What’s all the fuss about drinking water?  Why is it so important to our health?   Living in the desert I know what it’s like to be dehydrated.  I even suffered a mild case of heat stroke a few summers ago which left me in a sad state for a few weeks.  Beyond that, from my nutrition training I knew that water supports our cells but I didn’t know just how deep the story goes until I researched the facts for this story.

The U.S. Geological Survey was created 125 years ago by an act of Congress and provides scientific expertise on a variety of topics concerning our natural environment.  Here’s what they say about water:

Our bodies are mostly water!

  *Our brain and heart are 73% water! 

*Our lungs are about 83% water!   

*Our skin is 64% water! 

*Our muscles and kidneys are 79% water!   

* Our bones are 31% water!   

Why does this matter?  It’s a thing called fluid balance (homeostasis for you science types).  Too little water inside our cells and they shrivel up and die.  Too much H2O and those cute little things up and burst!  Fluid balance ensures the normal functioning of our body and its optimal health.  It’s vital for physical and mental performance every day of our lives.

Here are just some of the jobs that water performs for us:

*It regulates our internal body temperature through sweating and breathing.

*Carbohydrates and proteins that our bodies use as food are metabolized and transported by water in the bloodstream.

*It helps flush waste through urination.

*Acts as a shock absorber for the brain, spinal cord and fetus

*Water forms saliva.

*Water lubricates the joints.

Replenishing this Water Daily

According to the USGS:

Men need to drink 3 liters (3.2 qts) of water each day (about 13 cups).

Women need to drink 2.2 liters (2.3 qts) each day (9 cups)

You’re probably thinking, “How is that humanly possible?”  Well, take heart people.  Here’s some good news.  20% of our water intake comes from food!  We only have to make up the other 80%!  

In my next article I will provide a list of foods that are rich in water.  Many of them are already in your diet.  I will also warn about some foods to avoid or at least eat in moderation because they encourage the body to dehydrate – not a good thing! 



Posted by DSaull in Nutrition
Fiber…Oh that Fiber!

Fiber…Oh that Fiber!

   I grew up eating whole grain cereals for breakfast like Wheatena ( my favorite), a wonderful nutty and tasty hot treat with sliced banana and milk – those winter months in New Jersey were cold!  Other cereals like Wheaties and Cheerios rounded out my whole grain intake…we didn’t know about whole wheat breads in my household.  We ate Wonder Bread.  Muffins and pancakes were made with Bisquick.  

Years later I read about the benefits of fiber in my first nutrition book written by Adelle Davis titled “How to Eat Right and Keep Fit”.  She explained the chemical bleaching process used to convert whole grains to white flour and warned of the dangers of eating flour devoid of nutrition, how it cannot be digested and just clogs the body as waste.  It made me grateful to my mother for giving me whole grain cereals as a child.

Whole grains have been a staple in my diet since then and as I learned more about nutrition I added foods like fruits and vegetables to get additional fiber in my diet.

Here are some important facts to know about fiber and some examples of foods you can try for yourself and your family.


  Dietary Fiber

Dietary fiber includes the parts of plant foods your body can’t digest or absorb..unlike other food components like fats, proteins and carbs which your body breaks down and does absorb.  Fiber can’t be digested.  It passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine and colon and out during elimination.

The Digestive System

There are 2 kinds of fiber:

  1.  Soluable  This kind dissolves in water, turning the food in the intestines into a gel from which nutrients can be absorbed at a slow, steady rate.   

Examples of Soluable fiber are beans, oats, barley, bananas, potatoes, soft parts of apples and pears.

    2.   Insoluable  This type promotes the movement through your digestive system and increases stool bulk.  This kind of fiber is called “roughage” because it doesn’t dissolve in water.  It holds on to water which helps to produce softer, bulkier stools helping to regulate bowl movements.

Examples of Insoluable fiber are whole bran, whole grain products, nuts, corn, carrots, grapes, berries, peels of apples and pears, and lettuce.

In addition to promoting healthy digestion, fiber provides us with these wonderful benefits:

*Fiber curbs overeating.. it’s filling without fattening”. These foods require more chewing and the prolonged chewing besides predigesting food satisfies the appetite so you eat less, it stays in the stomach longer, absorbs water and helps the eater feel full.

The best fibers for weight control are bran and the pectin from fruits.

  Here’s a tip worth its weight in gold…Eat high fiber foods with high fat foods to decrease the absorption of fat.  Increase your daily fiber and you’ll absorb fewer calories.  

*Fiber steadies your blood sugar level, especially the soluable kind.  It slows the absorption of sugar from the intestines.  This steadies the blood sugar level and lessens the ups and downs of insulin secretion.

A breakfast and lunch containing moderate amounts of soluable fiber can help a child who shows behavior and learning difficulties which may be caused by blood sugar swings.

* Keeping insulin levels low and stable helps store less fat.

*Fiber slows fat absorption by the body.

*Reduces cholesterol…A diet high in soluble fiber, such as that found in oat bran, whole oats, psyllium, legumes, barley, fruit, and prunes, lowers blood levels of the harmful type of cholesterol (LDL) without lowering the good cholesterol (HDL) levels. As it travels down the intestines, soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gluey gel which picks up cholesterol and carries it out of the body. 

*Promotes regularity – Insoluable fiber mainly from the cellulose in skins of fruits, vegetables and the husks of grains help prevent constipation, promotes peristalsis (the broom effect).

*While soluble fiber helps protect against cardiovascular diseases, insoluble fiber protects against colon cancer.  It binds carcinogens (toxins that can transform normal cells into cancerous ones) lessening their contact with the intestinal wall.  The water and bulk of the stools dilutes toxins reducing their potential to harm.

*Fiber promotes healthy intestinal bacteria and contributes to a friendlier intestinal environment.

For more information please visit these sources:


http://2) https://www.askdrsears.com/topics/feeding-eating/family-nutrition/fiber/7-health-benefits-fiber

http://3) http://extension.colostate.edu/docs/pubs/foodnut/09373.pdf

Posted by DSaull in Nutrition
Salad for Spring!

Salad for Spring!

When winter comes I turn to hot foods and this past winter was no exception.  I depended on my soup for fiber and veggie nutrition along with my usual whole grain breads, pasta, and brown rice.  I added pieces of Romaine lettuce to the top of my soup bowl to get some roughage as well.

Springtime is another story.  When the warm air hits I crave the cool crunch of a hearty salad, and this spring I created one that is nutritious, colorful, and full of texture – a delight for the senses.  This particular salad really “unclogs” my system so I try to eat at least one salad each day.   Here is my salad recipe followed by the nutritional benefits of its ingredients along with online sources for you:

Diane’s Red ‘n Green Organic Leaf Combo Salad ©


* Organic Red Leaf lettuce… a few leaves

* Organic Romaine lettuce…a few leaves

*Hot or cold ingredients from my soup (see Welcome page for link to recipe)…1 or 2 tablespoons

*Parsley ¼ cup flowers without stems

*Red Bell Pepper ¼ cup

*Cheese…handful shredded.  I buy it packaged for convenience…I try different kinds like Sharp Cheddar (nice tangy flavor) and Mexican which combines several kinds of cheese in one package. 


Tear lettuce leaves into pieces and place in salad bowlAdd rest of the ingredients and gently toss with fork or spoon.

Salad Dressing Ingredients

*Extra Virgin Olive Oil

 *Apple Cider Vinegar…organic, raw, unpasteurized & unfiltered with the “mother” if you can find it. Warning:  Go easy on ACV…it’s strong…a few capfuls

*Soy Sauce (low sodium)

*Tomato Sauce (I try different ones to keep things interesting…my favorite is a chunky Marinara Sauce with added veggies found at my local supermarket.)

Combine above ingredients in your favorite salad dressing bowl.  I purposely left out the amounts because it will vary depending on the number of people it will serve.  I make enough for myself and a larger batch for company.

I also vary amounts of salad ingredients depending on my mood. If I’m hungry for lettuce I’ll add an extra helping…same goes for the other ingredients…salads are the kind of thing where you can be creative…sometimes I’ll load up on cheese…I love cheese on my salads! Sometimes I’ll add more olive oil, soy sauce or tomato sauce to my dressing…flexibility is the key.  Have fun with it!

Copyright © 2020 Diane B. Saull All Rights Reserved.

Health Benefits of Salad Ingredients with Sources

    (Listed in Alphabetical Order)

Apple Cider Vinegar

*Helps to maintain normal blood sugar

*Rich in antioxidants

*Good for digestion…improves assimilation of nutrients from food

*Supports lower blood pressure



*”Cheese contains the powerful nutritional triad of calcium, Vitamin D and Vitamin K2, which together channel calcium into your bones and teeth while keeping it out of your arteries; this, combined with its omega-3 fats, make cheese a very heart-healthy food.” (See Dr. Mercola’s article in the link below.)

*Contains high-quality protein and amino acids

* Contains high-quality saturated fats and omega-3 fats

*Contains zinc, phosphorus, Vitamins A, D, B2 (riboflavin) and B12

*Contains CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), a powerful cancer-fighter and metabolism booster


Olive Oil

*Contains mostly monounsaturated fatty acids – oleic acid being the most important.  It’s extremely heart-healthy and capable of fighting free radical damage

*Contains powerful antioxidants…is considered an “anti-inflammatory food” and cardiovascular protector

*Helps fight cancer…contains special compounds that are considered to be anti-cancer agents

*Helps with weight loss…contains high amounts of healthy fats that control excess insulin

*Supports brain health…the healthy fats help to improve memory and ability to focus

*Fights mood disorders and depression…the healthy fats contribute to balancing the body’s hormones

*Naturally slows aging…contains a special antioxidant that helps activate gene signatures keeping us young and protects our cells

*Can help to lower diabetes… the fatty acids help to stabilize the blood sugar



*Rich in antioxidants like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K (plays a key role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s by limiting neuronal damage in the brain)

*Good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium and iron

*Rich in B-Complex vitamins


 Red Bell Pepper

*Excellent source of dietary fiber (both soluable and insoluable)

*Rich sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B6 (helps to process fats, carbs, and proteins)

*Rich in other antioxidants like carotenoids (lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.

*good source of vitamin E, vitamin K, folate, potassium, and manganese


 Red Leaf Lettuce

*My personal favorite…I love the rich red color of the leaves, the light texture – the way it sits up on my plate, and the taste is very pleasant…it gives my salad eye appeal and that’s important to me…makes it more appetizing…and I need that incentive when it comes to eating salad.  It means I’ll eat more of it and I need the roughage in my diet.

*I didn’t know lettuce had any major health benefits beyond its roughage until I did this project…what a nice surprise! Take a look!

*It’s loaded with antioxidants!

*It’s rich in Vitamin A.

*It’s high in Vitamin K which is good for bones and blood.

*It has some B-complex Vitamins, iron, potassium and is high in beta carotene!

**Take a look at the chart in the link below…

Here’s a tip:  My lettuce stays fresh for weeks in a plastic bag twisted tightly to keep air out.  I keep it in my crisper on the bottom of my fridge.


Romaine Lettuce

*Contains Vitamin C, K, B-Complex, and Beta-Carotene

*High in flavonoids

*Rich in folic acid

*Good source of fiber

*Contains minerals including chromium, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium and iron



Soy Sauce

*Helps the body digest food more easily.  In soup (tasty addition!) it helps the stomach produce more gastric juice.

*Helps to destroy harmful microorganisms like Staph, Salmonella, and E. coli

*Eases hypertension with a nutrient called angiotensin

*Beneficial in repairing damaged cells


  Tomato Sauce (also listed in the Soup Nutrition section)

I think everyone knows how healthy tomatoes are for you and how delicious this sauce tastes in sooo many recipes!  I’ll just mention a few of the key benefits here:

*Contains a potent antioxidant called lycopene – known for increasing the healthy cholesterol and reducing the bad kind

*Excellent source of Vitamin A

*Rich in calcium

**I’ll let you read the website for details – even if it’s just to see pictures of those beautiful tomatoes!


  Happy Healthy Eating!

Posted by DSaull in Nutrition
Change can be a Good Thing!

Change can be a Good Thing!

When the Coronavirus scare    hit my town a month or so ago grocery stores increased their sanitation practices to protect the health of its customers.  I understand and appreciate their concern and efforts in this regard.  However, Trader Joe’s took it to a unique panic level and made its customers stand in line outside the store several feet apart while an employee in the front controlled the number of customers who could enter at one time.  We were told it was an effort to keep distance between customers shopping inside.  I went along with this procedure a few times till I realized that once inside my items were not available…so I’d stood in line for 15 min or more to find that I’d wasted my time and went away frustrated.  Well,  one day I was there early and only needed milk so I stood in line for a little while hoping for the best…My common sense and reason took over when I viewed Fry’s across the street and left.  I haven’t been back and don’t know if I ever will return. 

I got my milk without fuss at Fry’s that day and although I had a few disappointments there with products not being available I’ve continued to shop there hoping that things would get better.  They did!  I discovered that they’d put a 2-item limit on everything in the store, and by persevering I discovered great products to replace what I’d been buying before, and new foods that have added nutrition and enjoyment to my diet.  Take a look:

  • Oat bran in bulk on sale for $.95/lb…I add it to my pancake batter.
  • Kroger (Fry’s brand) Mexican Shredded Cheese…delicious!
  • Pepperidge Farm 15 Grain Bread that tastes great and is loaded with nutrition (I’d given up on commercial bread but since I couldn’t get my flat bread from TJ I decided to try it and was I delighted!)
  • Better tasting Extra Virgin Olive Oil that isn’t bitter like the TJ brand I’d been using.
  • Box of Penne pasta with Semolina Wheat, Durim Wheat, lentil flour, pea protein, and the flours of barley, chickpea and spelt. The TJ package only had wheat flour.
  • Cheaper Sardines (saving about .50 a can)
  • Milk is cheaper now too. I buy the whole milk and I love it.
  • Eggs are cheaper by about .30 a dozen.


These are just what I’ve discovered so far.  Browsing the store in aisles where most people don’t shop like the International section I found lots of healthy items I want to try.

   All of these new experiences were the result of trying something new.  I have become more flexible and able to adapt more easily to situations I can’t control.

Like animals and plant life in the wild that have adapted to their changing environment we can adapt and thrive if we are willing to embrace change.



Posted by DSaull in Mental Matters
A Healthier Way to Live

A Healthier Way to Live

Organic Farming

What is “organic farming”?  It’s a system that works in harmony with nature rather than against it. This involves using techniques to achieve good crop yields without harming the natural environment or the people who live and work in it.  The soil is a living system containing millions of different creatures which are needed for recycling nutrients. It needs to be continuously nurtured.  Organic farmers carefully manage the use of soil, land and water resources without using toxic pesticides that are poisoning farmworkers and farming communities.

Conventional farms use these synthetic toxic pesticides which drift through the air and water to other areas in the community causing people to get very sick. Children are especially at risk of being poisoned because their small bodies are still growing and are vulnerable to these toxins.

“The Whole Picture”

Organic food contributes to better health through reduced pesticide exposure for all and increased nutritional quality. In order to understand the importance of eating organic food from the perspective of toxic pesticide contamination, we need to look at the whole picture—from the farmworkers who do the valuable work of growing food, to the waterways from which we drink, the air we breathe, and the food we eat.  Organic food can feed us and keep us healthy without producing the toxic effects of chemical agriculture.

Nutritional Benefits from Eating Organically Grown Foods

*Fruits and Vegetables have higher levels of antioxidants.

*They are richer in micronutrients like zinc, iron, copper and magnesium.

*They are easier on the immune system.

Personal Note:  We have little control over air and water pollution in our environment, but we do have the power to choose what foods we eat.  I have chosen to eat organic foods whenever possible.   Most of the produce in my soup is grown organically.  I grew up eating conventional foods and it wasn’t until a few years ago that I researched the subject and decided that it was in my best interest to eat organically grown foods whenever possible.  Being an Environmentalist I’m deeply concerned about the damage caused by conventional farming methods to the land and our bodies.  I also learned that I like the taste and texture of organic produce over conventional.  It’s tastier and heartier with a deeper color and flavor.

I am blessed to live in a community which offers “organic” at reasonable prices.  This might not be true for you.  If this is the case I suggest that you do the best you can with what’s available in your area.  Buy “organic” when you can get it and conventional when necessary.  Organic produce might be expensive in your area…another consideration.  If this is true…then grow your own!  Start a community garden! 



Posted by DSaull in Farming Methods
“Mind over Matter”

“Mind over Matter”

This is where I’ll share what I’ve learned about motivation, building healthier habits, developing that “positive” mental attitude. Think of it as “exercise for our minds”.

There are some books that have been especially helpful to me that I will be sharing in what I hope will be an entertaining way – presenting them in a “series” format so we can really get the most out of each one.

Posted by DSaull in Mental Matters
Nutritional Support

Nutritional Support

*Food Labels:  Here’s where we’ll learn how to interpret those Ingredient Labels on packages…the ones written in Latin (pharma-speak)…We’ll break all that down into simple, understandable language that can help you make better choices for you and your family.

*How about suggestions for dealing with those low blood sugar moments?

*Can’t sleep? Healthy alternatives to taking a sleeping pill will be shared here.

*Feeling sluggish? Are there changes you can make in your diet that can reverse that?

*Sometimes we don’t know what we’re doing wrong…we’ve developed habits that have created problems for us and we can’t see it…this is where a “Diet Survey” might come in handy. Writing down what, when, and where we eat can help give us some objective feedback about ourselves. I will be creating a survey that you can answer privately…once you’ve identified some issues we can begin to search for some healthier options together.

*The Support Group could be a useful tool for this.

Posted by DSaull in Nutrition
What’s so Intelligent about Emotions?

What’s so Intelligent about Emotions?

This is where we’ll explore ways to achieve Emotional Intelligence about ourselves and others…how to deal with our emotions in healthy ways.  Lots to discover here!


Posted by DSaull in Emotions
It’s More than Just the Food We Eat!

It’s More than Just the Food We Eat!

This is where I’ll share ideas for finding “organic” solutions to health issues like using a heating pad on sore muscles for as little as 15 minutes or adding Epsom Salts to your bath water to relieve soreness.  As an example, my body was so sore the other day but I didn’t want to wait for the bath to fill…so I poured a few cups of Salts into a container of hot water and stepped into it.  I sat on the couch for about 10-15 minutes soaking my feet, and when I got out the soreness was gone!  Simple and so relaxing!

It’s all about achieving harmony!

Posted by DSaull in The Organic Approach
Our Physical Side!

Our Physical Side!

This is where I’ll share my Stretching techniques, workout ideas, suggestions for sport activities, and much more!

Posted by DSaull in Physical Fitness