Today’s Random Act of Kindness

This motorcyclist controlled traffic to help an elderly man cross the street.


A Birthday to Remember!

For my birthday, I decided to take advantage of an email special I’d received for Matthew’s Restaurant, 2107 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, FL

I couldn’t have made a better choice! I began my celebration with an Italian sidecare cocktail. A delicious combination of biscotti liqueur, a fennel/anise type flavor combined with something delicately citrus , served with a lemon twist–very delicious. 

My waiter , Jason, was very attentive to my needs, most often meeting them before I asked. He did little things that were over and above what a typical waiter would do. He helped me with menu choices by patiently explaining my options and answering my questions. Even though he was busy, he never made me feel rushed.

I finally decided upon the Prime Beef Tenderloin with heirloom tomato salad, feta, basil, manodori balsamic, done medium rare,  which was moist and tender. I opted for the Ginger Summer Vegetables, brushed with Coconut Oil as my side and topped the meal with their Sassafras Soufflé, fresh cherry compote, vanilla gelato dessert.

Since it was my birthday, the dessert chef wrote Happy Birthday in what appeared to be chocolate sauce on my serving dish–a very touching and pleasant surprise. 

I had the opportunity to observe and interact with Chef Art. He is amazing to watch as he preps food with the upmost of care –particular that each morsel is diced or chopped to perfection. He plates food with creativity and beautiful expression. He took the time to interact with me personally, adding to my overall enjoyable experience.

In general, the staff was friendly, polite and eager to please. It was a wonderful evening and I could not have asked for anything more. The food is of the highest quality with emphasis on presentation and flavor, although pricey, definitely worth it. The food was excellent and the company moreso.

Bon Appetit

Probiotics & Cancer

Probiotics: Healthy bacteria for your gut

MD Anderson Cancer Center

Focused on Health – May 2015

By Brittany Cordeiro

Your gut is home to 100 trillion microorganisms or microbes. These gut bacteria – some good, some bad – play a vital role in your health.

“Your intestines hold about 10 pounds of microorganisms. And each person has a unique blend that starts forming at birth,” says Stephanie Maxson, senior clinical dietitian in Integrative Medicine at MD Anderson. As you grow, where you live and what you eat affect this blend of good and bad bacteria.

Probiotics are the good bacteria. And they may help lower your risk for several cancers. “Probiotics help your immune system function at its best so it can detect and kill cells that can become cancer,” Maxson says.

Much of the probiotics research focuses on colon cancer because most microorganisms live in your intestinal tract, Maxson says. “And while more research is needed, several studies show that people with colon cancer had an unhealthy population of gut bacteria before the cancer developed.”

So how do you keep your gut bacteria healthy? 

Feed it a balanced diet.

Your diet sustains your gut bacteria. “We’re their host. We provide an environment and food. And they help us digest food and convert essential vitamins and nutrients into an absorbable form,” Maxson says.

man eating yogurtSo treat your gut like a garden, not a gutter, she says. “You seed your garden with probiotic and fermented foods and feed it with prebiotic or fiber-rich foods.”

Probiotic foods

Probiotic foods contain live bacteria, which may help restore balance and offer protection from harmful bacteria. Eating them is one way to reseed your gut with good bacteria, Maxson says.

Plus, early research shows that the anti-inflammatory effects of probiotics could inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, says Heather Shepard, outpatient clinical dietitian at MD Anderson.

Probiotic foods include:

· Low-fat, plain organic yogurt with live or active cultures

  • Kefir (thick, yogurt-like drink)
  • Kombucha tea
  • Fermented vegetables, like sauerkraut and kimchi
  • Fermented soybeans (miso)

To get the most health perks, eat at least one small serving of probiotic foods each day. If you’re considering a supplement, speak with your doctor.

Prebiotic foods 

Prebiotic foods feed the bacteria in your gut so they can grow and repopulate, Maxson says. Most are fiber-rich plant foods.

Prebiotic foods include:

  • Whole grains
  • Fruits and vegetables, specifically bananas, asparagus and onions
  • Oatmeal
  • Soy beans
  • Garlic

Try to fill at least two-thirds of your plate with plant-foods. “A well balanced diet that is high in prebiotic foods can have significant health benefits and help keep your gastrointestinal system healthy,” Shepard says.

Limit processed foods 

Processed foods are low in nutrients and high in added sugar. These include fast food, and packaged and instant foods. And eating too many of these foods could wreak havoc on your gut bacteria.

“People who eat a diet high in processed foods and low in fruits and vegetables have a lower diversity of microorganisms,” Maxson says.

Most scientific studies indicate that both the diversity and the composition or balance of gut bacteria are important. Gut bacteria also appear to play a role in weight gain and obesity.

Studies show that people who are leaner tend to have a greater variety of microorganisms,” Maxson says. And being overweight or obese raises your risk for many types of cancer . This includes colon, breast (post-menopausal) and endometrial cancers.

The research is too new to know which gut bacteria makeup is ideal to maintain a healthy weight and reduce disease risk. “But it’s clear that variety and balance are important,” Maxson says.

It’s never too late to change your diet

When you change your diet, a significant change in your microorganism population takes place within a couple weeks, Maxson says.

“We’re just learning the benefits of a healthy population of gut bacteria,” she says. In addition to optimal immune function and lower cancer risks, studies show a healthy mix can affect your mood. Studies indicate that our gut bacteria and brain communicate with each other. Changes in gut bacteria have some influence on behavior, anxiety and depression.

So, for your health’s sake, take care of your gut.

How to Fight to Win

by Linda Irene

Life is not without its relationship problems. When people are upset it is usually because they do not feel they are getting what they want. Many times we assume the other person should know, but for clarity’s sake, make your requests known, clearly.

If someone is angry with you:

  • Listen.
  • Listen to what they are saying.
  • Listen for the deeper truths.
  • Getting defensive does not help
  • Listening is the doorway through which love enters

If you are angry with someone:

  • Speak the truth with love – blame, name-calling and criticism are detrimental.
  • Talk it out without raising your voice
  • Don’t threaten- in any form: don’t threaten to leave, don’t threaten divorce – don’t threaten.
  • Don’t say: “you always/ you never” – speak to the situation at hand
  • Guard your words – once they are out, the damage is done

Remember:   You are not in a conflict to have your own way–to win

You are in a conflict for your relationship to win