Pumpkin Chai Smoothie

Here's a throwback post that is certainly appropriate for this October weekend.  This smoothie matches the season and will be a great way to start the lovely fall day. Thanks to Smoothie Queen Amy for this great recipe I can't wait Read more

Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread So I have been struggling with gluten-free baking because honestly -- I've never been good at baking!!  Then when I try to modify recipes using flours I'm not familiar with, it just makes  a perfect storm of Read more

When Should I Take My Supplements?

If you are like me -- you are just starting to realize why it is important to add supplements to your diet.  Even if we are eating a clean, healthy and unprocessed diet;  the mineral content of the soil Read more

Magnesium-the unloved mineral

Do you remember watching Wild Kingdom as a kid?  Did you happen to notice that the animals attacking their prey would immediately eat the organ meats.  I never really thought about why until I listened to Morley Robbins explain the Read more

More Homemade Salad Dressings

Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp local honey 1/3 cup blackberries   Process all the ingredients together in a blender and then season with ground pepper and sea salt The beauty of this recipe Read more

Healthy Mayo and Ranch Dressing

This stuff is a must -- If you read labels these days you will be hard pressed to find a mayonnaise or salad dressing that doesn't contain some type of vegetable oil.  Even the commercial mayos that advertise to Read more

Sherry's Story

Sherry has a great story.  She has been diabetic for years and she has made some massive changes!   "I have been on a lifestyle change. It has been a year following a ketogenic food plan.  When I started this journey Read more

Tara's Story

Tara's Story When I turned 30 years old I weighed in at 348lbs; clothes were getting harder to find and more expensive, and my life was getting difficult to manage. When going out to eat we had to have a Read more

Body

What Happened When My Dad Went Gluten Free

It seems I am getting more and more testimonials from patients on how great they feel when they go gluten free.  I thought I would re-post this great story by one of my friend’s experiences.  Comment down below with any of your own experiences and share!

 

What Happened When My Dad Went Gluten Free

Health trends, like many trends, come and go.  But the gluten-free trend may just be a keeper.  Why is this?  This gluten thing is part of a bigger picture….genetically modified foods and how they cause inflammation, and how that makes us sick.  Here’s what happened to my dad.

It all began in 2002 when my dad was 53 years old.  His heart just wasn’t beating right, and at 35-44 beats per minute (normal is 60-100), dad felt pretty lousy.  Eventually, it was determined that dad’s thyroid was under active.  This caused his heart to beat too slowly.  Dad felt like he couldn’t breathe, and nearly passed out whenever he stood up.  But it didn’t end there.  The slow heartbeat thickened the wall of Dad’s heart, which in turn led to an electrical problem causing atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat.

Dad’s doctor added thyroid hormone to correct the hypothyroidism.  This, and a surgical procedure brought his heart back to the normal beats per minute.

But what was the root of Dad’s thyroid problem?  An autoimmune disorder, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis caused Dad’s immune system to attack his thyroid.  His body was confused by an invader, but instead of going after the true culprit, Dad’s immune system accidentally recognized his thyroid as the enemy.  Under attack, the thyroid was unable to produce enough hormone to keep his heart beating fast enough.

So what was the enemy that invaded Dad’s body, and why did his immune system become so confused?

Always the student of nutrition, Dad read that hybridized, or genetically modified wheat can cause autoimmune problems.  Hybridization of the grain makes people sensitive to gluten.  He read that the human body fails to recognize hybridized wheat as food.  This fact stunned Dad because he knew 70% of our immunity comes from digestive tract.  The logic was simple.  Inundate the digestive tract with hybridized wheat, which the body fails to recognize as food, and you could potentially create an immunological reaction.

Dad made a plan.  Calm the immune system.  How?  Cut wheat.  (He had already cut junk food years ago).

After six to eight months, Dad’s blood test showed his TPO antibodies had dropped from 2,700 to 141.  In plain language, that means his immune system stopped cranking out the little critters that had been attacking his thyroid.  After a total of 12 months wheat free, Dad’s TPO’s continued the downward trend to 101.  Additionally, the post wheat-free blood tests showed more improvements.  Dad’s TSH was low normal, measuring .5.  Normal range for TSH, or Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, is .47-4.7.  This was great news because it let his doctor know Dad’s brain no longer needed to pump out TSH in order to stimulate the thyroid.  After going wheat free, Dad’s TSH had dropped down to normal, and with some adjustments to his thyroid medication, his next TSH check showed a reading of 2.0, well within the normal range.

These blood test improvements led Dad’s doctor to lower his thyroid medication from 137 mcg to 112 mcg for 6 weeks, and then down further to 100 mcg.  Dad is so happy to have less medication and, of course, hopes to eventually discontinue it altogether if possible.

Cutting wheat just may have eliminated the culprit guilty of revving up Dad’s immune system.  This simple dietary change helped my dad gain control of his rogue immune system.

About the author:

Jeanne Barker Benz is a full-time mom of three children and Team Beachbody Coach.  While her background is in law, her passion is encouraging others in faith, education, business, and health.

 

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition Leave a comment

Oil Pulling–What the Heck????

I stumbled upon a great pinterest find on making your own coconut oil pulling squares infused with essential oils.  So  a quick stop to Michaels to get a silicone candy mold and some grabbing my coconut oil and my thieves essential oil and I’m in business for my DIY—It was so easy — basically, I mixed 5 drops of thieves in coconut oil—pour in to the silicone mold and then pop in the freezer.

 

 

When I first read about this I thought the idea was nuts.  My good friend Dr. Christopher Nagy told me a little about it (visit his SITE here).  It sounded a little quirky but I quickly did some investigation.

What is oil pulling?

The roots trace back thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to oil gargling.  The concept is to purify the taste buds and organ systems (Deepak Chopra /Perfect Health).  Life science explains that the tongue is mapped by organs and locations similar to the hands, head, and feet (reflexology).  It also stimulates cranial nerve 10–The VAGUS nerve.  This in turn strengthens the senses, heart rate, digestion and facial muscles.

It was introduced in 1992 by Dr. F. Karach when he examined organisms swimming under a microscope after gargling with oil.  He then moved on to investigate detoxification effects.

The Concept: 

Basically, you swish coconut, olive ,or sunflower oil in your mouth for about 10-15 minutes daily and then spit it out.  The oil pulls mucous, bacteria, and toxins from the mucosal tissue.  Swishing the oil with the saliva activates the enzymes that draw the toxins from the blood.  The oil should be thin and white by the time you are done.

It’s similar to the oil in your car engine.  The oils picks up the grime and leaves the engine clean.

The Benefits:

Oil pulling has been known to help many key diseases including allergies, digestion, headaches, memory issues etc.  It has a powerful detoxifying effect and can rid the body of the waste of many common bacteria we harbor including Candida and Streptococcus.

Does it work?

At this point, I don’t know.  I haven’t done it as consistently as I would like but I do notice that my mouth feels fresher, my teeth are whiter and my digestion is more efficient.  It certainly isn’t hurting me in any way and doesn’t take time from my day as I do it in the shower in the am.

Worth a try?  Why not?

 

This book is a good resource for more information if you are interested!!!

So what ways of detoxifying have you heard of lately—Post them in the comments so we can all learn!

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition Leave a comment

Sunscreen Madness

It’s that time of year again!!!  This weekend the heat wave should begin so it’s time to pull out the SUNSCREEN for all those outdoor activities.  I know I’ll be at the softball fields trying to hydrate as my daughter (8) rounds out her season in the big tournament !!  Go Wildcats! 

I highly suggest visiting the Environmental Working Group’s website to check your sunscreen’s rating for toxicity —-SKINDEEP

I also found a new free app for my smart phone called THINK DIRTY

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— it rates all your bathroom products on a scale of 1-10 (10=dirty) based on the toxic additives in them.  This is a great app because you can scan the products at the store before you even buy them and get a good read on how “clean” they are.  Remember your skin is your largest organ so what we put on it is just as important as what we eat!

 

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First of all,  why do we need sunscreen?  We all know that the UV rays from the sun can be harmful but why?  Free radicals –these are generated as a byproduct of UV exposure and different environmental toxins.  OK OK –what does that mean?

Let me explain a Free Radical (an unpaired electron) in terms that might actually make sense.  In a nutshell, let’s say you and your spouse decide to go to a dinner party with several other couples.  Because you are empathetic and loving, you decide to bring recently divorced cousin Joe to cheer him up.  Unfortunately, cousin Joe is slightly depressed, drinks a few too many Sun King’s, and hits on everyone’s wife!  EEK! CHAOS ensues and healthy paired couples are broken up!  Cousin Joe is a free radical!  He is a toxic cell that breaks apart healthy paired cells and reproduces with them chaotically to cause disease.

So the free radicals caused by UV light and environmental things like pollution will break down collagen and elastin in healthy skin which provide structural support –this triggers premature aging and even skin cancer.

So sunscreen blocks about half of the free radicals in the skin that can be generated from the sun.  However many of them contain chemicals that can cause other issues and actually do nothing to protect us from other environmental toxins.

Not only do many of the sunscreens on the market contain chemicals like Oxybenzone (EEK) but many of their advertised SPF levels have been debunked —Most SPF levels max out at about 50.

So what is bad about oxybenzone?

 

Oxybenzone— is from a class of ketones called benzophenones.  It is used to absorb UV light in plastics, nail polishes, cosmetics and hairsprays.  This is how it protects from UVA and UVB in sunscreen.

Here is the real problem with oxybenzone—it is an endocrine disruptor!  Remember that nasty BPA that you find in plastic bottles and on receipts:  that is one of those bad guys too.  It acts like estrogen in the body.  And you know how important hormonal control is for overall health –you need all those hormones just at the right levels.  I don’t know about you, but I already wig out when I have PMS–I really don’t need anything else jacking with my hormones.

Retinol Palmitate — is a form of vitamin A.  It is used in many products to slow signs of aging.  However, when it is exposed to sunlight, it can cause harmful effects (liver damage, thinning of the bones etc).

The EWG (environmental working group) has a great website called SKIN DEEP —you can search for a product on there and actually get a rating on how toxic it is.

Unfortunately, many of the top brands are on their NOOOOOO list including:  Coppertone, Banana Boat and even Neutrogena!

There are a few brands that come out on top—you can find a full list on their site but here are some names that I recognize:

Arbonne, Bull Frog, Burt’s Bees, Earth’s Best, Jan Marini, MD Skincare, The Honest Company

 

 

What else can I do to protect my skin?

Well, can you guess it involves eating some healthy food!

Certain antioxidants in some foods not only offer a level of natural sunscreen, they also have the ability to grab up those free radicals and protect the cells from oxidative damage which can lead to cancer.

The following foods will help protect your skin from sun damage

Green and White Tea—these have polyphenols that can slow inflammation

Blueberries— one cup contains tens of thousands of antioxidants

Black Plums –almost 5k antioxidants in these

Dark Veggies —- radishes, tomatoes, kale, parsley, yellow peppers, squash, yams, purple cabbage

Walnuts –are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation

 

Comment below on your experiences with sunscreen or other skin care products — we would love to hear since we are all in this together!!!!

Have a great weekend!

 

 

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition, Organic, Supplements 2 Comments

Getting Started with Essential Oils

Todays post is a special gift from a new-found friend!  Donna McGee from Donnatrition Wellness!  This amazing woman was able to heal herself from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome using nutrition!!  Please check out her story/ amazing recipes/ and essential oil info HERE.  You can also click the link on the side of my page to connect with her!!!

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What Are Essential Oils?
If you have ever enjoyed the scent of a flower, you have experienced the aromatic properties of essential oils. These aromatic compounds are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, and flowers of plants. Essential oils provide plants with protection against environmental threats and play a role in plant pollination. Essential oils have long been used for food preparation, beauty treatment, and health-care practices.

The use of essential oils is not new, there are records of their use thousands of years ago. But they have gained more popularity in recent years as people move away from artificial, chemical laden products in the homes and lives.

When I first started using essential oils I had no idea of what I was doing or where to even start. There were so many different essential oils and essential oil companies it was mind-boggling. So I started out on a journey to learn as much as I could. My search turned up these basic principles:

Everyone Has To Start Somewhere.
Most of us have not grown up using essential oils and that’s okay. You are not alone on your journey of understanding. I will help guide you through the terminology, jargon, recipes and the excitement of using essential oils.

Not All Essential Oils Are Created Equal.
It takes a lot, and I mean a lot, of raw material to make a small amount of essential oil. Therefore, if you find a cheap oil it is probably not a high quality one. Possibly even containing synthetic chemicals. You want to get an oil that is always 100 percent pure therapeutic grade, especially if you are going to use them internally. (More on that later.) You can find the ones I personally use here.

Start With A Few Oils.
The world of essential oils is vast and it is easy to get overwhelmed. Start with a few fragrances that you are familiar with, such as lavender or one of several citrus oils. There are also beginner kits that contain several essential oils along with suggestions for use. The kit I would recommend to start with is this collection of ten nurturing essential oils, including six single oils and four blends. It gives you a good variety of commonly used oils.

History of Essential Oils.
People have been using Essential Oils for over 5,000 years, and scientist, researchers and physicians are just now discovering their potential power. Records show they were use in Egypt, China, Rome, Greece, and other regions in their religious ceremonies, cosmetics. and for medicinal purposes.

In 1922, archeologist Howard Carter and his team discovered the tomb of King Tut. As he surveyed the contents to the tomb, he found 35 alabaster jars had contained scented oils and unguents that had been stolen during a robbery of the tomb.

Essential oils are the natural oils found in many plants, trees and seeds. They come from the many different parts including flowers, leaves, bark, roots, sap and peels. You know the smell of a rose when you passed by? You are smelling the essential oil in the flower. In addition to giving plants their distinctive smells, essential oils provide plants with protection against predators and disease and play a role in plant pollination.

Essential oils are both small in molecular size and contain a chemical called sesquiterpenes. These chemicals are known to be able pass through the blood-brain barrier. This allows the essential oils to interact with the brain cells, unlike most pharmaceutical drugs.

How Use Essential Oils.
Essential oils are used for a very wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications. They can be used a single oil at a time or in complex blends in one of three methods:

Inhalation

Certain essential oils, when diffused, can be very stimulating, while others can be calming and soothing. Diffusing essential oils can also cleanse and purify the air of unwanted odors. Some ways to inhale essential oils are:

Diffusing for an entire room or home. (Ideally for oils that are energizing, antimicrobial, promoting memory and focus, relaxing. Example: lemon, lavender, rosemary.)

Direct inhalation for personal benefits. This can be done with an inhaler or by directly smelling from the bottle. You can also put a drop or two in the palm of your hands and rub them together and then place your cupped hands over your nose and breathe in. I personally use this method for my headaches, sinuses, and when I’m fatigued. (Ideally for personal benefit such as clear breathing, focus, anxiety, headaches, and stress relief. Example: eucalyptus, bergamot, peppermint.)

Steam inhalation, also considered direct inhalation, involves using a bowl of steaming water with a few drops of essential oils in it that you hold your head over with a towel draped over your head forming a tent. (Ideally for clearing the nasal passages and respiratory system. Great for clogged sinuses. Example: eucalyptus, lemon, Melaleuca.)

Sprays have benefits of both inhalation and, in the case of antimicrobial oils, surface cleaning benefits. Combine essential oils, alcohol or witch hazel and distilled water in a spray bottle. Shake well before using and spritz on surfaces, in the air, on clothes or linens as desired. (Ideally for air freshening, cleaning, antimicrobial purposes, and body sprays, and even topical anti-inflammatory benefits and healing. Example: Melaleuca, lemon, thyme. )

Topical

Essential oils are easily absorbed by the skin, hair, and nails and can be safely applied topically. (Some oils should not be applied to the skin without first diluting them with a carrier oil such as Fractionated Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, or Olive Oil.) Some ways to use essential oils topically are:

Direct oils are applied directly on the area of concern. Because the oils are so potent, more is not necessarily better. Usually 1 to 3 drops of oil are adequate. For larger areas mix with a carrier oil.

Massage for stimulation of muscles, skin and connective tissue using a variety of techniques to help promote healing, balance and connections. Massage can be invigorating, relaxing, stimulating or soothing and using essential oils can enhance these benefits.

Reflexology/Reflex Therapy is a simple method of applying essential oils to contact points (or nerve endings, reflex points) in the hands or feet. The oils either help remove blockages along the pathways or travel the pathways to benefit the particular organ in question.

Auricular Therapy oils are applied to the various point on the rim of the ears to effect changes on internal body parts. Small amounts of oil are applied and then stimulated with the fingers or with a glass rod.

Compresses fill a basin with hot or cold water and add the desired essential oils. Stir the water vigorously and then lay a towel on top of the water. The oils will float on top of the water and so the towel will soak them up with the water. Once the towel is saturated, wring out the excess water and place the towel over the area needing the compress. For a hot compress, cover with a dry towel and a hot water bottle. For a cold compress cover with a piece of plastic wrap and an ice pack.

Additionally, after a massage, you can apply the hot wet towel and then a dry towel on top of the massaged area. The moist heat will force the oils deeper into the tissues of the body.

Baths essential oils can be added to the bath water in a tub, in Bath and Shower Gel, Bath Salts, on a washcloth or as a body spray.

Internal

Certain essential oils have a rich culinary history and can be used as dietary supplements for targeted wellness. Only pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils should be used for internal consumption. Other oils on the market could be diluted or processed using harmful chemicals not intended for internal use. Some ways to use essential oils internally are:

Sublingual one of the most effective way to take essential oils internally. Place a drop or two of essential oil under the tongue where blood capillaries are close to the surface. Many oil constituents are able to pass directly into the bloodstream, where they can quickly travel to the different areas of the body where they are needed. This enables rapid absorptions and bypasses the digestive system and the first-pass metabolism in the lives.

Capsules essential oils can be placed inside an empty capsule and then swallowing it. It is common to dilute the pure essential oil by filling the remainder of the capsule with olive oil before closing and swallowing. This is an effective way of taking oils that have a less than desirable taste.

Beverages offer an easy way to take essential oils internally. Place 1 drop of essential oil in 1 to 4 cups of almond milk, coconut milk or water before drinking. I personally put essential oils in my smoothies before blending.

Cooking essential oils can be easily incorporated into your cooking. But remember they are VERY concentrated and usually you only want to add 1 drop or less. Use a toothpick to help control the addition of smaller amounts of oil by dipping the toothpick into the oil and then stirring it into the food.

Bottom Line.
Essential oils are both exciting and promising when it comes to taking care of your own and your family’s health. Whether you’re applying essential oils topically, enjoying the aromatic benefits through diffusing, or taking essential oils internally, the positive effects of essential oils are boundless.

That’s why you’ll want to ensure that the essential oils you are using are capable of delivering on their promise. You’ll want to make sure that you are choosing essential oils for their potency and their purity.

And remember never stop learning, the more we learn the better we can use essential oils to their fullest benefit.

These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.
Pregnant or lactating women and persons with known medical conditions should consult a physician prior to the use of any of these products.

Thanks so much to Donna for sharing this wealth of knowledge with us and check her out!!!  Share below in the comments any experiences you have had using essential oils along with any more info or topics you would like to know more about!

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Posted on by Angela in Diet, Guest Blog, Nutrition Leave a comment

Spice It Up!

If the only spices you have in your cupboard are salt and pepper, it is time for you to “Kick it up a notch!”  Cooking with fresh herbs not only makes adds fragrance, color, and curb appeal to your dish;  but, it enhances the flavor.
I never used fresh herbs because the dried herbs seemed simpler and less expensive, but it’s cheap if you plant your own herb garden.  Spring is the perfect time to do just that!  This year, I decided to start my garden from seeds indoors and it has been much cheaper.  I only have my spinach in the ground as of now.  Here are all my early vegetable starts–radish, pepper, tomato, zucchini, cucumber, onion, beets, squash—
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and here are my herb starts—
basil, dill, cilantro, rosemary, chives, oregano, thyme, mint
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Here is how easy it is to start your own herb garden…..AND FUN!  Here are just a few of the most commonly used herbs:
Rosemary:   My personal favorite.  It is an annual (have to replant it each year), but can grow from late May thru August.  It can flourish with little watering and even though it prefers full sun it can tolerate slightly shady areas.
Basil:  It is also an annual, but once it “takes off” there is no stopping it.  Plant it in various stages.  In other words, plant one or two in May and then another in June and maybe even July.  You can never have too much basil.  At the end of the season, you can take what is left before the first freeze and make pesto sauce.  (I will tell you how to do that later, when we get to that point.)  Basil needs lots of sun and normal watering.  The most important thing to remember is to always take from the top.  You never want it to flower, so keep pinching the tops off.
Chives:  Yea!  Chives are a perennial (comes back without replanting) so if you get a good base and established roots, they will come back time and time again.  Chives are a gimme.  It likes sun, but can tolerate it at dusk or dawn.  For best results you should divide your root “clumps” every 2-3 years.
Cilantro:  Not so easy and personally I think the hardest herb to grow.  It too, is an annual.  Plant it in early spring.  It does great until the end of May and then dies off.  At that point I go to market and buy it at a dollar a bunch.  Not worth the headache at that price.
Dill:  It is technically an annual. However, I have seen dill “pop-up” throughout my yard via the seed that float through air after the season is over.  It is pretty easy to grow.  Like Rosemary, it prefers sun, but can grow in the shade.
Mint:  It is a perennial and will take over your entire yard.  Therefore, I would recommend growing it in a pot or other controlled environment.  Especially, since I don’t know very many uses for it other than it is fabulous in juicing and beverages/desserts.  It likes sun, shade, rain, no rain….beware.
Oregano:  Is also a perennial that needs to be controlled or it will turn into fragrant ground cover.  Now while there are several more uses for oregano, you need to be sure to keep it contained year after year.  Like mint, it requires no TLC and is happy to get what it gets in hopes of being “picked” for that next marinade.
Parsley.  It is a perennial.  It is one of the most commonly used herbs.  In fact, it is probably the only one that most people use fresh or regularly with salt and pepper.  I always keep it in my garden mainly for color.  It honestly costs about $ .75 a bunch at the store.
Sage.  It is a perennial that demands little care.  Most importantly, at the end of the season, cut the stems and split the roots periodically through the years. It likes sun or shade.  Are you beginning to sense a trend….perennials are a piece of cake!
Thyme.  Last but not least.  It can come back, but it does demand care.  It is a slow-growing herb so it’s only request is to keep weeds and all other herbs AWAY!  It needs its space.
Posted on by Angela in Diet, Green Living, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Organic, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Diminishing Returns!

I love some of Dee’s older posts that are so insightful on how we are brain washed into thinking we need to eat so much.  It is a complete attack on all of our senses— 

Dee writes:

 

Our wonderful country has transformed into one in which many fortunate citizens are overindulged, overstocked and overfed. I see so many kids who have such an air of entitlement. Many of us use money we don’t have to buy things we don’t need. There is this great sense of getting more, needing more, wanting more. Restaurants and fast food chains jump right into the game of giving us what we want. When you look at a commercial for, lets say, a pancake house you can see exactly what I mean. First, they give you the price of something-99 and then you see the combo – stack of pancakes, two kinds of meat, two eggs and a side of home fries. All of this is for one person. This is such a common assortment of food and it is set up to please every part of the palette, that we really don’t stop to realize that the Grand Slam could easily satisfy the hunger of three or four adults. I know that when I am presented with the option of such a meal, I act before I think…I don’t want to do without the potatoes, and the savory, salty, crispy bacon tastes so great; it all goes really well with scrambled eggs and then there is the warm, fluffy texture of melt-in-your-mouth pancakes – a wonderful symphony of food. The truth is, I’ve had MANY weekday breakfasts that consisted of one hard-boiled egg. And that was a sufficient bit of food to hold me over from morning until lunch. But when we have all of this bundled into one fine presentation there are a couple of things that food marketers use to sabotage our senses. First, there is the “value” catch. For $2, I can order one egg but for another $1.50 I can make it a sandwich with cheese and bacon and for a total of $5 bucks, it comes with tater-tots and a small OJ. So I might have only wanted or needed one egg, but I choose the whole lot. Second, there’s the waste factor. Now that I’ve ordered all of this food, at a bargain price, I need to eat it all as to not waste it. I may have realized I’m full after barely starting to consume the meal, but there are only two alternatives once it’s in front of me – throw perfectly good food into the garbage or eat it.

Now back to the title of my blog, “diminishing returns.” Wouldn’t you say that the very first bite of a piece of chocolate cake is the best bite? The second one is pretty good, and maybe the third. By three bites your mouth is very happy and has had a good chance to fully experience the great flavor. The more you eat, the less fabulous the taste. While the flavor is still good, these subsequent bites from number three to clean plate are really somewhat mechanical, you just keep going and going until the food is gone without the ability to savor the dish as you did with bites one through three. If you order a meal at most restaurants, get a carry out container right up front to box half for another meal. You’ll be amazed to see how many double portion meals you get and how full you feel after only eating half.

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Organic, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

I killed it!!!

So after beating myself up last week for the Epic Kroger fail— I decided that meal planning was a must on the weekends.  It’s just too busy during the week to be a superhero.  I made the Panera copy cat egg / avocado/tomato breakfast sandwiches (sans bread) and had some healthy dinners.  We managed to eat well despite softball games and band practice.  This last weekend was perfect for meal prep as well because I was able to prep quite a few meals and watch an entire season of “Beat Bobby Flay” at the same time (dang-that guy aways wins).

So here is how this weekend’s prep started:

These suddenly became a Pinterest Win!  (Most of my Pinterest creations are a little sad)

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Yep —you got it !!!! Salad jars!  Some dressing at the bottom to keep them fresh and they became lunch for the week.  They surprisingly stay really fresh!

NEXT—

A Mediterranean Chicken Casserole :

We ate it for dinner (even the kids liked it) and then I took leftovers for lunch-  it was uber easy my friends!

 

1  Whole Organic Pastured chicken (can bake or boil)–or a cheat is to buy the healthiest rotisserie chicken you can find

1 can of black olives rinsed well and sliced

1 can of artichokes rinsed well and sliced

1 carton of organic grape tomatoes

1 handful fresh chopped organic spinach

2 chopped organic zucchini

1 TBS of primal kitchen avocado mayo

(add a dash of lemon juice to keep avocado from browning)

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 350—

Combine all the ingredients and place in a baking dish — then cook covered 25-30min until hot —

VOILA— easy peasy dinner is served —

NOTE:  You can use the HOMEMADE MAYO recipe found HERE -as well.  I was just lazy.

You can order the primal avocado mayo here or find it in the Angela MD store off the home page of the blog along with other supplements and books I recommend.

As always– leave me some comments below on any new make ahead recipes you have found!  I love your feedback and participation.  We are all in this together!!!!

Posted on by Angela in Diet, Nutrition, Organic, Weight Loss 2 Comments

Breaking up is hard to do

Here is one of my favorite post’s of Dee’s– such a funny gal!!  I thought this would be appropriate on Cinco de Mayo after most of us have been splurging with nachos and margaritas!

I’m Breaking Up with You

Nothing personal. We’ve had a great relationship. It’s not you, it’s me. I’m sorry for the short notice but I’m feeling brave today. It’s been a blast to hang out together after work every night. Remember how fun it was to crank up the stereo and clean the house and then as a reward for a great day OR as a consolation for a stressful day OR as a routine for a routine day…we drank together at night. But I have to move on and get control of my health and many of my bad eating choices have been in your company. You introduced me to your friends: Wings, Nachos, Pizza and Chips. I’m dumping them too. Don’t call or text or yell out to me when we see each other at the grocery store because I will ignore you. I’m better than you…no offense.

Thanks Dee—I know relationships can be hard.
I had considered taking your sloppy seconds but then I met Kale and Broccoli.  They are both so wonderful, I can’t choose.   I’m going for the threesome!  Please don’t judge!
Posted on by Angela in Diet, Nutrition, Weight Loss 2 Comments

Meet Dee- She needs shoes!

A few years ago, I introduced you to my dear friend Dee.  She invited us on her weight loss journey and did quite a few posts regarding her story.  I just wanted to repost a few of these because:

1.  I miss Dee!!

2.  I always love her posts and admire how real and down to earth she is!  Hope you enjoy them as well.

Dee is a mom!  Dee wants to lose weight.  Dee believes we need to eat healthy.  I love Dee.  She has invited us to follow her weight loss journey with her because she can’t see her feet!  Please follow her amazing posts with me!  She is inspiring!  And to Dee, thank you for admitting that you aren’t perfect and this isn’t an easy thing to do!  We should all have that much integrity.

Dee writes:

Funny how people are ashamed to share their weight. I don’t mind telling people who I weigh 190 pounds. When I’m speaking to someone and the issue of health or weight comes up, I freely share my weight…the real number. I share my age too, 49. People are sometimes surprised that I’m 49, but no one has ever reacted surprisingly to the 50 extra pounds. I’m guessing it’s because if they are speaking to me in person, they can see the extra pounds…mostly around my middle. I don’t like this section of me but I’ve gotten used to it. I chose this photo, taken from my chin looking down to show you what I see when I look at my shoes. Get it? No shoes. I’d like to see my shoes and have started a new goal to get there. After years and years of dieting, I am a diet expert. Most overweight people are diet experts. The trick isn’t knowing what to do, it’s doing it. If you want to jump into the journey, I would love the company. It might not always be pretty, but it will always be real.

Posted on by Angela in Diet, Guest Blog, Humor, Nutrition, Spirit, Whole Food Leave a comment

Safe grilling!

Grilling is a great way to eliminate fats and oils while preparing meats and veggies. Plus it’s a fun way to stay outdoors to eat and cook. Disposable plates mean you stay out of the kitchen completely.
FoodFacts.com would like to discuss grilling season.
With grilling season just around the corner, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last month released a pamphlet with grilling tips for the safe preparation of foods.
E-coli and salmonella are two of the most well-known and common food-borne illnesses in existent, and both illnesses are often contracted through the incorrect preparation of foods. This is especially common in the summer, when grilling is a common means of cooking and the heat outside is high, resulting in a higher chance of bacteria growing within food. So how can you keep you and your family safe during this fun, but risky, time?
It all begins before you even begin cooking, with proper cleanup and preparation of your work area. Cleaning your food items is also a must, specifically fresh fruits and vegetables.
The means in which you transport your food is also important, and transporting foods in an organized manner could be beneficial. Keeping your cold foods cold, specifically in a cooler with the temperature at 40°F or below, is necessary for preventing bacteria growth. Keep the coolers closed, and don’t cross-contaminate foods such as poultry, seafood and raw meat.
What about the actual grilling process, though? How do you keep your foods safe?
When grilling, it is important to marinate your food safely – keep it in the refrigerator, rather than the counters or outside. Keep already grilled food hot until it is served. Also, and this is very important – cook food thoroughly. To find out proper cooking temperatures, please refer to the FDA link at the bottom of this blog. Finally, when cooking, keep utensils separate to prevent cross-contamination. It might be a good idea to wash utensils after each use to be extra safe.
So, folks, there you have it. Separation, refrigeration, and proper cooking temperatures are the basics.

With that said, we’re wishing you a happy and healthy grilling season from FoodFacts.com!Another note from Dee: if you use a liquid marinade, be sure to discard it after use, do not put it back on meat that’s been cooked. Remember, it was in close contact with the raw meat and should be treated that way. Here’s the FDA link: FDA.

Posted on by Angela in Diet, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Organic, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment