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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Craving mashed potatoes, but don't want the extra calories?

Here is a great recipe for faux mashed potatoes that is low in calories but high in veggies!


* 1 large head Cauliflower
* Olive Oil, 2 tbsp
* 1 large carrot
* Garlic, 12 cloves
* 1 medium red onion
* 1 cup Plain Fat Free Yogurt,
* Rosemary, dried, 1 tsp
* salt
* pepper

Pre-heat oven to 450 F.
1. Break up head of cauliflower into small pieces
2. Peel and chop up carrot
3. Peel garlic and lightly smash each clove
4. Mix oil, spices, garlic, cauliflower and carrot in zip lock bag to coat
5. Roast in oven for 20 minutes then toss. Roast additional 20 minutes or until soft/
6. Meanwhile, saute sliced onion using PAM.
7. Once done roasting, put all vegetables and yogurt into blender or food processor and blend until desired consistency.

Add any additional spices to taste.

Number of Servings: 6

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

7 suprising things you're not supposed to know about suncreen!

We are taught and conditioned to think sunscreen is a healthy choice to prevent sun damage. But this article is eye opening about topics around the sun and sunscreen that are not openly discussed. Also did you know that the foods you eat can boost internal sun resistance?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How to make Spaghetti Squash

Have you ever made spaghetti squash for yourself or your family? Well if not its a must try! Spaghetti squash is a great way to enjoy a big bowl of pasta without all the extra calories. You can add just about anything to your spaghetti squash to bring this meal to life. I usually saute squash, zucchini and onions and mix with tomato sauce and top with a dollop of ricotta cheese. This is one of my favorite dishes!

However, if you still are hesitant to give up real pasta, try combining half a serving of pasta to half a serving of spaghetti squash. You still have the same great texture and taste of pasta with a bonus serving of vegetables!

Watch this great video on how to make spaghetti squash!

Monday, June 27, 2011

The best organic coffee

Below is a list of some of the best organic coffee brands, where the entire product line of the brand is organic in nature.

Marques de Paiva ®
•Brazilian coffee house established in 1895
•Organic certification by the USDA and Fair Trade certified
•Roasting plants produce zero carbon dioxide emissions
•100% pure Arabica beans are used
•Comes in family sized 40 ounce bags or smaller 12 ounce and 10 ounce packets
•Roast types include: Lighter Roasted/Medium/Dark/Decaffeinated
•Average product price range between $15 and $25

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
•Coffee from 3 different continents - the Americas, Africa and Asia (Indonesia)
•100% pure Arabica beans used
•Fair Trade Certified products
•The company that developed the ecotainer™ - alternative natural material cup as opposed to paper cups
•Select from 5 different grind types like Turkish/Infusion/Espresso
•Organic coffees also available in K-Cups, single or in packs of 24 cups
•Choose from a wide variety of flavors like Country Blend/Wild Mountain Blueberry/Sumatran Reserve among others
•Average product price between $9 and $20

Rogers Family Organic Coffee Co.
•100% Arabica bean coffee
•Fair Trade certified coffee
•Company buys from other farms and has 6 organic farms of its own
•Different varieties of coffees, from custom blends to single origin to decaf and flavored
•Special "Rainforest Blend" combines coffees from Mexico, Guetemala, Colombia and Indonesia and comes in a 3 lbs bag
•Coffee comes in 12 ounce or 2 pound sized packages
•Average product price range between $5 to $26

Mount Hagen Organic Instant Coffee
•USDA certified organic coffee of German production
•Made from 100% pure Arabica beans
•Instant coffee also available in decaf blend
•Available in 3.5 ounce bottles or single serve sticks of 1.76 ounce
•Approx 1 jar yields 60 cups of coffee
•Price range between $20 and $50

Equal Exchange
•100% Arabica beans used
•Comes in 10, 12 ounces, 1 and 2 pounds sized packages
•Coffee types include Origin/Flavored/Decaf/Espresso/Blends
•Flavors include: Toffee Caramel, Sumatran, Peru French, Mexican, French Vanilla and lots more
•Product range includes organic teas, sugar, chocolate and cocoa
•Price range between $30 and $50

Caffe Ibis®
•USDA certified, QAI (Quality Assurance International) certified and Fair Trade certified
•Coffee available in 12 ounce and 5 pound sized packets
•Coffee flavors include: Highland Sumatra/Logan Canyon Blend/Decaf Organic French Roast/Organic Aztec Dark/Organic CafĂ© Femenino
•Average price range is between $10 to $ 15

Ethical Bean Coffee
•Canadian coffee manufacturer
•Certified as organic by the QAI
•Fair Trade certified
•Flavors include: rocket fuel/lush/mellow/decaf/exotic/bold/classic/sweet espresso
•Comes in 12 ounce packets
•Price range between $10 and $25

•Organic certified by the USDA and Fair Trade certified
•100% Arabica coffee beans used
•Comes in 1, 2 and 4 pound sized packets
•Dark and medium roast available
•Price range between $12 to $50

From the above best organic coffee brands, you can see the reasonable price and diverse range of flavors and blend types available. Choosing an organic coffee brand counts as a step towards helping the environment, helping those less fortunate and helping your health in the long run. The search for organic brands may be difficult but with above round-up of the best organic coffee brands, it just became a whole lot easier. So get brewing!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Take a moment....

Every day we wake up with a "to do" list. Whether it is rushing to a work meeting, picking the kids up from school, packing lunch, making dinner, grocery shopping, post office, cleaning, running errands etc,. it seems like we never take a moment to stop and appreciate everything around us. Remember when you were younger you would find a four leaf clover among the patch of grass, notice the new color of the neighbors front door or a lady bug crawling on a new oak leaf, or just stare at the sky looking at the shapes of the clouds? I want to bring back this feeling of awe and excitement.

Your homework this weekend is to stop everything you are doing for one minute (or longer), take a deep breath and look at the beauty around you.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Benefits of an Avocado!

Top 10 reasons to add an Avocado to your daily menu!

Prostate Cancer Prevention

Avocados have been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer.

Oral Cancer Defense
Research has shown that certain compounds in avocados are able to seek out pre-cancerous and cancerous oral cancer cells and destroy them without harming healthy cells.

Breast Cancer Prevention
Avocado, like olive oil, is high in oleic acid, which has been shown to prevent breast cancer in numerous studies.

Eye Health
Avocados have more of the carotenoid lutein than any other commonly consumed fruit. Lutein protects against macular degeneration and cataracts, two disabling age-related eye diseases.

Lower Cholesterol
Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. In one study, 45 volunteers experienced an average drop in cholesterol of 17% after eating avocados for only one week.

Heart Health
One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don't. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for your heart.

Stroke Prevention
The high levels of folate in avocado are also protective against strokes. People who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower risk of stroke than those who don't.

Better Nutrient Absorption
Research has found that certain nutrients are absorbed better when eaten with avocado. In one study, when participants ate a salad containing avocados, they absorbed five times the amount of carotenoids (a group of nutrients that includes lycopene and beta carotene) than those who didn't include avocados.

Glutathione Source
Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione, an important antioxidant that researchers say is important in preventing aging, cancer, and heart disease.

Vitamin E Powerhouse
Avocados are the best fruit source of vitamin E, an essential vitamin that protects against many diseases and helps maintains overall health.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Zucchini "Fettuccine"

I made this recipe for Jason and I this weekend and it was great! Its the perfect fresh salad before dinner!

To make dressing whisk 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar, 4 tsp extra virgin olive oil, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper in a large bowl until blended. Stir in 2 thinly sliced shallots (I didn't have any shallots so I just used a sweet onion).  With swivel blade vegetable peeler, peel each of 4 green zucchini and 4 golden zucchini or yellow crookneck squash lengthwise into 3/4 inch wide strips, stopping at seeded center of each. Discard seeded centers. Add zucchini strips and 1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley leaves to dressing; toss. Let stand until flavors are blended about 5 minutes. Divide mixture among 4 serving bowls. Top evenly with 4 seeded and diced plum tomatoes and 6 TB crumbled low fat goat cheese or blue cheese.

Per serving: (generous 1.5 cups_ 176 calories, 9g total fat, 5g fiber, 9g protein

**I saved the seeded centers and threw them on the grill. Perfect for a grilled veggie sandwich for lunch the following day!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Himalayan Pink Salt

Many people are unaware that common table salt is actually full of many forms of chemicals and even sugar! Salt, while necessary for life as we know it, can be dangerous if taken in this chemical form.

Have you ever seen pink salt? This is actually Himalayan crystal salt which is far superior to traditional iodized salt. Himalayan salt is millions of years old and is thought to be the purest form of salt on Earth, containing the same 84 natural minerals and elements found in the human body.

Adding Himalayan salt to your regular diet can provide essential minerals and support proper absorption of nutrients. It can also normalize blood pressure, eliminate toxins and help balance the body's electrolytes and pH levels. Look for pink Himalayan salt next time you go shopping, even some Marshall's carry this product.

Sources: livestrong, ehow, global healing center

Monday, June 20, 2011

Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Eating healthy does not mean you have to avoid indulgences. Dark chocolate has many benefits that make it a great choice and who doesn't love chocolate?

Dr. Andrew Weil believes that the antioxidants - phenols and flavonoids - found in dark chocolate may offer protection against heart disease. He also states that in addition, cocoa butter - a saturated fat - may have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels. A number of chemically active compounds in dark chocolate can improve mood and pleasure by boosting serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain. And consuming dark chocolate may slow the oxidation of LDL ("bad") cholesterol.

 Limit yourself to an ounce several times a week. If you can't find good imported chocolate, look for a domestic brand that contains at least 70 percent cocoa.

Dark chocolate containing over 70% coca can be slightly bitter but I found this great brand so I had to share it with my readers. Endangered Species Chocolate All Natural dark chocolate with deep forest mint and 72% cocoa. It takes just like a girl scout cookie and is so rich and you only need a little bit to satisfy any craving. This brand also donates 10% of their profits to help support species, habitat and humanity.  You shouldn't even need to go to a health food store to enjoy this special treat, my local Safeway carries this brand!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Its finally here!!!!

I am excited and honored to announce the launch of Healthy Addiction!!! My website if finally up and running so feel free to check it out. .

If you would like to sign up for my monthly newsletter please subscribe on my website using the pop-up box or under the Events tab.

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

2011's Dirty Dozen

The Enviromental Working Group just released its 2011 shoppers guide to pesticides in produce and the results are unexpected (apples topped the list?!).  While I believe that buying organic produce is the best option I know that is not possible for everyone. That being said PLEASE use this "dirty dozen" list to choose what conventional fruits and vegetables should be avoided. (During research most of the samples are washed and peeled before they are tested, just as they would before before you eat them at home).

6.Nectarines (imported)
7.Grapes (imported)
8.Bell Peppers
10.Blueberries (domestic)
12.Kale/Collard Greens

If your only option is to purchase conventional then fresh is still the best choice. And since we all know washing alone will not remove pesticides here is a rinse that can be done that will remove 98% of the bacteria.
  • The cleaning method that worked the best was a dilute vinegar rinse (3 parts water, 1 part vinegar).
  • For smooth and harder fruits prepare a spray bottle with the rinse and use enough to coat your produce. Then rinse the produce under cold water to remove any residual vinegar flavor.
  • For produce with crevices, like broccoli, consider soaking in a solution for a couple of minutes, then rinse well.
Remember the good news is that its Farmer's Market Season!!! Don't forget to visit to find locations near you.

Source and

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Healthy butter option

I grew up with a younger brother who was allergic to all dairy products (among other things) so he had to use margarine. Yuck! I hate the taste of margarine, and was always a butter girl.

Over the past years as I have becoming more conscious of what I put in my and I have tried to eliminate dairy. (Remember what you put in your body affects everything from your mood, to your mental clarity to how you physically feel). I have read/heard about earth balance over and over but was hesitant to give it a try. Could this vegan buttery spread really taste like butter....... YES IT DOES!!! It really tastes like butter even my husband and mother (my hardest critic) approved this product.

This product is 100% natural and rich in Omega 3's. It is free of GMO's, trans fats, hydrogenated oil and artifical ingredients of any kind.

You can find this product at most grocery stores, they also sell a Soy Free version.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Juice for every meal!

So I am now officially on my 3rd juicer. This time I opted for a Breville juicer and I think I have found my new partner in healthy living!

I used this juicer for the first time this morning and not only does the stainless steel model look great in my kitchen but it also is extremely easy to clean. You do not need any additional tools for blade removal like some other brands, and the two speed options lets you choose low for more delicate fruits and veggies and a high option for those thicker more dense fruits and veggies.

My FAVORITE part is the small pitcher that attaches to the nose of the juicer. This allows everything to stay neat and clean and its also the perfect height. Since the nose on juicers are usually lower then the average drinking glass you need to find a smaller cup or bowl to catch this juice. This pitcher is perfect and is easy to pour.

I love drinking out of beautiful glasses since I believe it makes everything taste better! Same with eating off a gorgeous plate from our China collection. We should treat every meal as a special occasion and take time for ourselves. My good friend recently made me this polka dot wine glass and since I am not a huge drinker I thought it would be perfect for my morning green juice!

Green Juice this morning
head of romaine lettuce
1/2 a bunch of spinach
3 celery stalks
1 gala apple
juice of 1 lemon
**If you are new to juicing add 2-3 drops of liquid stevia as a sweetener

Monday, June 13, 2011

Okra with Tomatoes

I am making this super easy dish tonight, can't wait!


Saute 4 smashed garlic cloves in 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until golden. Add 4 cups okra (halved lengthwise) and 1 small onion (cut into wedges); season with salt and pepper and cook until the okra is tender and bright, 10 to 12 minutes. Add 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes; cook until just bursting, 3 minutes. Finish with a splash of cider vinegar.

Source: The Food Network

Friday, June 10, 2011

Whole Wheat Sesame Bread Sticks

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon honey, agave nectar, malt extract or rice syrup
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cups whole-wheat flour
About 1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten

1. Dissolve the yeast in the water in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir in the honey, agave nectar, malt extract or rice syrup. Let stand for five minutes. Stir in the olive oil.

2. Combine the whole-wheat flour, 1 cup of the unbleached all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup of the sesame seeds and the salt. Add to the liquid mixture. If kneading by hand, stir until you can turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead for 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking to your hands and worktop.

If using an electric mixer, mix at medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour as necessary so that the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be elastic and just slightly sticky.

3. Lightly flour your work surface or brush with olive oil. Using your hands or a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 14-by-4-inch rectangle. Make sure there is enough flour or oil underneath the dough so that it doesn’t stick to the work surface. Brush the top with oil. Cover with plastic wrap, then with a damp kitchen towel. Allow to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until nearly doubled. (If you need the workspace, lightly oil the underside of a sheet pan and place the dough on top.)

4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with the racks positioned in the middle and upper thirds of the interior space. Brush sheet pans with olive oil. Cut the dough crosswise into four equal pieces. Brush each piece with beaten egg white, then roll each piece in 1 tablespoon of the remaining sesame seeds, until coated. Cut each piece crosswise into six equal pieces. Roll each between the board and your hands as if you were making a rope until it is as long as the baking sheet. For a tighter strip, twist the strands from one end to the other. Place 1 inch apart on the baking sheets until you’ve filled two baking sheets. Continue to shape the remaining breadsticks while the first batch is baking.

5. Place in the oven, and bake 15 minutes. Switch the pans top to bottom and front to back, and bake another 10 minutes until the breadsticks are nicely browned (they will be darker on the bottom). Remove from the heat, and cool on a rack. Shape and bake any remaining dough as instructed.

Yield: Two dozen breadsticks.
Advance preparation: The breadsticks will keep for several days in an airtight container or in foil. They can be frozen and recrisped in a medium oven for 10 minutes.

Nutritional information per breadstick: 102 calories; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 grams cholesterol; 13 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 150 milligrams sodium; 3 grams protein

Martha Rose Shulman is the author of “The Very Best of Recipes for Health.”

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Aspartame has been renamed and is being marketed as a natural sweetner

This is scary! Not only for the average American trying to avoid aspartame but also for anyone who is allergic to Aspartame.

As we all know artificial sweeteners especially aspartame has gotten a bad rap over the years, most likely due to studies showing they cause cancer. But it was just release that the company who makes Aspartame has changed the name to AminoSweet. It has the same toxic ingredients but a nice new sounding name.

Despite the evidence gained over the years showing that aspartame is a dangerous toxin, it has remained on the global market . In continues to gain approval for use in new types of food despite evidence showing that it causes neurological brain damage, cancerous tumors, and endocrine disruption, among other things. Take this as a sign that we MUST read nutrition labels and think twice about reaching for a product containing Aspartame.

For the full article click here :

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Arthritis Tip

If you or a loved one has arthritis here is a great tip:

For everyone 1 pound of weight lost that is equal to a 4 found relief on all your joints. I love this 4 for 1 deal! So next time you eat a meal choose healthy options and in time you will see a big relief from pain. Just think 5 pounds lost feels like a 20 pound weight loss to your body.

Monday, June 6, 2011

New Nutritional Food Plate

The pyramid is history as the USDA and Michelle Obama just launched the new nutritional plate diagram. I think this is a great first step to use a plate icon that every American can relate but I think we still have a long way to go.

I mean doesn't that look like a lot of carbs? If we follow this method we will be consuming 3 servings of carbs at every meal, dairy, grains, and fruit.  And we all know my thoughts on dairy so recommending a glass of milk at every meal.... do you think the dairy farmers were called in to consult on this new "plate" before release?  Also where are the healthy oils? Or recommended avoidance of HF corn syrup and trans fats? But overall I am loving the focus on fresh vegetables and fruits for our society especially children.

In a perfect world a plate the USDA would recommend would be 50% non-starchy vegetables, 25% lean protein, and 25% remaining option for whole grains, starchy vegetables or fruit. 

What are your thoughts on this new food plate? I do believe if Americans start to follow this we will be headed in the right direction. Its a great start!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Mom's Organic Market

So excited a Mom's Organic Market just opened up a short distance from my house. I had never been to this store so of course I went to check it out. Its incredible they have everything from stations to plug in your electric car in the parking lot to bulk spices.   Below is their mission and I must say my favorite part is they do not sell bottled water. I love that this company is setting an example that each of us can follow and hopefully other businesses as well.  Currently they are located in Maryland and will be expanding to Virginia.

We Take Action to Support and Live MOM's Mission

We choose organic products whenever possible. We stock an overall higher percentage of organic items than any other major grocery chain, and sell only 100% USDA Certified Organic Produce.

We buy local whenever possible. This helps reduce the amount of fuel used to transport products, supports small businesses, and boosts our local economy.

•We support green business by featuring products by companies who use renewable green power to manufacture their products.

We sell only sustainable seafood. We work with a third-party non-profit organization to make well-informed choices about the varieties of fish and shellfish sold at MOM's, ensuring that none of the seafood on our shelves contributes to overfishing and environmental harm. Read more

We do not sell bottled water. We offer a wide selection of water filters and reusable bottles, plus reverse osmosis filtered water from a special in-store dispenser. Learn more

We reduce waste. We offer a wide variety of products in bulk, which uses less packaging. We package our products in biodegradable plastic whenever we can and use biodegradable cups, plates and utensils in our sampling and coffee stations. We installed energy-efficient hand driers in our bathrooms, saving energy and eliminating the use of paper towels.

•We help others recycle. We offer ink cartridge, plastic bottle-cap and C.F.L. bulb drop off recycling as a service to all customers and employees.

We use green building materials when we can. Our Columbia East and Frederick stores feature the latest technology in skylights (reducing the need for overhead halide light fixtures) and concrete flooring (which require less servicing and chemicals to upkeep). Fast growing, renewable materials like bamboo are used to build customer service and bread counters and many of the wooden fixtures in our stores are made from recycled lumber.

100% wind power provides us with the electricity to run all our stores and our central office.

We conserve energy. Our "No Open Doors" policy for fridges, freezers and exterior doors helps us avoid wasting energy used for heating and cooling. We "Power Down" at night by shutting off all unnecessary lights and equipment and we removed half of the fluorescent light bulbs in our office, thereby saving energy and reducing glare.

We compost produce clippings and other waste such as biodegradable utensils and non-recyclable paper products, diverting tons of materials from the waste stream.

•We support the community by participating in programs like Adopt-A-Road, and by regularly contributing to local organizations, events and happenings in the region.

•We have Green Benefits. We offer our employees a "Green Benefits" package, which includes extensive education on how to lead an environmentally friendly lifestyle, $3000 incentive for the purchase of a hybrid vehicle, 20% subsidy incentive to purchase Energy Star appliances and electric lawnmowers, and a "Green Household" package which includes CFL bulbs, clothesline, programmable thermostats, and a generous employee discount on all the products in our store.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Health Tip brought to you by Alive

Bone rebuilding suffers when we eat a diet high in processed foods. These foods strip calcium from the bones, which can lead to joint degeneration as nutrients become depleted and free radicals destroy tissues. The inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis is also worsened by consuming processed foods and sugar.
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