The Internal SPF. The Top 5 Countdown of Best Foods. Number 3.

The number 3 best foods to get an internal SPF for your skin include all things that have carotenes in them. And like everything else in the world, if a little is good, a lot it not. 

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That’s because if you eat too many carrots and your skin will turn orange/yellow, like a jaundiced oompa loompa. This condition is called carotenemia, and happens because the carotenes you eat get deposited in your skin.

It’s reversible though, no worries. Just step away from that sweet potato pie for a couple of days and you’re skin will go back to normal.
The good news is that those same carotenes found in all yellow/orange veggies as well as kale and green leafys also absorb both natural and artificial UV radiation, which is the same function of the naturally occurring melanin in your skin.
Maybe you want to skip your veggies and dose up on carotenes with megavitamins. Think again loompa, because recent studies have found that high dose pills actually increase the risk of lung cancer among those who smoke.
Increase it. So don’t think too hard. Seriously. Just eat food.
While you’re munching on your carrot, you might want to add something red to your plate as well. Tomato paste, sun dried tomatoes, and cooked tomatoes all have another species of carotene called lycopene. The equivalent of 2.5 tablespoons of tomato paste (16 mg lycopene) over 8 weeks produced measurable protection from sunburn.

So include orange and red foods like tomatoes, carrots, and squash every chance you get, to boost your skin’s ability to prevent damaging sunburn.

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower’s website.

Arugula and Tomato Salad

This salad is a delicious complement to many meals and a cancer fighter too. Arugula is such an interesting green that can really take a salad to another level.

You’ll Need

  • 1 cup of arugula
  • ¾ cup olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 12 ripe tomatoes cut into wedges or  approximately 36 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

  • Wash and dry the arugula, remove the tough stems and arrange on the outside of a platter.
  • Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar and mustard.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toss the tomatoes gently in the salad dressing.
  • Place the tomatoes in the center of the arugula.
  • Drizzle the remainder of the dressing over the arugula.
  • If you would like, top with feta, anchovies, olives or whatever you see fit.


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Garlic Tomato Soup

This month we focus on men’s health. Tomatoes cooked with olive oil are a great addition to a man’s diet. Give this easy soup a try.

You’ll Need

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • 1 Tablespoon onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2/3 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine garlic and onion in a bowl.
  • Heat oil in a large pot.
  • Add garlic and onion and; saute till soft.
  • Do not brown.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and; stir in well.
  • After a few minutes, stir in stock and; pepper.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add salt if desired.

Chili Sauce

This is another recipe submitted by participant Margaret Raines. She is obviously quite the cook and we are blessed that she is sharing all her great recipes with us. 

This chili sauce is good with pork, chicken and beans or as a spread for sandwiches. It  is very vinegary, hot and sweet at the same time.
You’ll Need
3 Quarts peeled chopped ripe tomatoes 
3 Cups celery, chopped
2 Cups chopped onions 
2-4 Chopped jalapeno peppers (more if you like it hot)
1 Cup chopped bell pepper 
¼ Cup pickling salt 
1 Cup sugar (I usually use less because I don’t like it as sweet)
¼ Cup brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
1 Cup White vinegar 
1 ½ Tablespoons mixed pickling spices
Combine tomatoes, celery, onions, salt and black pepper in a large bowl. Let stand in refrigerator overnight. Drain the colander, but do not press vegetables (You can drink the juice-it’s very tasty).
Combine the tomato mixture with the sugars, green pepper and vinegar in a large pot.
Tie pickling spice in cloth bag and add to mixture.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer 15 minutes. Remove spice bag and put into sterilized pint jars. Seal lid and water bath process in boiling water for 10 minutes.

If not canning this will keep for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator.

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Growing Gazpacho

Growing Gazpacho

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Gazpacho = Brilliant Flavor + Amazing Health Benefits

Summer is perfect for the newest foodie ideal currently returning to our culture of health – that we take ownership over our own health through foods grown close to home. This “farm to table” concept already has a media presence: US News and World Report reported the number one consumer trend to be vegetable gardening, and the mantra to “eat local” is even finding its way into conventional grocery stores.

A perfect everyday example for our own personal farm to table experience is to grow our own gazpacho. In case you don’t know, gazpacho is a cool summer soup, which is basically a delicious liquid salad of Andalusian (Spanish) origins. The ancient version of this soup included only stale bread, garlic, olive oil, and vinegar (the tomato base came later … about 400 years ago), and served as an everyday poor man’s food made of common garden staples and leftover bread.
Today though, gazpacho still includes bread and garlic, olive oil and vinegar, but a garden of gracious flavors have since been added: tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers at the very least. Obviously, the best gazpacho on planet Earth will come from the vegetables we grow with our own hands, in our own earth, in our own gardens.
So, how can we do that?
Getting the ingredients: Finding good quality vegetable plants is just like finding good quality vegetables themselves. You can get them from large retail outlets that have gardening sections, but the best quality will be found at your local farmers’ markets. Big retail locations, like conventional grocery stores, purchase in the massive quantities that basically “dumbs down” the quality to the lowest common denominator. They’re not bad, but certainly not the best.
A better source of vegetable plants comes from the farmers themselves. The advantage of purchasing your plants directly from them is that you can get the heirloom varieties that have not been bred and cross-bred and cross-cross-bred, just to produce some uniform trait and homogenized flavor. That’s how to get a tomato that has not yet been turned into a widget.
Few items are easier to grow than the basic three vegetables in gazpacho – tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumbers – with just a couple of pointers to remember. 
Planting Your Gazpacho:All of these vegetables grow wonderfully in porch pots or in an outdoor bed, and each requires the same basic conditions: plenty of sun along with well drained, moist earth beneath them. When you’re ready to plant your ingredients, first turn some organic compost (found in any garden section) and mulch (such as wood chips or bark) into the soil. Then set the plants about two feet apart from each other.
Growing Your Gazpacho:Tomatoes need to be tied to a stake or set inside a wire cage to keep the heavy fruit from pulling its limbs to the ground. Cucumbers are vines and will run either along the ground or up a trellis (if you need to conserve space). Peppers are small bushes, and so can stand alone. But all of these succulent plants love their sun and love their water, so make sure the soil stays moist, by just giving them a drink each day. Harvest your fruit as it ripens, and set on the kitchen counter. It’s really that easy.
Preparing Your Gazpacho:This amazing soup is as easy to throw together as it is delicious to eat. From your gazpacho garden, you’ll need 4 large ripe tomatoes, 1 red bell pepper, and 2 cucumbers. Then, to spice it up, you’ll also need 1 clove of garlic (minced), about 2 Tbsp each of minced basil and rosemary, 3 Tbsp lime juice, some Tobasco, salt and pepper to taste.
First, score the skins of the tomatoes and put them in a pot of boiling water for about 15 seconds or so. Pull them out, slide the skins off, cut into quarters to remove the seeds, and then coarsely chop. You’ll also chop the bell pepper and peeled cucumber. Soak 2-3 slices of stale bread in water for a couple of minutes, and then squeeze out the excess.
Put the bread and chopped vegetables in a food processor with 2 cloves of chopped garlic and 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. If you like your gazpacho with more body, keep out a handful of the veggies, mince them, and add back to the soup at the end. Otherwise, puree the entre mixture until smooth. Leave the machine running and slowly add 2 cups of tomato juice along with 1 ½ cups of organic stock (organic vegetable, chicken, or beef), and ½ cup of olive oil.
Salt and pepper to taste, and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight. The flavors will marry and improve over time, so taste for the salt, pepper, and vinegar after a while. You can thin this soup, if you like it more brothy, with stock.
Eating the gazpacho: At the end of a hot summer day, you’ll welcome the crisp coolness of this refreshing meal, especially when you’re eating it outside. Plus, you made this delicious dinner for yourself without ever turning on the stove! To make your gazpacho a complete meal, head out to your porch and start with a little ripened melon, rolled prosciutto, a few olives, and a crisp white wine of your choosing.
The gazpacho itself can then be served, garnished with a drizzle of your best olive oil, or even sour cream, to your tastes. Be sure to sample the aroma as you taste, and include a lighter red wine with this course. You want this portion of the meal last as long as possible, so don’t rush through it.
Finish with a few slices of well aged cheddar and dried cherries to cap the perfect end to the perfect summer meal. Take enough time with your gracious gazpacho evening to recognize what you’ve accomplished by putting nutritious food on your table, with your own hands.
Now relax, exhale, and let yourself enjoy the ebbing day.

 For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower’s website.


The healthiest foods on the planet are the ones we “know by heart”, like … the tomato.

In fact, the Mediterranean diet is rich in tomatoes, tomato products, and other carotenoids and has been associated with a lower incidence of a slew of nasty chronic diseases.

Here’s a summary of some of the research.

AND, people who eat tomatoes regularly are less likely to suffer from heart attacks than those who don’t make tomatoes part of their diet.

Why? There are lots of reasons, but one big one is because of lycopene. Lycopene is responsible for the antioxidant effects of tomatoes, and that prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, the “bad” guy. Oxidized cholesterol is considered the primary initial step leading to the formation of plaque in the arteries and consequently to heart attacks.