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My dream is to one day be a green thumb — one who knows the difference between annuals and perennials, one who can make sense of the soil aisle (so many choices!), one who uses words such as “tilth.” But one must start small, young grasshopper. Enter the succulent, a beautiful starter plant that has a rep for practically taking care of itself.
But I must admit, I’ve been though a couple of succulents now. I watched as they wilted, dried out, and turned a particularly depressing shade of brown, wondering how I managed to kill a plant that was supposed to be, well, un-killable. But after a little research and some patience, I think I’ve corrected my errors with my third succulent, which is currently thriving and boasting a beautiful shade of emerald green. (Third time’s a charm, after all.) Here are a few things to remember to help you get it right the first time around:
Succulents love sunshine, so I leave mine on a sunny windowsill most days. If you would rather show off your succulent on your not-so-sunny coffee table or bookshelf, then play musical chairs with placement and let it hang out in a sunny spot for at least 6 hours a day.
Less is more. In the summer, you’ll want to water your succulent about once a week. In the winter, you can get away with once every two weeks. The top half of soil should be dry every time you add water. Look at the leaves for your cue—firm and plump leaves are good to go, soft and pliable could use some H2O.
Succulents love well-draining soil. Opt for soil varieties that mix in gravel or sand.
Keep it cozy—smaller pots are ideal since succulents like to keep their roots tight and close to each other.
Ever eaten a salad only to be hungry again an hour later? The key is to incorporate healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates such as whole grains and legumes into your salad, making it both filling and delicious. Try adding these fats and grains:
- Avocados: The fat avocados contain is monounsaturated, which is heart healthy and does not raise cholesterol. Avocados also are a good source of fiber. They provide glutathione (an antioxidant), folate, and more potassium than bananas.
- Nuts: In addition to their healthy fat profile, nuts provide you with vitamin E, trace minerals, fiber, and in the case of walnuts, vital omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts are relatively high in calories, so enjoy just a few on your next salad.
- Quinoa: This grain has the highest protein content of any grain, containing all nine essential amino acids - a rarity in the plant kingdom. Quinoa is also a good source of manganese, iron, copper, phosphorous, vitamin B2 and other essential minerals.
- Wild Rice: Although not technically a grain, wild rice is quite the nutritional powerhouse. It contains almost twice the protein and fiber as brown rice, and is also high in B vitamins, manganese, zinc, potassium, phosphorous and magnesium, while being relatively low in calories.
Don't miss our next blog post, when we cover what healthy proteins to add to a salad!