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Psychiatrist Sentenced to Prison for Healthcare Fraud Scheme – Norfolk, VA

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, January 16, 2020

Source: US Department of Justice
NORFOLK, Va. – A Virginia Beach doctor was sentenced today to 27 months in prison for defrauding Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare, and other health care benefits programs out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Additionally, Udaya K. Shetty, 64, agreed to pay over $1 million to settle related civil claims.

According to court documents, was a licensed psychiatrist practicing medicine at his own practice, Behavioral & Neuropsychiatric Group. Beginning in 2013, Shetty created a scheme by which he could overbill healthcare benefit programs by seeing patients for only five to 10 minutes, but then billing for services that were on average 41 to 63 minutes long. Shetty instructed his staff to often double, triple, or even quadruple book appointment times. The fraud became apparent when investigators discovered that on dozens of instances Shetty would need more than 24 hours a day of working to perform the services for which he billed. 

In 2017, Shetty closed his own practice and joined another psychiatric practice, Quietly Radiant Psychiatric Services. While there Shetty, and one of his former employees, Mary Otto, engaged in a similar scheme. Although other Quietly Radiant staff members were responsible for billing, Shetty directed Otto to access the billing system and change all of his billing data to a higher billing rate.  Otto complied and changed the data without the knowledge of Quietly Radiant’s staff. As a result of their actions, Shetty and Otto defrauded various healthcare benefit programs of more than $450,000. Otto pled guilty for her role in the scheme and was sentenced to 15 months in prison on January 10.

In regards to the civil settlement, Shetty agreed to pay $1,078,000 to the United States and the Commonwealth of Virginia to resolve his liability under the False Claims Act and the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act for submitting or causing the submission of false claims to the Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE programs.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Martin Culbreth, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; Robert E. Craig, Special Agent in Charge for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s (DCIS) Mid-Atlantic Field Office; Maureen R. Dixon, Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); and Mark R. Herring, Attorney General of Virginia, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph L. Kosky prosecuted the criminal case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Clare P. Wuerker handled the civil case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:19-cr-089.

Some patients often start off with private health care and end up with Medicaid, Medicare or Tricare because these government health insurance or more advantageous for those medical ‘professionals’ seeking to defraud patients and insurance providers. Would you recognize health care fraud if you see it? What does it look like? Have you been a victim of health care fraud?

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COVID 19 Cases on the Rise: Your States Stats

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Source: Wavy 10 – Norfolk, VA, USA
WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — As coronavirus cases in the United States climb towards another peak, new daily cases have reached their highest point yet in 17 states, according to the New York Times.

On Thursday, new confirmed cases climbed over the 65,000 mark — a total the country hasn’t seen since the end of July. Additionally, we’re seeing cases rise in more than 45 states, according to a Times tracking tool.

The U.S. leads the world with 7.9 million coronavirus cases and some 217,000 confirmed deaths. Globally, there have been 39 million reported cases and 1.09 million confirmed deaths.Pfizer coronavirus vaccine won’t be available before Election Day, CEO confirms.

As the nation experiences a 25% increase in confirmed cases, here’s a look at the states that are seeing the highest percentage increases in COVID-19 cases:

States seeing case increases (by percentages):

  • New Mexico – Average of 457 cases per day, an increase of 123 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Vermont – Average of nine cases per day, an increase of 110 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • New Hampshire – Average of 78 cases per day, an increase of 101 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Montana – Average of 611 cases per day, an increase of 91 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Connecticut – Average of 326 cases per day, an increase of 80 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Indiana – Average of 1,655 cases per day, an increase of 66 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Wyoming – Average of 183 cases per day, an increase of 65 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Alaska – Average of 193 cases per day, an increase of 64 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Rhode Island – Average of 199 cases per day, an increase of 63 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Arizona – Average of 763 cases per day, an increase of 59 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Colorado – Average of 894 cases per day, an increase of 57 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Michigan – Average of 1,483 cases per day, an increase of 56 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Nebraska – Average of 767 cases per day, an increase of 55 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • North Dakota – Average of 610 cases per day, an increase of 54 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Ohio – Average of 1,654 cases per day, an increase of 53 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • South Dakota – Average of 653 cases per day, an increase of 50 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Mississippi – Average of 760 cases per day, an increase of 49 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Illinois – Average of 3,069 cases per day, an increase of 48 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Virginia – Average of 1,058 cases per day, an increase of 42 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Pennsylvania – Average of 1,362 cases per day, an increase of 39 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Tennessee – Average of 1,870 cases per day, an increase of 38 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Idaho – Average of 660 cases per day, an increase of 37 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • North Carolina – Average of 1,943 cases per day, an increase of 36 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • New Jersey – Average of 835 cases per day, an increase of 35 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • West Virginia – Average of 251 cases per day, an increase of 33 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Nevada – Average of 587 cases per day, an increase of 30 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • New York – Average of 1,329 cases per day, an increase of 29 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Washington – Average of 659 cases per day, an increase of 29 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Minnesota – Average of 1,312 cases per day, an increase of 28 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Kentucky – Average of 980 cases per day, an increase of 27 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Missouri – Average of 1,916 cases per day, an increase of 27 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Wisconsin – Average of 3,124 cases per day, an increase of 25 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Utah – Average of 1,216 cases per day, an increase of 23 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Alabama – Average of 1,027 cases per day, an increase of 21 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Oregon – Average of 345 cases per day, an increase of 21 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Massachusetts – Average of 663 cases per day, an increase of 20 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Kansas – Average of 788 cases per day, an increase of 19 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Florida – Average of 2,711 cases per day, an increase of 18 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Oklahoma – Average of 1,182 cases per day, an increase of 16 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Georgia – Average of 1,409 cases per day, an increase of 14 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Iowa – Average of 1,044 cases per day, an increase of 13 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • South Carolina – Average of 907 cases per day, an increase of 13 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Arkansas – Average of 911 cases per day, an increase of 11 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Maryland – Average of 589 cases per day, an increase of 11 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Texas – Average of 4,587 cases per day, an increase of 8 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Louisiana – Average of 543 cases per day, an increase of 7 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Delaware – Average of 125 cases per day, an increase of 5 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • California – Average of 3,285 cases per day, an increase of 2 percent from the average two weeks earlier.

States seeing case decreases (by percentages):

  • Hawaii – Average of 89 cases per day, a decrease of 17 percent from the average two weeks earlier.
  • Maine – Average of 28 cases per day, a decrease of 9 percent from the average two weeks earlier.

Just when we think we are coming out of this pandemic and we struggle to get back to normal after the economic crisis that came along with the pandemic, we see many states still struggling with COVID 19 cases Norfolk, VA, USA included. While our cases continue to fluctuate our state is not one of the states that was hit the hardest by COVID 19 cases. We took a cautious and measured approach and it paid dividends. In fact as factors, such as going back to school and mere weather change, now have to be factored in, some of the European countries that were fairing better in the crisis are now seeing new and emerging struggles with COVID 19. COVID 19 has definitely taken its place in history. What solutions have worked well for your state? How are people adjusting to having to spend more times in doors, which has lead to less social distancing, due primarily to weather change and an increase in COVID 19 cases across the globe? What are you winter plans and how do you plan to maintain social distancing measures and keep your immune system strong? Remember, healthy is the New Normal! States such as Hawaii and California may likely fair better than other states like New York and Vermont where citizens will be forced to spend more time indoors in the warmth bracing against the cold winter weather while Hawaii and California can still take advantage of the fresh circulating air outdoors and easier means of social distancing.

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Coronavirus clinical trials are pausing over safety concerns – here’s what that means

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Source: CNBC
PUBLISHED THU, OCT 15 2020 6:00 AM EDT UPDATED THU, OCT 15 20209:02 PM EDT
Berkeley Lovelace Jr.@BERKELEYJR

  • J&J said Monday it paused the late-stage trial of its coronavirus vaccine candidate after a participant reported an “adverse event.”
  • Less than 24 hours later, Eli Lilly said its late-stage trial of its leading monoclonal antibody treatment for the coronavirus had been paused by U.S. health regulators over potential safety concerns.
  • Pauses to clinical trials are not uncommon, and the delays should reassure the public that the systems in place intended to protect volunteers are working, medical experts say.

Coronavirus clinical trials from drug giants Johnson & Johnson and Eli Lilly hit a snag this week after safety monitors halted them over bad reactions from participants.

J&J said Monday it paused the late-stage trial of its coronavirus vaccine candidate after a participant reported an “adverse event.” Less than 24 hours later, Eli Lilly said its late-stage trial of its leading monoclonal antibody treatment for the coronavirus had been paused by U.S. health regulators over potential safety concerns. The pauses are likely to add to concerns about the safeness of potential Covid-19 vaccines or treatments.

But pauses to clinical trials are not uncommon, and the delays should reassure the public that the systems in place intended to protect volunteers are working, medical experts said in phone interviews with CNBC.WATCH NOWVIDEO04:02Jim Cramer: Eli Lilly pausing antibody trial isn’t a big setback

The data and safety monitoring board, an independent group of experts who oversee U.S. clinical trials to ensure the safety of participants, recommends a pause to a clinical trial any time there is an “adverse event,” said Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist and professor at the University of Toronto. The pause will take as long as needed to gather all information and does not necessarily mean there is a problem with the vaccine or treatment, he said.

“The DSMB will say let’s push pause on this,” said Bogoch, who is also a member of the group and is overseeing other clinical drug trials. “They will say, ‘we need more data and let’s see if this person was in the vaccine group or in a placebo group.’ They’ll say, ‘let’s see what the actual illness is and use all the data at our disposal to determine whether this was a true side effect from the vaccine and if so, decide if it is safe to proceed with this study.’”

Pauses happen all the time, especially in large clinical trials with older adults, according to Dr. Paul Offit, director of the Vaccine Education Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Offit, a past member of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, said “adults get sick” and sometimes “they are going to get sick in the same period of time” of getting a vaccine or treatment.

“Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is designed to prevent Covid-19. It is not designed to prevent everything else that happens in life,” he said. “You’re always going to be sorting out those temporal associations. Strokes, heart attacks, neurological problems. Always. You always err on the side of caution and make sure that this isn’t a problem and then continue again.”

Bogoch echoed those remarks, adding, “no one before Covid-19 cared when there was a pause on a clinical trial for an antibiotic or heart medication.”

“Never have we been in a scenario where you truly have 7 billion people watching intently and following every single bit of progress under a microscope,” he said. “You know, it’s fascinating and it’s good. It creates a more health literate community. There is only good that can come of it.”

He added a pause isn’t the same as a regulatory hold, sometimes referred to as a “clinical hold.”  A clinical hold is imposed by a health authority, like the Food and Drug Administration, he said.

“It’s a little more serious when you get to a regulatory hold,” he said. “That’s actually when the FDA steps in and say we’re concerned about a particular event and we’re going to stop this trial because we don’t think it’s safe to proceed with the data that we have available at this point in time.”

The FDA still has a late-stage clinical trial from AstraZeneca, a front-runner in the Covid-19 vaccine race, on hold in the United States. That means the company is unable to administer second doses of its two-dose vaccine regimen to U.S. participants.

The company announced on Sept. 8 that its trial had been put on hold due to an unexplained illness in a patient in the United Kingdom. The patient is believed to have developed inflammation of the spinal cord, known as transverse myelitis. The trial has since resumed in the U.K. and other countries but is still on hold in the U.S.

It remains unknown what reactions the participants in J&J’s and Eli Lilly’s trials had.

Offit said companies will sometimes claim they are protecting the confidentiality of the patient, but he disagreed with the behavior. “As long as you can’t identify the person, they can give you a fair amount of information about the person, but they don’t,” he said.

Dr. Mathai Mammen, global head of research and development at J&J’s Janssen arm, told investors on a conference call Tuesday that the company still had “very little information” on the reason for the holdup, including if the patient received the vaccine or the placebo. “It’ll be a few days at minimum for the right information to be gathered,” he added.

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a former health advisor in the Obama administration, said it would “raise serious questions” if the participant received the vaccine.

“One adverse event is serious, especially when you’re considering a vaccine that you’re going to roll out to tens, hundreds of millions of people, maybe even billions,” he said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “That’s the ultimate concern.”

Eli Lilly and the National Institutes of Health did not disclose what the “safety” concern was either, but Eli Lilly said it was “supportive of the decision by the independent DSMB to cautiously ensure the safety of the patients participating in this study.”

“Safety is of the utmost importance to Lilly. We are aware that, out of an abundance of caution, the ACTIV-3 independent data safety monitoring board (DSMB) has recommended a pause in enrollment,” spokeswoman Molly McCully told CNBC. 

Indeed, the whole world is on edge for the first time in “modern” history with over 1 Million dead global (as reported by Wikipedia) from COVID 19 and even more cases. People are waiting for a solution and the end of the pandemic. How important is a vaccine to you and yours? Is a safe and effective vaccine more important to you than simply a vaccine? Will you take the vaccine once it is here?

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Japan is Number 1: Recycling

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When one of our friends moved to Japan, one striking difference we noted was their (Japan’s) commitment to the environment: namely recycling. The OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (an intergovernmental organisation) named Japan as number one in landfills (in 2015). Japan has a rigorous recycling plan that leaves very little waste for landfills. Japan is also 19th in the world, according to OECD in 2015, for recycling and composting. We (the United States) are 54th and 35th respectively. But, with cities like San Francisco as shinning and positive and progressive examples, there is much hope for the United States to go from being the largest waste producers in the world to true leaders in progressive and positive environment change.

The City of Norfolk, VA, USA offers curbside or drop off recycling options for residence: Click Here to learn more! Composting offers the gardener a wonderful resource of nutrients for their plants. The same is true for grass (it is a plant. a large plant. but a plant). The fruits from compositing can provide one with chemical (depending on what you put in your composter) free fertilizers for their grass and save them a trip to the store by using sustainable resources such as leaves and used coffee grounds to feed nutrients back into beautifying their yards or feeding house plants. Countries like Japan and cities like San Francisco remind us just how possible and beneficial recycling can be.

What other ways do you use compost? How often have you bought fertilizer? What are the benefits and savings to you for recycling and composting not to mention the environment we live in?

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We Can Solve This: Climate Change

We Can Solve This: San Francisco Leads the Way – Climate Change
Source: Climate Reality Project
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

This video reminds us just how possible it is to make negative climate change a thing of the past and how much we are already doing. As one of the largest (United States) producers of waste in the world, it makes us proud to see just how proactive San Francisco is. It is a beautiful city with good reason. Already many stores in the area have begun to make reusable bags a thing of the present while encouraging people to bring their own bags. On the Norfolk State University campus one can already see water fountains with refillable stations for water bottles like the one featured in the video. We have already invested in stainless steel water bottles made to last and with environmentally friendly materials (not plastic). In fact, many of the inititives to reduce waste are also a cost savings to both the consumer and the company as we move towards sustainable, realistic and options that are friendly to the environment that we live in.

In fact, these green solutions offer countless benefits: solar panels (which Prince Charles himself uses) as well as green roofs provide cost savings a responsible use of natural resources and fresh air not to mention the many other benefits green spaces offer humans. Recycling is nice. A nice way for tweens and teens to earn a little extra cash by turning recycled items in to establishments that still pay for these materials. The benefits are truly endless and a means that are sustainable. We could not be more excited about the example San Francisco offers to other cities and we are not far behind.

What are some ways that you contribute to the health of our environment? Do you have a water bottle? How often do you use it? We have been know to bring our water bottles to restaurants. Its not mainstream yet, but just wait.

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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Electric Cars: Tesla in Norfolk

Tesla Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

A Tesla is a beautiful car (piece of machinery) made by a true engineer at heart. So, when you see a Tesla it is pretty hard to miss. And when you see a Tesla electric charging station it is even harder to miss. They are definitely unique structures that stand out. We have one right in Norfolk at the Janaf Shopping Center not far from the Walmart. Norfolk, VA, USA may have its climate change challenges, but it is also a dynamic and progressive city with several positive climate change initiatives that we will be talking about. We are super excited to be living in the city that we believe is a jewel among many jewels in the state of Virginia.

We are still driving vehicles that are not electric. But, we have been doing out homework. It is reported that most electric cars costs comparably more in the beginning. But, over time we hear that the savings in maintenance and to power (electric vs. gas) yields a savings that adds up over time. Additionally, FuelEconomy.gov reports that there are also possible tax breaks for having a electric vehicle. We will continue doing our research and hope that our next vehicle can be electric. As the technology grows there continues to be more options for consumers new and used.

Do you own an electric vehicle? How long have you had it? Do you plan on buying an electric vehicles? What other benefits have you identified? What adjustments did you have to make when you purchased your first electric vehicle?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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Parsley and Marigold Plants

Parsley and Marigold Plant Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

In addition to the garden, we kept a few plants in their pots for transportation to other homes. While we were planning to keep dill around, dill went to another home and we kept the parsley plant. Initially the parsley plant scarcely produced enough leaves for one meal. Since we have been harvesting parsley on a regular basis (about every 3 weeks) she has yielded a large enough harvest that we can clip enough leaves for a full meal and leave about a third of the leaves behind for continued photosynthesis / growth. We have been harvesting and eating from our parsley plant since the summer.

She is a prime example of how one can have a small kitchen garden right from their porch or from inside their home. Many people live in ares where they have a yard or no yard at all and thus are urban gardeners. So, we want you to know that it is possible. Not only is it possible, it is a nice fresh treat produced by your own hands. It is food and you know the source. You know that your foods were grown responsibly. We grew her without pesticides or any other chemicals. Her seeds may not have been organic. Nonetheless, she was grown organically and has continued to grow and thrive.

Speaking of growing organically, marigold is right next to her. She has not yet blossomed. We started the marigold plant late in the season to ward off ants. Marigold is a perfect Organic Remedy for pests such as ants who can carry your plants right off before you get to eat them. We like having marigold around because she discourages ants from coming around the house and around the plants. The pumpkin is a little treat we picked up from the local grocers as a Halloween decoration.

If you have never had a garden before or only had the occasional house plant or two, grow kits are a great way to get your feet wet and to learn the wonderful world of growing something. The good news is that if you have had the occasional house plant, you probably know more than you think you do. Herbs are a great way to get started too. They are easy to grow as small or as big as you want. They often have less resource demands. They typically need less water than say a tomato plant that will need a lot of space and more water.

What type of area do you live in, rural or urban? We have seen people grow pineapples right in their homes. What do you think you can grow in your space? What would you like to grow in your space?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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Moving indoors

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

I don’t think I have ever met a plant that didn’t love being outside. However, its not every plant that can be exposed to the outside elements during a frost and still survive. Having experienced cold climates, typically its only the evergreens that can thrive during the winter without some type of shelter or aid. In fact, there are a few farmers who will tell you that they can produce a harvest in the midst of winter. However, these farmers are typically using some type of greenhouse or frame to shield their plants from the winter elements in some form or another. As we come upon the winter months this conversation is important because we are at a time where one should be making plans to move their outdoor plants inside or making winter plans for their garden.

Speaking of which, the following are a few tips for planning for your plants during the winter months:

  • Assess your plants needs
    • what are its light needs
    • what type of nutrients will its soil need
    • what will be its water needs
    • what will be its drainage needs
    • what will be its fresh air needs
  • based on your plants needs
    • where will you place the plant indoors
    • how will you provide for all of its needs

You have probably been feeding its soil the proper nutrients all along and this should not change much. One major thing to consider is where to place your plant indoors so that it will get the amount of sunlight it will need. Grow lights are a great resource that inside growers take advantage of when the light source is not as much as they need. Also, you may have allowed your plant to drain into soil or onto your patio or porch. Now that the plant will be inside do you have trays to catch any access water. During the winter months people sometimes let in as little fresh air as possible. But, your plants will want the fresh air. They breathe like people do and need fresh air also. Remember to monitor how your plants are doing with the temperature change. They do not want to frost but they don’t want to be in a sauna either. At least moist plants. Succulents and cacti would probably beg to differ. Different plants do have different needs.

What plants are you planning on bringing indoors? I have seen people with plants over 20 years old. That is fantastic. Some people have an amazing way with plants! Are there any plants that can be left outdoors? What is your biggest concern with bringing your plant(s) indoors?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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Hearty fufu

Cooking fufu
Source: Ndudu by Fafa
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Fufu is one of my favorite dishes. Its a hearty staple that goes with almost any dish like rice or potatoes. I prefer it made with sweet potatoes. What are your favorite cultural or international dishes? Where is the dish from? What do you like about it?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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Cooking: from Garden to Kitchen

Kitchen Garden and Cooking
Source: NParks SG
Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook

Have you started your garden? What is in your garden? What have you cooked from your garden?

Share your comments with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of health with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing!

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