So...I LOVED our trip to Northern-most California and the Central Oregon. We explored the Bend area, as well as Shasta and Redding, California. Fell in love with the area...and I can tell you that this will NOT be our last trip there!!
Because it is fire season, we did little-to-no-planning for the trip ( hadn't even decided where we would go until 1-2 weeks prior) to ensure there were no fires or smoke in the area.
We decided upon Bend because we had never been. We had heard that the weather in October could range form 80's to 40's...and that was about right!! The beginning of our trip started with high 70's and 80's and by the end fo the trip there were snow in the forecast! Loved having the range of seasons, although made it challenging to pack.
It was an 8 hour drive from the bay area, so we decided to break up the driving and stopped/played at the half way point, Redding. Initially we just expected to stop for sleep, but then we quickly realized there were things to explore there.
Here are the the HIGHLIGHTS from REDDING/SHASTA:
In Bend we stayed at 2 different places - First we spent 4 days in Sunriver (20 miles south of Bend) and stayed at the @riverpines house - couldn’t have been more perfect! It was a log cabin that had tons of activities and amenities, including a fuse ball table, a ping pong table, a basketball hoop, kayak’s, fat tire bikes & cruiser bikes, a Pac Man video game, and a Hottub. All of this nestled in the woods. We had loads of fun here.
Then we also stayed at @riverhousebend, which was a great hotel right on the Deschutes River.
Some of the ACTIVITIES we explored in the the BEND area was:
PLACES TO EAT:
I highly recommend visiting Bend...and especially in October. I would bet visiting during summer and/or winter has it's own specialness, but I can tell you that during Fall there so much to do, the weather was perfect and the contrast of the changing of the leaves added so much beauty!
Vacations are so important for mental health...and after a hiatus from traveling, I couldn't have been more happy with this trip as well as rejuvenated.
What is your next trip???
There's a war going on inside your gut—and the good guys might be losing. It's about time you called in reinforcements for your wounded front line and take back the good gut health that should be yours.
Years of antibiotic use, eating sugar-laden food, and eschewing microbe-feeding prebiotic fiber foods are all making you fat—but not for the reason you think. This pattern of poor eating has armed the bad bacteria who live in your gut with the weapons they need to overtake the good guys: probiotics. And when your good gut bugs are depleted, they not only won't be able to fend off weight-inducing inflammation, they also can't help you keep your metabolism humming, your immune system healthy, and your mind keen. It's why gut health is so important.
Research suggests that consuming more probiotic foods can help mend your gut and nourish your microbiome.
Sauerkraut is rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Its probiotics also help your body absorb these nutrients more easily, which is what makes sauerkraut more nutritious than raw cabbage or coleslaw.
1. SAUERKRAUT IS VERY NUTRITIOUS
Sauerkraut is particularly nutritious because it undergoes fermentation, a process during which microorganisms on the cabbage digest its natural sugars and convert them into carbon dioxide and organic acids.
2. IMPROVES YOUR DIGESTION
Your gut is said to contain over 100 trillion microorganisms or “gut flora,” which is more than 10 times the total number of cells in your body. Different probiotic strains may provide varying advantages. Thus, consuming a wide variety of strains may give you a broader range of health benefits. In this regard, sauerkraut may have the advantage. Research has reported that one serving may contain up to 28 distinct bacterial strains
3. BOOSTS YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
In addition to being a source of probiotics, sauerkraut is rich in vitamin C and iron, both of which contribute to a healthy immune system.
4. MAY HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT
Regularly consuming sauerkraut may help you lose weight and keep it off. That’s partly because sauerkraut, like most vegetables, is low in calories and high in fiber. High fiber diets keep you fuller for longer, which may help you naturally reduce the number of calories you eat each day. Sauerkraut’s probiotic content may also contribute to a trimmer waistline. The exact reasons aren’t yet fully understood, but scientists believe that certain probiotics may have the ability to reduce the amount of fat your body absorbs from your diet.
5. HELPS REDUCE STRESS AND MAINTAIN BRAIN HEALTH
Sauerkraut promotes healthy gut flora and may increase the absorption of mood-regulating minerals from your diet. Both of these effects help reduce stress and maintain brain health.
6. MAY REDUCE THE RICK OF CERTAIN CANCERS
Cabbage, the main ingredient in sauerkraut, contains antioxidants and other beneficial plant compounds that may help reduce the risk of certain cancers. Researchers believe these compounds may help reduce DNA damage, prevent cell mutations, and block the excessive cell growth that typically leads to tumor development
7. MAY PROMOTE HEART HEALTH
The fiber, probiotic, and vitamin K2 contents of sauerkraut may contribute to lower cholesterol levels, slight improvements in blood pressure, and a lower risk of heart disease.
8. CONTRIBUTES TO STRONGER BONES
Sauerkraut contains vitamin K2, which plays an important role in bone health. More specifically, vitamin K2 activates two proteins that bind to calcium, the main mineral found in bones
Making sauerkraut is easy, simple and inexpensive. Here’s how:
Basic Sauerkraut Ingredients
Keep in mind that the larger the head of cabbage you start with, the sweeter and better your sauerkraut will taste. If you’re impatient to taste your creation, you can do so after 7 days. The longer you allow it to ferment, the stronger the taste will be.
Although I promote the “food first” approach, probiotics are also available in supplement form.
If you choose a supplement, look for one with 10-20 billion live CFUs (colony-forming units), as this dose has shown most beneficial in clinical trials. Always look for live cultures. Heat and pasteurization tend to kill the bacteria, which means your body will not reap the benefits. Refrigerated probiotics have a shelf life of about three to six weeks. Selecting a probiotic with a variety of strains is also important, as different strains provide special benefits.
Three well-researched and important strains to look for include: Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium longum and Bifidobacterium bifidum.
No matter how you decide to consume your probiotics, please keep in mind: although probiotics don’t usually have side effects, if any new food or supplement causes you gastrointestinal distress, discontinue it. Remember—listen to your body; foods affect everyone’s digestion differently!
Most of us are pretty familiar with what a nutrition label looks like, at this point. But now, you’ll notice that it looks a bit different, thanks to a requirement from the Food and Drug Administration three years ago that is finally going into effect.
As of January 1, 2020, all food and (non-alcoholic) drink manufacturers with $10 million or more in annual sales are required to have nutrition panels reflecting the new changes. (Manufacturers with less than $10 million in annual food sales have until January 1, 2021 to comply.)
I, for one, am excited to see these changes roll-out! Here are the 5 major changes:
The five major changes to the nutrition facts and supplement facts label
Major Change 1 : Highlight of Serving Size.
This change reflects a better understanding of how people consume certain foods. By law, serving sizes must be based on what people typically eat, not how much they should eat. An example is ice cream: Previous labels indicated a single serving size of 1/2 cup, but now the serving size is 2/3 cup. It’s recommended that you view this single serving size as a guideline for the maximum amount you would eat of that food. Again, it’s based on typical habits – not nutritional guidelines.
Major Change 2 : Highlight of Calories.
This change is meant to provide more context for where your daily calories are coming from and how many calories you’re consuming in a typical serving. It’s recommended to also consider other values on the label, such as fat, protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals, because 300 calories of whole, unprocessed nuts is nutritionally different than a 300-calorie candy bar.
Major Change 3 : Added Sugar is Called Out.
It’s recommended that you keep your added sugar consumption to less than 10% of your total daily calories. However, sugar has become prolific in our food supply, and not just in what we consider junk food. Yogurt, bread, salad dressings, sauces, and protein bars can contain added sugars, and as consumers, we need to be more aware of how much sugar we’re eating. This includes learning how to read food labels for different sugar names – did you know there are over 60?!
Beware, though: Many food and beverage products can use sugar substitutes, which do not need to be included on “Added sugars” line on the nutrition facts label. That’s why recognizing all the different terms for sugar is so important.
Major Change 4 : Updates to Vitamin, Mineral, and Fat Information.
Vitamins A and C are no longer required to be on the nutrition facts label but can be added at the manufacturer’s discretion. In turn, vitamin D and potassium are now required because research has demonstrated that many Americans do not get their required daily amounts of these nutrients. Vitamin D is not only important for bone health but also for keeping your immune system healthy and functioning. Potassium is essential for maintaining cellular function by contributing to fluid and electrolyte balance.
It’s important to note that while these vitamins and minerals are present on the label (and in the food), they might have been added during processing – check the ingredients list on the package to confirm. It’s recommended that you get your vitamins and minerals from whole, unprocessed foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
As for fat content, total fat, saturated fat, and trans fat amounts are still included, but calories from fat has been removed due to research indicating that the type and amount of fat is more important than how many calories are from fat.
Major Change 5 : Updates to Daily Value Amounts. The daily value percentages have been adjusted based on research that demonstrates how certain foods and their nutrient makeup fit into the typical 2,000-calorie diet. The footnote description of what this percentage means has also been updated to better help people understand how their food choices fit into their daily diets.