Category Archives: Chemicals

Microwave Goodbye

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

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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

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

The Organic vs. Non-Organic Debate

There’s a hot topic right now: that study on Organic vs. Non-Organic foods. This meta-study out of Stanford University found that there is “no significant health benefit to organic food.”

Um, I don’t really think that was the issue, so don’t latch onto that.

The study also found that organic produce has a 30% lower risk of pesticide residue than conventional produce. Ah, there’s the issue.

Here are the facts:

Our soil is depleted across the board, so our produce is not nearly as nutrient dense as it used to be. And that same food is transported thousands of miles to our grocery stores, further losing its nutritional value because it is picked before it ripens, leaving it to ripen on the truck for two weeks. Vine-ripened tomatoes? Hardly. But “truck-ripened tomatoes” probably wouldn’t sell. So by the time it gets to your refrigerator, it’s pretty old stuff, and if you don’t get to it for a few more days, well, then it’s really old stuff.

So organic or conventional, that’s the state of affairs. And it sucks.

But the difference is that conventional produce has more pesticides and meat has antibiotics, hormones, and¬†antibiotic-resistant bacteria.¬†And all these chemicals are hormone disrupters. They’re¬†linked to cancers. And they’re¬†extremely harmful to developing children both in and out of the womb.

So that being said, if you are a mom-to-be or a woman contemplating pregnancy, it’s best to keep these chemicals out of your system, in order to keep it out of your growing child’s system. And if you’re already a mom, it’s best to feed your children cleaner produce. Youngsters can’t process these toxins as well as adults can. And with cancer rates skyrocketing, I’d say adults aren’t processing the toxins very well, either.

And if your immune system is compromised for any reason, you don’t want those chemicals. A weakened system will be more vulnerable to these toxins.

And if you’re a person concerned about the health of the farm workers who are regularly exposed to these chemicals, you probably want to opt for organic, too.

Oh and if you’re a person who doesn’t want the makers of Agent Orange (Monsanto – also known as the wizards behind Genetically Modified Crap) spraying their magic juice on your food, then organic’s for you, too.

That’s what we do to our food. Does that look appetizing to you? Not to me.

So, in summary, the issue isn’t really the nutrition. It’s the chemicals.

Lastly, this study followed participants for two years or less. That’s hardly enough time to establish the long-term effects of pesticides on our health.

But common sense says that the fog in that picture doesn’t belong in our bodies. Why else would he be wearing a gas mask?

For more on this, you can read CNN’s article,¬†NPR’s summary or¬†Michael Pollan’s response to these findings.

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Filed under Chemicals, Health, Organic

Do Your Part

This video is awesome and only takes 2 1/2 minutes to watch.

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Filed under BPA, Chemicals, Health

Email Forwards

We’ve all gotten email forwards that we’ve ignored. But this one is actually worth reading so I’m reposting it here.

As the weather is warming up, we need to take some precautions – more sunscreen, more water, and now this. If you are a pregnant female or a human who doesn’t want cancer, please keep reading…

Please do NOT turn on A/C as soon as you enter the car.

Open the windows after you enter your car,
and then turn ON the AC after a couple of minutes.

Here’s why:
According to research, the car’s dashboard,¬†seats, a/c ducts…
in fact ALL of the plastic objects in your vehicle, emit Benzene,
a Cancer causing toxin. A BIG CARCINOGEN.

In addition to causing cancer, Benzene poisons your bones,
causes anemia and reduces white blood cells.

Prolonged exposure will cause Leukemia and increases the risk
of some cancers.
It can also cause miscarriages in pregnant females.

Acceptable Benzene level indoors is: 50mg per sq.ft.
A car parked indoors, with windows closed, will contain 400-800 mg of Benzene.

If parked outdoors, under the sun, at a temperature above 60 degrees F,
the Benzene level goes up to 2000-4000 mg, 40 times the acceptable level.
People who get into the car, keeping the windows closed, will inevitably
inhale, in quick succession, excessive amounts of the BENZENE toxin.

Benzene is a toxin that affects your kidneys and liver.
What’s worse, it is extremely difficult for your body to expel
this toxic stuff from your body.

So please open the windows and door of your car Рgive it some time for the
interior to air out -(dispel the deadly stuff) Рbefore you enter the vehicle.

**Now, I will say that there are certain groups who deem this an urban legend. I am of the belief, however, that where there is smoke, there is fire. So while the info may look mixed, I have to say, plastics are really dangerous and there is definitive evidence that benzene is released in warm weather. So with that, even if there’s not a clear causal link established, I think it is wise to air out the car to reduce exposure. We are exposed to so many toxins as it is, that combined, it all adds up to a sum greater than its parts. The more we can reduce our various exposures, the better off we’ll be. And let’s face it, do we really want to wait and see if it harms our health? I sure don’t.

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