Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Are you eating salmon loaded with pesticides, antibiotics, synthetic pigments, and toxic compounds like copper sulfate, thinking that it's "heart & brain healthy"?
If so, here's some information that will make you want to avoid farm caught salmon like the plague: if farmed salmon were not fed synthetic pigments to dye the flesh, your salmon would be an unappetizing gray, not pink! This is due to their altered diets, which are not congruent with nature.
This awesome article from Dr. Mercola exposes the dark side of farm raised salmon. Check out the article to find out the truth, and buy wild caught salmon instead of farm raised!
Monday, November 29, 2010
"If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny."
~ Thomas Jefferson
I saw this article from Dr. Mercola, and I HAD to pass it on to you! Do you want the government telling you what you can and cannot eat, even controlling whether or not you can have your own garden? ME EITHER!
Take the time to read the bottom half of this article, and take the action Dr. Mercola recommends! Let's keep this country free- including the freedom of choice to choose our own food!
Here's the article:
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, all I can think of is warm things and spicy breads. Growing up, my Mom used to make delicious pumpkin breads every year. So when I saw this recipe from Garden of Life, through their Extraordinary Health Newsletter, I had to pass it on to you! See the original article here. Here's the recipe!
Seasonal Pumpkin Bread
3 cups of freshly ground spelt flour
1 ½ cups of mashed pumpkin
1 cup of water
3 Tablespoons of kefir, probiotic-rich yogurt, or raw apple cider vinegar
¾ cup of extra virgin coconut oil
3 omega-3 eggs
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
¾ teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of baking powder
1 cup of raisins
1 cup crispy nuts (chopped)
Mix together the flour, mashed pumpkin, water and kefir (or yogurt or apple cider vinegar) in a large bowl. Cover the bowl and let the mixture sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours.
When you’re ready to bake the pumpkin bread, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two loaf pans with coconut oil. Uncover the pumpkin mixture and add the remaining ingredients—except for the raisins and nuts—and mix well. When mixed, then add the raisins and nuts. Pour the batter into the two loaf pans and then bake them for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for about 30 minutes. Serve warm.
Recipe courtesy of Extraordinary Health Team
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I saw this article last night on Whole Foods website and had to share. It is a fantastic guide to cooking organic & natural turkeys! Like any other organic/grass fed meat, free range turkeys cook differently than their conventional counterparts. Their meat is naturally leaner, and no additives are included. Thus, you don't want to cook your delicious, but expensive, free range bird as you normally would, just to find that it comes out dry! This article will give you all the tips you need for a fantastic, and toxin free, Thanksgiving turkey!
Monday, November 22, 2010
In traditional cultures, sweet potatoes were fermented in holes in the ground. These days, the only time anyone in the U.S. sees them is when they are covered with marshmallows on Thanksgiving day. Unfortunately, marshmallows are extremely unhealthy, and I have to warn you- even the "organic" ones are too! Corn syrup is bad for you no matter what, even if it's "organic"! I've never seen any made without it.
The good news is, it's possible to make some delightful sweet potatoes for your Thanksgiving table, even without the marshmallows. And trust me, I know how hard it can be to give those up. My Mom made sweet potato casserole every year that I can remember growing up, and I used to eat only the toasty marshmallows, eschewing most of the sweet potatoes. So I know how good it is!
But sweet potatoes are so sweet- you don't need marshmallows! I've found that the key to yummy sweet potatoes is plenty, and I do mean plenty, of rich butter.
Here's a basic recipe I use for sweet potatoes. (Although I don't ever add sweetener, and we don't miss it, but I'll include it below for Thanksgiving) I love sweet potatoes so much that we have them once a week! (On Sundays, with our weekly roast!)
So Sweet Sweet Potatoes (Serves 4-6)
(I don't follow this precisely by any means, so feel free to add more butter, or more salt or cinnamon if you think it needs it!)
10 medium sized organic yams
1-2 tspns. sea salt, to taste
1-2 tspns. organic cinnamon, to taste
1-2 sticks organic butter, like Organic Valley's cultured, unsalted butter, or use homemade raw butter!
1 cup organic raisins
1/4-1/2 cup Rapadura, or raw honey
Wash sweet potatoes and prick holes all over them. Bake in a 350 degree oven (put some foil on the bottom of your oven for easy cleanup) for about 2-3 hours, or until very, very tender when pierced with a fork or knife.
Take the sweet potatoes out of the oven when very tender, and cut them down the middle. Scoop out the flesh into a large bowl. Add in the butter, and stir until thoroughly melted and evenly distributed. Then add the sweetener, sea salt, cinnamon and raisins. Stir thoroughly.
Serve right away, or reheat in a dish in the oven, or in a crockpot on Thanksgiving day.
Enjoy your sweet, sweet potatoes!
Friday, November 19, 2010
I didn't either! I know I just shared a Dr. Mercola article yesterday, but I had to pass this on- in this awesome article Dr. Mercola details a vitamin that can slash your chances for developing Alzheimer's, as well as some lifestyle/dietary changes that will help as well.
Alzheimer's is a tragic and unnecessary disease. Check out this article and then pass on this valuable information to your loved ones!
Have a great weekend everyone!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
The choices you make now will affect them for their lifetimes, as new research has proved that chemicals which alter the endocrine, or hormonal system, can affect reproduction.
Check out this article by Dr. Mercola for more!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
With all the concern today about BPA, phthalates, and plastics in general, it makes sense to keep food away from storage containers containing these toxic chemicals! Today I'll show you a great alternative to the conventional plastic food containers that are so prevalent today.
Remember that the aforementioned chemicals will leach out of plastic and into your food, thereby sending toxins into your body when you eat the food. This is especially true when foods are reheated in plastic containers in the microwave. (Which has serious dangers of its own!)
In light of these dangers, you won't find any plastic containers in our home. We store our leftovers in glass Pyrex containers with BPA- free plastic lids, or in leftover mayonnaise or peanut butter jars.
(We're always buying the 26- 32 oz. sizes, so I just pop them in the dishwasher when we're through with them, they make great storage containers for smaller amounts of food!) I also have some stainless steel bowls with lids that I use as well. But by far, my favorite food storage option are my Pyrex bowls, which I can never seem to have enough of!
I hope this gives you a good start on storing toxin free food for your family!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
When you have little ones, you have diapers, and diapers, and diapers to change. Especially when, like me, you have two in diapers! I have often thought it would be funny to keep track of just how many diapers I change day in and day out. But I don't have the time!
With all those diapers, you're bound to get some rashes. Some are preventable, and some aren't. (Like if baby poops at night and doesn't tell you!) In a bind recently, because we had run out of our favorite balm, and Micah had developed a decent rash out of nowhere, I ran across a recommendation to use cornstarch on baby's bottom, similarly to how you would use diaper powder.
I had a stash in my cupboard because I've been using it as an ingredient in a fabulous homemade deodorant. (I didn't make it up, I got the recipe from a friend- more info to come soon!)
So I decided to give it a shot. First I gave him a baking soda bath so he was really clean, and then sprinkled a good amount of corn starch on his little bottom, and some in his diaper. It does get a little messy, but just coat it all over their bottoms, and if some falls, it will probably go into the diaper anyway.
I couldn't believe it- his rash was gone the next day! Since then, I've been using it almost every diaper change as a preventative. It works as a barrier between their skin and all the ammonia & bacteria in their diapers- keeping rashes away, or, giving them time to heal.
If you try this home remedy, be sure to let me know how it works for your kiddos!
I recommend using Rapunzel Organic Corn Starch, which, unlike conventional corn starch, is GMO free!
Monday, November 15, 2010
That is why I love Garden of Life's Raw Prenatal. Let me repeat: I love, love, love, love this prenatal! They just came out with it last year, and I don't know how I made it through my first two pregnancies without it. I am now pregnant with baby #3, due March, 23rd, (yeah!) and this pregnancy has been SO much easier than the first two, particularly in the first trimester. I attribute it to the awesome vitamins!
I recently ran out for several days, due to an ordering delay. I was counting down the minutes to get it back: my stomach started hurting, I was really nauseated, and I started getting heartburn. I couldn't figure out why at first, and then I realized I hadn't been taking my prenatals. As soon as I got them back, (yesterday) all those lovely symptoms disappeared!
The thing we have to remember about supplements is this: if they are not in a form that your body can recognize, we're just wasting our money. That is why I love Garden of Life vitamins- they are from food, not chemically created, isolated, and synthesized- your body doesn't recognize these nutrients anyway. If your body doesn't recognize the nutrients, then you're not getting what the side of that bottle says you are. Your body just sends it down the trash!
So when your health and the health of your little ones are at stake, take only the best! And with optimal nutrients available from food, immune system support for you and your little one, plenty of folic acid (200% DV) to prevent neural tube defects, and ginger to support your stomach & digestion, Garden of Life's Raw Prenatals are simply the best!
For more info, check out their website at:
Friday, November 12, 2010
And did you know that one CT scan exposes you to as much radiation as 400 chest x-rays?
Check out this great article from Garden of Life, talking more about the dangers of excessive CT scan radiation.
Here's the original article!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
To wrap this up, here are the rest of the "Trouble" foods. Remember, these foods are detrimental to your health, so avoid them at all costs!
Fats and Oils:
Any partially hydrogenated oil
Nuts and Seeds:
Nuts roasted in oil
Condiments, Spices & Seasonings:
All spices that contain added sugar or preservatives (especially look out for high fructose corn syrup in bottled sauces)
Canned fruits in syrup
Commercial beer and wine
Chlorinated tap water
Fruit juices or drinks with artificial flavors
Fruit juices or drinks made from concentrate
Grains and Starchy Carbohydrates:
Bread or crackers made with white or unbleached flour
Pastas made with white or unbleached flour
White or unbleached flour
Dried cereal with sugar
High Fructose Corn Syrup
All artificial sweeteners, including:
Snack foods with sugar, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, or unbleached flour
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
This "Trouble" food list is taken from page 63 of the Great Physician's RX for Health & Wellness.
Imitation meat products (soy)
Fish and Seafood:
Fried or breaded fish
Avoid all shellfish, including:
Fried or breaded chicken
Soy lunch meat
Low-fat or skim milk
Commercial ice cream with sugar
Processed cheese food
American cheese (singles)
Yogurt with sugar or artificial sweetners
Any dairy product with added stabilizers, preservatives, sugars, or artificial sweeteners
Fats and Oils:
Any partially hydrogenated oil
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Grains & Starchy Carbohydrates: (Whole grains and whole grain flours are healthiest if soaked for twelve hours before consuming)
Brown rice I love Lundberg Farms organic brown rice, and see Nourishing Traditions for a recipe where you soak the rice.
Oats You can buy organic oats at any health food store. Just don't buy the instant oats!
Corn Make sure you buy organic corn because of GMO's!
Whole grain pasta The best kind of pasta is Food for Life's sprouted Ezekiel pasta.
Whole grain dried cereal The best cereal is Food for Life's Ezekiel sprouted pasta.
Honey Our family's favorite honey is Really Raw Honey!
Stevia You can find organic stevia at any health food store.
Organic dehydrated cane juice I buy Rapunzel's Rapadura, and Wholesome Sweeteners makes a good organic dehydrated cane juice as well.
Maple syrup You can find organic maple syrup at any health food store, just make sure it's organic, as conventional varieties contain high amounts of formaldehyde!
Pasteurized vegetable juices R.W. Knudsen Organic and Santa Cruz Organic make good pasteurized veggie juices.
Pasteurized fruit juices (not from concentrate) Same goes for fruit juices- just make sure it doesn't say "from concentrate."
Beer and wine in moderation (organic and or/unpasteurized)
Fresh ground coffee (organic is best, but limit to one cup per day)
Healthy popcorn (easy to make homemade, see a recipe in Nourishing Traditions)
Baked corn chips Guiltless Gourmet makes good baked corn chips, but the best are the ones fresh from your own oven! I love making them with Food for Life's sprouted corn tortillas!
Monday, November 8, 2010
In the Great Physicians RX for Health & Wellness, Jordan Rubin recommends that foods in the average category should make up less than 50 percent of your daily diet, and that if you are struggling with your health, it is best to limit your intake of "average" foods to less than 25% of your daily diet.
Here are the "Average" foods, and my brand recommendations, for the categories of Dairy, Fats & Oils, Canned Vegetables, Nuts, Seeds and Beans.
(The Average Food List is taken from page 61 of the Great Physicians RX for Health & Wellness, by Jordan Rubin) The brand recommendations come from me! :)
Cheese (cow, goat, or sheep) Organic Valley makes my favorite organic, raw cheese. We love their raw Wisconsin Jack, and their raw cheddar. Redwood Hill Dairy makes excellent goat cheeses.
Cow's milk cottage cheese We get our cottage cheese from our raw dairy farmer, but Organic Valley makes a great one too.
Cow's milk plain sour cream, full fat Again, we love Organic Valley's full fat sour cream! Yum!
Cream cheese My husband LOVES Organic Valley's cream cheese!
Heavy cream We get our raw, heavy cream from our local raw dairy farmer. That is definitely the best way to get heavy cream- most of the store bought versions, even the organic ones, are ultra pasteurized. If you must buy it at the store, at least buy an organic, non ultra pasteurized version, like Strauss.
Amazake Does anyone know what amazake is?! :)
Fats and Oils (Organic & Expeller/Cold Pressed)
Sunflower oil Rapunzel Organic makes a great cold pressed sunflower oil.
Soy oil I have never bought soy oil!
Safflower oil Or safflower oil! :) Just look for the bottle to say organic, unrefined, expeller pressed.
Vegetables, Canned (Organic)
Hmmm...canned vegetables, I honestly don't know if I've ever bought any. If you need to buy them, look for organic vegetables without any preservatives, additions, sugar, or bizarre liquids besides purified water!
Nuts, Seeds, Beans, and Legumes (Organic)
Peanuts (Dry roasted) See a great recipe for soaked, dried peanuts in Nourishing Traditions!
Peanut butter (roasted) My absolute favorite peanut butter is Maranatha Organic Peanut Butter, which is made with Valencia peanuts. Valencia peanuts from New Mexico do not contain aflatoxins. Arrowhead Mills Organic is also a great brand!
Cashews (Raw or Dry roasted) See Nourishing Traditions for a delicious recipe for making these yourself, I do it all the time!
Cashew butter (Raw or roasted, in small quantities) I have never bought cashew butter, let me know if you have any good organic brand recommendations!
Friday, November 5, 2010
I remember staying home from school and being given oatmeal baths. Oddly, I don't really remember having chickenpox as being a horrible, traumatic experience, but maybe we should ask my Mom about that!
Nowadays, the chickenpox vaccine has been added to the list of the umpteenth vaccine that children are "recommended" to receive.
What's interesting is that exposure to chickenpox as a child actually gives you a natural immunity to shingles as an adult, something that kids these days are severely lacking, due to the vaccine.
Dr. Mercola has written a fascinating article talking about how a shingles epidemic is heading straight for the U.S., and what you can do about it!
Check out the article yourself on his website:
Have a great weekend everyone!
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Here are my recommendations for brands for the condiments, spices and seasonings, snacks, and beverages from on the Extraordinary Foods List.
This food list is taken from page 60 of the Great Physician's RX for Health & Wellness, by Jordan Rubin:
Condiments, Spices, and Seasonings: (Organic)
- Salsa (fresh or canned) There is nothing better than homemade salsa! We personally prefer the Mexican style organic salsas, like Pace Picante's organic version, or La Preferida Organic
- Tomato sauce (no added sugar) Woodstock Farms is my favorite brand.
- Guacamole (fresh) We buy organic avocados and make our own guacamole with a little sea salt!
- Soy sauce (wheat free, tamari) Buy the real stuff, that's been fermented a long time- like Kikkoman's Organic.
- Apple cider vinegar Bragg's Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is my favorite!
- Herbs and spices (no added stabilizers) Frontier Organic herbs and spices are the best that I have found.
- Herbamare seasoning (Herbamare is an organic seasoning blend, it is amazing, you can get it at any health food store)
- Real Salt Our family loves Real Salt! We get it at Whole Foods or our co op. Check out their website.
- Sea salt As stated above, Real Salt is my favorite brand.
- Mustard Woodstock Farms makes the BEST mustard!
- Ketchup (no sugar) Ketchup is kind of hard to buy perfectly in the organic world. The best bet is to make your own. Westbrae Naturals makes a juice-sweetened variety, but it is not certified organic. Most other ketchups contain sugar. At least look for a brand with organic evaporated cane juice. Our personal favorite is Woodstock Farms.
- Salad dressings (no canola oil) Bragg's Vinaigrette is the only one on the market that I will buy. I usually just make my own! Nourishing Traditions has some great recipes!
- Marinades (no canola oil) Again, I always make my own.
- Omega-3 mayonnaise Spectrum Naturals has a great organic omega-3 mayo!
- Umeboshi paste I honestly don't even know what this is. Has anyone ever used it? :)
- Flavoring extracts such as vanilla or almond (alcohol-based, no sugar) Frontier Organics makes my FAVORITE vanilla extract! They have just about every other kind as well.
- Healthy whole food bars Garden of Life's food bars are the only ones I buy. They are the only bars I've seen containing sprouted grains and nuts. They are amazingly filling! Dr. Mercola sells some great cocoa ones as well.
- Goat's milk protein powder Garden of Life used to make an excellent goat's milk protein powder, but it was discontinued. Stay away from cheap, processed protein powders. I now LOVE Garden of Life's Raw Protein, and have it in a smoothie very morning!
- Flaxseed crackers Foods Alive is a great brand, otherwise check your local health food store to find out what they carry!
- Jennie's macaroons Jennie's macaroons are one of my favorite treats! They have only three ingredients: egg whites, coconut oil, and honey!
- Healthy trail mix (with sprouted nuts) Check out Nourishing Traditions for some great recipes for healthy trail mix!
- Organic cocoa powder Rapunzel organic cocoa powder is the BEST!
- Organic chocolate spreads Ok, I've never tried this brand, but I've had difficulty finding a chocolate spread without agave nectar. Check out Rawtella Chocolate spread, a true artisan product!
- Carob powder Frontier Organics makes a good carob powder.
- Purified, nonchlorinated water We love spring water.
- Natural sparkling water, no carbonation added (i.e. Perrier) Gerolsteiner is my husband's favorite sparkling water.
- Unsweetened or honey-sweetened herbal teas (green tea, black tea, white tea, red tea, oolong tea, mate, and herbal infusions) Choice Organic Teas are one of my favorite, although there are many fabulous organic brands!
- Raw vegetable or fruit juices These are virtually impossible to buy in stores. We make our own in our beloved Champion Juicer.
- Lacto-Fermented beverages Kombucha is my favorite lacto-fermented beverage, and G.T. Dave's is my favorite brand!
- Coconut water One Natural Coconut water is my favorite brand, because it doesn't come in aluminum cans!
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Only two more days to go, and we'll be done with the Extraordinary Food List! I hope this has been helpful for you!
Here are my recommendations for grains, sweeteners, beans, & nuts and seeds!
(The Extraordinary Food List is taken from page 58 of the Great Physician's RX for Health & Wellness by Jordan Rubin)
Grains & Starchy Carbohydrates: (Organic, and whole grains and flours should be soaked for six to twelve hours before cooking) Note: These grains can be easily purchased at your local health food store. I'll list our family's favorite brands where applicable!
Sprouted Ezekiel- type bread Our family loves Food for Life's Ezekiel's bread in the red package, and we love the sesame variety as well! (Green)
Fermented whole grain sourdough bread Alvarado Street Bakery makes some awesome organic sprouted sourdough breads!
Sprouted whole grain cereal Our family doesn't really eat cereal, but when we do, we eat Food for Life's Ezekiel sprouted cereal.
Quinoa (Soaked) You can buy organic quinoa from any health food store. Just make sure you soak it, as quinoa is exceptionally high in phytates.
Unheated raw honey Our family's FAVORITE brand is Really Raw Honey, which you can buy at some health food stores, or you can order online.
Beans & Legumes: (Soaked for 12+ hours)
(You can easily buy any of these beans or legumes from your health food store- just look for packages, or buy them in the bulk section. A favorite snack of our family is soaked pinto beans, cooked in the crockpot for 12+ hours, and topped with sour cream and raw cheese. Yum!)
One note: just make sure the beans or legumes you are buying come from the U.S.- some beans are from China, even organic ones!
Nuts and Seeds: (Organic, raw, and soaked)
(You can easily buy any of these nuts from your health food store- just look for packages, or buy them in the bulk section. A favorite snack of our family is sprouted almonds with raw cheese!)
Almonds (raw or dry roasted)
Pumpkin seeds (raw or dry roasted)
Hemp seeds (raw)
Flaxseeds (raw and ground)
Sunflower seeds (raw or dry roasted)
Almond butter (raw or roasted)
Tahini (raw or roasted)
Pumpkin seed butter (raw or roasted)
Hemp seed buter (raw)
Sunflower butter (raw or roasted)
Walnuts (raw or dry roasted)
Macadamia nuts (raw or dry roasted)
Pecans (raw or dry roasted)
Brazil nuts (raw)
Monday, November 1, 2010
Ok, we're about to wrap up the recommendations for the Extraordinary Foods list! Here's my recommendations for fruits and veggies!
I will give brand recommendations when applicable, but mostly, I recommend purchasing ORGANIC, and as fresh as possible! Hit up your local Farmer's Markets, or better yet, grow your own!
And one note, just because you buy it at a Farmer's Market doesn't mean it's healthy- a fruit or veggie that's been sprayed with pesticides and a slew of other chemicals since its planting isn't healthy just because it's local. Buy organic and local for true toxin free fruits & veggies!
Veggies: Raw fermented veggies (no vinegar) I love, love, love Rejuvenative Foods raw sauerkraut, and their other fermented veggies. Check them out at your local health food store, and if you don't see them, ask to place a special order! (They'll let you order just one jar)
Squash (winter or summer)
Broccoli Artichokes (French, not Jerusalem)
Cucumbers (So easy to grow your own in season, and wonderful to make homemade pickles! Buy seeds from the old heirloom varieties, not from modern hybrids)
Leafy Greens (Kale, collard, broocoli rabe, mustard greens)
Salad Greens (radicchio, escarole, endive)
Tomatoes Again, grow your own, grow your own! (When the weather's right!)
Sprouts (Brocooli, sunflower, pea shoots, radish, etc)
Sea vegetables (Kelp, dulse, nori, kombu and hijiki)
Bananas Organic bananas are SUCH a great food. Don't buy conventional ones, however, thinking they're "ok" because of the thick skin. Companies use chemicals that are not even approved for use in the U.S., and that is saying something. In particular certain chemicals are sprayed into the plastic bags which cover bananas as they ripen on trees- which then bake in the tropical sun all day long! Check out this website for more info.
Mangoes Papayas Dried Fruits (no sugar or sulfites)
Raisins Make sure they don't have added oils, just plain raisins!
Dates Our family loves organic medjool dates rolled in coconut as a healthy treat!