Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Toxin Free Baby: Feeding Babies Optimally


One of my favorite people in the world, Dani Johnson, (an entrepeneur and business coach) has a great saying. She says, "If you want to be successful, find out what everyone else is doing, and do the exact opposite." This unconventional philosophy is precisely what I adhere to when feeding my little ones. Current conventional wisdom tells us to serve babies cereals as their first foods, and to serve them juices and eschew raw milk. I have literally done the exact opposite.

Nathaniel is almost 2.5, and he has not yet had any grains. That means no bread, no crackers, no cereal, and no snack bars. He has not had any sugar- no candy, no cookies, and no ice cream. He has never had juice, he has never had pasteurized milk, and he's never had fruit leathers or fruit snacks. He's never been served "kid food" and he won't ever be. He eats what we eat.

He has, however, had immense amounts of {organic} raw milk, coconut oil, raw cheese, grass fed beef and organic chicken, organic fruits and vegetables (he especially loves apples and peas) and one of his favorite snacks, bananas "fried" in coconut oil. He drinks smoothies with us and loves our green drink. He takes cod liver oil every night without a fuss, and has ever since he was a small baby. He also takes Garden of Life's Primal Defense for kids.

In return, we have an exceptionally healthy child, who has never once been sick, (that means no colds, no flus, no ear infections, no digestive issues, etc), has eyes and a mind that have been alert and observant since birth, as well as perfect teeth.

In light of the experience I've gained, I am going to be doing a series on feeding babies, to help you as you nourish your little ones in optimal health! It is possible, and it is really not that hard! Any slight inconveniences are forgotten with such wonderful payoffs as I listed above.

Please let me know if you have any specific questions, so I can be sure to address those in my posts. In the meantime, happy baby/kid feeding!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Toxin Free Body: Would You Like Antibiotics With Dinner?

Did you know that it is estimated that one glass of commercial, non organic milk purchased from a grocery store may contain the residues of up to one hundred antibiotics? Or that commercial cattle and dairy cows are given antibiotics regularly just to make them gain weight more quickly, and not because they are sick?

I didn't know either of these facts before I started the Maker's Diet five years ago. As it turns out, the FDA is just now catching on to these little known facts, (or is just now choosing to care) and has decided to do something about it. My husband saw this article in Google News today, talking about the FDA's recent statement they released concerning antibiotic usage in animals, and its ramifications. Check out the original article here.

Although it's really great that they are stepping in, the process is undoubtedly going to take a very long time, and in the meantime, you'd be much better off switching your meat and dairy to safer, antibiotic and hormone free alternatives that meet the Maker's design.

Check out this website for info on real dairy and beef in your area:

http://www.eatwild.com
http://www.realmilk.com

Again, here is the original article with their statements, and their conclusions.

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/news/20100628/fda-antibiotics-in-livestock-affects-human-health

Monday, June 28, 2010

Dear Whole Foods.

Dear Whole Foods,

I am writing to express my sincere displeasure in your recent decision to pull all kombucha from your store shelves.

I have been a faithful Whole Foods shopper for 5 years now, and have bought G.T. Dave's Synergy kombucha faithfully throughout that time.

One of the things I love most about your store is your wide variety of products promoting optimal health. I come to your store because I can find unconventional, artisan, raw, and life-giving products that traditional grocers do not carry. I come to your store because I support the growing movement toward restoring organic practices and lifestyles in America.

And it seemed that you did too. As the nation's largest retailer of natural and organic foods, you were making quite a difference. Too much of a difference, it seems. Bowing to pressure from the powers that be, who despise the dollar share you are stealing away, you are selling out one symbolic product at a time.

First it was the raw milk in California, a true blow to the raw dairy movement in this country. Assuming this would be an isolated incident, we all moved forward- raw dairy farms like Organic Pastures and Claravale Farms continued selling their products through Mom & Pop stores, albeit badly bruised and wounded, and life continued on.

But now, with this recent decision, I can't help but feeling the Whole Foods as I've known it is gone forever. What will be next? Will it be raw cheese, sprouted tortillas, or any non 365 product?

I believed in your company and appreciated the momentum you are gaining for the organic & natural foods industry. But I see now that your company is just what all your critics claimed it was- a large, money making corporation focused more on shareholder's demands and underlying financial interests than on quality.

I will be moving my purchasing dollars away from your store in hopes of supporting smaller, local companies who actually do what you used to- distribute real food.

I do hope that you return to the principles that brought you such success, and until then, I will avoid shopping at your store as much as possible.

Best regards,

Catherine Slezinger.






Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday's Food for Thought: We Were Meant to Eat Meat!

From H. Leon Abrams Your Body is Your Best Doctor:

"Actually, the digestive mechanism of man is adapted to a mixed meat and vegetable diet.

Human teeth consist of three types: canines or piercing teeth of the meat-eating animals, the incisors of plant - eating animals, and the molars of grinders of grain-and-nut eating animals.

With respect to structure, human teeth are conclusive proof that the human body is adapted to a mixed animal and plant diet. Man has specific digestive ferments for meat proteins and other special digestive juices for carbohydrates.

His stomach and intestinal tract is equipped to handle both. Man is naturally adapted to a mixed of diet animal and plant foods."




Thursday, June 24, 2010

Toxin-Free Body: Organic Makeup


When we first began the Maker's Diet, I was horrified to find that my beloved Mac makeup contained toxic chemicals. (The most common chemicals in conventional makeup are phenylenediamine, benzene, and formaldehyde).

I had an entire case full of a wide array of gorgeous eyeshadows, foundation, eyeliner, lip liner, lip gloss, and mascara. But as much as I loved my beautiful makeup, I knew it wasn't worth it to continue adding to my body's burden. So I went on a hunt. I settled on Bare Escentuals, but became somewhat disillusioned when I discovered that many of their products still contain parabens, a toxic preservative linked with breast cancer.

I just don't feel I can trust a company to be "natural" when they market some products with toxic chemicals, and some without.

But I wanted something similar to Bare Escentuals. I did some google searching, and finally found an AWESOME company named Jenulence, whose wonderful motto is, "If you can't eat it, don't use it on your skin!"

I tried out their foundation, which was cheaper than BE, and absolutely loved it. I'm totally hooked! In fact, I'm just about to order some more. In time I look forward to using their other products as well. I'm currently using HoneyBee Gardens products for my blush, eyeshadow, mascara, etc, which are also very high quality, but I feel that the Jenulence products meet up to my ridiculously high standards even more. :)

Check out their website, and get 10% off on your first order! You just have to enter newcustomer in the coupon code area. Their website is: http://www.jenulence.com.

If you do place an order, feel free to put my name in for your referral!

For more on this topic, see these articles:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2002/04/24/makeup-cancer.aspx

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/08/09/poison-kiss-lead-in-lipstick.aspx

http://www.safecosmetics.org/

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

You Decide!

Hello everyone!

I need your help! If you had to pick 3 topics, what would you most want to read about in a blog post, or a series?


Please leave me your thoughts as a comment- I'd really love to know what you think!

Thanks you for your thoughts and time!!!



Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Primal Defense Giveaway Winner!

And the lucky winner for the Primal Defense giveaway is....

Jennifer Katherine, contest entrant number 19. Congratulations Jennifer!!!!


Thank you to everyone who entered the contest! There will be more to come!

My question to everyone who entered is, if you had to pick one, which Garden of Life product would you most want in a giveaway?





Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday's Menu: Blender Batter Pancakes

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Father's Day! My husband, Mark, is such a wonderful Father to our boys, I wanted to make him a special breakfast. I thought I'd share our breakfast with you. I particularly wanted to share a super easy, super nutritious recipe I have for pancake/waffle batter. I got it from my Mom, but the original recipe is from Sue Gregg. Sue Gregg has some great cookbooks with whole food recipes. I don't own any of her cookbooks yet, but her website is great! Anyway, here was our Father's Day breakfast feast:

We started off with our mainstay: organic, local, free range eggs.

Meanwhile, I fired up our beloved VitaMix, which always gets a workout in the morning. For our Father's Day breakfast, I made our family's favorite smoothie, made with raw milk, organic strawberries, organic banana, organic coconut oil, organic raw honey, and organic egg yolks.

Nathaniel waits expectantly for his smoothie.

While the smoothie was mixing, I made the star of the show- our blender batter pancakes. I'll post the recipe below!

Put it all together: Eggs, pancakes, smoothie, and orange slices decorated with borage flowers from the backyard garden. Happy Father's Day.

Blender Batter Pancakes: (Can also be used in a waffle maker)

Here is the recipe: (Single batch)

1 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup oat
1/2 cup wheat berries (or rice, or millet, or barley)

Place in blender and blend for 3 minutes - let sit on your counter overnight

Next Morning:

Add:
1 egg
1 Tbsp flaxseed
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 tspn. baking powder (I recommend Rumford's Aluminum Free)

Blend for 3 -5 minutes. Now it's ready to use! If it seems too thick, just add a bit more milk.

Enjoy!


Friday, June 18, 2010

Getting to Know You...With A Prize!



This summer marks a very special anniversary for me. Two, actually! This summer I celebrate the 6 year anniversary of marrying my soulmate, Mark, and also our 5th anniversary of beginning the Maker's Diet! (Click here for more on why we got started in the first place!)


In honor of my 5 Year Maker's Diet Anniversary,
I'm hosting a special giveaway for you all, sponsored by Garden of Life.


One lucky winner will win a free bottle of Primal Defense, Garden of Life's award-winning probiotic. (I started taking this probiotic when I began the Maker's Diet, and it has truly rebuilt my digestive system! Both our kids take the children's version now!)

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below by Monday, June 21st at midnight CST, telling me your name, what personal/family health issue concerns you most, and what product from Garden of Life intrigues you most.

The winner will be selected randomly, and will be announced on Tuesday's post!

Again, answer the following questions to enter:

1)Your name
2)What personal/family health issue concerns you most
3)Which Garden of Life product intrigues you most

Happy winning!

Note: The lucky winner will have three days to contact me. Winner must be 18 or older. One entry per family, please. Duplicate entries will be deleted.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Food for Thought: How Should We Feed the World?

A truly eye opening excerpt from Paul Stitt's Fighting the Food Giants:

"If the best current knowledge were employed, enough food to feed the four billion people could be grown in the southern half of Sudan! It is only the Western bias, the idea spread throughout the world that one must eat white grain and drink soda pop to be "civilized", that is responsible for the suffering of the millions of starving people in the world.

It is a myth that there is not enough to go around, that there is no way the Earth can support its exploding population. The truth is that most of the world's food resource are controlled by a handful of greedy men, who deny people the right to grow food for themselves but try to sell them Western-produced junk instead.

Some experts estimate that if all the arable land on earth were used properly and sowed with foods for human consumption, the Earth could support 60 billion people- almost fifteen times our current population! But it is true that there is no way we can feed the world population on Whoppers and Cheez-Wiz, let alone nourish it."

I hope this forever silences the voices of all those who want you to believe that: a) The world has too many people, and b) that genetically modified foods are necessary to feed the globe.

More on this to come! In the meantime, check out movies like Food Inc, and The Future of Food.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Not Getting Your Greens? Nathaniel Can Help!

Having trouble getting your veggies every day? It can be hard sometimes! Our family loves taking a green drink to help us meet the optimal requirements for our daily intake of fruits and veggies. Experts agree that we should be eating 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies per day, 4-5 of which should be dark, leafy greans like kale and chard. Unfortunately, if you're an average American, you're only eating 3 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. That's falling dreadfully short of recommendations that have been proven to ward off cancer, heart disease, vision problems, and other degenerative diseases. If you can't get enough of these life giving veggies, a high quality green drink can do wonders for you.


video

Click here for more information on our family's favorite green drink.


For the lowest price I've seen online, including shipping, I'd recommend purchasing it here: http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Food-Berry-Garden-Life/dp/B0010WD32Y

Note: there is a note on the Perfect Food Berry container stating, "not for children." however, I think it's completely fine for Nathaniel to drink some here and there. I do, however, recommend it daily for adults!



Thursday, June 10, 2010

Further Proof for the Necessity of Organically Grown Food


Did you know that 67 various pesticides are lurking in your child's celery stick? (Even if it's decorated with innocent looking peanut butter and raisins for ants on a log!)  It's true, if you are buying conventional produce.

My father in law sent me this article the other day.  It is a great piece done by CNN, who is doing a series called, "Toxic America."

It's a really great study of organic fruits and vegetables versus conventional.  I had to chuckle, though, because CNN makes it seem like they are on the cutting edge of this news story.  They're not breaking any news that God didn't reveal thousands of years ago.  :)

Check out the original article for yourself at:

http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/06/01/dirty.dozen.produce.pesticide/index.html?npt=NP1

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My Weekend Lesson!

After 5 years on the Maker's Diet, you would think that I knew better!  I had quite an adventure (not a fun one!) this weekend and had to share with you all.  On Friday night, a gracious and much appreciated friend volunteered to babysit our boys after they went to bed, so my husband and I could go on a much needed night out.  "Let's go to that organic restaurant downtown for dessert," my husband said.  So off we went, thrilled to be out together sans the little ones, as much as we love them!

 When we got to the restaurant, we were seated outside, and the waitress brought out the dessert tray.  Normally, I do not eat any desserts out of my own home, no matter how tempting they look.  But, since it was an organic restaurant (although we'd never eaten there before together) I thought I would be in the clear.  However, I should have known better!  Just because products can be "organic", does not mean they are not refined!  I should have questioned the waitress further to find just how refined their organic dessert ingredients were.  I would have saved myself quite the painful experience.

We decided on a peanut butter chocolate piece of cake.  I took one bite, and knew it was not a dessert made with organic, sprouted, or at least whole grain flour, and Rapadura instead of sugar.  And it didn't even taste good.  The peanut butter topping was insanely sweet, the cake too chocolate-ey, and just overall tasted like something one would buy at Safeway.

I believe I took one more bite after that initial one, and decided my initial evaluation was correct! I put down my fork and drank water instead.  After we left, we walked around a beautiful, open shopping center.  The night was gorgeous and everyone was dressed in their summer finest, but I just wanted to go home.  My stomach, which was fine when I left home, was now feeling like a dead weight had been transported directly under my rib cage.  I so wanted to enjoy this special time with my husband, but all I could think about was how badly my stomach hurt.

Finally, we got home, and I kept guzzling water, and prepared for bed.  I took some of Garden of Life's phenomenal digestive enzymes, called Omega Zymes. (I don't know where I'd be without these!)  I took 4 of them and went to bed, figuring that with only two bites, and the digestive enzymes, I'd be fine by the morning.

Boy was I wrong.  I couldn't have been asleep for more than an hour or so when I awoke with gut wrenching pain. I felt like I was being stabbed directly under my left rib.  I took some more water and several more Omega-Zymes, but it wasn't going away.  Then, I started getting that awful feeling in my stomach and throat, when you just know you'd better hurry up and get to the bathroom.

I'll spare you the lovely details, but the short story is that I spent most of the night vomiting, and in such awful stomach pain that most normal people would probably have woken up their spouses, and gone to the hospital.  (I'm still working on achieving the status of normal!) 

The next day, my stomach still hurt, all day, until Monday morning.  I couldn't believe all that I went through, all for a cake that didn't even taste good!

So the moral of the story is: if you eat very healthily the overwhelming majority of the time, spare yourself the trouble and don't cheat.  You'll probably get sick. (Even if it's "organic"!)  If I had eaten at another organic restaurant near our home, which serves organic, unrefined sugar and organic whole grain flours in its desserts, I would have been fine.  But my body absolutely rejected the refined stuff, albeit organic! 

And the second moral of the story is: if your diet is so "healthy", you might want to ask yourself why it doesn't react immediately when you eat things like trans-fat and chemical laden McDonald's, refined sugar and flour desserts, pastries, and bagels,(or coffee drinks), or pesticide laden fruits and veggies. 

Just something to think about.

I hope you all had a better weekend than I did!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday's Food for Thought: Is Organic Really Necessary?

From Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions, page 369, by Sally Fallon:

"Strawberries lead the list of the thirteen most contaminated fruits and vegetables sold in American supermarkets.  According to a 1993 Environmental Working Group study, on some farms strawberries are sprayed with 500 pounds of pesticides per acre.

Red and green bell peppers come next, which are high in neurotoxic residues.  Other highly contaminated foods include spinach, cherries, peaches, Mexican cantaloupe, celery, apples, apricots, green beans, Chilean grapes and cucumbers.

Fruits and vegetables from foreign countries are subject to even less stringent regulations than domestic varieties.  Imported bananas, for example, often are treated with benomyl (linked with birth defects) and chlorpyrifos (a neurotoxin.)

Among grains, rice and oats were found to be the most contaminated.

The solution?  Buy organic, especially when it comes to the popular fruits and vegetables listed above.  Even better, buy biodynamic, which is an all - natural farming technique...biodynamic crops are nourished with naturally composted manure from cows allowed to graze freely."

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Toxin Free Baby: My Favorite Diaper Rash Balm (Organic, Of Course!)



When our first son, Nathaniel, was born, we were clueless about the perils diaper rash would present to our lives.  (That was only the first of many things we were clueless about!)  Before we started cloth diapering Nathaniel had a low grade rash all the time.  And if he was teething, he seemed to get diarrhea for a couple days.  This led to some serious diaper rash!  I knew we wouldn't use petroleum products like Vaseline, or a product containing a cocktail of chemicals, but I didn't know what was out there in the organic world- and more importantly, what would be most effective.

Fortunately for us, a fabulous company had already solved our dilemma!  We discovered Earth Mama Angel Baby's organic diaper rash balm when my mom gave it to Nathaniel as a gift.

Oh mi gosh is this stuff amazing!  Diaper rash is the least it can handle- it's also great for acne, exczema, cuts, burns, and practically everything else!  It goes on easy, has a cooling effect on the skin, and heals like a dream.  I honestly don't know where we'd be without it!

And the best part: it's truly, 100% toxin free. There are many "natural"  baby products that still contain chemicals like phthalates and parabens.  (The tricky part is, companies aren't required to list phthalates on their ingredient list, so you have to do your homework beforehand to know which companies don't include them.)  Earth Mama Angel Baby's products are absolutely free of every toxin- and they're becoming increasingly well known because they WORK.  There's no compromises with Earth Mama products- the quality is unparalleled, and so is the efficacy.

Give them a try! I promise you won't be disappointed!  Check out www.amazon.com, www.luckyvitamin.com, www.vitacost.com, and  www.mothernature.com for great prices!



Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Easy Organic: So Yummy Carrot Cumin Soup


While we are on the topic of what a typical "eating day" on the Maker's Diet might look like, I thought you might all enjoy this lovely soup that I made with dinner last night.  (We also had organic, grass fed chuck roast, organic raw cheese, and organic steamed peas).  I have to admit that I have not always been a huge soup fan.  Until I started the Maker's Diet, that is.  There are so many yummy soups that pack serious nutritional punch, and there is just nothing quite as satisfying as a lovely bowl of soup with dinner.

This recipe is super easy, and although the combination of carrot and cumin is an unlikely one, it is truly delicious!  My soups have gone to a whole new level since being given a VitaMix for my birthday!  They make soups the consistency that you would find at restaurants!  (And that is only one of many feats they can perform). 

If you make this for your family, be sure to let me know what you think!  This would also be a great soup to double and freeze for later.

So Yummy Carrot Cumin Soup
Serves 2-4, depending on serving size

3/4 cup organic onions
2 tbsp organic butter
1 3/4 cup organic carrots
1/2 tspn. organic cumin
1/2 tspn. Celtic or Himalayan salt
2 cups chicken stock (I also use 2 cups organic milk in substitution for the stock, if I happen to be out, and it tastes just as good)


In a saucepan, cook onion in butter over moderate heat until softened.


Add carrots, cumin, and salt, and cook 1 min.


Add stock, (or milk) and simmer mixture 25 minutes, or until tender.


Puree in a blender, food processor, or VitaMix.  Serve hot, garnished with a dollop of organic, full fat sour cream.  (I love Organic Valley's brand). I also love adding some soaked, salted & dried pecans on top of the sour cream.

Happy soup eating!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

An Eating Day in the Life...of Jordan Rubin

 
I saw this article from Garden of Life and thought you might enjoy seeing what an "eating" day in the life of Jordan Rubin, the author of the Maker's Diet, is like.  In the future, I will post what menus are like in the Slezinger family home, for adults and kids.  Enjoy this sneak preview into a very healthy day!
 
Upon Waking: 20 oz.. of purified water (I drink between 100-120 ounces of water per day on average.)

Before Breakfast: RAW Meal--Beyond Organic Meal Replacement

Breakfast: 3 omega-3 eggs (Gold Circle Farms) cooked in Garden of Life® extra virgin coconut oil and 2 pieces of yeast free spelt toast (French Meadow) with organic butter
  

Lunch: Meat, Fish or Chicken dish; soup (made with real stock and veggies; butternut squash and steamed veggies like broccoli are my favorites.

Before Dinner: Perfect Food® RAW Green SuperFood Drink mixed with water

Dinner:  Organic Green salad  with organic greens (either store bought or grown in my outdoor home hydroponic system), cucumbers, carrots, red peppers, tomatoes, red onions, 1/2 avocado (one of the healthiest foods on the planet), raw soaked and dried seeds, raw cheese and smoked wild caught salmon (Echo Falls is a brand I like.)

After Dinner Snack:   Berries, Sheep's Milk Yogurt (Old Chatham Sheepherder's is the best), Garden of Life® Hawaiian Lehua Honey and vanilla extract

For the original article, click here.