Plant Pods Grow More Lettuce Than a 1/2 Acre Farm

I always encourage my friends to grow their own produce, not only to save up on their budget for grocery, but also to find healthier options and maybe even to develop a new hobby. I even wrote some tips for all of you who are interested in doing the same. Luckily, devices like this automated indoor system called OGarden are helping more people achieve their home gardening goals. And I’m happy to update your available choices with Aggressively Organic’s lettuce pods.

The Indiana-based company offers Micro Growth Chamber Systems that can grow more lettuce in a 10-by-10-foot room than an organic farm can grow on a half-acre. The systems use less water, too — a typical Aggressively Organic plant only requires watering once every few weeks.

The global situation of food production is currently not at its best form. In fact, it has to increase by 50% by the year 2050, so that all the people in the world may be sufficiently fed. Aggressively Organic’s answer to the world hunger problem is to inspire people to produce their own food, hence the innovation of the lettuce plant pods.

Whether you want to grow your own garden in your office or apartment, and whether you are an experienced or inexperienced gardener, their plant pods seek to make the process more convenient for you.

Aggressively Organic’s systems . . . [consist] of a foldable cardboard chamber, a liner, a coconut coir disc in which seeds are planted, reusable net cups to hold the plant, and a nutrient solution. There’s no electricity required . . . The system is extremely water efficient — it takes 25 gallons of water to grow a head of lettuce in the ground, but Aggressively Organic can produce the same amount of lettuce with 16 ounces of H2O.

I’m sure more home gardening innovations are in store for us in the next few years. While I wait for the next automated home gardening device or the next amazingly efficient lettuce plant pods, let me just enjoy this delish salad for dinner.

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Mediterranean Diet Prevents Heart and Brain Aging

Many people have different concepts of the best diet habits and what the best diet consists of. Here at our blog, I have written before about my personal stakes in maintaining a healthy diet and a co-worker has also said her piece on vegetarianism. Now, I consider myself far from a diet skeptic as I truly believe in having an eating regimen, but some fads just seem quite absurd, like surviving only on lemonade or grapefruit or baby food for weeks. A growing body of research agrees with me.

Scientists continue to affirm that this certain type of meal plan seems to be best: high consumption of vegetables, protein, and healthy fats; then low consumption of processed foods and refined carbs like white bread. This comes in various versions and labels as some people are completely vegetarian, while others choose to include eggs and dairy, or meat and fish, or all of the above, in their meals. But the base principle remains the same.

This Mediterranean diet or “plant-based” diet (or another label that you prefer) seems to be the healthiest.

In the latest issue of the Journal of Gerontology, scientists outline six recent studies of one version of the diet – the Mediterranean meal plan – and suggest that the eating regimen is closely linked to healthy aging, better mobility, a lower risk of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease, and improved cognitive function.

One study says that a “plant-based” diet may help slow cognitive decline among people who’ve had a stroke, and provide protection of the brain against neurodegeneration (seen in diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s). As for the more physical benefits, this Mediterranean diet provides protein for the muscles, fiber for the digestive system, and vitamins for tissues and bones.

This balance is also key to keeping you full after a meal and energized throughout the day so you don’t feel the need to overeat, Nichola Whitehead, a registered dietician in the UK, previously told Business Insider. “You need to have a balanced meal — things like whole grains, fibre, and vegetables — in order to sustain your blood sugar. Empty calories [like white bread or white rice] give a temporary fix,” she said.

Her use of the word temporary echoes with me as I think about other dieting plans. A “crash diet” doesn’t sound as good when you focus on the word crash, doesn’t it? For me, dieting is best when planned well and executed mindfully. Science can attest to that.

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Make The Most Of A Productive Morning Routine

For workaholics, sleep often becomes a thing of the past. Still, busybodies can find ways to stay healthy and remain alert, even in the early morning. But for night owls, getting up at any hour before 9 is more or less a daily struggle. Not much of a morning person myself, I find that the hours leading up to a long-awaited lunch break are dragging. Nevertheless, I’ve grown into a routine that make 7, 8, or 9 am wake-up calls a lot more bearable, and even productive.

The number one hurdle to a fulfilling morning is lack of sleep. Work may call for the occasional late night but, if you can help it, get enough sleep. Your eight hours are crucial and if it means rescheduling a much needed Netflix binge, Riverdale can wait. Granted, an extra hour or two of sleep may not ease the struggle of getting up, but you’ll thank yourself for the boost of energy later.

While others may indulge in an early-morning jog, let’s face it — not everyone can bear with the wrath of exercise. Instead, try morning stretches. Do a handful of push-ups or jumping jacks immediately after getting out of bed. It may be lazy, but at least it’ll keep you from wanting to jump right back under the covers. That, and you’ll get your blood running.

When rising early, thoughts of reuniting with one’s beloved mattress often trump daydreaming about breakfast. Regardless, remember to eat right. While the first meal of the day doesn’t have to be a gourmet masterpiece, it should at least be good for you. Go with a dish that is both healthy and easy to prepare. Sound options are eggs, oatmeal, fruits, and nuts. It also wouldn’t hurt to have a cup of coffee — but mind your caffeine intake throughout the day!

Overcoming the first workload hump isn’t the easiest task, so leave enough time to shower and hydrate. Starting your morning fresh will, more often than not, keep you energized. But, aside from your body, your mind has to feel good too. Find ways to quickly exercise your brain. Meditate. It’ll relieve the stress of being awake and keep the nerves at bay. Guided meditation may inspire you, as well as prevent any chances of dozing off.

Before getting into the grind, organize your tasks. Naturally, you’ll want to get the hardest ones out of the way — but not when your brain is booting up. Get your simple assignments over with. Not only will they wake you up, but make you feel a sense of accomplishment. Working on the heavier jobs later on will relieve the pressure of having to think about menial errands.

Not all mornings will be easy. Like with anyone else, there are good days and bad. But getting into a healthy routine will alleviate most of the moaning and groaning, and make trivial chores a lot more bearable. Take it from a self-proclaimed nocturnal being — the sun may be a bit blinding, but at least we’re not really vampires.

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