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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dangers of Margarine

Source: Yahoo Images

Sorry for all the heavy posts about foods & drinks that many of us consume on a daily basis but its so scary how negatively these foods affect our health and increase disease at a rapid rate. 

Margarine was invented (yes I did say, invented because it is not a real food) during the time of the low fat craze. To reduce and in some cases remove fat from foods, the science and food industry worked together to create artificial products that mimicked the real thing. These people developed a synthetic process to convert liquid vegetable oil to solid fats by adding hydrogen, and this is where margarine was born!

We are now aware that the process of hydrolysis creates margarine by turning polyunsaturated fats into saturated fats "trans fats" which does not occur in nature and is harmful to our overall health. According to the Journal of Nutrition, the trans fats in margarine have been shown to RAISE cholesterol levels and the British Journal of Preventative Social Medicine reported that people who eat high amounts of margarine or any hydrogenated oils have a greater risk of heart disease.

Hydrogenated vegetable oils are processed oils that do not turn rancid and have a longer shelf life. For example have you ever seen peanut butter where the oil separates? That's supposed to happen!! But peanut butters such as Skippy and Jif come in a homogenized form that doesn't even need refrigeration. GROSS! So check the label and make sure the only ingredient is peanuts.

At the end of the day choose real foods without all the additives and science for a happy and healthy life!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Think twice before choosing to eat lunch meat!

Lunch meat is such a easy quick way to make a meal and a simple way to feed a crowd. I really wanted to take a second to discuss the dangers of processed meats because many of us eat this type of food daily and feed it to our children.

These types of meats are strongly linked to lukemia, brain tumors, cancers such as prostate, colon, breast, and pancreas and many more diseases! The evidence continues to mount, as demonstrated by a recent study showing a 67% increase in pancreatic cancer for people consuming moderate amounts of processed meat on a frequent basis. (Pulse; 4/23/2005, Vol. 65 Issue 16, p10)

So what is Fresh meat?
Fresh meat usually has only one ingredient: The meat! Fresh meat is refrigerated and has a very short shelf life (just a few days, usually). It's usually packaged in simple wrappers, with no fancy logos or color printing.

Processed meat has many ingredients and is usually packaged for long-term shelf life. These products almost always contain sodium nitrite, the cancer-causing chemical additive that meat companies use as a color fixer to turn their meat products a bright red "fresh-looking" color. Processed meat products include:

* Bacon * Sausage * Pepperoni * Beef jerky * Deli slices * Hot dogs * Sandwich meat (including those served at restaurants) * Ham * Meat "gift" products like Christmas sausages * Meat used in canned soups * Meat used in frozen pizza * Meat used in kid's lunch products * Meat used in ravioli, spaghetti or Italian pasta products and many more meat products.

For now, just remember: Processed meats = sodium nitrite = cancer

So the best option is to avoid all processed meats to live a healthy and happy life, but if you have to have them PLEASE read the label and choose nitrite free.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Chocolate everywhere!!

(Sorry I am not a good photographer)

So Jason and I went slightly crazy with melted chocolate last night. We double boiled 70% cacao dark chocolate chips and then dipped in everything we had in the pantry.

Above looks like a mess but its actually chocolate covered raw cashews and we sprinkled it with pink Himalayan sea salt. We can't wait to try it!

Then we took wooden skewers and made marshmallow pops. We dipped the marshmallow in chocolate then covered it in crushed graham crackers. Cold smores! These were incredible, we kept licking our lips after we had a taste.

Then we took other graham crackers broke them in halves and sticks dipped them in chocolate then covered them in the crushed graham crackers.

Our frig is filled with sweet treats! Have a great weekend everyone :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Appetizer

For all the readers out there who love a good happy hour with friends, here is a great summer recipe from Whole Foods for Strawberry Brushetta.

Serves 4

A simple and absolutely delicious appetizer. This is an excellent showcase for a high-quality, extra-virgin olive oil, so use the best one you have on hand.

12 slices whole wheat baguette, lightly toasted
4 ounces Humboldt Fog or other fresh goat cheese
1 cup diced strawberries
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sliced fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper

Spread the baguette slices with goat cheese and top with strawberries, pressing to help the strawberry pieces adhere. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with basil and a generous amount of black pepper.

Per serving: 230 calories (90 from fat), 10g total fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 400mg sodium, 27g total carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 2g sugar), 7g protein

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Reduce your impact/Improve your health!

The Enviromental Working Group just released this wonderful meat eating guide to climate change and health.  If you do not have time to read this site please check out this summary for the small changes we can make daily to help the enviroment and also improve our health and well being.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

You can shop organic without breaking the bank!

Buying healthy, organic food can be expensive, but there are ways to save money when grocery shopping. From joining a CSA to choosing the right cut of beef, find out how to keep your kitchen stocked with healthy, local, and organic foods while staying well within your food budget!

Join a CSA
Becoming a member of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) is an easy way to save money on organic produce. If you're unfamiliar with CSAs, think of them as a farmers market in a box. For a monthly (or, in some cases, seasonal) fee paid directly to a local farm, you'll receive a weekly box of fresh organic produce. Besides fruit and vegetables, many CSAs offer grass-fed meats, organic poultry and dairy products, as well as a host of other organic, local, and Fair Trade items like coffee, olive oil, and homemade jams. I pay much less for my CSA-box subscription, than I would if I bought the same (nonorganic!) fruits and veggies from the grocery store. Visit the Local Harvest website to find a CSA near you. (If you don't want to commit to a CSA, shop for organic fruits and veggies at a farmers market. Prices on organic produce are generally lower at a farmers market than the grocery store.)

Picky Shopping
While you may not be able to shop organic 100 percent of the time, there are tools that can help you decide when it's best. Use the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch pocket guide to know what seafood is the most sustainable in your area. For fruits and veggies, The Environmental Working Group has two handy lists to use while shopping. The "clean 15" list is conventional produce that tested low in pesticides and contamination, and the "dirty dozen" is a list of fruits and vegetables that you should always buy organic. When it comes to meat, look for less popular cuts of beef since they are usually much cheaper. I love using both grass-fed organic flank and skirt steak in my cooking; both of these cuts are much more affordable than even what a nonorganic rib-eye steak will run me.

Clip Coupons
Many organic food brands post coupons on their websites you can print out; all you have to do is check the savings or coupons section of the company's site. You may need to install a program, sign up for a newsletter, or answer a short survey, but if you're looking to save some dough, it's worth the time and effort.  Also check the websites of your favorite health grocers; very often markets and grocery stores will have in-store coupons available on their site (or in their stores). Never underestimate the power of double coupon day or the amount of money you can save by joining a store's membership rewards program.

Use Social Media
Following your local grocery store on Twitter or Facebook is an easy way to learn about weekly and daily specials. In addition to the smaller health and grocery stores in my area, I also follow larger chains like Whole Foods and Safeway on Twitter, all of which alert customers to sales, price drops, and other specials and events taking place in its stores. Recently I bought five pints of organic blueberries from Whole Foods that were priced at 99 cents per basket; I learned about this sale thanks to the Whole Foods Twitter stream.

The more things you can make from scratch, the better it is for your wallet. Purchase seasonal produce in bulk and you can, pickle, or freeze fruits and veggies to use later. Go a step further by making homemade preserves, marinades, and cooking sauces. Instead of buying pre-made dry mixes, which are often full of preservatives, stock up on different types of flour and grains to create your own. Make your own spice mixes, trail mixes, and soup stock, and try making your own granola, muesli, and cereal. And when it comes to lunch, roast your own sandwich meat and skip bagged salad mixes by chopping up lettuce instead. The possibilities are endless.

Store Food Properly
Forty percent of food waste occurs in the home — alarming, right? Make sure your food doesn't go to waste by storing it properly. Meal planning is an excellent way to ensure that you only buy what you need for the week, which can be a huge help in keeping fruits and veggies from spoiling (it also helps keep your grocery bill down). If you really went overboard on your fruit and veggie shopping, blanch or freeze your produce; these techniques help lock in the flavor and nutrients of veggies, while also helping them last longer. Be diligent about using meat, poultry, and seafood shortly after you buy it, or, make sure to freeze these items before they can spoil. Lastly, keep on top of the expiration dates of any dried goods you have.

Source: Thinkstock

Monday, July 18, 2011


Since I travel a lot for work, I leave the house with a million bags/water bottles each morning to carry food so I don't have to stop on the road.  I have been on the hunt for a more eco-friendly "lunch box" and I came across this Tiffin from India that I love!

This is perfect for hot or cold foods and it has a small tiffin on the side perfect for sauces, dressings or raw nuts. To clean you can use soap and water or you can throw it in the dish washer.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Chia Seeds for workout fuel?

I was reading a great article from Kimberly Snyder on the best workout foods and I wanted to share. Most of us turn to vitamin water, Gatorade drinks, muscle milk or protein bars before a workout but all those chemicals, additives and sugar are not helping our body recover. And we know the best sources of energy come from nature. Next time why don't you give Chia Seeds a try?

Yes, I’m talking about the same thing you may only have heard of from the “Chia Pet” phenomenon. Well the good news is that you need not grow a “Chia Ram” to get more energy, you just have to soak them and make them into a gel, which will serve as your power workout and beauty gel. You can get chia seeds at your local health market. They’re definitely getting more popular and are pretty common these days.

By weight, chia seeds contain more omega 3 fats than salmon, and more calcium than whole milk (which we don’t really assimilate well anyway from dairy, but that is another topic!), along with antioxidants. Chia seeds contain all essential amino acids, making them a complete protein. They also contain important minerals like magnesium and boron. High in both soluble and insoluble fiber, chia seeds also helps promote fullness, without feeling too heavy, and ongoing cleansing.

Before a workout or to ward off sugar or other cravings try this recipe from The Beauty Detox Solution:

1/4 cup raw organic chia seeds
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
1/2 TB raw cacao powder
1 tsp stevia

Place chia seeds in a bowl. Blend almond milk, cacao and stevia in the blender until well mixed and until the desired sweetness is reached. Pour over chia seeds and mix well. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before mixing again and serving (recipe serves 1)

*Chia sees gel when wet and when in our digestive systems, this gel prevents absorption of the food (and calories) that we eat.  They are also great for those of us looking to lose some lbs.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Strawberry Jam

Anyone who knows me knows that I have always wanted to make strawberry jam! I found this amazing jam recipe from Urban Eco that I had to share. This recipe is dairy free, fat free, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian and sodium free!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cherry Smoothie

This dairy-free smoothie serves well at breakfast or as an afternoon snack.

12 cherries, pitted (about 3 ounces)
1/4 cup almond meal, also called almond flour or almond powder (3/4 ounce)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup almond beverage or milk
1/2 plum or peach
1 teaspoon agave nectar
3 ice cubes

1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.

Yield: One serving.

Advance preparation: This smoothie is best when freshly made but will keep for a few hours in the refrigerator. Shake well before drinking.

Nutritional information per serving: 285 calories; 1 gram saturated fat; 4 grams polyunsaturated fat; 10 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 33 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 85 milligrams sodium; 8 grams protein

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

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dressing Portion Control

In a perfect world each of us would have time to make home made salad dressing and measure out 1-2TB for each meal. Since reality is we do not have that time, I wanted to share this great product to portion control store bought dressing. This lid fits most store bottles, once screwed on the salad dressing bottle just squeeze and the top portion fills with exactly 2TB of dressing. No mess and there is no way to over fill (I mean we all have those days we "cheat" and give ourselves a little extra). Open the top and pour over your salad, veggies, or protein! Its that simple! Check out the site for more details.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Healthy Dry Cleaning Tips

The term "dry cleaning" is actually a little misleading. This technique coats clothes in a chemical -- usually perchloroethylene (PERC) -- that tends to be better for cleaning delicate fabrics, such as silk and cashmere, than regular soap and water.

Unfortunately, PERC has been linked to cancer and a number of other health problems. Many cleaners actually send their clothes to dry-cleaning plants, which can release huge amounts of PERC into the earth, air, and water. Workers in these buildings are exposed to toxic chemicals on a daily basis. PERC can also affect customers who regularly dry-clean clothes and bring the toxic chemical into their homes, where it lingers and they breathe it in -- even while not wearing the clothing.

If you must dry clean please remember to remove the plastic bag and hang any dry-cleaned clothes outside (or in a garage) to air out before wearing or hanging in your closet.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Freeze Dried Herbs

I am not sure if you are like me but I every time I buy fresh herbs they go bad. Between my husband and I, we just can't eat them quick enough or we end up having cilantro in very dish for the next few nights.

A friend of mine recommend LiteHouse freeze dried herbs, so I had to check them out. LiteHouse Freeze-Dried Herbs offer the taste, aroma and vitamins of fresh herbs. And since they instantly rehydrate its just like having fresh herbs in your kitchen at all times. I am sure these will become a staple in our home, and what a perfect hostess gift!

The prices are very reasonable too.... about $3.99 each, click here to order

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Healthy Addiction on Facebook!

If you haven't already make sure to check out Healthy Addiction's facebook page. Each day I provide inspiration, recipes, tips and tricks for living a heathy life.

Visit this link and click "like" next to the profile photo to recieve these updates in your news feed.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Grow Bottles

I love these!!!! These tiny planters from  are made from recycles wine bottles. You can grow fresh culinary herbs  like mint, basil and oregano indoors year-round. Once the herbs are ready to harvest in 4-8 weeks, simply wash your bottle, rinse the clay pebbels and replant with another variety of herb.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Whole Buffalo

My new addiction:

This website provides reviews, recommendations and incentive information in more than 60  Eco- friendly home and gardening product categories. This includes solar lighting tubes radiant barriers, efficient appliances, zero emissions lawn mores and so much more. I can't wait to use this site when we move into our new house!

source: natural home & garden July/August 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!!

Start your day off right with a red white and blue oatmeal parfait.

Friday, July 1, 2011

All natural summer remedies!

Here are some great natural home remedies to deal with whatever the season may bring.

Sunburn- to treat make a cold compress by soaking a washcloth in whole milk. "The fatty acids in milk are calming and it contains lactic acid, a natural anti- inflammatory".

Razor Bumps- to minimize bumps and redness, dab skin with a cotton ball soaked in witch hazel, an anti- inflammatory, immediately after shaving The same treatment will soothe post waxing redness too.

Acne Breakouts- dab a drop of Brazil nut oil on the blemish. It might sound counter intuitive to use oil on a pimple but this one is rich in the minerals selenium and zinc. Together their antibacterial and anti- inflammatory properties can help heal existing zits, prevent new ones and reduce any irritation or redness.

Scrapes and Scratches- pull a leaf off an aloe plant, dab gel directly on the wound and over with a gauze bandage. Repeat 2x a day. "Aloe reduces inflammation and swelling and it activates immune cells that fight bacterial infections".

Frizz- fill a spray bottle with distilled water and a few drops each of hair calming grape seed and lavender oils. Spritz mixture on your palms, then run hands over your hair smoothing it and calming frizz instantly.

Sun damaged hair- olive oil is an excellent moisturizer for dry hair. Mix a tablespoon of olive oil and one drop of jasmine oil. Work the mixture thoroughly through hair, leave for one hour and wash out.

Source: July/August 2011 Whole Living
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