Another idea for summertime abundance is Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes – sooooo yummy – and

worth the wait!


Roasted Tomatoes as Pizza Sauce

Ideally, cut Cherry Tomatoes in half (Picture above shows them baked whole and then cut to make them cook faster.   Still yummy, but cook faster and have more uses cut in half.) and place in pan lined lightly with Olive Oil.

Place the cut side up so the tomatoes are like little bowls.
Season with Salt, Pepper and herbs like Thyme or Oregano and maybe a touch of Balsamic Vinegar.
Bake at 250° for @ 3 hours.

May be stored in the fridge 2-3 weeks with Olive Oil poured over the Roasted tomatoes, frozen, or dehydrated further to last longer.

As a sickly teen, mom introduced me to fasting,  nutrition and showed me how to get my health back.  This started my lifelong quest for optimal health. Continually in school  (right now at Huntington University of Health Sciences, the only accredited school of nutrition in the US), with a passion to stay up on current research.   

Science plus Practical Application = the best of both worlds.

Passionate to give people tools to help them enjoy their best health!  

Cynthia Cruz ‧ Author

Yes, it is well into summer, but for months now I have been enjoying sun-warmed, Orange Cherry Tomatoes as a snack while I garden.  This has become one of my favorite tomato plants – not only yummy, it is super-prolific!  It keeps up with my garden munching habit and I still have baskets left over to sweeten the bitter of Kale or the bite of Trader Joe’s Cilantro Dressing ~ an indoor favorite salad of our whole family Kale & Orange Tomato Salad with Cilantro Dressing.  Even our teenage son’s baseball team buddies ate it all up!

Today is March 29th. In Southern California we have Tomato plants that survived the winter, fully mature Cabbage, Chives, Cilantro plants and Brussels Sprouts Kept small by a wild bunny. In a quandary about what to make for a quick, healthful lunch for our children and I, I threw this together and it was a big hit! Enjoy!

1/2 C. Mini Brussels Sprouts (about a handful)

1/2 C. Rapini

2 Tomatoes, chopped

2 Chives, chopped

Clove Garlic, pressed

2 Red Jalapenos, roasted, peeled, with seeds removed

2 Tbsp Butter

Soy Sauce

Brown Rice, cooked

Hamburger or Chicken, chopped small (leftover from last night’s dinner @ 1/2lb

Chop the prepared Jalapenos. Stir-Fry all veggies in the Butter. Add Soy Sauce. Add Brown Rice and meat. Heat Thoroughly and serve with quartered (seeds removed) Red Pepper. Yum!

Quick and Easy, yet everyone loved it!

Toma Verde Tomatillo

The Story

Ugly little red dots all over the leaves of my one tomatillo plant.  
One site recommended destroying the plant! 

Let me tell you what happened...

Red Mites on Tomatillos:

As I saw the little red dots all over the leaves of my one tomatillo plant I was heartbroken.  Up until this point it had been a gorgeous plant and amazingly green - maybe because it had followed a crop of peas that fixed nitrogen for the tomatillo!

Mental note:  Follow peas with tomatillos for extra nitrogen uptake!

The red mites left their damage and made a few leaves look more white than green... the white was like a web up close.  Research revealed the white was the damage the red mites leave behind ~ one site recommended destroying the plant!

I had unsuccessfully tried three times to start tomatillos from seed this year - destroying the one plant of three batches that survived was not an option!

Chemical pesticide sprays are also not an option!

The Solution:

Water turned out to be all it needed!  

Further research revealed that red mites thrive in very dry environments ~ and can be drowned with sufficient water.
A short hose covered the South side of the plant revealing no red mites(!) during the evening inspection.
I also watered deeply and sprayed the tomatillo plant again in the middle of the hot day.

The Tomatillo plant ended up producing a few large harvests very late in the season!

End Note: When we dug up the tomatillo at the end of the season, we found roots from a palm tree on the other side of the fence had been sucking up all the tomatillo's water!

I am so glad we didn't use pesticides or even pull the plant as one website had recommended!  That tomatillo produced an amazing quantity of delicious salsa that year!


Red Tomato From Garden
Green Wet Tomatoes

Green Wet Tomatoes

Red Tomato From Garden

Red Tomato From Garden

Heirloom Tomatoes

Ahh, Tomatoes!!  Could we ever really produce enough to have extra for selling after eating them in the garden AND bringing them in for sandwiches AND making tomato sauce AND sharing with our neighbors?!

This year I thought it would happen.  The plants from last year survived the winter by covering the plants with blankets when frost threatened...

Can Tomato Plants Survive the Winter?

California winters are usually pretty mild, but covering a tomato plant helped ours survived three frosty nights!

Only a few tomato leaf tips succumbed to frost-bite and the rest of the plants produced tomatoes VERY early in the season to get us through until the new plants began producing.

What to do with Too many Tomatoes:

Now we are gathering handfuls of large, red tomatoes every day!  There are the two types that I planted ~ an heirloom variety with a funny shape and yummy flavor, and a beefsteak tomato that I got from a friend and saved the seeds from.  There are also some volunteer cherry tomatoes (here is a delicious idea for when you have an abundance!) and funny pear-shaped tomatoes that appeared near the neighbor's fence about 15' from the main tomato plant garden!

Six days later we are having an abundant harvest of gorgeous heirloom tomatoes!  We always set aside one as a tomatillo salsa ingredient!

How to Handle End Rot

We had a wild tomato plant growing, but the ends were hard and black.  Looking it up, it said bottom end rot may be from a deficiency of calcium in the soil.

We crushed eggshells and watered them well into the soil.  The next tomatoes to come out were healthy and prolific!

Is this further proof of the Health of the Soil being critical?!  I am so amazed at how many plant issues can be solved by the simple addition of crushed eggshells and/or compost!

Rotten Tomatoes

Overcome by processing this abundance, I left a bag of imperfect ones for too many days.  Interestingly, below a smelly pile of soft, moldy tomatoes was a perfect, unmarred tomato!  

Is this further proof of the Health of the Host being the most important factor?!  

As a sickly teen, mom introduced me to fasting,  nutrition and showed me how to get my health back.  This started my lifelong quest for optimal health. Continually in school  (right now at Huntington University of Health Sciences, the only accredited school of nutrition in the US), with a passion to stay up on current research.   

Science plus Practical Application = the best of both worlds.

Passionate to give people tools to help them enjoy their best health!  

Cynthia Cruz ‧ Author

Today, July 1, 2011, I harvested our little (big for us!) plot of onions.  In a 4′ x 8′ space there were 24 pulled at harvest time, about 5 pulled earlier in the season to eat as needed, and three remaining to reproduce for next year.  One of those has begun to form seeds and another looks like it is beginning to produce bulbs underground by splitting into many.

The onions that were planted closest to a two-story building got considerably less sun and it is visible in the size of the bulbs ~ they are MUCH smaller.  Earlier in the season, the shorter daylight exposure slowed the formation of bulbs making the onions look like humungous chives!

20 Years of Research into Preventing Cancer

World Cancer Research Fund/ American Institute for Cancer Research.
Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective.  Washington DC: AICR, 2007
Professor John Potter states: “In fact, it may be possible to reduce cancer risk by 30 to 40% through dietary change as a part of a healthy lifestyle.”  Indeed, the recent Scandinavian twins study (2) has shown that environmental factors — more so than genetics — are the most important considerations in cancer risk.”

5 yr Systematic Literature Review of all relevant types of research, differing in the quantity and quality of evidence.
“Each Change has a Double Effect
“For curtailing weight gain, which in turn will curtail cancer risk, the report advocates increased physical activity and a diet based on low-energy-dense foods such as vegetables, fruits and beans. In addition, it points out that increased physical activity reduces cancer risk directly by lowering hormone levels. A diet featuring plant foods also reduces risk directly by supplying plant compounds the body needs to prevent or repair cell damage. So, getting more active and eating wisely carries a double whammy when it comes to knocking out cancer.”
Cancer does not live well in an environment filled with oxygen.  The best way to force oxygen into every cell of our body is to work our way up to consistent aerobic exercise.  Have you ever exercised hard one day and felt the deep breaths you were compelled to consume for the rest of the day?!  Regular, aerobic exercise appears to be the first and most important change we can make to have a better and longer life.
“The AICR report also raised hackles by consolidating the evidence showing that reducing consumption of alcohol and red meat—particularly processed meat—are important strategies for reducing cancer risk. Although the report does not recommend eliminating either completely, it does call for reducing the amounts Americans ordinarily consume.”
“From the point of view of cancer prevention, the best level of alcohol consumption is zero.”  He also stated that for cardiovascular disease, one or two drinks daily may be protective ~ look into the research and see what we find!
“It provides a solid evidence base for policy-makers, health professionals and informed and interested people to draw on and work with.”
“To the extent that environmental factors such as food, nutrition, and physical activity influence the risk of cancer, it is a preventable disease.”

“Evidence shows that only a small proportion of cancers are inherited.  Environmental factors are most important and can be modified.  These include:
~infectious agents [vaccinations?!]
~industrial chemicals and pollution
~physical activity
~body composition”
“That cancer is, in large part, a preventable disease”  was the conclusion of a report on diet and the prevention of cancer published more than twenty five years before this report.2
Since the early 1980’s, research and experts have agreed that food and nutrition, physical activity, drugs and body composition are individually and collectively important modifiers of the risk of cancer and taken together may be at least as important as tobacco.  Why is this not promoted more?!  Somehow we know it has some effect, but not to this degree!
“When combined with not smoking and regular exercise, this kind of healthy diet can reduce heart disease by 80%. and stroke and some cancers by 70%, compared with average rates”3

“No single study or study type can prove that any factor definitely is a cause of, or is protective against, any disease…reliable judgments on causation of disease are based on assessment of a variety of well-designed epidemiological and experimental studies…These introductory chapters show that the challenge can be effectively addressed and suggest that food, nutrition, physical activity, and body composition play a central part in the prevention of cancer.”4
“The Panel agrees, as evident in Chapters 10 & 12 that many chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and its precursors, cardiovascular diseases and their precursors, and also perhaps other diseases of the digestive, musculoskeletal, and nervous systems, are to a large extent caused by environmental factors, including inappropriate food and nutrition, physical inactivity, overweight and obesity and associated factors.  Following from this, future reports should consider the promotion of health and the prevention of disease as a whole.”5
Food & Nutrition and lifestyle choices are now considered, “environmental factors”?!
“The panel is aware that as with other diseases, the risk of cancer is also modified by social, cultural, economic, and ecological factors [What about how one thinks?! Segway into Ron’s father and how his loss and subsequent sadness contributed to his demise.]  Thus …identifying the deeper factors that affect cancer risk enables a wider range of policy recommendations and options to be identified.  This is the subject of a separate report to be published in late 2008.
“The public health goals and personal recommendations of the Panel that follow are offered as a significant contribution towards the prevention and control of cancer throughout the world.”

Four AICR Recommendations:

“Recommendation 1.)
Be as lean as possible within the normal range of body weight”
Maintenance of a healthy weight throughout life may be one of the most important ways to protect against cancer.  This will also protect against a number of other common chronic diseases.”

Recommendation 2.)
Be physically active as part of everyday life
(equivalent to brisk walking for at least 30 minutes each day increasing to 60min of moderate or 30 minutes of vigorous physical activity every day)
Most populations, and people living in industrialized and urban settings, have habitual levels of activity below levels to which humans are adapted.

Recommendation 3.) Avoid sugary drinks and consume fast foods sparingly, if at all

Recommendation 4.) Eat mostly foods of plant origin
(Eat at least five portions/servings of a variety of non-starchy vegetables and of fruits every day.
Eat relatively unprocessed cereals ~ grains and/or pulses (legumes) with every meal.
Limit refined starchy foods.

p. 137

1.) World Cancer Research Fund/ American Institute for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition, Physical
Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective.  Washington DC: AICR, 2007; p. 15
2.) National Research Council.  Diet, Nutrition and Cancer.  Washington DC: National Academy of Sciences, 1982
3.) Willett W. Summary. In: Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy.  The Harvard Medical School Guide to Healthy Eating.
New York: Free Press, 2003
4.) World Cancer Research Fund/ American Institute for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition, Physical
Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective.  Washington DC: AICR, 2007; p. 16
5.) ibid., p. 26
6.) ibid., p. 17

Get Slim, Prevent Cancer, and Elevate your Mood!

Close to six years ago I began to feel funny ~ as though I could feel the blood running through my veins.  It was very uncomfortable and I found out I had High Blood Pressure.  Now I don’t believe in taking drugs, so my options were limited.  It led me to a great discovery!  Something that prevents Cancer and other common diseases, elevates my mood, keeps me slim and energetic ~  yes, you guessed it… Exercise!

Over the years I had always done some exercise, but never consistently, three + times per week.  Now I was determined, but it had to be fun… I found Dance, Dance, Revolution (DDR).  It is fun, you can increase the intensity gradually and DDR is always putting together new games to keep it interesting!  Originally we purchased an X-Box just for the purpose of my exercising 15 minutes every morning.  Now we have the version for the wii ~ I highly recommend it 🙂

OK., now if you want the research behind the outrageous claims above, check out the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) study of 20 years of research.  They determined the top 10 things you can do to prevent cancer.  The most amazing part of what they found is that 9/10 things are totally within your control!  See more AICR Recommendations to Prevent Cancer by clicking on PREVENT CANCER.


Health of the Host

Why a virus doesn't make everyone sick

The above video is one section of Module 1 in a 12 Module Course we created to help your young people learn REAL Health.  If you are interested in more information on our courses, click here.

Health of the Host

Why a virus doesn't make everyone sick

We don't always get sick when we encounter a virus.  Why not?  Sometimes the most important thing is not the virus we encounter, but how healthy the host is.

What if you are the host.  Your body is the host to trillions of bacteria - more bacteria than you have cells in your body!  Did you know that is true?  Keeping  the balance of bacteria in your body to favor the beneficial bacteria is what keeps us healthy; this is what,  in my opinion is more important than the virus you may be exposed to.  Here's an example from our mini-farm to demonstrate why...

Do Antibiotics prevent coccidosis?

We were told to use antibiotics in the chick feed... but we chose a more natural route...

When our family got chickens.  Learning to care for them naturally was a priority.  We wanted to have healthy chickens, but we were told antibiotics were necessary to prevent problems.  We decided to do all we could to promote beneficial bacteria and none of the things (like antibiotics) that could destroy beneficial bacteria in order to strengthen the health of the host - our chickens' hosts.  Read on to learn what happened!

What is Coccidosis?

Coccidosis is  not an issue with proper management practices...

Coccidosis has been shown to be a parasite that feeds on the host of a particular animal.  For example, with our chickens, coccidosis caused a couple to die in the early years.  But we found that over time by focusing on a variety of animals in our yard.  Coccidosis is the biggest problem when a parasite can jump from one host - or chicken - to the next host.  Because we didn't have hundreds or thousands of chickens at one time, and they are free to roam a relatively large area, natural management practices made coccidosis on our mini-farm a non-issue.  Giving our chickens room to roam and promoting beneficial bacteria, we never had another health issue with our chickens over the 15 years we had chickens.

health of the host Management Practices

Ways you can encourage beneficial bacteria in your yard.

Pay Dirt by J.I. Rodale is an amazing book because it helped me to make the quantum leap to thinking about gardening in terms of how healthy I can make the soil. Traditional gardeners and farmers think about how to increase N-P-K values to raise better crops. A beginner in organic gardening thinks in terms of N-P-K in the addition of bat guano – bone meal – ash. Pay Dirt helped me to grasp that the quantity of these elements is not as important if the soil is truly healthy. Creating compost from a variety of materials can provide the microorganisms and “biologic life” that is what makes uptake of nutrients in the plant so much greater ~ even when less N-P-K is measurable.  Could it be that, just like in the soil, the beneficial bacteria or biologic life in our bodies keeps the "bad bacteria" in check and plays a larger role in our level of health than previously believed?!  Promoting beneficial Bacteria is just one way we keep our host healthy!

For another way to avoid what might kill beneficial bacteria, see "Grow Your Own"


For specifics on Antibiotics and 5 reasons we need probiotics...