Friday, December 16, 2011

The down and dirty with GMOs

Every time I turn around there is another warning against consuming Genetically Modified (GMO) Foods. Well, that warning is great, but what are GMO foods and where do I find them?

Genetically Modified Foods (GMO):
GMO foods are genetically engineered (plant altered DNA) to look and taste like the real thing, but there DNA has been altered to be pesticide resistant, virus resistant, weather resistant, and/or nutrient injected (add vitamins and minerals that usually are not in that product).GMO foods are being fed to the cows & chickens we eat everyday, which means that without even knowing it, you are eating GMO foods.


If you are eating the following foods/ingredients, you are most likely eating GMO foods:
1) Soy (95% of soy is GMO)
2) Corn (90% of corn is GMO)
3) Cottonseed oil
4) Alfalfa sprouts
5) Hawaii Papaya
6) Zucchini
7) Canola Oil (90%)
8) Rice
9) Crooked Neck Squash
10) Sugar from sugar beets
11) KASHI products (http://www.naturalnews.com/033838_breakfast_cereals_GMOs.html)
12) 365 Corn Flakes
13) Barbara's Puffins
14) Mom's Best Naturals

Known Side Effects:
  • Organ Disruption (liver, kidney, and heart damage)
  • Sterility
  • Allergies (esp food allergies)

Shopping Non-GMO Guide: 
http://mercola.fileburst.com/PDF/GMObrochure.pdf

Do You Know What You Are Eating??

While you are out grocery shopping do you take the time to look at the ingredients in everything you buy? If you don't, you probably should! There are so many choices out there, but only a few that should even be eaten. FDA has allowed way too many harmful ingredients to be added to our food and most Americans don't even realize it! Kind of scary, huh?

My rule of thumb? If you don't know what the ingredients are OR even how to pronounce them, then DON'T eat it!

Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
Ingredients: enriched flour bleached, water, partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, sugar, baking powder, and 2 percent or less of dextrose, vital wheat gluten, salt, datem, potassium chloride, xanthan gum, yellow 5, red 40 and other color additives.

Subway
 You think Subway is healthy? Look at what they put in your veggies! 

BANANA PEPPERS: Banana Peppers, water, distilled vinegar, salt, calcium chloride, sodium benzoate (preservative), sodium metabisulfite (preservative), yellow #5, natural flavors, polysorbate 80.

JALAPEƑO PEPPER SLICES: Jalapeno peppers, water, distilled vinegar, salt, natural flavorings, calcium chloride, sodium benzoate (preservative) natural flavors, polysorbate 80, FD &C Yellow #5.

PICKLES: Cucumbers, water, distilled vinegar, salt, calcium chloride, sodium benzoate as a preservative, natural flavors, Polysorbate 80 and Yellow #5.

Beware of the following ingredients EVEN at WHOLE FOODS and TRADER JOES: 
1) coloring and color additives (candy)
2) Modified food/corn starch (most frozen foods, stay away from anything that says "modified")
3) cultured dextrose (this is even found in your healthy hummus)
4) Hidden forms of MSG (veggie burgers, flavored chips & couscous) 
5) CORN (avoid anything that has corn listed in the ingredients unless it states it is ORGANIC, if you don't avoid this you are most likely eating GMO food)
6) Dog Treats: By-products (some had by products listed in the ingredients--make sure your dog is eating natural ingredients too)

CHEERIOS  
Everyone thinks that Cheerios are healthy right? I mean it lowers your cholesterol and it is made from Whole Grains...think again!
Ingredients: Modified corn starch, tripotassium phosphate, & wheat starch.
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Ingredients: Milk Chocolate (Milk Chocolate contains Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Nonfat Milk, Milk Fat, Lactose, and Soya Lecithin and PGPR (as Emulsifiers), Peanuts, Sugar, Dextrose, Salt, and TBHQ and Citric Acid (to Preserve Freshness).
 
The list could go on and on, but these are just a few things that most people eat. Take a look through your pantry and see if you find any "unknown" ingredients lurking in your foods. I'll bet that more than half of your pantry would need to be thrown out.....

Monday, October 10, 2011

Acupuncture--Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

History: Acupuncture goes back to over 8,000 years ago! Fu Hsi observed nature and created a straight and broken line, which created the backbone of Chinese medicine --the ying and the yang. The earliest medical writing was titled "The Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon" written by Huangdi Neijing.

What it treats and/or cures: Infertility, pain, nausea, disease, promotes general health, digestion issues, pregnancy issues, anxiety, depression, anemia, muscle pain, thyroid issues, allergies, and so much more....

What they check: Your acupuncturist will/should check your pulse in BOTH wrists, temperature, color of your tongue, and blood pressure. All of this information is suppose to give them a good indication of what is going on inside your body (i.e. how your organs are functioning). Depending on what you are there for, your acupuncturist might ask you to have your Doctor fax over your blood work.
I was advised to eat warming (walnuts, squashes, red meat, chicken soup, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, rice, oats), organic, and black foods (black beans, walnuts, black sesame seeds, black olives, blueberries). Black foods are said to help strengthen the water elements of the kidney and the bladder. Most of the time your acupuncturist will advise that you avoid the following foods during treatment: alcohol, chocolate, caffeine, coffee, ice cream, and spicy foods. Although avoiding these foods is not a requirement it is something that will only help your treatments work faster and better.

My personal experience with acupuncture was fantastic. I enjoyed all of my treatments. It gave me energy and relaxed my body and mind. Every time I left my appointments I felt like I had just had a massage and was rejuvenated and ready to go on! I would love to hear from you and if you have ever gone through acupuncture and loved it as much as me.

Chia Seeds

I don't know if many of you have heard about CHIA SEEDS, but I want to tell you about another super food that is becoming more and more popular as I speak. If you look online, more companies are starting to sell "power drinks" that contain soaking chia seeds. I tried the Mamma Chia drinks at Whole Foods and they were very interesting, especially if you added some sparkling water! The Blackberry Hibiscus and Raspberry Passion are very good, but you have to get used to the fact that your power drink is "chunky!" Give them a try and let me know what you think!

In 3500 B.C. Mayans and Aztecs supplemented their diets with chia seeds. Chia comes from the word chian which means "oily." In Mayan the word chia means "strength." Chia seeds are members of the mint family and are mostly grown in Southern Mexico.  When the Aztecs conquered Mexico they began to cultivate chia seeds there; however, when the Spaniards took over chia seeds became less and less prevalent. Eventually, chia seeds were rediscovered and Mexico started cultivating them once again. 

Benefits: 
  • Provide an abundance of omega-3 fatty acid, even more so than flax seeds (Brain Power/Mental Focus)
  • Full of fiber (4.2 grams in one 15g scoop)
  • 20% protein
  • The chia gel slows down the rate that your body digests carbs and turns them into sugar, thus beneficial for diabetics
  • Absorb 12 times their weight in water, thus providing endurance, energy, and hydration during athletic events
  • Very high in antioxidants
  • Provide calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.
  •  Gluten Free
  •  Useful for weight loss and weight management
  • Helps improve cardiovascular health by the Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's) and Omega 3's
Chia Seed Uses:
  • Mix them into ANY drink. Let them soak up the liquid for a few minutes then enjoy. You can leave the seeds soaking over night if you want to create a chia gel, which you can drink or eat.
  • Sprinkle them on your salad
  • Put them in your yogurt
  • Add them to your protein shake
  • Mix them into your pancake/muffin batter
  • Make them into an ice cream topper
Chia Seeds soak up a ton of liquid, so one of the best ways to absorb as many nutrients from the chia seed is to eat them after they have been soaking in liquid. They are MORE digestible this way! Try them in ANYTHING! Let me know how you eat your chia seeds!

Recommended Products:
  • Green Plus Organic Chia Seeds ($13.57 for 1 lb. on vitacost)
  • Nutiva Organic Chia Seeds ($22.89 for 3 lbs. on vitacost)

What You Should Know About the New Super Food: Wheat Grass

So you're probably thinking "Yuck, another over priced, green drink that I have to hold my nose to get down!" However, this is an anti-aging, enzyme containing, cancer preventing, digestion improving, oxygenating, anti-inflammatory, energy producing, super food! Now have I got your attention? The raw, organic powder mixes really well in your favorite beverage or fruit smoothie. I personally like to make my homemade limeade (filtered water, organic lime juice, &; liquid stevia), shake it all up with a scoop of wheat grass and enjoy! The lime juice covers up the grassy taste; however, if you taste the powder by itself you will find that this finely ground powder is actually not bad tasting! 

What we DO KNOW about Wheat Grass:
  • Contains a lot of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes
  • Complete protein containing amino acids and has higher protein densities than any other food source
  • 70% chlorophyll and since the chlorophyll molecule is virtually identical to hemoglobin (red blood cells that carry oxygen), wheatgrass juice will oxygenate your body
  • Equivalent to getting a few extra veggies into your diet
  • Increases support for our immune system
  • Detoxifies
  • Alkalizes
RECIPES:
Add 1 scoop to your favorite fruit juice (apple, orange, cranberry, grape, pomegranate--preferably fresh juiced)

Add 1 scoop to your favorite smoothie recipe 


Add 1 scoop to your favorite vitamin water


Add 1 scoop to limeade or lemonade 

My All-Time Favorite RECIPE: 
1 Mason jar (16 oz or larger)
1 scoop of Nitro Fusion chocolate protein powder
1 scoop of organic wheat grass
8 oz  vanilla almond milk
4 oz. chocolate almond milk
Shake it all together and ENJOY


Here is some additional information from a Nutritional Therapist, Pat Reeves: Food Alive Articles--Wheat Grass

Information from Dr. Ann Wigmore:
Matrix Wheat Grass

Helps fight and get rid of carcinogens in your body:
Dr. Chiu-nan Lai, Ph.D. at the University of Texas System Cancer Center, Dept. of Biology, Houston, Texas, found in 1978 wheat sprout extracts and its chlorophyll to inhibit in vitro (in a test tube) metabolic activation of carcinogens.Basically, it detoxifies our bodies.

52 Reasons why you should take wheat grass daily by Holistic Health Practitioner, Isis Jade:

What I buy:
Amazing Grass (Raw, Organic &, Gluten free)
Vitacost Price: $34 for 17 oz.
Amazon: $34 for 17 oz.

Growing your own wheat grass:
If you have a green thumb you can grow your own wheat grass and juice it. It takes approximately 2 weeks to grow to its full nutritional potential  (should be about 6-7in high). Then juice it in a wheat grass juicer (you can find them as cheap as $40). Drink immediately for the most health benefits. You will need Organic Hard Red Winter Wheat Seeds. Here are the instructions on how to grow it in your home: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6U5RqjWcfko

Friday, October 7, 2011

Natural News--12 Steps to Save America

After reading the below article I just HAD to share it with all of my family and friends. It is so important for each and every one of us to try to implement the below steps the best we can! I know it is hard during these economic times, but if each and everyone of us gradually make a lifestyle change we won't even know what hit us because we'll feel so wonderful. If we want a healthy world for future generations then we need to take drastic measures to ensure that we ourselves are getting healthy :) Enjoy...

By: Mike Adams @ Natural News

So how can we really save America with nutrition? It all starts with you and your family. Follow these 12 steps to unleash a new era of health and wellness in your own life:

Step 1) Stop rewarding manufacturers of processed foods, junk foods, sodas and pharmaceuticals. Simply refuse to buy their products.

Step 2) Greatly increase your purchases of fresh, organic produce. Get yourself a juicer (I like the Breville brand) and drink a fresh juice smoothie every day. Teach your children to eat more fresh produce.

Step 3) Supplement your diet with health-enhancing superfoods and nutritional supplements. You may wish to include nutrient-dense algae products like spirulina, blue-green algae, chlorella and astaxanthin (my addition: Organic, raw wheat grass)

Step 4) Greatly increase your intake of Omega-3 oils. I take Moxxor's Green-Lipped Mussel oil as well as consuming wild salmon from time to time.

Step 5) Get a lot more sunshine: Your body (and your mind) needs sunlight. It generates the vitamin D that helps prevent cancer, depression, diabetes and heart disease.

Step 6) Boost your physical exercise. Studies repeatedly show that even moderate exercise (walking 3 times a week, for example), has a drastic reduction on rates of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Step 7) Exercise your brain: Learn a new language, play strategy games, read books or do something active with your brain to keep all the neurons firing. This is all much easier when your brain is powered by superfoods, by the way.

Step 8) Avoid medications. Prescription drugs are poison. If you're currently taking meds, work with a naturopathic physician to safely get off those meds and heal your body through nutrition (or other natural therapies).

Step 9) Avoid hospitals. A hospital is one of the most dangerous places you can go. They're filled with antibiotic-resistant superbugs, for one thing. Your risk of being harmed at a hospital is much higher than what you might expect. Unless you're suffering from an acute, dangerous condition requiring emergency medical care, make an effort to stay away from hospitals. (My recommendation: Try researching homeopathic, holistic cures for your aliments--I use them and there is a NATURAL cure out there for everything)!

Step 10) Embrace your own natural healing potential! Recognize that your immune system is a technological miracle. Your body is a self-repairing biological marvel. When given the right resources (nutrition, superfoods, etc.), your body can work healing miracles.

Step 11) Thank yourself for taking the time to invest in your own good health by reading this report. Give yourself a healing reward such as a glass of fresh orange / carrot juice or a delicious superfood smoothie.

Step 12) Forward this special report to 3 friends, family members or coworkers you know who might benefit from this information. Spread the word about nutrition and you'll be taking part in a wave of healing that can sweep across our planet as people reawaken to the healing powers of plant-based nutrients. (The web address to forward to your friends is displayed below.)

Thank you for reading!

About the author: Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, currently lives in Vilcabamba, Ecuador where he grows and consumes a large assortment of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables (http://www.naturalnews.com/photos.html). The creator of the Health Revolution Petition (www.HealthRevolutionPetition.org), Adams believes in individual liberty, personal responsibility and natural healing. His mission is to share natural health secrets with the world with the hope of unleashing of a new golden age of health and healing that uplifts human civilization. He founded NaturalNews in 2003 and remains its editor today.

Need a Protein Fix? Try This Instead....

Now-a-days when people go to the gym they like to supplement their workouts with a little extra protein; however, the conventional protein shakes are NOT a healthy alternative. In fact, they actually cause MORE harm than good to your body.

Why NOT to drink the conventional protein shakes:
1) Most proteins are whey protein isolates INSTEAD OF whey protein concentrates
2) Artificial sweeteners
3) Artificial ingredients
4) Soy (key fact: most soy is genetically modified (GMO) unless it specifically says non-GMO)
5) Most contain dangerous levels of metals (Dr. Mercola: "A recent Consumer Reports' evaluation showed some leading brands of protein powders exceeded United States Pharmacopoeia's (USP) recommended safety limits for certain heavy metals.")
6) Most contain milk made from hormone injected cows NOT hormone-free cows

Here are some ingredients found in conventional protein powders: 

  • Soy,Whey Protein Isolate-Milk
  • Glutamine Peptides-Wheat
  • Natural & Artificial Flavors-Milk & Soy
  • Modified Glucose Polymers (Maltodextrin)
  • Colorings: FD&C Red #40
Recommended Whey Protein Powders:  
  • Dr. Mercola's Miracle Whey (Chocolate)
    • Excellent protein powder. Good taste and meets all of the requirements necessary for a healthy protein supplement.
  • Nutra Bio Whey Protein Concentrate 
    • This protein powder has no taste at all. It mixes into almond milk extremely well and can be added to your pancake mix for an additional protein boost. If you want a healthy alternative to conventional protein powders, this would be an excellent choice.

Recommended Vegan (Non-Dairy) Protein Powders:

  •  Nirtro Fusion (Chocolate)
    • This is by far the BEST vegan protein powder I have ever tried. It is all natural and made only from plants, so if you have high cholesterol this is the best choice for you. It has only 4 grams of sugar and tastes like a chocolate milkshake. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! 
  • Sequel Naturals Vega Sport
    • This protein powder is another fantastic choice; however, if you do not like the flavor of stevia this is NOT the product for you. I personally think it is WAY TOO sweet, but that is just me! I like the sweetness of my protein shake to come from the almond milk I put in it. My husband, on the other hand, loves this one and the one below because it is so sweet. Great product though.
  •  Sequel Naturals Vega Shake and Go Smoothie Vanilla Almondilla
    • These are great to add for a little stevia sweetness, but I think this is too sweet for me.
  •  Nutiva Organic Hemp Protein
    •  Great quality of protein; however, the taste is NOT very pleasant. This is drinkable if you combine it with chocolate almond milk and a little chocolate protein powder.
Additional Reading:


What do I mix it with?
I recommend to stay AWAY from ALL SOY products! 
Use the following instead:
1) Organic Almond milk (original, chocolate and/or vanilla)
2) Coconut Milk (original and/or vanilla)
3) Hazelnut Milk
 
 
 
  
 
My All-Time Favorite RECIPE: 
1 Mason jar (16 oz or larger)
1 scoop of nitro fusion chocolate
1 scoop of organic wheat grass
8 oz  vanilla almond milk
4 oz. chocolate almond milk
Shake it all together and ENJOY
25 g of protein
2-3 servings of veggies

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cancer--seems like everyone is getting it...

HOW TO FIGHT CANCER NATURALLY: 

If you or someone in your family have been diagnosed with cancer PLEASE CHECK this website out BEFORE taking any conventional medicine!


If you go to the PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION you can print all 100+ pages or you can just search for ailments.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Soaking Raw, Organic Nuts

Everyone loves that handful of walnuts or almonds, but what you probably didn't know is that you aren't getting all of the benefits of the nuts you are eating. Nuts contain enzyme inhibitors such as phytic acid, which make it harder for your body to digest them, much less absorb all of the needed nutrients. By soaking the nut it releases the enzyme inhibitor, which in turn releases the good enzymes and all the other beneficial nutrients.



Benefits of Soaking Nuts and Seeds
  • Neutralizes the natural occurring enzyme inhibitor.
  • Increases the amount of vitamins your body absorbs.
  • Makes the digestion of the nut much easier.
  • Reduces Phytic acid, which inhibits the absorption of vital minerals. 


Instructions:
  •  If you are NOT going to dehydrate your nuts then soak an amount you will eat within three or four days because they will mold.  If they start to stink and the smell doesn't wash away after you rinse them a few times THROW THEM OUT.
  • Soak nuts in filtered water in a glass or stainless steel bowl in the fridge. 
  • Change the water once or twice a day
  • Rinse nuts each time you change the water
  • After soaking overnight, lay nuts on your dehydrator trays and dehydrate them for 12-18 hours or until dry and crunchy.
  • Store them in the fridge for a longer shelf life.

Kaia Foods--quick and healthy snacks

KAIA FOODS

I found this wonderful product at my local whole foods market. The only Kaia Foods products I have tasted are the sprouted and dried sunflower seeds (teriyaki, sweet curry, and cocoa mole). All three flavors are excellent. Teriyaki has a very light flavor that focuses more on the natural flavor of the sunflower seeds than the spices, but that teriyaki after taste is definitely prevalent . The sweet curry has an initial sweet taste, but right away you get the kick from the cayenne pepper which makes this one my FAVORITE! The cocoa mole has a light cocoa flavor, but the best part of this treat is the spicy cayenne kick and the chocolate cocoa flavors being mixed together in your mouth. These snacks are perfect to leave at work for a healthy snack between meals or fantastic addition to that boring old salad.

The buckwheat granola looks fantastic. I hope that I can find it at my whole foods or local health market and give you a review on that as well. 





 Ingredients: sprouted sunflower seeds*, raw agave nectar*, curry powder*, wheat-free tamari*, cumin powder*, garlic powder*, cayenne pepper*, and sea salt. (*organic)

Ingredients: sprouted sunflower seeds*, raw agave nectar*, raw cacao powder*, vanilla extract*, cayenne pepper*, and sea salt. (*organic)

 Ingredients: sprouted sunflower seeds*, wheat-free tamari*, raw agave nectar*, ginger powder*, garlic powder*, and cayenne pepper*. (*organic)







http://www.kaiafoods.com/about.html

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Benefits of Seaweed and How to Get It Into Your Diet!

My new healthy snack and addition to most of my lunches are TJ's Roasted Seaweed snack.
In half of the pack there are only 30 calories, 20% Vit C, 2% Iron, and 8% Vit. A. Each pack is only .99 cents and they add something new and exciting to any snack or lunch. Check out all of seaweeds health benefits: Ocean Veggies

Seaweed Sandwich
Add your favorite lunch meat & cheese to the seaweed squares, roll and enjoy!

Smoked Salmon Seaweed Wrap
Add smoked salmon, cream cheese, green onion, roll it up, and enjoy!

Avocado Seaweed Wrap
Add avocado, roll it up and enjoy!

Feel free to get as creative as you want! If you think of anymore ideas or recipes please post them! Thanks!

Spiral Wines Chardonnay




2010 Spiral Wines Chardonnay 

I found this wine to be a good chardonnay for the price. I tasted the hints of vanilla      accompanied by the slight oakiness. Even tho this chardonnay is not buttery, it does have the smooth texture and complex flavors that I usually crave in a buttery chardonnay. At first taste, the citrus flavors hit your tongue which gives the wine a sharp citrus-y tinge, but it goes down smooth and finishes with lite hints of vanilla giving to a buttery-like finish! For $4.99 you can't go wrong with this refreshing chardonnay. Not my absolutely favorite chardonnay, but for the price it is getting closer.  

Friday, April 29, 2011

Quick Healthy App :)

Last night I wanted a healthy, quick meal. I looked in my fridge and discovered I needed to eat some things before they went bad and before we left on our trip, so I came up with the following healthy recipe that tasted amazing!

 


Zucchini Sandwich
Raw Organic Zucchini, sliced round
Green oninons
Organic reduced-fat cream cheese
Smoked wild caught Salmon
Organic Tomatoes
Water Crackers

There are a few ways to put this together. First, put some cream cheese on the cracker, add a round zucchini slice, tomato slice, few green onions, and a slice of smoked salmon. Enjoy!

Or if you want all veggies and a carb free meal try it this way.

Take two slices of zucchini, spread cream cheese on zucchini, add green onions, slice of smoked wild caught salmon, and place the other zucchini slice on top. Add a toothpick if you want to put these out as an app!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Organic Money Wasters

I know I try very hard to eat as much, if not everything organic; however, sometimes that seems impossible to do. Others of you don't buy organic food because it's too expensive. Well, here are a few items that you DO NOT have to buy organic and if you do, you are wasting your money.

Non-organic, conventional buys that will save you money:
(TIP: Anything with a thick layer of non-permeable, uneatable skin you don't have to buy organic).
  1. Avocados
  2. Onions
  3. Watermelon
  4. Pinapple 
  5. Mango
  6. Frozen sweet peas
  7. Cabbage
  8. Asparagus
  9. Kiwi
  10. Eggplant
  11. Cantaloupe
  12. Bananas

    ALWAYS Buy Organic (anything with permeable or eatable skin):
    1. Grapes
    2. Potatoes
    3. Collared greens/Kale (super foods and super cheap)
    4. Spinach
    5. Cherries
    6. All berries
    7. Apples
    8. Peaches
    9. Celery
    10. Sweet Bell peppers
    11. Nectarines
    12. Corn (but consume in moderation regardless of it being organic)
    13. Rice
    Other money wasters:
    • Swordfish is considered a luxury, but DO NOT consume it because it contains one of the HIGHEST (if not the highest) levels of mercury of any seafood. Make sure all fish that you eat is WILD CAUGHT! Others high in mercury: ahi tuna, sea bass, grouper, canned tuna (white and albacore), & shark.

    Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    Coconut Water the NEW SPORTS DRINK!

    Okay, so I'm sure that many of you drink or have drank Gatorade, Power Aid, or any of the other popular sports drinks to rehydrate after a hard work out! Well, I am here to inform you that COCONUT WATER is going to become the NEW sports drink and here's why.....

    Ingredients in Grape Gatorade: Water, sucrose syrup, glucose-fructose syrup, citric acid, natural grape flavor with other  natural flavors, salt, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, red 40, blue 1 
    50 calories and 14g of sugar in 8oz.

    Ingredients in Powerade:  Water, high fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin (glucose polymers), citric acid, acacia, potassium citrate. salt, potassium phosphate, natural flavors, glycerol ester of wood rosin, brominated vegetable oil, yellow 5

    The ingredients above do MORE harm than good, WHY? 

    First, look at the first three ingredients of each drink: Sucrose syrup, glucose-fructose syrup, high fructose corn syrup. maltodextrin???? If you have read any of my past blogs you will know that even NATURAL fructose should be limited in our daily diets (they make you fat), and here you have 4 different types of sugars and fructoses as the MAIN ingredient in these sports drinks. 

    Second, the amount of sugar and calories in these drinks FAR out weigh the benefits of "re-hydration." In reality they might have electrolytes that help rehydrate, but the sugar is canceling out the positive effects of the electrolytes. You'd be better off drinking electrolyte enhanced water from TJ's or Whole Foods.

    Third, you should avoid COLORINGS in your food and drinks at all cost and here you have three different colorings listed in the ingredients. These are artificial and should not be consumed EVER! So, just because something looks PRETTY doesn't mean its good for you!

    Lastly, these are a temporary, high calorie, high sugar fix that will do nothing to give your body the REAL hydration it needs! So, why compromise your health for artificial ingredients and fake sugar???

    What your body REALLY needs after a hard workout is potassium and magnesium and a little bit of natural sugar to get your body ready to get rid of the lactic acid build up! So, what has all of this and MORE????  

    COCONUT WATER

    I have looked at the ingredients of all the top coconut waters and they are all natural, but some do contain a little more sugar and calories than others.  That is why I suggest VITA COCO as my #1 choice for coconut water. Although, all natural coconut water has magnesium and potassium some labels don't list these ingredients and that is very important. So, after that long run, hard workout, strenuous swim, or hard day on the field reach for a COCONUT WATER instead! 

    You can find this at Whole Foods or your local grocery store. The 11 oz containers range between $1.50-$2.79. The larger size sells at Whole Foods for $4.99.  

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Best All-natural Face Products

    My health is very important to me, but my skin even more so! As my friends know, I am very concerned with what products I use on my skin, especially my face. I have tried many different products. I am constantly in search of all-natural products that make my skin glow, soft to the touch, and reduces/prevents fine lines and wrinkles. Well, I think I have found some products that do just that!!

     The Super by Dr. Nicholas Perricone

    My friend and I were shopping at Sephora the other day and she convinced me to sit down and get a free facial with her. Okay, what's the harm in a free facial right? Well, the facial was amazing and so were their products; however, some of them were too amazing (and it showed in their price)! I explained to the facial consultant that my skin is very dry in the winter, but I don't want something that will make it too oily so that it breaks out. She suggested a face and eye wash that I bought and will continue to buy! The Super by Dr. Nichlas Perricone line is ALL-NATURAL and recommend for people with sensitivities to parabens and other radicals in our face products. After using the product for over a month I have noticed a severe change in my skins texture, smoothness, and over all complexion. My face is more hydrated, smoother, and brighter than ever. I will definitely be buying more of their products in the future. $30 at Sephora.  

    Although I love this product, I am going to try Avalon Organics Lavender Facial Cleaner instead. The reason being is because I have found a few ingredients that I do not want on my face/body: Disodium EDTA, Benzyl Alcohol, & Dimethyl MEA (DMAE). The hazard levels are 3 and above on www.cosmeticsdatabase.com.


     Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel Alcohol Free Toner

    After washing my face with the Super eye and face wash, I use Thayer's Rose Petal Witch Hazel Alcohol Free Toner. This also hydrates my skin and helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It can be used anytime during the day to freshen and rehydrate your skin. $5.75 at Vitacost.com.
    Vit. E Oil for Face and Body

    My finishing product is Vit. E oil. I make sure I put the most oil under and around my eyes since I get more lines around that area. I then use the excess oil on my hands to smooth it over the rest of my face. I purchase my Vit. E skin oil from Trader Joes for $6, but you can find many different brands at Vitacost.com

    Conclusion

    Using this regiment daily has increased the vitality of my skin on the surface, but the true health of your skin is through your daily diet! So, if you want to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, smooth out your skin, reduce acne, and make it more vibrant and bright then eat an all-natural, organic diet and compliment that with all-natural products as well.

    Thursday, March 17, 2011

    I take my Chlorella Daily, are you?

    Read Dr. Mercola's article on the wonders of Chlorella and let me know your thoughts, opinions, and questions! I make sure to take my chlorella daily and here is more evidence on why you should be taking some too!

    Chlorella - The Natural Wonder Supplement

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    New Trader Joe's Wines

    Trader Joe's has some of the best wines at the best prices. Obviously, every person likes different things, but my blog is to show you what I like, what suits my tastes, and just give you my personal suggestions.

    Now, the first wine I discovered definitely turns heads and it's because of its CRAZY label not its low price or ruby red color! Many people tasted this wine at TJ's wine tasting table and loved it; however, because of the label they wouldn't buy it. I found the label to be different, exciting, and very captivating which is just one of the reasons I bought it! Benefactor Cellars 2009 is a mixture of 50% Zinfandel, 40% Syrah and 10% Carignane (I personally am drawn to mixes). The color is a dark purple and the smell is acidic (from the cloves and cinnamon) with a hint of berries. The first taste is strong (tannins), but the fullness of the wine and the mixture of berries, cinnamon, and cloves leave your pallet craving another sip. The more you drink this wine the better it gets because the flavors become more pronounced. I would definitely recommend this wine especially at the price of $4.99. I had it with pizza and they went VERY well together.


    My new favorite wine at TJ's is Cocobon 2009. It is a lighter wine, but the flavors are so unique that it will keep bringing you back for more. This wine is great to drink by itself. The only negative to this wine is that once TJs sells out of it it is gone (I hate when that happens to my favorites). This wine has flavors of coconut, mocha, and light berries (cherries). If you don't like coconut don't fret because you can barely--if at all--taste the coconut flavors, but having that added to the mix allows the mocha and cherries to taste a little sweeter and nuttier. But don't get the wrong impression this wine is not "sweet" or "too fruity" it has the perfect balance of fruit and light tannins to give a smooth, tasty finish.  This wine is comprised of 61% Zinfandel, 17% Cabernet Franc, 12% Merlot, 6% Petite Verdot, 4% Petite Sirah. This wine is just $6.99 at TJ's--while it lasts.

    Cristalino Brut Cava (new 2010 label) is a very refreshing sparkling wine that is perfect for any celebration or champagne lover! This wine is very dry and crisp, but has the added sweetness of apples and citrus that make it extremely appetizing. Add a splash of peach snapps to make a sweet Bellini! If you don't like dry sparkling wines then you will not like this one, but for those of you who love sparkling wines this one is a cheap (and not cheap on quality or taste) version of Cristal! $6.99 at Trader Joe's.

    Hot Pepper Jelly Spread

    As I was strolling through Whole Foods one day, I stopped at a local farm's sample table. The guy let me try all of their homemade jellies and mixes (unsweetened apple butter, apple butter, bloody mary mix, and HOT PEPPER JELLY). Well, the hot pepper jelly was very yummy, but the kicker was the fact that he had mixed it with cream cheese! This concoction is fantastic! I am now addicted! I combine Hot pepper jelly and organic reduced fat cream cheese and use it on EVERYTHING! Here are some ways you can eat it:
    1) a spread on a turkey sandwich/wrap
    2) as a dip for anything (pretzels, crackers and anything dip-able)
    3) raw veggie spread (broccoli is very yummy with this)
    4) use it on your breakfast toast
    5) put it on a slice of cheese (I love goat gouda, but I def. don't discriminate when it comes to cheese I love them all). 

    The creamy, smooth, sweet, and spicy combo is very addicting! Try it and let me know what you think!

    Thursday, March 10, 2011

    Gnu Foods Bars

    Gnu Foods makes 7 different all natural FIBER bars. These bars provide over 50% of your daily fiber intake with NO trans fat, high fructose corn syrup, or anything artificial.

    Flavors:
    Peanut butter
    Lemon Ginger
    Chocolate Brownie
    Orange Cranberry
    Espresso Chip
    Cinnamon Raisin
    Banana Walnut

    Nutrition:
    They have around 130-140 calories per bar, 12 grams of fiber, 30-32 carbs, 4 grams of protein, and ZERO cholesterol.

    My Thoughts...
    I sampled these bars at Whole Foods and didn't really like them, but I decided to give them one more try! I bought a few the other day and really enjoyed the Chocolate Brownie Bar. The bar was very filling, but don't start thinking you are going to be eating something that tastes like a chocolate brownie, because it tastes nothing like that! Although, this bar doesn't taste like a chocolate brownie it is GOOD--well in its own really healthy way. It is VERY grainy (hence the 12g of fiber per bar and the blend of whole oats, flax, millet, wheat bran etc...).The chocolate taste is satisfying but not with your typical chocolate flavor. Lastly, this bar is made with chicory root which has many health benefits (Vit C, antioxidants,  feeds digestive floras in intestine, promotes blood sugar levels etc...).

    I think the Cinnamon Raisin Bar is the best so far!  It was sweet with the perfect hint of cinnamon. It didn't taste as earthy as the other ones.  You would NEVER know you were eating 12g of fiber in this bar! My only concern is the ingredient wheat protein isolate. I have done some research and my understanding is that you want to eat protein concentrates NOT isolates. Here's why....


    "Protein isolates are proteins stripped away from their nutritional cofactors. There are three problems with that...
    • All isolates are exposed to acid processing.
    • Your body cannot assimilate proteins in isolated form.
    • Due to over-processing, isolates are deficient in key amino acids and nutritional cofactors. (Dr. Mercola Whey Protein Powder)."


    All-in-all I think that these bars are definitely eatable and tasty in their own EARTHY way. For the health benefits and low calories of these bars I say give them a shot, throw them on your morning cereal or yogurt and get that EXTRA fiber into your daily diet!

    Where to Buy????
    You can buy these online at www.gnufoods.com, at any Natural Foods store (Whole Foods), The Vitamin Shoppe, or www.Amazon.com.

    Dr. Mercola's 13 Most Dangerous Drugs

    I am a huge advocate of trying to cure everything through herbs and natural means and here is another reason why. Dr. Mercola gives us a list of the 13 most dangerous drugs taken my a majority of the American population. If you are taking any of these drugs I suggest that you stop and try to cure your problem through natural and holistic ways (i.e. organic foods, grass-fed beef, natural body products, Vit D3, and more). A person's diet is one of the BEST ways to cure many problems most people have.

    Here is a list from Dr. Mercola's website of the 13 most DANGEROUS drugs that even most doctors probably won’t take:

    1. Advair (GlaxoSmithKline) Used to treat asthma, Advair contains salmeterol, which can increase the severity of an asthma attack. Salmeterol-based drugs contribute to an estimated 5,000 asthma-related deaths each year in the U.S. alone.

    2. Ambien (Sanofi-Aventis)
    Sedatives like Ambien only decrease get-to-sleep time by 18 minutes and can cause somnambulism side effects – resulting in people driving, walking, having sex, or making phone calls while asleep.

    3. Avandia (GlaxoSmithKline)
    A diabetes drug that makes fat cells more insulin-responsive to control blood sugar levels, Avandia has been linked to a 43 percent increased risk of heart attack and a 64 percent higher risk of cardiovascular death among its users compared to patients using other treatment methods.

    4. Boniva (Roche)
    Women are advised to avoid lying down after taking this postmenopausal anti-osteoporosis drug, which can cause abdominal pain, arm pain, back pain, bronchitis, diarrhea, headaches, heartburn, indigestion, and leg pain.

    5. Celebrex (Pfizer)
    Used by arthritis sufferers as a painkiller, Celebrex has been associated with increased risks of kidney problems, liver damage, and stomach bleeding. According to a 2005 study, those taking 200 mg of Celebrex twice a day more than doubled their risk of dying of cardiovascular disease, while those taking 400 mg twice a day more than tripled their risk.

    6. Chantix (Pfizer)
    The FDA has received more than 1,000 reports of health problems and injuries among users of this anti-smoking drug during the first quarter of 2008 alone. That’s more adverse reaction reports than from the top 10 bestselling brand-name drugs combined! These include 28 deaths from suicide. Chantix is associated with agitation, anxiety, depression, dizziness, loss of consciousness, mood swings, muscle spasms, nervousness, suicidal behavior, impaired driving ability, and unexplained behavior.

    7. Crestor (AstraZeneca) and Lipitor (Pfizer)
    These are two ineffective and over-prescribed statins or cholesterol-lowering drugs. Statin drugs impair important biochemical functions in your body and deplete the supply of the coenzyme CoQ10, leading to fatigue, heart failure, muscle weakness and soreness.

    8. Humira (Abbott) and Prolia (Amgen)
    Humira is believed to worsen psoriasis – a disease it is supposed to treat. Both drugs are injectable biologics made from genetically engineered hamster cells that suppress your immune system. They can cause lethal infections, lymphoma, melanoma, tuberculosis, and cancer in children and teenagers.

    9. Lamictal (GlaxoSmithKline), Lyrica (Pfizer), and Topomax (Johnson & Johnson)
    Now prescribed for pain, these epilepsy seizure drugs increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior. All three drugs can result in memory loss and hair loss.

    10. Premarin and Prempro (Pfizer)
    Used for hormone replacement therapy, Prempro and Premarin cause a 50 percent increase in blood clots, a 26 percent increase in breast cancer risk, a 29 percent increase in heart attack risk, and a 41 percent increase in stroke risk. These have also been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, asthma, cataracts, deafness, dementia, gout, joint degeneration, lupus, cancers (endometrial, gall bladder, lung, melanoma, and ovarian), scleroderma, and urinary incontinence.

    11. Ritalin (Novartis)
    Despite having the same pharmacological profile as cocaine, this drug is commonly prescribed to children diagnosed with ADHD. It stimulates the central nervous system, causing side effects such as increased blood pressure and heart rate. Short-term use can cause chromosomal damage, while long-term use can lead to severe health problems including cancer.

    12. Tamoxifen (Zeneca)
    A powerful drug used to treat breast cancer, Tamoxifen is associated with birth defects and atrophy of the uterine lining, coexisting hyperplasia, and uterine polyps in women.

    13. Yasmin and Yaz (Bayer)
    In a study, these over-hyped birth control pills were associated with blood clots, gall bladder disease, heart attacks, and strokes among 18-year-olds.