Monday, October 22, 2012
Life is changing every minute of every hour of every day. Each moment is unique, unlike any other in the past or future. And we were all born at the most unique and perfect moment to set our own course for the journey of life.
Honestly, like any food, peanuts and peanut butter have their pros and cons. Yes, they're high in fat, but it's monounsaturated fat which is good for your heart and reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease. They also contain magnesium, folate, vitamin E, and fiber, all of which most of us don't get enough of in our diets anyway.
On the downside, peanuts are one of the most overly sprayed foods. If you're not getting organic peanut butter, chances are you're consuming a LOT of pesticides. Not to mention, peanuts tend to be easily contamined with mold and aflatoxins=carcinogens!
Also, you may be aware of the recent recall of peanuts/peanut butter. I even noticed that my local Starbucks has taken certain items off the shelf that contained any kind of peanut product.
On September 24th, a large peanut manufacturing company called Sunland announced a recall on their peanut butter due to Salmonella contamination. Yuck. And now they've expanded the recall to include raw and roasted peanuts.
As someone who haunts the aisles of Trader Joes, I was especially disturbed to hear that 35 people in 19 states got sick from Salmonella in TJ's brand of peanut butter!
For now, perhaps make the switch to almond butter. They even have cashew, sunflower seed, and macadamia nut butter, so now might be the time to change things up!
See my power breakfast recipe below for how I incorporate a little almond butter deliciousness into my life!
And just be careful with the peanut products for now until things settle down.
Michelle's Power Oats Breakfast
1 tbsp raw cacao nibs
1 sliced banana
1/4 cup frozen or fresh berries
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp almond butter
desired amount of almond milk
Place first 6 ingredients, in order, in a bowl. Sprinkle with cinnamon, pour almond milk. I eat this as is, you don't need to cook the oats, but if you prefer it warm, heat it up in a pot before adding almond milk
Monday, September 17, 2012
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Mangoes are super high in fiber, and have over 20 different vitamins and minerals! They contain vitamin A, C, R, B6, and loads of potassium. That takes care of your skin, immune system, eyes, and blood pressure right there!
There are also current studies looking at how mango fruit helps prevent breast, colon, leukemia, prostrate, and lung cancers due to it's particularly high levels of antioxidants!
When selecting mangoes at the store, go for fruit that is unbruised. If they are hard, keep them out at room temperature in your kitchen. If ripe, keep them in your fridge until you are ready to wash with cold water, pat dry, and eat!
Mangoes are kinda weird to cut, because they have a funky husky seed in the middle. You can see the picture below, but all you need to do is use a sharp knife to cut the mango lengthwise into a few slices. Remove the skin from the slices, then cut into chunks.
Check out the recipe below, and also visit the online community for mango fanatics at http://www.mango.org/!
Shrimp and Mango Ceviche
3/4 pound (about 30) medium peeled-and-deveined shrimp
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
6 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1 large mango, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 tomato, cored and chopped
1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded (if desired) and finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Chop shrimp into 1/2-inch pieces and transfer to a large bowl. Add onion, lime juice, cilantro, mango, tomato, jalapeño and salt and toss well. Cover and chill until cold, about 1 hour.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
It is the season of cleansing, renewal, and in many medicinal traditions, the absolute time to tend to our livers. Your liver has bore the brunt of Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas cookies, New Years' champagne, Valentine's Day chocolates, and now it's time to help out a bit and give the liver a chance to detox and regenerate.
Did you know that your liver performs over 500 different tasks in regulating your metabolism every single day? It works hard to take poisons, neutralize them, and what it cannot make harmless, it stores in your fat cells. The liver is the ONLY filter for our bloodstream, and like any filter, it is important needs to be cleaned out from time to time.
If we don't clean out now, our liver will have to workout twice as hard through the Easter candy and Memorial Day BBQs, leaving it no choice but to continue storing toxins in our fat cells. And thus our bodies will hold onto fat for protection from these substances, rather than burning it. By summertime, we shall be holding onto toxin-brimmed excess fat, and become overheated as we literally bake our own fat in the sun.
So what can we do? The easiest and simplest way to gently flush your liver for spring, without weird lemonade fasts or pharmaceuticals, is to go all natural with your diet!
Think green. The more green vegetables and salads you can eat, the better. It would behoove you to eat only the most natural, unprocessed foods you can find. These are easier for your body to break down, and the less work your liver has to do in terms of digestion, and therefore can work on more important functions.
Natural and unprocessed means nothing that comes in a box! Stay away from the inner aisles of the grocery store and instead turn to organic fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains (brown rice, oats, millet, quinoa), and beans. Dairy, eggs, fried foods, and meat tend to be acidic and mucus producing. And we want to clean out the mucus during springtime. Think again of your fat and mucus baking in the summertime. Yuck. You're just asking for weight gain and blemishes.
To support your liver, besides the cleansing food choices, Dr. Elson Haas gives these 5 tips:
1. Avoid toxins such as household and industrial chemicals, alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, and many prescription drugs.
2. Drink lots of fluids and use fresh lemon in your water for liver cleansing.
3. Fresh organic cold-pressed olive oil is the best for the liver.
4. Exercise and sweat regularly to help with liver detoxification.
5. Milk thistle herb (silymarin) and olive leaf extract support and disinfect the liver.
Also consider fresh vegetable juices, or greens powders. Cell-nique is a great detoxifying beverage that actually tastes delicious. Check the fridges at your local Whole Foods or health food store, or check cell-nique.com.
By following these simple tips, you'll be a few steps closer to a healthier liver, and a successful spring detox!
Thursday, March 1, 2012
It's easy to be relaxed and carefree when other people and things are distracting you. But what happens when you're alone and with your own thoughts? Are you able to destress and carry on with your day in a constructive manner? Or do you worry about people, your job, something that happened earlier in the day, what you just ate, or anything else?
It's so easy to become derailed by our thoughts, stresses, and fears. One minor incident at work has our mind spinning off into worrying about whether we'll be fired or not, and we might even have a nightmare that night about it. And how many people do you know who when they eat one bad thing, they freak out, get down on themselves, and/or give up on their diet plan all together??
I've gotten better, but I still have to constantly remind myself to not worry so much, to let go of the small stuff, and to do something productive even when I mess up.
I went through some rough times with food and my body, and I remember sitting at the kitchen table at my parents' house, crying to my mom about how fat I felt because I'd given in to some "bad" foods and had gained a little weight. It was really affecting me, and I kept beating myself up over and over and over and over.
Of course, to an angsty, barely over the teenage years, highly-emotional female, this did not seem like the best advice at the time.
But looking back, my mom couldn't have been more right.
Life is tooooo short to stress over the little things that we DO have control over. So you messed up your diet. Doesn't mean you're a failure, you're going to be fat and doomed forever, just get back on it tomorrow. So your friend showed up 15 minutes late for dinner and you're pissed. Would you rather spend dinner feeling resentful, or can you shrug it off and just be incredibly grateful to be spending any time at all with her?
You have a choice, right now, and in every moment, about how you react to situations that arise. You can choose to be positive or negative. You can choose whether you are going to stay stuck in your stress and worries or move forward and do something about it!
It's not always pleasant to hear, and it might be stirring a little something in you right now, but that's GOOD! Hopefully it will spur you into action.
Now go do something about it!
Be kind and patient with yourself, and know that tomorrow is a new day!
Monday, February 13, 2012
How will you nourish yourself? And once you've taken care of you, how can you share your love with someone you appreciate?
Today I have a vegan chocolate fondue recipe for you that you can make anytime, and use to dip fresh juicy fruits or anything else you'd like. Most fondues have flour and cream, making them heavy and difficult to digest. Although this one still has a bit of sugar, the antioxidants from the chocolate and fruit will outweigh any negative effects :-)
Say Yes to Chocolate
Everyone associates chocolate with Valentine's Day. And if you're trying to be healthier or lose weight, I can see why you might be depriving yourself of the cocoa-goodness.
But today I want to give you a reason to not be afraid to add some more cacao products into your life.
-migraines reduced or eliminated
-lowered risk of heart disease
-decrease risk of stroke
-improved blood flow/circulation
-better drive for love making= more love making= happier relationships and better body image
-more happy feelings (chocolate contains serotonin stimulates endorphin production)
These powerful effects come from the flavonoids and antioxidants in chocolate. The flavonoids are what make the pure cocoa bitter, so manufacturers will refine and process the chocolate to reduce the bitterness, thus reducing the flavonoids. So the less cacao in your chocolate, the less healthy benefits.
Avoid milk chocolate, and chocolate with caramel. The milk and added sugars will eliminate the flavonoid and antioxidants from being absorbed into your body. You'll be left with the fat and sugar. Yuck.
12 ounces semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup almond or coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
Combine ingredients in a pot on the stove, place on LOW heat.
Watch carefully to avoid burning, and stir as the chocolate melts.
Serve in a fondue pot or slow cooker to keep warm. Fondue will harden at room temperature.
Serve with bite sized fruit.
Strawberries, bananas, and pineapple work and taste best!
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Here are some startling facts about Coca-Cola:
-In many U.S. states, the highway patrol carries about 8 liters of Coke in the trunk to remove blood from the highway after a car accident.
-You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of Coke and it will be gone in 2 days.
-To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coke into the toilet bowl and let it sit for one hour, then flush clean. The acid in the soda removes stains from the china.
-The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. It's pH is 2.8, and will dissolve a nail in about 4 days.
-The distributors of Coke have been using it to clean the engines of their trucks for about 20 years.
Okay. So if Coca-Cola can do all that, imagine what it is doing to your body!!! Can you now understand how acidic and toxic sodas can be? If it can dissolve a T-bone, it's definitely dissolving your teeth and your bones.
Your body always wanted to be at a normal pH. So if you consume something that's highly acidic, your system will actually pull minerals (such as calcium and magnesium) from your bones to neutralize and bring your blood/body back to normal pH. So THIS is why more and more Americans are susceptible to brittle bones, osteoporosis, AND tooth decay.
And that's just one component of the fizzy beverage.
We've also got the sugar to worry about. Most sodas these days contain high fructose corn syrup, which wrecks havoc on your blood sugar, and signals your liver to immediately store as fat. See below for more on this:
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, this is what happens to your body within an hour of drinking a Coke:
Within 10 minutes: 10 tsps of sugar hits your body (that's 100% of the USDA's recommended daily intake. In my option that is ridiculously excessive.) Phosphoric acid in the soda cuts the crazy sweet flavor. Otherwise, you might have thrown up automatically.
Within 20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, insulin rises, and your liver responds by turning sugar into fat.
Within 40 minutes: You've completely absorbed the caffeine, your pupils dilate, blood pressure rises, and more sugar is dumped into the blood stream by your liver.
Within 45 minutes: Dopamine production in the brain increases, which means your pleasure chemicals are activated. This has an almost identical effect on your mood and body as heroin...Yikes.
At 60 minute mark: SUGAR CRASH. Energy drops, hunger levels rise, crankiness may occur. May want more Coke or sugar.
Holy moley. That is so not cool.
So we've confirmed that soda is incredibly acidic, and that the excess sugar is pretty nasty too.
If you drink diet, don't think you're doing yourself any favors. Artifical sweeteners have over 92 different side effects, including brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes (that's right. It has the same effect on blood sugar levels as regular sugar), emotional disorders, and seizures. Not fun.
Oh, and here are some more fun facts about soda I grabbed from Dr. Mercola:
-One soda per day increases your risk of diabetes by 85%.
-Soda has been linked to kidney stones due to high phosphate levels.
-Soda drinkers have a higher risk of cancer, particularly pancreatic cancer, due to the high levels of benzene.
-Soda has been shown to cause DNA damage due to the preservative sodium benzoate, which has the ability to switch off important parts of your DNA. This could lead to Alzheimers and Parkinsons.
AND most sodas have tons of caffeine, which dehydrates your body, can lead to panic attacks and mood disorders, can interfere with your sleep, raise blood pressure, and raise your cholesterol.
Please...start drinking more water and less soda right NOW.
If you like the fizz, try sparkling mineral water, and add lemon or lime juice for flavor. You can also try liquid stevia, which is a natural herbal sweetener, and it comes in many different flavors that are absolutely delicious.