Category Archives: Blog

Why Eat Organic?

Why Eat Organic is an article I worked on with the awesome people from Orgain Inc.  I recommend smoothies for so many of my clients, because if made properly they are incredibly nutrient dense.  Smoothies provide protein, calories, and micronutrients, either to compliment your daily regimen, or as a meal substitute. If you can’t make your own, don’t worry, Orgain products are available to grab and go too!

Here are  two of my favorite smoothie recipes and a link to Orgain’s website where you can see all of their products.   Here is where you can find a store that sells Orgain products.

Chocolate Smoothie/Meal Replacement or high calorie snack

(2 servings)

1 avocado

1 tablespoon raw cacao

1 scoop chocolate (Orgain) protein powder

2 pitted dates

1-2 cups almond milk

½ teaspoon cinnamon

ice

Please use Organic ingredients whenever possible.

 

Tri-berry Smoothie/Meal Replacement or high calorie snack

(2 servings)

2 cups frozen organic berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)

1 cup coconut milk

1 Tablespoon almond or peanut butter

1 cup water

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 scoop (like Orgain) protein powder, vanilla

Please use Organic ingredients whenever possible.

ENJOY!

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Fluoride

 

This is a cute, 20 minute film about fluoride. (An element, not a nutrient.) In our house we use a Zero water filter for all of our drinking water. (About $30.00, plus filter replacement, approximately every 3 months) The Zero Water Company will tell you that it filters out 95% of the fluoride from water, but they must be called; it is not on their packaging.

1.800.503.2939, or  www.zerowater.com

Without a whole house filtration system,  fluoride is absorbed into the body through the skin during showering  and bathing.

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is a chemical that was added to the US water supply beginning in 1945 after naturally occurring fluoride showed tooth decay prevention. Unlike naturally occurring fluoride, however, fluoride in our drinking water is a non-pharmaceutical grade chemical that comes in bulk from China and other countries as the byproduct of the wet-scrubbing systems of the phosphate fertilizer industry. This Hexafluorosilic acid (fluoride) is a hazardous waste product. Fluoride is an element, not an essential nutrient, therefore the body does not need fluoride. Fluoride is the only chemical added to our water for the purpose of medical treatment.  According to the CDC, 66% of US residents or 170 million people are currently drinking fluoridated water. Since 1967, Connecticut has been one of 17 states with mandatory statewide fluoridation.*

What are the benefits of fluoride?

Some believe that ingesting fluoride will prevent tooth decay (dental caries) by fortifying the enamel of the developing teeth. Recent studies, however, have shown that fluoride works best topically not systemically.  Even the CDC in 1999 acknowledged that the benefit of fluoride is topical, not systemic.  Furthermore, comprehensive data from the World Health Organization has revealed that there is no discernable difference in tooth decay between the minority of the western nations that fluoridate water, and the majority that do not.  In fact, tooth decay rates in many non-fluoridated countries are now lower than tooth decay rates in fluoridated ones.

Is Fluoride safe to ingest?

Although fluoride has been added to the US water supply for more then 60 years, there have been no truly rigorous scientific studies establishing the safety and effectiveness of ingesting fluoride. In fact, the CDC has stated that 41% of American children have dental fluorosis due to fluoride consumption. Recent studies on fluoride consumption have shown increases in bone fractures, arthritis, impaired thyroid function and lowered IQ in children – see below.

Of particular concern are the babies who are being bottle-fed with tap water containing fluoride.  Since the doses cannot be controlled through fluoridation, babies are receiving the highest doses of fluoride for their body size & weight. Hence, they are being overexposed to fluoride.  In fact, some states have issued warnings to mothers about this and recommend using non-fluoridated water to bottle feed infants.

 

Eating Organically on a Budget

Eating organic food is more expensive and at first, the sticker shock can be painful. However, once you get used to it, and once you know how unhealthy “conventional” food can be, it is impossible to go back.  There are lots of ways to eat organically, while saving a small amount of money, which can lead to significant savings over time.

Two of my favorite things to do, and to tell others to do, are to make lots of soup and to decrease portion sizes of meat. However, when choosing meat, it is important to select the best quality; organic grass-fed or pasture-fed animal products.

Next, eat beans! They are filled with fiber to satisfy hunger and keep you full for hours, protein, and carbs for energy.  They also add small amounts of calcium, iron, B vitamins, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc to your diet.  Dried beans should be organic, because they are one of the foods that the EPA allows to be sprayed with glyphosate, for quicker drying and ripening. Unfortunately, glyphosate was recently classified as a “probable carcinogen” by the World Health Organization.  The healthiest way to eat beans is to soak them; it removes phytic acid – an anti-nutrient (Source).

Buy what’s in season, and locally available.  Usually less expensive, local foods are a smarter and cheaper choice because they don’t need to be transported from far away.  If this intrigues you, read the book called Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.  It’s a true story about a family that lives off the land for a year.  Great read!

You can also join a CSA.  Here’s how to find one near you.

Make a rule in your house: If you want a treat, you have to make it yourself! Have all the ingredients in your house ready to make desserts.  Benefit: Your children will learn how to cook and bake.  There are so many wonderful recipes to discover. And almost any recipe can be transformed into a healthy one by buying organic ingredients and cutting the sugar by 1/3.  If you replace the fat called for in the recipe with coconut oil, you can use ¼ less than what the original recipe calls for. (So if the recipe calls for a cup of oil, use ¾ of a cup of coconut oil.)

Also, I would recommend growing herbs in pots on a windowsill or deck. Save them, dry them out in a dehydrator or convection oven and you can use them all year long.

It is also helpful to set a budget and plan meals each week.  You will only buy the ingredients you need and eliminate the desire to buy extras or go out to eat. (This takes so much discipline!) Recommended book to help you do this: Wildly Affordable Organic, by Linda Watson.

This delivery service  brings bulk items to you once per month. It’s like a delivery from Whole Foods except at a much lower cost!

This website will help you find an organic farm that produces meat, dairy, and eggs the way nature intended. Expensive meat can be stretched by making a stir-fry, instead of serving a portion of meat on each plate with vegetables on the side.

You don’t need to be completely organic!  Know what foods are GMO, what common foods are sprayed with glyphosate, and which are heavily sprayed with pesticides and will absorb a lot of those chemicals

Some foods allowed to be sprayed with glyphosate include: oats, wheat, dried beans, sugar cane, and tea.

See www.ewg.org for a list of the dirty dozen and the clean 15.

Join your favorite company’s social media pages for special coupons and deals.  Also, remember that most stores take each other’s coupons, so make sure to ask.

Did you know you can freeze butter?  When it is on sale, buy and freeze it until needed. Favorite: Organic Pastures Grass Fed Butter.

Double or triple recipes when cooking and freeze meals for the future. Use glass, not plastic.

Grind up bread ends in a blender and freeze to use for bread crumbs when called for in a recipe.

Be a vegetarian for breakfast and lunch, and feel entitled to spend more on the best quality animal products for dinner.

Use a whole chicken instead of buying parts separately. NEVER throw the carcass away. Put it in a pot or crock pot and make bone broth; a truly medicinal food.

Pre-washed foods cost more and need to be washed anyway!

Be the last one to leave the farmer’s market; they often lower prices at the end, so that they don’t have to bring things back to the farm.

Look the farmer in the eye and ask about their spraying practices and use of GMO seeds. Some farmers don’t use pesticides or grow GMOs, but also don’t seek the USDA label because it is so expensive. The paperwork and bureaucracy required to use the label aren’t worth it to many farmers. As long as you are satisfied with the farmer’s answer, you can buy produce that is not labeled organic.

Grow your own food!  It doesn’t matter how little property you have Here is a guide to help you get started.

Bring your own food while traveling.  (You can check a cooler!)

Keep organic tea bags in your wallet and ask for hot water when traveling, instead of buying a cup of tea for $4-$6.

When you buy berries, soak them in water with a little vinegar. It removes the mold spores and the berries will last much longer.

Line refrigerator drawers with paper towels to absorb moisture, so produce will last longer.

Save the pulp from juicing to put into soups and stews.

Splurge on the best quality coffee and tea and make it yourself in the morning. Sometimes you can find great options at Marshalls and TJ Maxx!

We own several Zero Water Filters – approximately $30 on Amazon or at Target.  This filter is an inexpensive way to get the bleach, arsenic, lawn pesticides and fluoride out of your water. (They don’t market it as an effective way to remove fluoride, but if you call the company, they will tell you that it removes 95% of it).

Coupons can be found here:

http://www.mambosprouts.com/
http://www.stonyfield.com/user/register
http://frugalliving.about.com/od/foodsavings/tp/Organic_Coupons.htm
www.wholefoodsmarket.com
www.earthfare.com
http://www.retailmenot.com/

Some options for online shopping:

Thrive Market
The Green Polka Dot Box
Amazon Fresh
Vitacost

While many think that eating healthfully and organically is beyond their means, it is quite possible with a little extra effort.  If you follow these suggestions, and take the process slowly; eventually it will become second nature.

Broccoli’s Benefits Abound!

Eating broccoli regularly has been something I’ve tried to instill in my children since they were just old enough to eat it.  I pretended it was little trees and even had an imaginary friend ring the doorbell and come to visit, simply because we were having broccoli – because he loved it so much.  That game would encourage my daughter to gobble her broccoli up before the imaginary friend ate all of it!

As part of the cruciferous vegetable family (like cauliflower, brussles sprouts, and cabbage,) broccoli is filled with benefits that help us to stay healthy. (Let food be thy medicine…)

Broccoli is rich in vitamin C, calcium, potassium,  soluble fiber and chromium.(High fiber foods can help keep blood sugar levels stable.) It contains lutein, which supports eye health and may prevent thickening of the arteries. Broccoli is also an anti-inflammatory promoting vegetable. (…let medicine be thy food.)

Broccoli is sulfer-rich, and contains a compound called sulforaphane, which may protect cartilage from damage and pain associated with osteoarthritis.

Sulphoraphane may help to improve blood pressure and kidney function.
It also enhances and protects our immune system by reducing oxidative stress.  Since oxidation is one of the causes of aging, broccoli may help to protect our youthful appearance and protect our internal organs from decline due to aging. Blood vessels are protected from damage, as sulphoraphane encourages enzyme production that protects them.   Sulphoraphane and its precursor glucoraphanin may help protect against the proliferation of cancer cells, caused by chemicals like pesticides and herbicides.

Although naturally resistant to bugs, it is still best to buy organic broccoli when possible, to avoid synthetic pesticides/herbicides and weed killers that may be sprayed on it.

(My son dressed up for a Halloween Party 🙂 “Broccoli ROB”

Inline image 1

Broccoli Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon himalayan salt
  • 2 heads broccoli, 1 pound each, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  •  garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds – toasted and ground
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes

    Mix vinegar and salt in a large bowl.  Add broccoli and toss. In a large skillet, heat avocado oil. Add garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in sesame oil and pepper flakes. Pour mixture over raw broccoli and toss well. Let sit for at least 1 hour at room temperature, and  then refrigerate.  Adjust seasonings as needed.

References:

1)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23983046 (Arthritis and Rheumatism, 2013, August 27.

2)DrMercola.com, November 9, 2013, “Eat Your Broccoli”

3)http://www.pnas.org/content/94/21/11149.full (Broccoli sprouts as inducers of carcinogen=detoxifying enzyme systems: Clinical, dietary, and policy  implications, by Marion Nestle)

What Are GMO’s?

GMOs are genetically engineered foods made in laboratories owned by chemical companies.  The process of genetic engineering involves the insertion of genes from one species into the DNA of an unrelated species.  This is a very new process, which has not been around for thousands of years, as some from the biotech industry would like us to believe. In fact, genetic engineering is only about 20 years old. It is not the same thing as cross breeding or hybridization.

Most of the traits that have been engineered into our foods are done so to create herbicide tolerant varieties and pesticide producing varieties. Herbicide tolerant crops are resistant to chemicals such as glyphosate, dicamba, and 2,4-D (a component of Agent Orange.)  Pest resistant (pesticide producing) varieties are engineered to contain a toxin in every cell of the crop that causes a bug’s stomach to explode when it tries to eat the plant.

When we eat these foods, we are ingesting the chemicals that were sprayed on the crops and/or the toxins engineered to kill. These substances are in 80% of the processed foods in America today. They are found in human blood, breast milk, and urine.  Glyphosate, the chemical sprayed on most of these crops, was recently granted a pass by the US EPA. The allowable levels on food were doubled.  To put this in perspective, soybean oil is now allowed to contain thousands of times the limit of glyphosate at which it can impact health.

The dramatic increase in the use of agrichemicals, such as glyphosate, correlates with a rise in more than 30 human diseases. Originally patented as a mineral chelator, glyphosate immobilizes nutrients, making them unavailable for the body. Glyphosate is also patented as an antibiotic that can devastate human gut bacteria. (Aka the micro biome, or the immune system.)