Category Archives: BPA

Microwave Goodbye

If you’re trying to eat healthy, wave goodbye to that invention that is destroying your food.

micro w x

Your microwave doesn’t just take up space in your kitchen, it denatures your food, destroying the nutrients and causing mutations in the molecules and proteins, turning some into carcinogens and rendering others useless.

So think about all that money you spent on organic food (because you read my blog and want to get on the organic bandwagon ūüėČ )…

…and think about how nutrient-poor our soil is to begin with…

…and then think about how long that food was sitting in the grocery store and now in your fridge before you decided to eat it…

…and now think about how you’ll destroy what little is left when you put it in the microwave.

That’s just a waste of money, a waste of calories, and a waste of trying to eat more veggies (which I know you are doing!).

And those containers that are in there with your food?

Microwaving both paper, plastic, and melamine causes them to release toxins that are extremely harmful to your health: BPA, dioxins, PET, and benzene, to name a few.

Think those microwaveable popcorn bags are safe? Think again.

Next time you reach for the Jiffy Pop, keep in mind the corn is genetically modified, the “butter” flavor in no way resembles real butter, and¬†the bag lining has harmful chemicals that leach into your food (if you can call it that). Now add the microwave damage on top of that. That disaster in a bag just made the list of of 10 Most Unhealthy Cancer Causing Foods.

And hey, New Mamas: don’t even think about warming baby bottles in there. Consider all the reasons above and also consider that microwaving causes hot pockets in food and liquid which can end up burning your baby.

In retrospect, it shocks me that it didn’t occur to me sooner…like when I was younger and everyone said, “Don’t stand in front of the microwave while you ‘nuke’ your food.”

Um hello? That should’ve clued us all in right then and there.

We can’t stand in front of it, but we can put into our bodies whatever was in there, even though our cells are made from the food that we eat.

Oh, and we call it “nuking.”

Great.

I’ve been microwave-free for quite some time now, but it still doesn’t feel like long enough because I can remember a time – oh, like the majority of my life – when it was the only way I knew how to cook my food. Since I discovered that other invention called the stove, and it’s neighbor, the oven, things have gotten much more fun in my kitchen.

Microwaves have long been embraced by those who want to expedite the cooking process. Because we’re all in a rush. Because we have no time to wait or to cook. Because we want things easy.

If you’re anything like me, you see some BIG RED FLAGS¬†there.

Ask your favorite health coach and I’m going to tell you that we shouldn’t be living our lives in such a rush. (And next time you buy one of those microwavable plastic pouches full of vegetables, and put it all in the microwave the way they tell you to do it, know that I’m cringing somewhere.)

Cooking is meant to be a celebration of food and taste, a recreational activity to be shared with others or to be enjoyed by oneself as a time out from the madness. For me, it is like a laboratory experiment, and things can get interesting when I ditch the recipe and go rogue.

But if you still really want some fast food, try a bag of baby carrots. Raw. Can’t get any faster than that.

And if you’re hungrier than that and don’t want to bother “cooking,” throw together a big salad with all kinds of fun ingredients in it, fresh or leftover:
-your favorite veggies (raw, steamed, sauteed, grilled, marinated…)
-avocado
-olives
-lentils
-seeds (hemp, chia, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, buckwheat…)
-nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, pine nuts…)
-fruit (oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, berries, pears, apples, kiwi, dried fruit…)
-beans (garbanzo, black, white, kidney…and always Eden Organics if canned because they’re BPA-free)
-fresh herbs (basil, mint, parsley…)
-organic chicken, turkey, grass-fed beef, or low-mercury seafood (salmon, sardines, bay shrimp)
…get creative!

And slow down.

Enjoy your food.

Enjoy preparing your food.

And wave good riddance to your microwave.

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Filed under BPA, Chemicals, Fast Food, Health, Superfoods, Tips and Tricks, Vegetables

Let’s Go Shopping!

As a health coach, one of the things I do is give grocery tours. Since not all of my readers are local, consider this your free online grocery tour of Trader Joe’s!

“But Trader Joe’s is so healthy!” you say.¬†“Can’t I buy anything there?”

No, my friends. Not all Trader Joe’s offerings are created equal. Many products contain soy and other iffy ingredients or far too much sugar to be healthy.¬†One of the best things you can do for your health is to learn to read labels.

One tip I’ll give you right here, right now is this: the fewer ingredients, the better.

That being said, Trader’s does offer some wonderful products for amazing prices. So let’s get to it, shall we?

1. Organic Petit Pain Pascal 
Trader Joe’s made a winner here. With only 3 ingredients – organic whole wheat flour, water, and salt – this bread is organic, whole grain and so delicious. You’ll find it in the day bread section, which means they deliver them each morning and not every store gets them every day.

Fyi: Do not confuse it with the Pain Pascal demi-loaf. The Petit Pain Pascal is much softer and moister than it’s cousin the demi-loaf, which I found to be obscenely large and rather dry, but serviceable in a pinch.

Check with your local store for the deets. Oh and did I mention it’s $.99?

Makes you wonder why so many companies add more ingredients when only 3 taste this good…

2. Frozen Organic Berries

Screen shot 2013-03-29 at 10.18.52 AMIn my germ-fighting post, I mentioned the importance of eating plenty of berries to stay healthy this time of year. I love that Trader’s has a frozen mix of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries. This combo-pack really elevates a bowl of oatmeal.

Their frozen berry selection is seasonal, though, so at times you’ll find the mixed berries or wild organic blueberries or organic raspberries. All get my stamp of approval on taste, health, and price. $2.99 (rasps)/$3.49 (mix)/$3.99 (bluebs)

3. Power to the Greens Mix

Screen shot 2013-03-29 at 10.44.50 AMSeveral months ago, one of my favorite bloggers, Erika from Raw Green Fitness, brought this product to my attention. And I am so grateful! This bag of mixed greens (baby kale, baby spinach, and baby chard) is super healthy and gets a good mix of different greens into your meal. Cook or eat raw. Each bag is $1.99.

4. Organic Chicken and Brown Rice Dog Treats
Screen shot 2013-03-29 at 10.20.15 AM
I’ve yet to meet a pooch who doesn’t dig these tasty treats. And at $2.99 a bag, you can feel good about feeding your four-legged bestie good stuff for a great price.

5. Cheapest. Therapy. Ever.

Screen shot 2013-03-29 at 10.19.47 AMI am flipping over their daffodils right now. One bunch of these bright yellow beauties is $1.29, lasts about a week, and makes me smile every time I pass by the vase. Find a bloom that brightens your day!

11 Comments

Filed under BPA, Fruit, Health, Organic, Product Review, Products, Tips and Tricks, Vegetables

Deliciousness = Full and Happy Bellies

In my last post I mentioned it was my mom’s birthday. Well, being the health coach that I am, I had to make sure we ate healthy on her special day, so I cooked up an organic brunch complete with Barefoot Coffee. Now, you know healthy doesn’t mean it can’t be delicious. Because it was. And we all agreed that I should write a post about it.

Now, I’m tooting my own horn here because I really knocked it out of the park this time, you guys.

And just for letting me toot the horn, I’m sharing these two insanely good recipes with you.

Super simple. Super delicious. Super healthy.

The first was an egg casserole, loaded with veggies. The second was a baked french toast that was dairy-free and had only low-glycemic coconut sugar. Both recipes are completely organic, with the exception of the salt, as salt is not organic. Instead of topping the french toast with syrup, we had fresh fruit, and it was the perfect compliment.

As usual, there were no GMOs here and everything was prepared with safe cookware. See my post on what I like to use to avoid BPA and chemicals from non-stick cookware.

I really should have a picture of this feast, but there was no time for pictures. I couldn’t wait to dive in. Forgive me.

And without further ado…

EGG CASSEROLE
Ingredients:
8 eggs (I used 4 whole, 4 whites)
1 1/2 bags of spinach
1 box of mushrooms
1 tbsp of ghee
1 tsp of turmeric
Seasoning: pink salt and/or pepper and/or Italian Seasoning to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Chop up mushrooms and any other veggies you love.
Tip #1: always let veggies sit for 5 minutes after cutting and before cooking to let the freshly broken enzymes do their thing.

3. Scramble eggs in a bowl with turmeric, a pinch of salt, and seasoning (I used a bit of Italian Seasoning). Use whatever combination of whole eggs/egg whites you prefer.

4. Heat the ghee in a pan.

5. Sautee mushrooms in ghee with a splash or two of water – you want just enough for a juice so they don’t stick and burn, but not too much that it’s really saucy. Once cooked (give it about 4 minutes), add spinach. and cook until wilted, not longer.

6. Line a 9×9 casserole dish (stoneware or glass) with unbleached parchment paper and spread the mushroom/spinach mixture evenly along the bottom. Pour the egg mix over the veggies.

7. Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes (until egg sets).

8. Tip #2: always sprinkle pepper (any kind will do) on your eggs to break down the glairy mucus from the whites.

Enjoy!

RIDICULOUS BAKED FRENCH TOAST

Yup. Ridiculous.

Ingredients:
1 lb of organic whole wheat bread (I used 1 1/2 loaves of Petit Pain Pascal from Trader Joe’s – it’s in their day bread section and it’s fantastic)
1/2 cup of ghee, melted
4 large eggs
3/4 cup almond milk
1/3 cup coconut sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract (non-alcohol) + 1/4 tsp of ground vanilla
1.5 tablespoon cinnamon (use 1 1/4 in the mixture, 1/4 sprinkled on top)
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon pink salt
Fixins on the side: 1/2 cup each of blueberries and banana slices

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2.¬†Line an 11×15 inch pan with unbleached parchment paper. Melt the ghee on the stove on low and allow it to cool so you don’t curdle the milk or cook the eggs.

3. Cut the bread into 1 inch pieces and place on the parchment paper, making sure it all fits along the bottom without too much stacking.

4. Mix ghee, eggs, almond milk, coconut sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and pour over the bread. Make sure to wet every piece gets wet. Pour a little extra milk if necessary (you may even need to make additional batter if there’s not enough for sufficient soakage), sprinkle with a little sugar and cinnamon on top. Put a few pieces of unmelted ghee across the top. Cover with foil and let soak for 4 hours in the refrigerator.

5. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes. It will brown but don’t overbake because you want it moist. Some pieces should be a little toasted but there will still be some liquid in the center.

5. Serve yourself a big honkin’ piece and top with blueberries and banana, or any other fruit you like. This does not need syrup or additional sugar.

6. Tip #3: go back for seconds because sometimes we just need to enjoy ourselves.

You’re welcome. ūüôā

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Filed under BPA, Fruit, GMO-free, Health, Low-glycemic, One Pot Dish, Organic, Recipe, Tips and Tricks, Vegetables

Thanks for Giving Me Alternatives…

As we head into Thanksgiving – my most favorite holiday EVER (hooray! it’s almost here!) – we prepare for the legendary feast that means full bellies and a few extra pounds (eek! let’s bond, mr. elliptical!).

You know how everyone says the turkey makes you tired? It’s probably just the ridiculous volume of food we consume, not the turkey. ¬†When we overeat, the rest of the body shuts down so the digestive system can do it’s thing.

Ah, the third Thursday of November.

It’s my worst day by far. But SO worth it.

That being said, I still bring the health coach part of me to the kitchen. Here’s what I do to make the Thanksgiving table that much healthier for my family…

1. Organic, Free-Range Turkey

Conventional meat is not raised humanely and the stress and fear that these animals experience when they are jammed into cages and can’t move, and are slaughtered in frightening ways, creates stress hormones that end up in the meat we eat. Not to mention, they’re given genetically modified feed, which they can’t digest, and that combined with their living conditions makes them fat and sick…cue the antiobiotics. ALL OF THAT ends up on our plates. Gross.

Organic and free-range, on the other hand, mean the animals live and eat the way animals are supposed to: outside with food they can digest. Make the investment in your health and go organic with your meat this holiday season. We’ll be eating Mary’s Organic.

2. Organic Potatoes

Because they grow in the ground, potatoes soak up all of the nasty pesticides in the soil like a sponge, so organic is the way to go.

And for those of you with sweet potato dishes, Trader Joe’s has the most delicious organic sweets. Stay away from the cans, which have BPA, and do fresh. You’ll taste the difference.

3. Use Ghee or Coconut Oil for Cooking and Baking

Coconut is just the best damn oil. If you want the butter taste, though, choose ghee (clarified butter) which can be found at health food and specialty stores. For my concerns about conventional dairy, check out my post on it.

Two reasons ghee and coconut oil are better options:
1. Because of their heart healthy medium-chain fatty acids
2. Because they can both withstand higher temperatures than butter and other oils before breaking down.

Learn more about ghee here. Make sure you choose high quality (not commercial versions) Рgo organic for both and unrefined for coconut oil.

4. Healthy Cookware/Bakeware and Storage

Check my previous post for my favorite kitchen tools. And don’t forget to store your leftovers in glass containers – NOT PLASTIC! Some might argue that leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving…so keep them BPA-free!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I, for one, am grateful for so very much. Take that moment to reflect on your life, enjoy the time with your family and friends, and have a kickass meal and a wonderful holiday!

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Filed under BPA, Health, Organic, Tips and Tricks

Dehydratin’ Away…

So the hubby and I are pretty much inseparable. We work together, we live together (obviously), and we go places together. It’s awesome. And the dog ain’t far behind.

I mean, look at that face. Would you leave her? Exactly.

But this week, I have a new best friend. Her name is Excalibur.

That’s right. Health Coach Jillian is dehydratin’ the bejesus out of anything she can get her hands on with her new 5-tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator.¬†It’s BPA-free and phthalate-free.

But if the hubby feels threatened, he has only himself to blame. (And maybe two employees at Whole Foods.) All three commented on my out of control addiction to kale chips. All of them said, “Why don’t you make your own?”

The first time I got the question I replied, “Whenever I make kale chips in the oven, they burn.”

But last time I got the question, I fielded it differently. “MY DEHYDRATOR IS ON ITS WAY TO ME!! I JUST ORDERED IT!”

Okay, maybe the cashier was unprepared for that level of enthusiasm, but he asked and with my Excalibur en route, I was excited. Super excited.

So now I’m trying anything that sounds like it will taste good when dried out: apple with cinnamon, strawberries, figs, carrots, zucchini, and of course, kale.

Now, one might wonder what the point is. Don’t we want the water that’s in these foods? Sure!

And when you eat dehydrated food you should drink water to rehydrate. So it seems totally pointless, right?

Not exactly.

I keep the temperature on 105F so the foods are still technically raw, but cooked. Cooking with high heat destroys much of the nutrients in food, but at this temperature, I’m preserving the nutrients and the live enzymes that are in raw food. And¬†I get on-the-go healthy snack food – like carrot chips and zucchini chips. This way, I can make some healthy concoctions instead of always eating cold food out of the fridge. But mostly, I just eat truckloads of kale chips.

Finally, I gotta give a special shout out to the Mom and Dad – my new bestie is a result of some birthday cashola (yes, HCJ gets older in the summertime). Thanks, guys! I’m having a blast with my new toy!

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Filed under BPA, Chemicals, Fruit, Health, Organic, Raw, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetables, Water