Science, challenges the two prevailing theories on how the ancient civilization began, suggesting its origins are more complex than previously thought.

Anthropologists typically fall into one of two competing camps with regard to the origins of Maya civilization. The first camp believes that it developed almost entirely on its own in the jungles of what is now Guatemala and southern Mexico. The second believes that the Maya civilization developed as the result of direct influences from the older Olmec civilization and its center of La Venta.

It’s likely that neither of those theories tells the full story, according to findings by a team of archaeologists led by University of Arizonia husband-and-wife anthropologists Takeshi Inomata and Daniela Triadan.

“We really focused on the beginning of this civilization and how this remarkable civilization developed,” said Inomata, UA professor of anthropology and the study’s lead author.

In their excavations at Ceibal, an ancient Maya site in Guatemala, researchers found that Ceibal actually predates the growth of La Venta as a major center by as much as 200 years, suggesting that La Venta could not have been the prevailing influence over early Mayan development.

That does not make the Maya civilization older than the Olmec civilization, since Olmec had another center prior to La Venta, nor does it prove that the Maya civilization developed entirely independently, researchers say.

What it does indicate, they say, is that both Ceibal and La Venta probably participated in a broader cultural shift taking place in the period between 1,150-800 B.C.

“We’re saying that the scenario of early Maya culture is really more complex than we thought,” said UA anthropology graduate student Victor Castillo, who co-authored the paper with Inomata and Triadan.

“We have this idea of the origin of Maya civilization as an indigenous development, and we have this other idea that it was an external influence that triggered the social complexity of Maya civilization. We’re now thinking it’s not actually black and white,” Castillo said.

There is no denying the striking similarities between Ceibal and La Venta, such as evidence of similar ritual practices and the presence of similar architecture – namely the pyramids that would come to be the hallmark of Mesoamerican civilization but did not exist at the earlier Olmec center of San Lorenzo.

However, researchers don’t think this is the case of simply one site mimicking the other. Rather, they suspect that both the Maya site of Ceibal and the Olmec site of La Venta were parts of a more geographically far-reaching cultural shift that occurred around 1,000 B.C., about the time when the Olmec center was transitioning from San Lorenzo to La Venta.

“Basically, there was a major social change happening from the southern Maya lowlands to possibly the coast of Chiapas and the southern Gulf Coast, and this site of Ceibal was a part of that broader social change,” Inomata said. “The emergence of a new form of society, with new architecture, with new rituals, became really the important basis for all later Mesoamerican civilizations.”

The Science paper, titled “Early Ceremonial Constructions at Ceibal, Guatemala, and the Origins of Lowland Maya Civilization,” is based on seven years of excavations at Ceibal.

Additional authors of the paper include Japanese researchers Kazuo Aoyama of the University of Ibaraki, Mito and Hitoshi Yonenobu of the Naruto University of Education, Tokushima.

“We were looking at the emergence of specific cultural traits that were shared by many of those Mesoamerican centers, particularly the form of rituals and the construction of the pyramids,” Inomata said. “This gives us a new idea about the beginning of Maya civilization, and it also tells us about how common traits shared by many different Mesoamerican civilizations emerged during that time.”

Some Burger Facts

The Burger Market is a $73 Billion Business
According to a recent study by CHD Expert, as of June 2014 each burger restaurant’s annual sales are around $1.48 million.

There are Nearly 50,000 Burger Joints in America
Meaning that for every 10,000 Americans, there are 1.6 burger joints. 

The Heart Attack Grill’s Quadruple Bypass Burger is the Most Calorific Burger in the World
With 9,982 calories, this four-patty monstrosity has been recognized by Guinness as the most calorie-laden burger on any menu in the world. It boasts four two full pounds of beef, 20 slices of bacon, eight slices of American cheese, caramelized onions cooked in lard, and three tablespoons of lard, for good measure.

Meat from More Than 1,000 Cows Can Go into a Single Burger Patty
The beef scraps that become hamburger meat are mixed communally during processing, and according to a study done in 1998, the average fast-food burger contains meat from 55 different cows, but that number can increase dramatically. And that’s not only gross, it’s dangerous: the more cows involved, the higher chance of E. coli contamination. The best way to buy hamburger is to ask your butcher to grind it fresh for you.  

Burgers Account for 60 Percent of all Sandwiches Sold
Some folks forget that a burger is, after all, a sandwich. It’s also the most popular sandwich in America. 

Americans Eat 14 Billion Burgers Every Year
That equals out to more than 440 burgers per second. 

The World’s Most Expensive Burger Costs $5,000
Feel like paying $5,000 for a burger? Then head to chef Hubert Keller’s restaurant Fleur, located inside Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay, where you’ll find a creation made with Wagyu beef, foie gras, and black truffles. That seems like quite a markup, even with all those luxurious ingredients.