Navigating the Grocery Store for Maximum Health

grocery cartIf you are confused by terms like cage-free, grass-fed and pasture-raised you are not alone. I advocate for a whole food, plant-based diet but I know that in the real world, people eat animals. Here are some guidelines and explanations of what you should buy and what to avoid at the grocery store for maximum health.

 

1)  Avoid GMOs – always purchase these products Organic:

  • Corn (any corn product such as tortilla chips) corn
  • Soy (tofu, edamame, soy milk)
  • Canola
  • Cotton (tampons)
  • Sugar beets (anything with sugar)
  • Summer squash
  • Zucchini
  • Hawaiian papaya
  • Alfalfa
  • Potatoes
  • Apples

**Corn, soy and sugar are common ingredients in other products. If the product you are buying is not labeled “Organic” you are eating GMO’s. Continue reading “Navigating the Grocery Store for Maximum Health”

Olive Oil is NOT a Health Food

145px-Olive_oil_from_OnegliaThere is no shortage of information out there telling you that you should be eating olive oil and coconut oil. I used to believe that. I also used to be on the verge of having full blown heart disease. Anyone who knew me would have said that I was a clean eater. That’s because we are truly misinformed about what clean eating is.

If you have been following this blog from the beginning you will notice an evolution. I used to eat occasional meat, eggs and dairy. I gave that up. I now eat only a plant-based diet. On top of that, I have also given up oil and avocados. I have dropped my cholesterol 100 points without using any cholesterol lowering medicine. I VERY RARELY have nuts or seeds, they are my big splurge.

Read Dr. Furhman’s article that tells you emphatically why oil is not a health food.

Olive oil is not a healthy fat; it is not a whole food—it is a fattening, low-nutrient, processed food, consisting of 100 percent fat.

Source: Olive Oil is NOT a Health Food

Finding Vegan Recipes

I wanted to share this site with you. healthy-candy-bars-07-700x1050

http://www.findingvegan.com/

They link to various sites to share the best vegan recipes. I’ve made several of them and they all turned out well. See below for this particular dessert. I have NOT made this one, but it looks so good. I realized that I never share desserts on My Non-toxic Life. http://www.makingthymeforhealth.com/healthy-chocolate-peanut-butter-candy-bars/

 

Fall Bliss Butternut Squash Soup

2015 butternut sq soupThis is a new and improved recipe from a couple of years ago. It’s very easy and absolutely delicious. As always, use all organic ingredients if possible. It makes a huge impact on your health over time.

Ingredients:

1 large or 2 medium butternut squash

1 box or can of organic pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

2 medium onions

4 cups of vegetable broth

½ cup of cashews soaked for a couple of hours if possible, but not completely necessary Continue reading “Fall Bliss Butternut Squash Soup”

How to Get the Most Nutrients

soupWhat is the best way to get the most nutrients? Recently a follower asked me this question on behalf of his friend who is going through chemotherapy. She is also diabetic. He contacted me because his friend’s doctor told her to drink Glucerna. He remembered reading on my blog that it is full of GMOs, contains fructose which has been shown to cause insulin resistance and weight gain. Moreover, only 2% of the ingredients are vitamins and minerals, which is supposed to be the point of the nutritional drink. I recommended that she juice. Unfortunately, she does not have a juicer or blender and cannot purchase one at this time. What to do?

If you are trying to give nutrients to someone who may not be able to eat, here are two good nutritional drink options. They are pricey compared to Glucerna or Ensure, but they have actual nutrients and raw food in them. You can mix these with water, no blender needed. They run about $30 for 30 servings.

You can find these products at grocery stores, Whole Foods, or the Vitacost or Amazon websites. Continue reading “How to Get the Most Nutrients”

Ten Easy Tips for Better Health

People always ask me for ways they can be healthier. I think I scare them a little when I start rattling things off. There really are simple ways to avoid the things that lead to disease. Here is a quick list from easiest to more challenging.

my garden

  1. Buy organic produce, meat and packaged foods – this is the easiest and surest way to avoid the onslaught of toxins, pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that are in our food system.
  2. Give up “diet” everything… soda, Splenda, aspartame, low-fat, fat-free, etc. I promise you, if it has to have a claim on the package, you DON’T want to put it in your body. If eating “diet” foods worked so well, we’d be an emaciated nation, not the sickest and fattest. You are being lied to. It keeps you coming back for more diet products and it makes you gain weight.
  3. Get rid of your old Tupperware and plastic containers – switch them out for glass or at the very least, BPA free plastic. Also stop buying canned goods. They contain BPA in the lining (with the exception of Eden brand foods and a few others). You’ll notice more items are coming in cardboard (aseptic) packaging. The evidence is mounting that plastics and BPA are linked to hormone and thyroid disruption. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25121464
  4. Stop using your microwave – I know, I know, but really, you will get used to heating things up on your stove top and in your oven. I swear, in the last year, I have not used my microwave for more than heating up my coffee for 15 seconds on the very rare occasion. My mom had a dear friend who died from cancer when she was about 55 years old. I don’t remember that sweet woman ever cooking anything other than a microwave dinner. There is scientific evidence that microwaves change the DNA in meat! http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24122804
  5. Avoid GMOs. I’ve written about this extensively so I will just link to the main article. https://thenontoxiclife.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/whats-the-problem-with-gmos/sp squash
  6. Cook at home – you will be healthier and live longer! http://nutritionfacts.org/video/cooking-to-live-longer/ Again, I know it can be scary, especially if you really don’t know how to cook. You can easily learn to make a few simple things from scratch.kale smoothie
  7. Make a green juice or smoothie for breakfast – Here is my recipe for a Berry Kale Smoothie. It keeps you full and satisfied. Get your nutrients for the day in your first “meal.” https://thenontoxiclife.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/berry-kale-smoothie/
  8. Limit processed foods – If it comes in a bag or a box, make sure it’s organic and has less than five ingredients. Remember, for the most part, this is not food, it’s a food like substance. It is special, like your weird uncle Harold, and should be avoided if possible.
  9. Cut back on dairy, sugar, white and whole wheat flours – dairy is inflaming (and delicious, I know, but it’s not healthy). Try to cut waaaaay back on sugar. If you have to sweeten your coffee, tea, or bake with something use 100% Organic Pure Cane Sugar; not sugar in the raw, not turbinado sugar, make sure it is 100% organic. Organic agave nectar is good too, coconut sugar is good, honey is good, but not the junk that comes in a bear shaped plastic container. It has to be pure, raw or local honey. I have found many recipes can be sweetened with organic dates.
  10. Eat more vegetarian and vegan meals – there are so many delicious vegan and vegetarian recipes on WordPress and online in general. Devote several meals a week to vegetarian meals. Here is one of my favorite vegan sites for recipes http://minimalistbaker.com/ Vegans have the lowest incidence of disease overall as well as the healthiest BMI. http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/vegans/

 

 

 

 

Vegan Broccoli and “Cheese” and Vegan Mac ‘n “Cheese”

 

 broc and cheese

These two dishes are staples at my house. They are essentially the same recipe but the mac and cheese calls for a bit more of the first four ingredients. I use a quinoa pasta in the mac and cheese recipe but you can use any pasta. Nutritional yeast can be found in the bulk section of Whole Foods and many grocery stores.

Broccoli and Cheese:

Cheese Sauce

1 cup nutritional yeast

2 tsp. any kind of flour you like

1 cup water

1/3 cup organic ketchup

2 TBS. of salsa

½ tsp salt

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp garlic powder

Dash of pepper Continue reading “Vegan Broccoli and “Cheese” and Vegan Mac ‘n “Cheese””