Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spice Up Your Life: The Health Benefits of Cayenne

The amazing Cayenne Pepper, its health benefits are far and wide. Most notably, it has been documented that a teaspoon of cayenne in warm water can stop a heart attack in thirty seconds! (see disclamer below) With over 750,000 people experiencing a stroke each year in the United States and 1.5 million people having a heart attack, it might be time to look into the benefits of cayenne. Many people know that cayenne works great for stimulating circulation, but it also feeds the vital elements into the cell structure of capillaries, veins, arteries and helps adjust blood pressure to normal levels.  It actually cleans the arteries, helping to rid the body of the bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. 

What else can this "miracle herb" do for you? Studies have shown that capsaicin, the chief metabolite compound in cayenne, has the ability to kill cancer cells within the prostate, lungs and pancreas! Believe it or not, cayenne is often used to cure stomach ulcers and intestinal and other internal bleeding. It alleviates allergies, muscle cramping, digestive issues, cleanses the blood, cures hemorrhoids, eases sea sickness, increases your metabolism and gives you energy. If taking internally, it is best to take cayenne in a liquid form. When applied topically, cayenne can help heal wounds with minimal scarring, ease arthritis pain and other imflammation, headaches and toothaches.

With flu and cold season just around the corner, drink warm cayenne tea to boost your immune system, soothe a sore throat and bring down a fever. Cayenne has even been used to cure scarlet fever. If your feet get cold in the winter time, sprinkle some cayenne powder in your shoes to warm them up. The health benefits of cayenne go well beyond what is listed here. It might be time to spice up your life!

The information available in this blog is for your personal reference only. Healthy Home Market is not engaged in rendering medical advice. Information available in this blog should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. Nor should the information replace the advice of your doctor or health care practitioner. Always see your practitioner concerning your treatment options if suffering from an illness or injuries resulting from an accident.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

How Your Daily Choices Can Help Save Marine Life

Noise pollution, also known as "acoustic smog," is endangering our already fragile marine life. This noise comes from offshore oil drilling, military sonar and the shipping industry. In addition to the increased amount of noise, CO2 emissions are causing the oceans to become more acidic and raising the temperature of the water, which in turn allows sound to travel farther. Cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) communicate with each other through "song," over hundreds, even thousands, of miles. This is how they find mates and alert others to food sources. With the increased amount of noise, they are now having trouble hearing each other and are attempting to scream over the noise. Needless to say, this is causing a great deal of stress amongst the animals. The high-pitched sounds are painful and cause confusion. Mothers and calves become separated, pod members lose each other and the animals are unable to locate their breeding grounds. Many are even going deaf, which almost always leads to death. And disturbingly, marine mammals are increasingly beaching themselves as they flee from the sounds. Not only are Cetaceans affected, but sea lions, walruses, manatees, sea turtles, cephalopods, shellfish, numerous other species of fish...and the list goes on...

What can you do to help? The first step is making conscious choices. Purchasing local products decreases the amount of items being shipped across the oceans, which in turn decreases oil usage, decreases CO2 emissions and the amount of cargo ships on the water. Purchasing products in bulk or with minimal packaging also lessons oil usage and CO2 emissions. Practicing the three R's, reducing, reusing and recycling, choosing to walk, ride a bike, take public transportation or purchase an environmentally responsible vehicle will all also play a part in curbing this probable disaster. A breakdown in our marine ecosystems creates a breakdown in all ecosystems and jeopardizes human survival. Literally, every purchase you make and most of your decisions throughout the day can lead to a healthier ocean. We also encourage you to contact your representatives in congress to let them know your concerns, put pressure on corporations to make conscious choices and sign this petition sponsored by Care2.com. Imagine the potential impact if we all take action and make better choices. Imagine the impact if we don't...

Monday, August 23, 2010

How to Prepare, Cook and Eat Fresh Artichokes

Most of us have eaten artichokes at some point in our life, but many have never prepared or cooked them fresh. It can be intimidating for a first timer. Here are some basic instructions on preparing, cooking and eating artichokes:

  1. Cut the stem of your artichoke down so that it will sit upright in the pot.
  2. Remove all of the outer leaves from the base of the artichoke.
  3. Use scissors to trim the top spiky part of each leaf (this step isn't completely necessary.)
  4. Cut an inch off of the top of the artichoke.
  5. Soak artichokes in cold water for at least one hour to fully clean them of dirt and debris.
  1. Add enough water to your pot to fully cover your artichokes.
  2. Add fresh lemon juice or lemon slices to the water. Also recommended: a clove of garlic, bay leaves or any other fresh herbs you would like to try.
  3. Bring the water to a boil.
  4. Add the artichokes and reduce heat.
  5. Simmer for 20-40 minutes.
  1. Pull each petal off one at a time.
  2. Dip the white fleshy end in your sauce of choice (see below).
  3. Place the petal in your mouth and pull it through your teeth. Discard the tough skin.
  4. Once all of the petals are gone, scrape out the inedible fuzzy part (the choke).
  5. The remaining part is the heart. Cut it into pieces and dip it in your sauce.
It may seem like a lot of work (it's not), but artichokes are worth it! Many people like to dip theirs in plain melted butter or lemon and butter mixed, while others love mayonnaise mixed with balsamic vinegar. How about butter and balsamic mixed? We recommend experimentation! Enjoy!

Added bonus: besides being delicious, artichokes are high in fiber, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorous and other trace elements which are important for a balanced system. They have also been used to reduce cholesterol, treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other digestive issues, protect the liver and stabilize blood sugar levels.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Collection of Quotes

"A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory." - Steven Wright

"Why don't we pay more attention to who our farmers are? We would never be as careless choosing an auto mechanic or babysitter as we are about who grows our food." - Michael Pollan

"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
 - Lee lacocca, CEO/Chairman, Chrysler Corporation, 1979-1992

"God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages."
 - Jacques Deval

"I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it's such a beautiful animal.... I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her."
 - Ellen DeGeneres

"People are more violently opposed to fur than leather because it's safer to harass rich women than motorcycle gangs." - Unknown

"Wolves are very resourceful. All they need to survive is for people not to shoot them."
 - Bob Ferris

"A man generally has two reasons for doing a thing: one that sounds good, and a real one."
- J.P. Morgan

"That's the thing about Mother Nature, she really doesn't care what economic bracket you're in." - Whoopi Goldberg

"The use of solar energy has not been opened up because the oil industry does not own the sun." - Ralph Nader

"Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them." - Eeyore, from Winnie the Pooh

"I think God's going to come down and pull civilization over for speeding." - Steven Wright

"How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is clearly Ocean." - Arthur C. Clarke

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.
 - Dan Quayle, former US vice president

"Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them." - Bill Vaughan

"The greenest house is the one that never gets built." - Whit Faulconer

"I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise, what is there to defend?" - Robert Redford

"There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew." - Marshall McLuhan

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Big News! New Location!

We are very excited to announce that we are opening our fourth location just six weeks from now! This is going to be a satellite store - Healthy Home Market Express - located in Union Square Emporium in Downtown Hickory. Union Square Emporium has been closed for eight years, but thanks to Sam Glaberman it will re-open on October 1st! This will be unlike any of our existing stores, not only because it will be smaller and more focused, but also because we will be one of many business inside the Emporium. We will share the market with booths selling framed photography, custom golf clubs, jewelery, baked goods and a wealth of other artisan goods.
Our new express location will focus on Gluten Free products, dietary supplements, health and beauty care, grind-your-own nut butter, bulk herbs and spices, pre-packaged snack mixes, nuts, dried fruit and those hard to find natural and organic items. We will also have a small deli offering grab-and-go salads, deli sides, sandwiches, raw food items, etc., plus made to order smoothies, tea and coffee. We will also offer plenty of healthy snacks and bottled juices and water. Our new space also includes a community room where we will hold lectures, classes and events.
This is a different type of venture for us and Hickory is new territory, so there is much anticipation amongst our employees and our customers. Please join us for the Grand Opening of both Union Square Emporium and Healthy Home Market Express on October 1st. We will have food sampling and product demonstrations. Also happening the following weekend is Oktoberfest in the streets of Downtown Hickory which will feature live entertainment, carnival games and rides, food, two beer gardens and arts and crafts. Come for the festivities and stop by to check out the new location! We will be open Monday - Saturday from 10 am - 6 pm. Closed on Sunday.
Please "Like" our Healthy Home Market Express - Hickory fan page on Facebook and spread the word to all of your friends and family! We can't wait to see you all!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Importance of a Healthy Breakfast (Plus an Egg in a Basket Recipe)

We have all heard it: "breakfast is the most important meal of the day." Yet, many of us are guilty of skipping this meal. Now that school is starting back, the mornings may be an even more hectic time for many of us, but breakfast is essential for optimum health. Many studies have shown that children who eat a healthy breakfast each morning, perform better at school and also have less tardies and absences. Adults are also shown to perform better at work and get more accomplished throughout their day when starting their day with a nutritious meal. Breakfast is usually skipped for two reasons: time constraints and the idea that it will help you lose weight. As it turns out, skipping breakfast can actually lead to obesity because your metabolism remains slow throughout the day and people tend to make up those lost calories with high-fat, high-calorie convenience foods. We can't stress how important it is to make time in the morning for breakfast. The benefits will far outweigh the few extra minutes of sleep that you might get. Breakfast doesn't have to take long to prepare; the most important ingredients are a protein and a whole grain. Add a piece of fresh fruit or some juice and you're good to go! Below is a recipe for a quick, fun and healthy breakfast that will get everyone out the door with their brains and their bodies ready to face the day! It goes by many names, but no matter what you call it, its delicious!

Egg in a Basket
Also known as One Eyed Jack, Egg in a Hole, Toad in a Hole, Cowboy Eggs, Rocky Mountain Toast, A Hole in One, One Eyed Monster and many more...


1 slice whole grain bread (can substitute a whole grain waffle)
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large cage free egg (we have exceptional local eggs)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Cut a 2-inch circle from the center of the bread (a cookie cutter or the top of a glass works great), reserving the circle. Melt a quarter size bit of butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place the slice of bread and the circle in the skillet and toast lightly, about 1 minute. Crack the egg into the hole and season with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining butter as needed to brown and crisp the toast. Carefully flip the egg in a basket and the circle, season with salt and pepper. Cook another 2 minutes for a runny yolk, or slightly longer for a set egg. Use the toasted circle to dip in the yolk if desired. Hot sauce make a great addition!