Do you want to live your life with energy and vitality? Learn what real food is and how to easily incorporate it into your every day life! Because our lives are busier than ever, processed, packaged and generally unwholesome foods lacking any nutritional value dominate our diet because of the convenience factor. If you are tired, have digestion problems or other chronic health issues and want to feel better, it's time to stop eating out of packages, stop eating food filled with chemicals and other non food ingredients and start eating fresh, real food. I am a REAL MOM living in the REAL WORLD trying to feed my family REAL FOOD. It isn't always easy, but it is very possible. I hope to help you learn what real food is and then how to make real food a part of your every day life.
Monday, April 30, 2012
I frequent my local Whole Foods and actually shed tears of happiness the first time I walked through their doors at the opening this past summer. You can certainly find an abundance of organic, sustainably grown, local food. The staff at the Fairfield Whole Foods is kind, helpful, and, for the most part, very knowledgeable. Whole Foods gives back to our community by donating food to the homeless shelter / social service agency, Operation Hope, where I sit on the board. In addition, Whole Foods has supported the movement for healthier foods in the Fairfield school system and has held events and promoted initiatives to support this effort. So, let's give credit where credit is due.
REALLY A WOLF
With all those kind words above, you may be wondering, what's my beef with Whole Foods? Well, it will come as no surprise that my frustration with Whole Foods evolves out of their policy toward Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). While Whole Foods claims that their store brand, 365, does not contain GMOs and they have even gotten many of their products verified as Non GMO through the Non GMO Project, Whole Foods has not taken a strong position on GMOs to say the least. Products with GMOs can still be found throughout their store. Their already prepared food items contain GMO corn, soy, and vegetable oils. Whole Food's own policy on GMOs states, "Clearly labeled products enable shoppers who want to avoid foods made with GMOs to do so". http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/values/genetically-engineered.php I ask you Whole Foods, if this is your policy, why are you not advocating for GMO labeling in CT and other states who are trying to clearly label packaging???
When I approached the local Whole Foods to do a GMO education event with me back in March, despite the local store being in favor of the idea, corporate Whole Foods struck down the idea and told the local Whole Foods employees to hold off on ANY non GMO education at this time. Really? No GMO educational events at the most critical time CT has ever seen in the fight to give consumers the right to know what is in their food? This position is simply unacceptable. Forget the fact that Whole Foods could probably do away with GMOs altogether in the American food supply by taking a stand and refusing to allow GMOs in their stores, but I would think it would be in Whole Food's best interest to support a bill that would give their consumers the transparency that they expect when shopping at Whole Foods. We deserve the right to know what is in our food. The citizens of fifty other countries, including all of Europe, Japan, China, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand all already enjoy this right because of mandatory GMO labeling laws.
The CT GMO labeling bill is running out of time. If it is not called for a vote before May 9th, the bill will die a fast death. Call the corporate Whole Foods regional offices in NJ and tell them to speak out publicly in favor of CT HB 5117, 201-567-2090. Tell Whole Foods to live up to their reputation with the public and be a leader in our right to know what is in our food.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
By Beth Beisel
Monday, April 23, 2012
I share this story to illustrate the point that when you are on vacation sometimes you just have to let go and be a little flexible . . . when in Rome. Stressing about food and trying to eat healthy while you are supposed to be relaxing and decompressing from the stressors in your life would be completely counterproductive and harmful to your overall wellness. However, with that said, it does not mean you need to completely throw caution to the wind. Below I have shared some tips on how to make the best choices when on vacation while still being able to enjoy yourself. Remember eating should be fun!
(1) Prepare For Your Travel Days
Whether traveling by car, railroad or plane, food and snack options are almost always highly processed, tasteless, fake, and will make you feel terrible. Have you noticed how awful the food in airports or at the mini marts on the side of the road are? Pack some easy to carry snack foods with you so you are not caught unprepared and starving. Nuts, seeds, apples, bananas, popcorn, pure bars, lara bars, cut up vegetables like peppers and carrots, dehydrated fruit, crispy kale, Mary's Gone Crackers, chia seed bars by Health Warrior, and avocados (bring a plastic knife and spoon, cut open and enjoy) all make great options.
(2) Fuel Up With Veggies
Always fill yourself up on salads and vegetables. Be sure to start your meal with a salad and order extra veggies with your entree.
(3) Do Your Research
Familiarize yourself with which restaurants are known for fresh, local food. Also, seek out the local vegan, vegetarian, health food stores and restaurants. http://www.happycow.net/
(4) Ask For A Refrigerator
If possible, request a refrigerator in your room. That way you can easily keep some fresh fruit, yogurt, and other items around for breakfast and snacks. If you have children, fresh cut fruit in the morning or afternoon is a perfect way to keep them happy. While traveling, breakfast can be one of the most challenging meals of the day. I always bring some Sun Warrior protein powder with me and then buy some rice milk to leave in my refrigerator. That makes for a great breakfast or afternoon pick me up.
(5) Take A Walk
If you are like me, you will enjoy your vacation more if you keep up the exercise routine. At a minimum, you should take a nice walk every day. It will help you take in the sights and also burn up some of those extra calories you might be ingesting.
(6) Keep Things Moving
Have you ever noticed that your bathroom habits change when you go away? You have to keep that digestion and elimination working. Make sure you eat plenty of food with fiber. Vegetables, flax seeds, and chia seeds are all great options. I always bring chia seeds with me and drink them in rice milk or water. Eat plenty of fruit, our body's natural cleansers. Also, drink a lot of water. Also, a very helpful tool is "Smoothe Move" tea, a senna based tea that you can buy at Whole Foods and other health food stores like Mrs. Greens. Another great tip is to bring some magnesium supplements with you, it keeps things soft if you know what I mean. Magnesium is a great supplement in general because it relaxes your muscles.
(7) Treat Yourself
Deprivation is not my thing, especially on vacation. Be sure you treat yourself and indulge a little, but go in with a plan that works for you. Maybe you allow yourself one treat a day or maybe you have a "treat day" where you let go a little more. I tend to stay fairly controlled until the last day when I reward myself a little knowing I have limited time which can minimize the damage!
(8) Customize Your Meals
When dining out on vacation, or at home for that matter, don't be afraid to ask the chef to reduce or eliminate the use of butter, oil, and salt. If there is a piece of fish on the menu but it is smothered with a sauce, you can always ask to keep the sauce on the side or hold the sauce altogether and opt for a plain piece of grilled fish instead. Substitute less healthful options with better ones, for instance, swap out the french fries for rice, baked potato or extra veggies.
(9) Water, Water and More Water
Make sure you drink plenty of water especially in those hot climates. Water will keep you hydrated, feeling full, prevent water retention, and help your movements stay regular.
(10) Have Fun!
Most importantly, enjoy your food and your meal times. Savor every bite of your food, cherish the people you are with, and take in the scenery!
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Five years ago, I had never heard of quinoa (pronounced Keenwah), but today I eat quinoa at least once a week. I would imagine you have all heard of quinoa by now, even if you haven't eaten it quite yet. While quinoa may be new to our plates, the Incas began eating quinoa as their staple food over 5000 years ago in South America. The Incas called it "the mother of all grains". Quinoa is widely considered to be a whole grain, but it is actually a seed from a plant related to the weed, goosefoot. Quinoa is now called a superfood by many because it is high in antioxidants, phytonutrients, fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
BENEFITS OF QUINOA
(1) Quinoa is high in vitamins and minerals and blows the competition (corn, potatoes, wheat, and rice) out of the water with nutritional benefits. Quinoa is chock-full of micro-nutrients. It is a good source of manganese, copper, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper and zinc.
(2) Quinoa is a complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids required by the body to build muscle. Essential amino acids are those that our body can not produce on our own so we need to get them from our food.
(3) Quinoa is a great source of fiber to keep that digestion operating and moving well.
(4) Quinoa is gluten free and so it is a great option for anyone with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Truth be told, everyone should have less gluten in their diet.
(5) Quinoa is easily digestible.
(6) Quinoa may be an effective way to use food as your medicine when preventing and treating certain diseases such as diabetes, insulin resistance, and some forms of cancer.
HOW TO COOK QUINOA
I hear people say all the time that they don't know how to cook quinoa. Well, I am here to tell you that if you know how to cook rice, pasta, or cous cous, then you know how to cook quinoa. The general rule is 1 cup of uncooked quinoa to 2 cups of liquid (either water or vegetable stock). One way to boost the nutritional value of quinoa and to make it even more digestible is to soak and sprout your quinoa before cooking it. What I usually do is soak my quinoa overnight in water. Then, in the morning, I drain the quinoa, rinse and put it back in the bowl and let it sit on the counter in the sun until the evening when I am ready to cook it. If you let it sit long enough you will actually see little sprouts popping out of the seeds. Many people don't even cook sprouted quinoa and instead eat it raw.
One of the best parts of quinoa is that it's flavor is very mild, so it will taste good with anything. My kids' favorite way to eat quinoa is with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese as if it was pasta. Here are some of my favorite quinoa recipes. Enjoy!