Thursday, January 27, 2011

Planters Peanuts-Healthy?

One of our kids got a jar of Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts as part of a Christmas gift. I don't normally buy nuts at the grocery store because we buy our nuts in bulk but I certainly had nothing against them....until TODAY when I actually read the label.

Ingredients: Peanuts, Contains 2% or less of: Sea Salt, Sugar, Cornstarch, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), Gelatin, Torula Yeast, Corn Syrup Solids, Paprika, Onion and Garlic Powders, Spices, Natural Flavor.

All that? Seriously??? Why can't we just have peanuts in our peanuts?? No wonder they're so tasty and you can't stop eating them!!  They're "sugarfied" (my kids love that word) and tainted with neurotoxins!

Corn Syrup and MSG (all corn-derived) have been off-limits in my kitchen for years, but things do slip in here from time to time, reminding me of the importance of being diligent in reading all labels.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Very Simple Chili

Dinner tonight was long on flavor and very short on prep time.  One of the easiest, fastest, heartiest home cooked Sunday night dinners you can make is CHILI!  It's so simple you don't even need a recipe. Just follow your taste buds.  Here is what I did:

This makes a lot, but we like leftovers!
2 lbs of grassfed ground beef (browned in my cast iron skillet and liberally doused in Spike and garlic granules)
3 or 4 cans of beans (kidney, black, pinto....whatever you like. I always keep a supply of beans in the pantry so I have lots to pick from) btw-I don't rinse the beans, just throw the whole can in.
1-2 cans of diced tomatoes (Muir Glen basil and garlic is best!) 
1-2 cans tomato sauce or tomato paste (you'll need to add water if you use the paste). 
Chili Powder and Chili Pepper to taste (with 5 young kids, I have to really take it easy here)

Combine everything in a pot and let it simmer until you like the taste (20-30 minutes, the longer the better) then serve with whatever toppings you like: shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro, chopped onions etc..  Tonight the kids convinced me to serve it with grilled cheese sandwiches so they had something to dip in the chili.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Alternative Health Controversy, Pt. 1

Kudos to Dr. Oz for "reaching across the aisle"!!

Meet the man your doctor doesn’t want you talking to - Dr. Joe Mercola. Hear about his alternative health practices and find out why he’s such a lightening rod for controversy.

Quick Ham and Broccoli Breakfast

Today I got running a little behind so breakfast was very simple. I grabbed a chunk of ham from the fridge, chopped it into chunks and tossed them into my cast iron skillet.  Then I grabbed a head of broccoli, broke off enough to feed everyone and threw it into the steamer.  5 minutes, DONE!  Who says you have to cook breakfast foods for breakfast?

Another Good Reason To Stay Well!

Having worked in the medical industry for many years, I've always been aware that "mishaps" do occur. But this just blew me away. The scary thing is this is just ONE example that was exposed and sadly, there are probably many more untold stories just like it.  This is great motivation to take charge of your own health care and take the necessary steps to get well and stay well! Click HERE for the video clip.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Best Cooking Oil

This is what we use for just about anything that needs an oil to be heated.  Blue Breeze Organic Coconut Ghee made right here in Nebraska by Green Pasture.  One gallon comes to about $52 with shipping. Sounds like a lot but it goes a long way. It lasts our family (of 7) for over 5 months, and we use A LOT because we do not own pans with Teflon type non-stick coating. It's a mixture of ghee and coconut oil. Ghee is simply clarified butter. Most people don’t notice a "coconutty" taste and instead find the flavor delicious.  We scramble eggs in it, fry chicken in it, sauté veggies and bake with it.  Contrary to what most people think, you really shouldn’t heat olive oil (click HERE if you want to learn why).

Switching to this oil would be in my “top ten” list of changes to make in your kitchen when converting to a healthier diet! 

High Fat, Low Carb Hitting the Mainstream

You know something has finally hit the "mainstream" when it shows up in Reader's Digest, People Magazine or appears on the nightly news with Katy Couric.  I've been preaching a high fat diet (from clean sources of grass-fed animal fat ) for the past 10 years so although it's been a long wait, it's still nice to see the "mainstream" finally catching up as evidenced in the December issue of Reader's Digest.  There you'll find an interview with Gary Taubes, author of the new book, "Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It".  Gary's new book promises to be a myth-shattering examination of a century's worth of dietary advice.  I can't wait to read it!

Right now I am still working on the amazing book, Primal Body, Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas, but I suspect there is a very similar message being promoted.  High fat, moderate protein, low carb seems to be the wave of the immediate future and my husband, Scott, and I have decided to put it to the test.  Starting January 1st we completely eliminated all sugar and grains (actually I started back on November 1st, but Christmas threw me off a bit) and are following the high fat, moderate protein, low-carb lifestyle recommended by today's leading nutrition researchers in the fields of both weight loss and longevity sciences (anti-aging).

While we have eaten liberally of clean sources of animal fat for the past 10 years, I have struggled to give up sugar and grains and have never really understood the consequences of eating too much protein.  Primal Body, Primal Mind has neatly tied it all together for me and we are so far thoroughly enjoying the new meal plan!  I continue to lose approximately one pound each week of "baby weight" and eagerly look forward to discovering my body's new "normal".  I consistently gained 40-50 pounds with all five pregnancies so the look back to 135 lbs has gotten longer and longer each time.  However, with only 8 lbs. to go, I couldn't be more confident that "low fat" eating is NOT the answer!

Also, please understand that finding optimal health is not just all about weight loss.  On a high fat diet you will begin to heal your entire body and mind! To help illustrate and prove this, at the end of October I had a complete blood chemistry analysis and I've decided that for better or worse, I will reveal the results of those tests after I am tested again in 6 months.  Scott hasn't had "before" testing done yet, but I'm hoping I can twist his arm to join me in our own little "case study".

Monday, January 10, 2011

Healthy Carrot Banana Nut Muffins

I'm so excited to report I've finally found a healthy muffin recipe that actually works! If you like carrot cake, you will LOVE these muffins! They have no flour (gluten free) or processed sugar and taste delicious! Full of healthy fats, they make a great grab-n-go breakfast item or after-school snack and with the fruit carbs, they provide excellent post work-out nutrition.  And the best news of all.....Gemma (our pickiest eater) has given them the "thumbs up"!

Ingredients:(I have included links to the brands I use)
2 cups almond flour
2 t. baking soda
1 t. "Celtic Sea Salt" or "Real Salt"
1 T cinnamon
1 cup dates, pitted (this is what makes them darker in color)
3 ripe bananas
3 eggs
1 t. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cups carrots, shredded
3/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
Muffin paper liners

1. In a small bowl, combine almond flour, baking soda,salt and cinnamon.
2. In a food processor, combine dates, bananas, eggs, vinegar and coconut oil.
3. Transfer to a large bowl.
4. Blend dry mixture into wet until thoroughly combined.
5. Fold in carrots and walnuts.
6. Spoon mixture into paper lined muffin tins.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Where Does Your Bottled Water Come From?

EWG's just-released 2011 Bottled Water Scorecard grades more than 170 bottled waters on the information they do or do not disclose on their labels and websites.
When they looked for answers to obvious questions -- Where does the water come from? Is it purified? How? Have tests found any contaminants? -- nine out of the ten best-selling brands didn't answer at least one of those questions. Click here to see the #1 recommended water source!
Bottled Water 2011: Home | Environmental Working Group