Sharon Hubbs-Kreft, Herbalist - Amazing Grace Herbals LLC

  (Keyport, New Jersey)
Mother Earth Recommended . . .
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Annual Herb Sale Begins!

It is that wonderful time of year again where Local Harvest offers a 15% discount on herbal remedies to supply your winter medicine cabinet!

I am so honored to say I have been apart of this sale for many years and do enjoy this time of year when folks like to try new things to get them ready for the winter months ahead.

Now is also a great time to stock up on my detox blends for the new year ahead as well as daily teas such as Oatstraw and Nettle.

All of my remedies will be discounted by 15% until October 22nd!!

Take some time for you and try a nice calming tea like my Snuggle Up or if you prefer a nice blend to send you off to sleep, Nighty Night.

All of my remedies are made at the time of order, nothing is batched or pre made so it can take me a little longer to get the orders out when the sale is ongoing. My apologies, I always try and do my best to get everything out ASAP so your mailbox and mail carrier will be happy when they deliver you wonderfully scented package full of loving tea!

Peaceful Blessings always and embrace the beautiful autumn season; allow Mother Earth to offer her fruits in a plentiful harvest!



New Additions to the Medical Teas from Amazing Grace Herbals LLC

Hello All!

It's been a while since I have posted a blog, been busy and trying to keep up with life in general that when I do have a second, its late and time for some Chamomile Tea and off to bed!

I have so many herbal blends and remedies in addition to what I list here on Local Harvest and so many wonderful folks have asked me to please add them to the Local Harvest website - so - I have!!!

I have recently added:

B Vitamin Herbal Tea Blend which is a wonderful way to get all of your much needed B vitamins in their raw form.

Adrenal Stimulating Tea which really helps get the adrenals going when they are sluggish and not working at their most efficient.

Sinus Steam Herbal Blend great for stuffy noses, allergies, cold or if you just want to hydrate your nasal passages. Can be used in a neti pot if you like.                                                

All of my blends are accompanied with a fact sheet of information, directions for use as well as other natural suggestions.

I will try to add more but I have one nice lady (and you know who you are if you are reading this) that LOVES these above blends and has been using them for years so, I decided to finally sit and take a few minutes to add them so everyone else can enjoy them too!

Many blessings and enjoy each day!



Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful women who have touched our lives!!

Enjoy the day and relax  . . . garden, plant and reconnect with the best mother of all  . . . Earth!!


Many blessings and enjoy the day!


Grandmom's Queen of Hungary's Water . . first batch of the season

Hello all  . ..   due the beautiful weather here, I have an early batch of my Grandmom's Queen of Hungary's Water is back in stock!!!

This remedy takes quite a while to make and the batch turned out to be absolutley wonderful!!

May all of your senses and skin enjoy!!

Here is a link -

Peaceful Blessings !


Baby herbs popping through the soil

The spring sunshine has started to melt the snow and as I was weeding and working in the gardens this past weekend I happened to notice the new sprouts!

Already we have thyme, chives, lemon balm, fennel, cilantro, peppermint and chamomile sprouts!!

We are getting some heavy rains so radishes will soon be popping up too. How exciting to see the rebirth of the herbs and watch them slowly peek their little sprouts out of the soil.

If the warm weather keeps up, there may an early harvest of chives or maybe even some lemon balm. Ran is expected through the weekend so I am not anticipating any garden prepping this weekend.

Peaceful Blessings, happy seeding and happy weeding!

I would love to hear what you have sprouting too!!


Fiber . . how much . . how often?

What is fiber?

A variety of definitions of fiber exist. In an attempt to develop one definition of fiber that everyone can use, the Food and Nutrition Board assembled a panel that came up with the following definitions:

  • Dietary fiber consists of nondigestible carbohydrates and lignin that are intrinsic and intact in plants. This includes plant nonstarch polysaccharides (for example, cellulose, pectin, gums, hemicellulose, and fibers contained in oat and wheat bran), oligosaccharides, lignin, and some resistant starch.

  • Functional fiber consists of isolated, nondigestible carbohydrates that have beneficial physiological effects in humans. This includes nondigestible plant (for example, resistant starch, pectin, and gums), chitin, chitosan, or commercially produced (for example, resistant starch, polydextrose, inulin, and indigestible dextrins) carbohydrates.

  • Total fiber is the sum of dietary fiber and functional fiber. It's not important to differentiate between which forms of each of these fibers you are getting in your diet. Your total fiber is what matters.

You may also hear fiber referred to as bulk or roughage. Call it what you want, but always remember that fiber is an essential part of everyone's diet. While fiber does fall under the category of carbohydrates, in comparison, it does not provide the same number of calories, nor is it processed the way that other sources of carbohydrates are.

This difference can be seen among the two categories that fiber is divided into: soluble and insoluble.

  • Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance. Sources of soluble fiber are oats, legumes (beans, peas, and soybeans), apples, bananas, berries, barely, some vegetables, and psylluim.

  • Insoluble fiber increases the movement of material through your digestive tract and increases your stool bulk. Sources of insoluble fiber are whole wheat foods, bran, nuts, seeds, and the skin of some fruits and vegetables.

How much do you need?

Adults - The National Academy of Sciences established an Adequate Intake (AI) level of 38 grams of total daily fiber for males 19-50 years of age and 25 grams for women in the same age range.

Children 3 to 18 years - A simple formula can be used to determine the number of grams of fiber recommended for children:

Child's age + 5 = fiber grams per day

As you gradually increae your fiber intake per day, you should also consume more water, juice or milk (daily fluids).

Beans and legumes are great sources of fiber and usually contain about 6-7 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup cooked serving. They can blend into almost any meal, even mashed potatoes, soups, sauces or as a nice side dish. If beans make you "toot" check out my blog on why beans make us toot and my helpful suggestions to aid with cooking with beans and adding good fiber sources into your diet.

Happy Fiber Hunting and Peaceful Blessings!


Info on 1,4-dioxane toxin found in skin care products

I was recently flipping through a great magazine and came across a little blurb about 1,4-dioxane and would like to share it on the blog roll. There was no author listed on the blurb but I would like to credit whoever wrote it for sharing great info.

In cosmetics, 1,4-dioxane is the byproduct of a chemical process used to soften harsh ingredients. Although the FDA says 1,4-dioxane levels in cosmetics aren't hazardous to consumers, the National Toxicology Agency says even its prescence - even in a trace amount - is cause for concern, and the EPA lists its as a probably human carcinogen.

Research from the Environmental Working Group revealed 1,4-dioxane in many children's bath products. Steer clear of the toxin by avoiding products with the ingredient names that include myreth, oleth, laureth, ceteareth and any other -eth, PEG, polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, or oxynol.

Peaceful Blessings and please read your labels and as always, buy local and organic!!!


Hidden Sources of MSG

The food additive monosodium glutamate, or MSG, has been linked to many health concersn including migraine headeaches and even hyperactivity in children.

If you see the word "hydrolyzed" in any ingredient list on any food item, the product contains MSG. Some companies try to not use the term MSG and will use other terms such as hydrolyzed and terms from the list below to make their customers think the product is MSG free.

These terms are other hidden sources of MSG -

Autolyzed yeast, calcium caeinate, gelatin, glutamate, glutamic acid, hydrolzed corn gluten, hydrolzyed protein (such as wheat, soy or vegetable protein),  monopotassium glutamate, sodium caseinate and textured protein

Please read all product labels and be sure there is not a hidden source if your favorite grocery item. The above are most commonly found in processed and boxed foods.

Peaceful Blessings!


Oven Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

By now, all of us with children have at least purchased one sugar pumpkin or jack be little to keep out little one's quiet and yet excited for the Halloween season. But, how many sugar pumpkins can you really have, why not make one of the best and healthiest snacks for your "little monsters" this autumn season and even give them a scare on Halloween!!

How to make oven roasted pumpkin seeds:

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Scoop out the inside of your pumpkin with a heavy spoon.

2. Seperate the seeds from the "goo" and place them in a strainer. My daughter loved doing this for the first time last year, she was covered in pumpkin goo from head to toe! Here's a little trick though, when you plan on carving the pumpkin, bring it inside for at least a few hours before you carve - I say this because the insides are very cold and your little one's hands will get pretty chilly if they are digging around in the pumpkin.

3. Rinse off the seeds and shake off the excess water - best the adult do this, I had seed everywhere last year when my daughter wanted to give it a try.

4. In a large bowl (make sure its a big bowl when the kids do this, seeds tend to get everywhere), toss the seeds with a bit of Grapeseed Oil (my favorite, loaded with Omega-3's) a dash of Sea Salt and other spice you may like. I use Cinnamon and Nutmeg for a pumpkin pie flavor. I also like Cinnamon and Clove. Turmeric, Cumin,Curry and Coriander are great too and if you have someone who loves hot stuff, try a little Cayenne pepper - good but spicy! You can also add a dash of brown sugar to the above spices if your kids have a sweet tooth rather then the salt, also good if you cannot have salt. Of course, you don't have to add any of the above and just roast plain.

5. Spread the seeds evenly on a large greased cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Your kitchen will smell so yummy!

6. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and remove from cookie sheet with a spatula. I like to store them in a glass jar.

What to spook the little monsters . . . tell them they are baked,dried, crusty fingernails from a mummy and leave them around the house on Halloween to give all a scare!!!

We try and save every seed we can so the seeds will last us through the winter and spring. They are a great, healthy and nutritious snack. You can use the pumpkin meat too, there are lots fo recipes online and here in the Local Harvest blogs for making pumpkin soup and pies.

Baking blessings and enjoy!!


Last Day of the Calgo Gardens Farmers Market Sale!

Last day of the Calgo Gardens Farmers Market –             Friday,   September 4th      11:30am – 4:30 pm


Mention this blog and receive 20% off all teas and tinctures and 10% off all natural soaps, lotions, candles, herbal vinegars, herb gifts and herbal culinary spices


If you would like a special order, please email me at and I will be happy to bring it to the market so you can receive the discount.


To view a full line of my remedies, please visit - this offer does not apply to online purchases – or email me for a print list. I also special formulate so if you would like something blended, please let me know.


Thanks for a great season and hope to see you again next year! I also have the soaps and lotions available through the winter and also offer holiday gift baskets.


Peaceful Blessings and warm greetings for the autumn and winter season ahead!



What's in your fabric softener and dryer sheets?

I received an email from a great friend and wanted to pass the info onto you. It is an excerpt from a very helpful book and may surprise you when you read on  . . .

Here are some words taken from Sloan Barnett's book, 'Green Goes with Everything' regarding fabric softeners and dryer sheets:

"...Here's what's in many everyday fabric softeners:  toluene, trimethylbenzene, styrene-which are neurotoxins according to the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health-as well as phenols and xylene.  Still sound soothing?
     If you use conventional fabric softeners in your wash, this alphabet soup of toxicity is all over your body.  There's a party going on in your pants.  And your shirt.  And your nightgown.  And your baby's pajamas.
     Here's a quick list of other chemicals typically found in fabric softeners:  a-terpineol (irritates mucous membranes and causes central nervous system damage);  benzyl acetate (eye and respiratory irritant);  benzyl alcohol (can cause headache, nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, respiratory irritation, and a drop in blood pressure);  camphor (on the EPA's hazardous waste list);  ethyl acetate (eye and lung irritant and a narcotic); limonene (irritant, sensitizer);  linalool (central nervous system effects);  and pentane (eye and skin irritant and may cause headache, vomiting, dizziness or loss of consciousness).  So it's not the spin cycle that's making your head spin.
     If all this weren't troubling enough, there's another problem:  the whole point of fabric softeners is that they stay on the fabric...which means they are being released into the air you breathe and onto your skin as you wear your own clothes....
.....And speaking of static cling, let's talk dryer sheets.  They're made from synthetic fabric and/or polyurethane foam, which means they're not biodegradable, so they fill up the landfills.  More important, they include many of the same harmful toxins as fabric softener.  And because you use them in the dryer, there's no rinse cycle to dilute or dispurse them, and the heat of the dryer vaporizes some of the chemicals, sending them out into your home through the dryer vent.  This is yet another reason why indoor air is now far more loaded with pollutants than outdoor air.....
.....You can also make your own fabric softener by adding 1/4 cup baking soda to the wash cycle.  Adding 1/4 cup of white vinegar will also soften clothes as well as eliminate static cling.  You can eliminate static cling in the dryer by drying natural-fiber clothes and synthetic material clothing separately.  Better still, use an indoor or outdoor clothesline."
By the way, the Material Safety Data Sheet on Bounce Sheets suggests that we should 'wear gloves to minimize exposure and a mask so as to minimize the particles we inhale.'
There are many natural fabric softeners, dryers sheets and laundry soaps available. I like Seventh Generation products - they have a great website, are very informative and have lots of household products to choose from.
Peaceful Blessings!

What's in your feminine care products?

This blog is a little more focused for us ladies, sorry boys but you may not find this as intersting as the ladies or for some, you may not be interested at all. I am blogging about feminine care products because for most of us when that time of the month arrives, we grab for the same feminine products month after month, year after year and chances are they are the same as what you used when you had your first cycle. We tend to be bothered with menses and just want it to pass rather then trying to help ourselves stay well as we embrace its onset.

We all tend to follow the path of the female guardian who first informed you about your body and what will happen. Years ago, feminine products were made differently then they are today and you might be very surprised as to what you are actually using could be harmful. If you remember stories of your Grandmother (I know I do) and Great-Grandmother explaining how there was no such thing as feminine care products, they used rags and cotton towels as products; they were the best choices ever! Technology can be wonderful as well as harmful. We look for convienence rather then safety and who wants to be bothered with washing dirty towels or rags when we have an agenda that is non-stop.  

If you have a daughter or niece, you are likely to share with her what to do and what to use every month and she will take it with her through life as well. It is important to really know what you are using and putting close to your skin because vaginal tissue is very sensitive and can absorb chemicals, toxins and heavy fragrances into the body.

Most mass market feminine hygiene products have gone through a heavy bleaching process using chlorine dioxide. This process contains low level dioxins which are chemical contaminates deemed unsafe for human use by the EPA. Synthetic tampons that have received this process may contribute to varying uterine conditions such as endometriosis, cancer, immune system concerns, fertility concerns, fibroids, pelvic imflammatory disease as well as other female related health ailments.

Besides the bleach, mass market products may also be made with synthetic fibers like viscous rayon which may increase the risk for TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) as well as other bacterial illnesses or yeast.

If you product contains a fragrance, that perfumey aroma could be highly irritating to sensitive vaginal tissue and some also contain cancer causing parabens.

All of these chemicals could cause minor concerns like itching and discomfort and depending on the sensitivity of your system, it could develop long term concerns. Many of the products do not allow the skin to breathe, especially heavy pads with plastic weaves, these can lead to folliculitis in the groin area which can be very unpleasant.

There are many natural feminine care products that use organic cotton or sea sponge that work just as well as the mass produced products. There are even products that collect flow internally without the use of tampons or sanitary products. I urge you to please check your grocer, market or health food store for these products and give them a try. Feel good knowing you are doing the right thing for your body and you will be able to pass this information onto the next woman of the house so she can continue the natural traditions too.

Personally, I like Natracare products, you can find them in many stores and they are very reasonable. Honestly, I don't know why I decided to blog on this, I was researching a few things and came across some info and just wanted to share it and spread the world. As women, we need to protect every part of our body as well as embrace life's path, try a natural product and you will be surprised at how good you feel. This blog was not meant to offend anyone, I am a big supporter of public awareness and hope that it was an educational read.  :)

Peaceful Blessings and embrace life!


Natural remedies for teething infants

A teething baby and toddler can be more then a handful (trust me!) and I wanted to share some natural suggestions to help relieve pain from your little one as well as help yourself to de-stress.

When a baby firsts starts to teethe, there are tell-tale behavioral signs and changes. Most times babies will chew their hands or put anything they can find in their mouth as well as rub their gums on objects you would rather they stay clear of. Many babies will also drool, this is from the excess saliva to help the new tooth break through the gum. However, there are other signs too like diarrhea, diaper rash, fever and restlessness. I can tell you our daughter was the later, she never drooled but she pooped like crazy and was very restless.

Most pediatricians will encourage you to reach for the baby Tylenol and give it as needed. This may be necesary if your little run in running a mild fever but in most cases you can ease the irritability naturally. I will mention if you child does have a fever and it is over 101 and lasts for more then a few days, PLEASE contact your provider to be sure it is not something else like an infection or illness.

Chamomile Tea has been used in my family for years, especially for teething. You can use Chamomile alone by making a infusion of the flowers and giving it in a bottle or juice cup. Chamomile is gentle addition to many natural fruit juices for older infants and can also be made into ice cubes or popsicle sticks for molar pushing toddlers and for a great summer treat. Chamomile is used for its nervine properties and can bring relief to a restless body.

When the irritability is getting to you and you feel there is nothing more to do, you can add Catnip to the Chamomile. I offer this blend here in my Local Harvest store. "Catnip Tea". Catnip is also a nervine and can also help reduce a fever. This what I was given when I was a baby and this what we gave our daughter. It is very gentle on the system and can help balance the overall child so to say. You would blend both herbs and infuse them. You can also freeze this into chips and popsicles.

Another option is to freeze a cloth either dipped in water or dipped in Chamomile or Catnip/Chamomile. This is great for babies as there is less fear of choking. It will keep baby busy will numbing the gums and if you infuse the herbs you will giving a little bit more to aid in the teething process.

I would also freeze veggies and fruits like apples, broccoli, grapes, carrots, blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, cucumbers, mango - basically any fruits or veggies I had around. When our daughter was a wee little one, I would add the veggies/fruit to a mesh bag and let her explore. She loved every flavor and again, numbed her gums in the process. As she got older, we eliminated the mesh bag and let her "enjoy" the frozen produce, meaning, basically, she was covered in juice as the produce melted!

Teething rings are great, especially the ones you can freeze. We found the fruit and veggies to work a little better but each child is different and you may come up with you own ways to help.

There are homeopathic remedies that work great too - Hyland's offers a topical teething gel which was fabulous. You can apply the gel to the gums and it works as good (if not better) then the conventional, alcohol based/benzocaine topicals. This worked well until our daughter got older and wanted to bite down on your finger to ease the pain but when she was a baby it worked great. Hyland's and Humphrey's also make homepathic teething pellets. These are phenomenal as well. They are safe for use as needed and one of the ingredients is Chamomile. For babies, you would have to dilute the pellets in water but for older babies and toddlers they can be given as direct oral. Our daughter loves Humphrey's "Very Berry" teething pellets.

I also offer Rosehip Syrup. My Grandmother always had this handy for when a friend or relative had a teething infant. Rosehips are loaded with Vitamin C which also boosts immunity and helps the body overall while it is preparing for new teeth. A child's immune system could be lowered due to the effects of teething and it is important to not forget the immune system.

Once the new little teeth have erupted be sure to exercise good oral care and take good care of those pearly whites. Brush them atleast twice a day and after a meal, even the first teeth can be cleaned with a finger brush, and try not to let your little one go to sleep with juice, milk or formula as the sugars from these drinks can lay on teeth as the child sleeps and can promote tooth decay. Of course, if you see any odd spots or strange marks on your little ones teeth be sure to contact the family dentist and have them take a look - an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

Enjoy your little one, everyday is a blessing and the adage is true, children do grow like weeds herbs!

Peaceful Blessings!


Beans and why they make us "toot"

-          The scientific name for a group of vegetables that research has proven may provide protection against certain cancers. Cruciferous vegetables contain antioxidants (Beta Carotene and the compound sulforaphane). These vegetables, which are all high in fiber, vitamins and minerals, are: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, kale, mustard greens, rutabagas and turnips. The health benefits of these vegetables seem to have been known for some time. Around 234-149 BC, Cato the Elder, a Roman statesman, wrote a treatise on medicine that included the following insight: "If a cancerous ulcer appears upon the breasts, apply a crushed cabbage leaf and it will make it well."  Today these vegetables have been found to combat cancer of the breast, endometrium, lung, colon, liver, colon and cervix. Many cruciferous vegetables cause flatulence after eating and may increase a feeling of bloat.

-          Many edible beans, including broad beans and soybeans, contain oligosaccharides, a type of sugar molecule also found in cabbage. An anti-oligosaccharide enzyme is necessary to properly digest these sugar molecules. As a normal human digestive tract does not contain any anti-oligosaccharide enzymes, consumed oligosaccharides are typically digested by bacteria in the large intestine. This digestion process produces flatulence-causing gasses as a byproduct.

-          Though beans are good and good for you, they have the unfortunate side effect of causing the formation of gas in the lower digestive tract. This digestive dilemma can be mollified by adopting some or all of the following practices: Discard the soaking water prior to cooking: Some nutrition-in the form of minerals-is lost, but you are getting rid of up to 80% of the oligosaccharides that cause flatulence. The best way is to bring the beans to a boil for 3 minutes, remove from the heat, cover, and allow soaking for 4 hours, then draining and cooking in fresh water. Cook the beans thoroughly: You should be able to easily mash the cooked beans with a fork. Thorough cooking softens starch and fibers, making digestion more efficient, the main reason why refried beans are easier on the digestive system than whole beans. Give your body time to adjust: If you don't eat beans often, your body never fully adapts to the extra work required to digest the complex sugars in beans. Beginning with small amounts, try eating beans at least 3 times a week while gradually increasing quantity. Choose beans that are easier to digest: A general rule is that the sweeter the bean, the easier it is to digest. Adzuki, Anasazi, Black-eyed Peas, Lentils, and Mung beans top the list. The most difficult beans to digest include Navy, Limas, and whole cooked Soybeans. Cook beans with a bay leaf, cumin, epazote, or kombu: Certain herbs have gas-reducing properties, with epazote being one of the most effective. Add 2 teaspoons dry or 6 fresh leaves to a pot of beans before cooking. Kombu sea vegetable also works well and has the added advantage of replenishing some of the minerals lost in soaking. Add a two-inch strip per one cup of dried beans during cooking. Avoid beans that are cooked with added sweeteners: Some people who easily digest most beans have trouble with sweetened beans due to the added carbohydrates. If adding brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup to beans stresses your digestion, opt for plain beans instead. Try a digestive enzyme product: Digestive enzymes made from a safe, food-grade mold help break down the oligosaccharides before they reach the large intestine, which is where the flatulence problem begins. They are sprinkled on cooked beans or taken in tablet form with the first "beany" bite. 

      I offer a tea called "I Had Beans!" here on the Local Harvest website, it can come in handy when you feel the rumble tumble in your belly after a delicious and healthy meal.

      Peaceful Blessings and Happy "Tooting"!




Are you getting your daily nutrients?

The Standard American Diet (SAD) is quite "sad" when you really look at what most American's comsume in a day. We have the poorest diets and are the highest for obesity and heart related conditons. As the fast food capital of the world, we need to ask ourselves  . . what are we doing?

SAD's are high in meats (especially red) and lack vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Without these essentials our metabolism becomes very poor and can result in serious health issues and concerns. Recent studies have shown that American lack the essential nutrients for healthy and balanced systems based on US Dietary Guidelines. Now you may say, "How can these studies be taken or even true?" Well, they are taken and are true, American's are the highest for heart disease and its no wonder with fast food hang out's on every corner.

There are basic nutrients and vitamins the human body needs on a daily basis to sustain health and balance within the overall system. Here they are, take note and see if you can try and get some more of them into you daily diet habits.

Vitamin A - This aids vision, reproductive function and the role in creating new cells. It can be found in dairy products, liver; precursor beta-carotene in dark green and orange-yellow vegetables, apricots, cantaloupe, carrots, kale, collards, leaf lettuce, mango, mustard greens, pumpkin, romaine lettuce, spinach, sweet potatoes and winter squash (acorn, hubbard).

Vitamin C - This aids in numerous, numerous functions (too many to mention) but mainly focuses on boosting immunity and supporting the circulatory system. It can be found in broccoli, brussel sprouts, citrus, red peppers, strawberries, apricots, cabbage, canatloupe, cauliflower, chili peppers, collards, grapefruit, honeydew, kiwi fruit, mango, mustard greens, pineapple, plum, potatoes (skin on), spinach, tomatoes and watermelon.

Vitamin E - This aids in protecting the cell membranes from free-radical damage and can also act as a natural blood thinner. It can be found in egg yolks, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, wheat germ oil and whole grains.

Fiber - This aids in regulating bowel function, blood sugar and cholesterol. It can be found in brans (wheat, oat and others), apple, banana, blackberries, blueberries, brussel sprouts, carrots, cherries, cooked beans and peas (kidney, navy, lima, pinto, lentils, black-eyed peas), dates, figs, grapefruit, kiwi, orange, pear, prunes, raspberries, spinach, strawberries and sweet potatoes.

Calcuim - This helps maintain strong bones and teeth as well as helps to support healthy weight levels. It can be found in dairy products, leafy greens, sardines, tofu, soy.

Potassium - This aids in regulating blood pressure, fluid balance as well as cardiac electric impulses. It can be found in beans, fruits (banana), milk, mushrooms, peas and various vegetables.

Magnesium - This helps create energy, relaxes the muscles to reduce spasm and aid in insulin production. Most people notice they lack this one when there legs get achy and paired with Potassium it can help balance your overall mood too! It can be found in beans, dark green vegetables, fish, grains and nuts (almonds are great!)

Try whole grain muffins or bagels in place of a donut or even better add a piece of fruit in at breakfast. Instead of the same old caesar salad for lunch, spice it up with fresh herbs like Basil and Cilantro tossed with spinach - you will need less dressing because it will be so tasty and you will be helping you body get what it needs. Late night snacks a problem - get local - what's in season now - in New Jersey strawberries are in and tasty as ever, in a few weeks blueberries will begin - these are a better late night snack then the fat loaded ice cream. It is not to say to not enjoy but maybe try topping your vanilla sundae with fresh berries and granola in place of the high fructose sorn syrup laden choclate syrup! There are lots of little things you can do, be creative and you will be surprised what really tastes good blended together.

Peaceful Blessings and Happy Cooking!

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