JEH JEH LIVE - Jeh Jeh joined us live from the High Ore Line Trail in Fairfield. It's near the JCDH Western Health Center. The address is 631 Bessemer Super Highway. The grand opening is this Saturday, May 7th. They also discuss how it ties into the Red Rock System. The Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System will connect existing trails and parks connecting our communities while improving the health, economy, and quality of life for our region. For more information on the many hiking trails and future plans, visit redrocktrail.org/.
BETH K - Got Kidney Stones? Get milk and other foods that can help lower your chances of getting kidney stones! If you've ever known the pain of a kidney stone, you'll probably be very interested in ways to prevent them. While changing your diet won't help you get rid of existing kidney stones, it can help to lower their formation. Not all stones are alike. So if you had a kidney stone, ask your doctor what type it is. 80% of kidney stones are made of calcium and oxalates. Your body makes oxalates and we also eat them in foods like spinach, strawberries and some teas. However, you may be surprised to find that decreasing calcium actually increases the risk of kidney stones. That's because the stones from in the kidneys – not in the gut. When you get calcium in your diet, the calcium binds up the oxalate so that you don't absorb it – lowering your chances of kidney stones. Here's what the data shows for prevention:
1. Drink Lots of Fluids. The more dilute your urine is, the less likely stones will form. While I often hear doctors say "don't drink tea" because of the oxalates, the best studies don't really support this. Some teas are higher in oxalates than others - green teas is low- and it seems that the amount of fluid is the most important factor in prevention. Caffeinated drinks may even be best because they really make your urine dilute. Surprisingly, grapefruit, apple, and cranberry juice may increase the risk of stones.
2. Get 1000 mg of Calcium from Foods. Natural sources of calcium – from milk, cheese and yogurt – seem to bind up the oxalates in the gut and actually reduce the risk of kidney stones. There may be a very slight increase in stone formation with calcium supplements – so if you take supplements or drink calcium added drinks like calcium-added orange juice and almond milk – be sure not to overdo it.
3. Reduce Animal Protein and Sodium. Some studies show that meat and sodium increase calcium in the urine which can boost stone formation.
4. Get More Citrus. Drinking lemonade and adding lime and lemon slices to foods and drinks may lower the crystallization process of the stones! Keep cut up limes and lemons or bottles of lemon and lime juice and add at will!
MONEY TUESDAY - Legendary musician, Prince, recently died suddenly at age 57. Now his estate representatives could spend millions of dollars and perhaps decades settling his estate. Stewart Welch joined us with pointers to make sure your family doesn't have to do the same. Do you have a will? If your answer is, "Yes, of course, I do!", his next question is, "Is your will up-to-date and are you certain what it says?
Let's deal with the first question by assuming you don't have a will. In Alabama, any assets that don't pass at your death by either title or beneficiary designation will pass as follows:
• Married, no children or parents living. If it's just you and your spouse, 100% goes outright to your spouse.
• Married, no children, one or both parents living. Here, your spouse will receive the first $100,000 of assets plus one-half the balance. The remainder goes to the surviving parents.
• Married with children. If you have children, the state dictates that the first $50,000 goes to the surviving spouse plus one-half of the remainder. The balance goes outright to the children. Note that if the children are 'minors', they cannot receive property outright and, generally, the probate court judge will appoint someone as the 'conservator' -something like a financial custodian- to oversee the money for the benefit of the child or children. While you may assume your surviving spouse would manage the money for your children, there is no assurance of this since it's up to the court's discretion. Don't forget, the conservator gets paid from your assets!
• Unmarried, no children but one or more parents living. If you are not married and have no children, then 100% of your probate estate will go to your parents equally.
• Unmarried, with children. If you are unmarried and have children, then 100% of your probate estate will pass equally to your living children. Note that if any of them are minors, the same rules regarding the legal conservator apply.
• Unmarried, without children or surviving parents. In this case, your probate assets will go to your siblings, equally.
If you do have a will, take a moment to review it in light of the current value of your estate including your home and other real estate, life insurance, retirement and other investment plans along with personal property. If you're married, your assets likely go to your spouse but think for a moment about the next level of heirs. If it's your children, are they capable of handling the amount of money they will receive? If not, consider the value of using a trust.
For more information and pointers, visit www.welchgroup.com.
STICK CAT - Author-illustrator Tom Watson is back with Stick Cat: The Tail of Two Kitties. It's a big day in the big city for Stick Cat and his best friend, Edith. There are treasures to hunt, songs to sing, pigeons to catch, and naps to take. But way up on the twenty-third floor, danger lurks just around the corner. Terrible noises and violent crashes trap a desperate man in the building across the alley. Stick Cat will need to navigate his way across the alley—and around Edith's peculiar ways—to attempt a rescue. Stick Cat's high-wire act is sure to please cat lovers and Stick Dog fans everywhere. Reviews call this new book perfect for fans of Big Nate, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and the Stick Dog books. Stick Cat features Tom Watson's trademark combination of laughs, adventure, and hilarious stick-figure drawings.
GARDENING - Sandra Reaves joined us to discuss weeds that were not weeds and plants brought to North America for medicinal purposes by the first European settlers and native plants used by native Americans for medicinal properties.
- Clover is a source of protein. The sweet flavor makes a mild tea. It is used for coughs. The leaves and flowers are edible raw or cooked. The flowers can be added to baked goods for flavor and nutrients
- Chickweed was brought to North America as a medicinal herb by earliest European settlers. It is a good source of Vitamins C and B complex, as well as potassium and trace minerals. It is used for healing skin among other things.
- Broadleaf plantain is called Whiteman's Foot by Native Americans as wherever the white men went, it sprang up. It was popular for salves. The leaves are edible raw or cooked. It is high in Vitamins A and C as well as calcium.
- Violets has very flavorful leaves. You can use it as you would spinach. It is high in Vitamins A and C. The flowers are edible in salads or for making tea, syrup, or jelly. Native Americans made a poultice to treat headache. It is also used to strengthen immune system and reduce inflammation.
- Honeysuckle is a proven antibiotic effective against several strains of flu and bacteria. It is a digestive cleanser, antioxidant, diuretic, and fever reducer. The flowers and leaves are edible, though the leaves are bitter.
- Sourgrass or Yellow Wood Sorrell can be used as potherb. It can be used to make "lemonade," fish sauce or stuffing. It is high in Vitamin C. It soothes stomach and stimulates appetite. It is an astringent and diuretic. All parts are edible. Sandra does not suggest it for people with kidney problems, gout or rheumatoid arthritis due to the high amounts of potassium oxalate and oxalic acid.
Sandra also warns us not to eat wild plants in areas where pesticides might have been used. Don't eat wild plants that you're not 100% sure of the ID. Learn before you taste!! For more information, visit her Facebook page - it includes lots of pictures, tips, how-to videos, and info on veggie trials going on in the garden. It's a "real time, real life" look at home gardening and food preservation. You can find her at www.Facebook.com/JosieGladysGardens or www.JosieGladysGardens.blogspot.com. Sandra is teaching a Natural Gardening class this Saturday at 10am at The Rock of NE Birmingham.
NEW IN BOOKS - Susan Swagler writes about books at her "Turn the Page" blog and in Birmingham Magazine. She introduced us to books to help you get a head start on summer reading that includes a funny, heartbreaking story of family; a memoir about friendship and food;, a magical book about circus mermaids; and a local poets' take on the farmer' market. Today, she showed us
"The Nest" by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
"Dinner with Edward" by Isabel Vincent
"The Book of Speculation" by Erika Swyler
"Fresh Delicious: Poems from the Farmer's Market" by Irene Latham
SMART BOWLS - Summer is just around the corner and many of us are trying to improve our eating habits and shed excess weight gained by indulging in winter comfort foods. Art Smith, restaurant owner and former personal chef to Oprah Winfrey, is well known for personally losing 120-pounds that transformed both his body and his health. What is the secret to his success? His healthy cooking philosophy, adaptable to busy lifestyles, is all about keeping it simple with satisfying recipes that use only a few ingredients and minimal prep. Art's latest innovation in the kitchen is the brand-new Smartbowl™ that transforms weeknight cooking into a breeze through simpler meal preparation. Using high-end materials and cutting-edge technology, the Smartbowl™ helps create fast and delicious meals by using two cooking methods simultaneously: rapid heat induction in a microwave and moisture infusion with highly saturated steam. This revolutionary new cooking tool helps take the guesswork out of cooking, and what's better, most Smartbowl™ recipes take only 10 minutes to prepare.