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The Health Up Newsletter
Created Weekly by Teri Yunus 
Health Up With Teri Health & Wellness Coaching

March 16, 2023 | issue 132

What's Inside This Week:
  1. Bird Watching for Your Health
  2. An Old Irish Blessing
  3. Get Back to Your Roots
  4. Did You Know?
  5. Recipe of the Week
  6. Book of the Week
  7. Resource Tip of the Week
  8. My Favorite Quotes

Bird Watching for Your Health
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Bird watching is essentially an act of mindfulness, and we know some of the proven health benefits that can bring – reduced rumination and lowered blood pressure to name a couple. In fact, practicing mindfulness specifically through bird watching has been scientifically shown to improve mental health. In a 2017 study published in BioScience, scientists from England  proved that when people witnessed more birds in their daily lives, they experienced reduced prevalence and severity of depression, stress and anxiety. Participants didn’t even need to interact with the birds: simply watching them was enough to signify an improvement in mental health. So how do we attract more birds to our backyards? 
Robins - Whether tall scrubs or short trees, chances are good that you'll have a robin's nest in at least one of them. A birdbath can attract these birds to your yard. Place the bath outside a window where you can enjoy them when they come to freshen up. 
Sparrows - These birds are one of the easiest to attract. Simply sprinkling some bird seed onto the ground will attract sparrows to your space. Sparrows eat sunflower seeds, millet, and safflower seeds. 
Wrens - are not seed eaters but they can be enticed by meal worms. Wrens also eat suet and come to birdhouses with an empty hole diameter of 1 ½ inches. Harder to attract, wrens are like thrushes, warblers, orioles, thrashers, and bluebirds. Kudos to you if you're able to attract them. 
Woodpeckers - Take caution attracting these birds into your yard. They might just like your wood siding and can cause significant damage. They do like tall trees to get grubs and larvae from the wood. Looking to attract them, place a suet feeder high in a tree away from your home. 
Blue Jays - are the only jay species in the eastern USA. They will eat just about anything but prefer shelled or whole peanuts. They are beautiful birds but not necessarily the most polite. I've witnessed them dive bombing cats!
Chickadees - Sweet little dainty eaters, chickadees are known for picking up one seed from a feeder and taking it elsewhere to eat then going back for another. They love sunflower seeds, shelled peanuts, suet, and peanut butter. They nest in birdhouses 4-15 feet off the ground with a small hole measuring about 1 1/8 inches in diameter. 
Cardinals - Red cardinals are beautiful to watch and some believe they are deceased loved ones coming for a visit. How wonderful is it to believe this and have cardinals as frequent visitors to your yard. Cardinals love a birdbath or two. They prefer dense foliage like evergreens and like to eat hard-shelled seeds like sunflower or safflower seeds. 
From reducing stress to providing real moments of awe, the mental health benefits of bird watching are many. The mindful practice of birding is also fun, free and gets you out in nature…all of which are health promoting. 
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An Old Irish Blessing
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I love this blessing. I have a small wall hanging that is likely about 100 years old…it was my grandfathers. This is a blessing I wish for you today and every day.

Get Back to Your Roots - 
Eat More Root Vegetables
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Root vegetables have long been enjoyed as a delicious part of a healthy diet. Root veggies, however, sometimes get a bad rap due to their structure. Starchy vegetables are often feared as being the cause of weight gain or high blood sugar. I’ll argue that root vegetables are healthy and can be enjoyed by most people without harm. Often the decrease in healthfullness is caused by what we do to the veggies when cooking or serving (fried, doused in oil or butter, etc.). 
Root vegetables get their name because they grow underground (they’re roots!). Potatoes, carrots and onions are a few common examples that most are familiar with. There are so many more! Here are some of the healthiest root vegetables available to most of us at local farm markets and in grocery stores.
Onions are popular root vegetables, serving as a staple ingredient in many cuisines. They’re high in fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants. As you likely know, antioxidants protect our cells against oxidative damage and help prevent disease.
There’s plenty of research to back up this claim. One study found that eating 3.5 ounces  of raw onions per day significantly reduced blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. That’s a lot of onion, especially for those who aren’t big fans of raw onions. We can ‘learn’ to like them, though. Do a 30-day experiment. Add just a few chopped raw onion to your salad and increase the volume every couple days. Before long, you may just start to enjoy them!
Other research observed that onions may possess powerful anticancer properties, with observational studies linking a higher intake of this root vegetable to a lower risk of common types of cancer. Onions make the ‘O’ in Dr. Joel Furhman’s GBOMBS…that’s how awesome they are!
Sweet potatoes are vibrant and delicious root vegetables that are highly nutritious and jam-packed with health benefits. They’re rich in fiber, vitamin C, manganese and vitamin A and a good source of several antioxidants — including beta-carotene, chlorogenic acid and anthocyanins. You may have heard me say previously that the most colorful foods typically have the highest nutrient value…sweet potatoes are no exception.
Sweet potatoes are the cornerstone of the Okinawan diet…one of the Blue Zones in the world. They can be baked, boiled, steamed, roasted or sautéed and enjoyed as a delicious side dish or added to everything from sandwiches to salads to breakfast bowls. They can even be the main dish. A loaded sweet potato with hummus, salsa, blueberries or other plant foods is a delicious meal that will keep you satisfied and full.
Turnips are not as common but are a delicious root vegetable and have been cultivated for centuries. They have an impressive nutrient profile, being a great source of vitamin C, fiber, manganese and potassium. 
Adding vitamin C to your diet can help boost your immunity. One study noting that getting enough of this vitamin could help reduce symptoms and shorten the severity of respiratory infections, such as the common cold and possibly other viruses. The best way to get vitamin C is in whole foods.
Turnips can be swapped into nearly any recipe in place of potatoes. Half and half is a great way to add variety to your meals. Try making turnip fries, coleslaw, stir-fry or salads.
Ginger is a flowering plant that is closely related to other root vegetables like turmeric. Ginger is loaded with antioxidants and associated with decreased pain and inflammation. It can help with nausea, as well. The flavor can be strong so if you’re not a big fan, try adding small amounts to stir-fries or soups where the flavor won’t overpower the dish.
Ginger tea is another way to get the health benefits and it’s really great when combined with lemon.
Beets are one of the most nutritious root vegetables available, packing a good amount of fiber, folate and manganese into each serving. Beets are a good source of nitrates and may improve exercise performance, increase blood flow and decrease the growth of cancer cells — according to human and animal studies. They, too, may not appeal to all of us but if you love them…you really love them (like me and my granddaughter, Annabelle!).
Garlic is a root vegetable that belongs to the Allium genus and is closely related to onions, leeks, chives and shallots. Garlic has potent medicinal properties due to the compound allicin. It may help improve your immunity, reduce blood pressure and decrease cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Best of all, garlic is highly versatile and can be used to amplify the flavor of your favorite savory soups, sauces, side dishes and main courses. Also, it can ward off evil spirits like vampires (lol).
Radishes contain a good amount of fiber and vitamin C. They may also have antifungal properties and could protect against stomach ulcers, according to animal and test-tube studies. Radishes are great for bringing a bit of crunch to your meals or snacks. Try adding slices to slaws, sandwiches, salads or tacos to give your dish a nutritious and tasty upgrade. Radishes are also super yum when roasted. The taste completely changes with roasting. Give it a try.
Known for its licorice-like flavor, fennel is a flowering plant species closely related to carrots. In addition to supplying very few calories per serving, fennel packs fiber, vitamin C, potassium and manganese. Fennel contains the compound anethole, which has been shown to reduce blood sugar and block the growth of bacteria in test-tube and animal studies.
Fennel can be enjoyed fresh, roasted or sautéed, as well as mixed into salads, soups, sauces and pasta dishes.
As one of the most well-known root vegetables, carrots also top the charts as one of the most nutritious. They’re packed with vitamins A and K, as well as the important antioxidant beta-carotene. Eating carrots has been linked to improved antioxidant status and lower cholesterol levels in both humans and animals.
Other research shows that a higher intake of carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, may be associated with a lower risk of certain types of cancer, including breast, prostate and stomach cancer. We know that eating carotenoids may protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss. And if you eat a lot of carrots and other colorful root vegetables, your skin color will improve and people may think you’ve been to the tanner…ha!
Carrots make a great snack when eaten raw or dipped in hummus, but they can also be cooked and used in stir-fries, stews or side dishes. I love roasted carrots…peel them (if you choose), spray with some veggie broth or water and sprinkle with spices. Roast until tender…delicious!
Turmeric is a type of root vegetable that belongs to the same plant family as ginger and cardamom. You’ve likely heard about the benefits of turmeric and the best way to get it into your body is to eat it (vs taking as a supplement).
The rhizomes, or root, of the plant are often ground into a spice, which is used to add a splash of color, flavor and health benefits to many dishes.
Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which has been shown to prevent blood clot formation, lower cholesterol levels and reduce markers of inflammation in both test-tube and animal studies. This is especially true with combined with ground black pepper.
Research in humans also suggests that curcumin may alleviate joint pain, stabilize blood sugar levels and decrease symptoms of depression.
Potatoes are incredibly versatile and widely available, with up to 2,000 different varieties currently cultivated in 160 countries worldwide. Potatoes are a mainstay in healthy diets around the world. They’re also very nutritious, packing a good chunk of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese.
Potatoes that have been cooked and cooled are also high in resistant starch, a type of starch that passes undigested through your digestive tract and helps feed your beneficial gut bacteria. So roast a bunch of potatoes together and cool in the fridge until ready to eat. You'll get the bonus of the resistant starch! 
Potatoes fill us up and keep us satisfied longer and may promote weight loss (even though so many people continue to hold on to the belief that they are not good when trying to lose weight).
This is not necessarily true of fried potatoes or processed potato products, which are often high in fat, salt and calories yet lacking in nutrition. Instead, select baked, boiled or steamed potatoes to get the most nutrients. Load them up with the healthiest choices and skip the butter and sour cream.
Plenty of nutritious and delicious root vegetables exist — each with a unique set of health benefits. Ready to start reducing the oxidative stress life can bring you? Adding root veggies to your daily routine is an easy way to ‘health up’. 
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The Shamrock Was Considered a Sacred Plant
Three-leaf clovers symbolize spring. Four-leaf clovers are considered lucky! The shamrock, a three-leaf clover, has been associated with Ireland for centuries. It was called the “seamroy” by the Celts and was considered a sacred plant that symbolized the arrival of spring. According to legend, St. Patrick used the plant as a visual guide when explaining the Holy Trinity. By the 17th century, the shamrock had become a symbol of emerging Irish nationalism.
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Recipe of the Week
Vegan Irish Stew
This one-pot, hearty Vegan Irish Stew is so flavorful and can be made on the stove, in an Instant Pot, or in a slow cooker. Vegan-friendly Guinness gives an incredibly rich, deep flavor to the gravy and it's loaded with chunky, sweet, tender vegetables. Make it with just veg, or add some optional vegan "meat" or mushrooms to make it even more satisfying and flavorful!
PREP TIME: 10 minutes    COOK TIME: 1 hour   Servings: 8 servings
 9 oz portobello mushrooms 
 1 large onion , diced
 3 large carrots , cut into ½ inch chunky pieces
 2 ribs celery , diced
 5 cloves garlic , minced
 4 tablespoons all purpose flour , or cornstarch
12 oz bottle Guinness, or any dark stout
 1 medium (about 28 oz) rutabaga or turnips, cut into chunky pieces
 4 large (about 23 oz) potatoes, cut into large chunks (each potato into    about 6 pieces)
  ¼ head green cabbage, shredded
  4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  ¼ cup Tamari or Coconut Aminos (low sodium)
  2 teaspoons sea salt
  1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1 tbsp white or cane sugar
  2 large bay leaves
  2 x 4 inch sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
  2 x 4 inch sprigs fresh rosemary, or 1½ teaspoon dried
You can substitute the mushrooms with vegan beef like seitan if you prefer.
In a large Dutch oven or soup pot (that holds at least 6 quarts),  place over high heat.
When really hot add the mushrooms and sear in the pan until golden on all sides. Use small amounts of water to avoid sticking until the mushrooms let go of they liquid. Scoop them out and put in a bowl or on a plate and set them aside until near the end.
Turn the heat down to medium, then to the same pot (don't clean it .. we want any stuck-on residue for flavor!), add the onions, carrots and celery. You might also need to add a teeny bit more water depending on the pan you're using.
Let them sweat down and just as they are beginning to color add the garlic.
After about 30 seconds add the flour. Stir it around so everything gets coated and let it cook out for a minute or two to remove the raw flour flavor. If you use cornstarch instead of the flour it will get a bit gloopy and weird but don't worry, once you add everything else it will be fine.
Pour in the Guinness/stout slowly, stirring as you go, then once it's all in, give it another really good stir to work out most of the lumps. Don't worry about any small lumps.
Add the rutabaga or turnips, potatoes, cabbage, stock, tamari, salt, pepper, sugar and herbs and give it a really good stir.
Bring slowly to a boil stirring frequently, then immediately turn down to medium-low and let it simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are soft and the gravy is thick. Wait until the potatoes are really soft and just starting to break down before serving. It will take about 45 to 50 minutes, but you can leave it simmering away much longer if you want to. Just turn it down to low and cover with a lid if it's going to be significantly longer.
About 10 minutes before you are going to serve, add the mushrooms back in and give it a stir.
If you used fresh herbs be sure to pick out the stalks before serving.
For Slow Cooker - 
Sear the mushrooms in a pan then remove until the end. Saute the onions, carrots and celery in the same pan as per my instructions, and add the garlic for the last 30 seconds. Then transfer them to the slow cooker.
Stir in the flour then add everything else (adding the liquid gradually to work out lumps) and stir really well. Cover and cook on low heat for 6 to 7 hours or high heat for about 3-4 hours or until the potatoes are very tender. Remove the herb stalks and add the mushrooms back in. Let them heat through for 10 minutes then serve.
For Instant Pot - 
Saute the mushrooms, set aside then saute the onions, celery, carrots and garlic. DO NOT add the flour. Turn the Instant Pot off and add everything else except the flour. Give the bottom of the pot a good scrape with a metal spoon to get any burnt-on residue off, close the lid, seal the vent, and cook on manual/pressure cook, high power for 15 mins. NPR for 10 minutes then release what's left. Make a slurry with the flour and water, scoop out the fresh herb stalks and discard. Turn the Instant Pot to "sauté" and pour in the slurry, stirring constantly, then add the mushrooms. Give it a couple of minutes for the gravy to thicken then serve.
Recipe adapted from

Book of the Week

Pitfalls on a Plant-Based Diet
Dr, Michael Klaper presents this short (14 min) video on why some people don't do well on a vegan diet. 

"Ability is what you're capable of of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it."
--Lou Holtz

Important Disclaimer
The content in this newsletter is intended for educational/informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care professional. 
hen Basics tea
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