Living Lite


September 5, 2016

Ginger has been used for medicinal purposes for 5,000 years; first by the Chinese and Indians, then exported to the Roman Empire more than 2,000 years ago. Queen Elizabeth I of England created the Gingerbread Man, now a popular holiday treat. Ginger can be fresh, dried and candied

There are 115 compounds in various forms of ginger contributing to its distinct flavor and aroma. Many of these compounds are also responsible for ginger's antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic properties. Depending on the form of and purpose for the ginger, the recommended daily dose is about one fifth to one teaspoon per day.

Historically, ginger was regarded as the great medicine or "mahaoushadha" in India. In ayurvedic medicine, ginger is used for digestive issues, fever and respiratory conditions. Modern science has confirmed many of these long-held beliefs. 

Several studies have found ginger reduces nausea. Others show it increases stomach emptying and intestinal motility; characteristics which decrease constipation. New research found that just 1 gram (one fifth of a teaspoon) of ginger reduced 26 percent of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms after 28 days. It also reduces pain during menstruation. 

Three clinical studies showed about 2 grams (About one quarter of a teaspoon) of ginger was effective in treating colorectal cancer. Apparently, the bioactive compounds in ginger reduce cellular proliferation in the colorectal lining. 

My advice? Find ways to add ginger to your diet

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Music On The Lawn Every Thursday in September at Grace Church

August 31, 2016

Grace Episcopal Church, Georgetown will present “Music on the Lawn,” a series of Thursday evening concerts, during the month of September 2016.  All performances will take place on the lawn at Grace Church at 1041 Wisconsin Avenue.  For each event, gates will open at 5:30 pm, with music from 6:00 to 7:15 pm.    Suggested donation for each event is $10.

Bring a picnic supper, or buy something from the on-site Dog Tag Bakery concession – sandwiches, salads, cold drinks.   Seating (chairs) will be available. 

Performances are as follows:

September 1:   Squeeze Bayou – Cajun & Zydeco dance music of Southwestern Louisiana

September 8:  Ira Gitlin & the Backroads Band – Bluegrass & Country; one of the DC area’s top honky-tonk country groups

September 15:  Machaya  (Yiddish word describing something that gives great joy) – Klezmer & more performed by Washington and Baltimore's most experienced, nationally acclaimed, klezmer and rock band

September 22:  Cloudburst - Vocalese a la Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, Manhattan Transfer

September 29:  Marshall Keys, sax and Herman Burney, bass - great musicians, longtime faithful friends of Grace

 For additional information visit Grace Episcopal Church or 202.333.7100 or e-mail

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Katherine's Spicy Fresh Watermelon Salsa

August 22, 2016

Salsa is traditionally made with tomatoes, onions, hot pepper, cilantro, lime juice and salt. But I like to add seasonal fruits and vegetables to keep it interesting. In the spring, I add strawberries, in the summer, it's watermelon, which is especially sweet this year. You could even add celery, carrots, greens, mangos - really, anything goes. In the winter, use canned Italian plum tomatoes.
excerpted from "Diet Simple Farm to Table Recipes: 50 New Reasons to Cook in Season."

I usually use vine-ripe tomatoes for my fresh salsa, excerpted from my book, Diet Simple. But watermelon is a surprising and exotically delicious substitute for all the tomatoes, or just half of them - as in this version. Serve this salsa with grilled salmon, chicken or beef... even tortilla chips... whatever you may traditionally use salsa with. My friend, Marc Marzullo, said this salsa was "refreshing, light, and delicious, and I especially like the vegetables chopped in larger chunks." Since this salsa is getting eaten up today, I didn't bother adding the lime juice. If you would like your salsa to last longer in your refrigerator, use vinegar instead of lime juice.

22 servings


1 lb vine-ripe, fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped (start with about 1-1/2 lbs)
1 lb chopped watermelon, seeds removed
1 large candy onion, peeled and chopped (about ½ pound)
3 – 4 jalapeno peppers (1 – 2 ounces) - or other hot seasonal peppers, to taste
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ tsp salt, or to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 – 4 Tbsp fresh lime juice (1 – 2 limes), optional, or vinegar if you wish for the salsa to last longer in your refrigerator

Add the onion to the tomatoes and watermelon. Finely chop 2 of the jalapeno peppers to start with. Taste. If you desire more heat, add 1 – 2 more jalapenos. Mix in the cilantro. Add the salt and pepper, depending on your taste. Mix in the lime juice, if you wish.

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