So Tired!

Yesterday I took a trip to the grocery store after a 3 day bout with the flu.  You are probably thinking that I am going to talk about fatigue after being sick right?  Well you would be wrong.  I want to talk about the mental fatigue that comes with shopping for my family to provide healthy clean foods.  I am tired.  So tired of having to search for good food.

My trip always starts in the produce department.  Oh how I wish we had a Whole Foods Market or Trader Joe's in my city but apparently they believe that we are not worthy - even though we are the second largest city in the state.  But I will keep that whine to myself for now.  My first pass through the produce is in hunt of organic products on my list.  This time of year it is harder and harder for me to find with the farmers market and my trusted local farms produce unavailable.  The standard onions, potatoes, apples, carrots, celery, broccoli, and beets are pretty much always to be found.  Then at a premium cost I can find peppers, zucchini, avocados and tomatoes.  I hate to see the only strawberries are conventional.  I wonder how much pesticide has been sprayed on them.  What about the raspberries?  It feels like a land mind of toxins that I am having to dodge on each shopping trip making me the shopping warrior.

So here it is.  These are the things I look for and am concerned about on my shopping trip.  If you are looking to help make your family healthier through your diet then these are the things to consider.

Strawberries - One of the highest sprayed crops.  Can be sprayed with Methylbromide or Methyiodine both are toxic endocrine chemicals that inhibit thyroid hormone creation, clog your liver and promote poor health.

Bananas - Did you know that they radiate banana's to keep them from ripening quickly on their journey to your store? 

Conventional Produce in general - grown on poorly maintained soil that has not been cared for to maximize nutrients in the foods.  Crops are sprayed with chemicals that are harmful to the body.  Some crops come from genetically modified seeds that cannot be utilized by the body and may even contribute to cancer or other illnesses in the body.  Jeffrey Smith has been doing some great research on the dangers of "Frankenfoods". 

Ice Cream - My children love an occasional treat.  What child doesn't?  A quick look at a label will make your head spin.  I have made my own ice cream and it is cream, eggs, sugar and any flavor or fruit you would like.  End of story.  But the ice cream you find in stores contains high fructose corn syrup (Corn sugar as they are trying to trick you with now), preservatives, and dyes.  Many milks come from cows treated with growth hormones that increase their milk production long after God would have them produce milk for their calves.  Meijers (where I shop for some things) has stopped providing their organic ice cream. 

Canned foods - I worry that the cans are lined with BPA.  This is another powerful endocrine disruption chemical.  It lines the cans to help keep the taste from leeching into the foods.  But at what cost do we get this?

Flour products - If we still ate gluten (wheat) bread products we would have to be concerned with brominated flour or the usage of brominated vegetable oil.  Bromide is a toxic halide that blocks iodine absorption in the body.  Many think of iodine in reference to the thyroid.  But iodine is used as a key nutrient in the function of apoptosis - programmed cell death - of abnormal cells.  It is highly cancer protective for this very reason.  If a cell is abnormal then iodine triggers P53 - the gene that "marks it" as a problem so that the body knows to remove it before it grows into something dangerous.  Bromide is also found in products like Gatorade / sports drinks as well as citrus pop like Mt Dew. 

Soy - Soy is one of the biggest genetically modified crops.  It seems to be in everything lately.  For many it causes an inflammatory response.  My family has an issue with it.  Unless is is fermented soy like tamari or tempeh it is best to avoid it.  Soy also inhibits thyroid hormone production and is known as a goitrogen (blocking iodine).

Hydrogenated Oils -  Just when you think you have dealt with it all, the HFCS, Brominated Oils, there are hydrogenated oils.  They come in partially hydrogenated forms and most recently can be found in an even worse form in Jiff Peanut Butter in a FULLY hydrogenated form.  Hydrogenation modifies the oil to make it a solid when it would be liquid normally.  It has been implicated in cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and birth defects.  Here is a downloadable report

Meats - The final problem I encounter is meat.  Most meat is hormone fed and cage contained.  The animals are not happy animals roaming in green pastures eating the grass under their feet.  They are distressed and unhappy with too many animals contained in a small area.  Sanitary conditions are not good and many are exposed to the feces of the other animals.  Regular antibiotics are given to "protect the herd" from what may potentially happen.  Stress hormones end up in the meat of these animals for us to consume with the antibiotics and growth hormones.  Then to preserve it they add nitrates and nitrites that are known cancer causing agents. 

So what do I do to keep my family safe?

1.  Buy as much organic as I can.  If that means I travel to 3-4 stores to shop then so be it.  I do it.

2.  I have a cow share where I have bought part of a cow so that I can get raw milk right from the farm where they are raised organically.

3.  During the summer I shop the farmers market and get to know my farmers and thier farming practices.

4.  Joined a local organic / natural farming co-op where I can buy meats, frozen fruits and other *safe* products throughout the year.

5.  Order organic products online.  I purchase from, ,,,

6.  Shop my local heathfood store. 

It may seem like a lot of effort but with a little planning you can accomplish your goals effectively.  It's worth it for the health it provides.  Will you be a warrior mom too?

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Kale Glorious Kale

Kale Glorious Kale .....................

You probably wouldn't have heard me singing the praises of kale a few weeks ago.  It has a very strong taste and was not one of my favorites. I tried in green smoothies and found that I needed strong tasting fruits to overcome the taste. 

Then I began to join some raw food blogs.  One of the women posted that she was enjoying Cheezy Kale chips from  Blue Mountain Organics.  So I hot footed it over to the website and ordered some Cheezy Kale and Nutty Cheezy Kale.  I also added some Chai seeds and Hemp Seeds to my order.  When the box arrived I tore open the bag and began to munch on one piece after another.  They were good!  My dog even loves them.  He begs for them more than for his doggie treats.  Now I had a problem. Each bag of Kale Chips was $7.50 per 3 oz.  How on earth could I fit this new food into my budget.  I scoured the web and found a recipe for Cheezy Kale Chips that were made in a food dehydrator.  Hmmm... didn't have one of those and wasn't ready to spend $60 or more on one.  So back to the web I went and looked through the offerings on Craigs List.   I found a new in the box Nesco Snackmaster & Jerky maker.  The seller was asking $25!  They retailed for $55 in the stores.  A day later I had it in my hands. 

Yesterday I finally had all the ingredients I needed as well as time to play in the kitchen.  This is the recipe I used and below are the results in pictures.  If you decide to try this let me know.

Cheezy Kale Chips

1-2 bunches of curly leaf kale - washed and drip dried

1 Cup Raw Cashews  - soaked for at least 2 hrs in water and washed until water is clear.
1 Red or Yellow Pepper chopped
1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
Juice from 1 lemon
1 Tbs Nutritional Yeast
1 tsp Turmeric (optional)

Place all the paste ingredients in a high speed blender like a Vitamix or BlendTec (I have this one) and blend until smooth and creamy. 

Take the washed greens and pull the leaves off the stems and break into smaller "chip sized" pieces.  Place these in a bowl and begin to mix the paste through the leaves.  Use your hands to work it into the mixture.  When they are coated relatively evenly place the chips on the dehydrator tray.

This is the finished product but you get the idea (click on image to view larger).   Turn the dehydrator to 105 degrees and let it run for 12 hours.  Your chips should be read.  I assembled it around dinner time and it was ready this morning at 6 am when I got up.

Here are the beautiful kale chips ready for me to snack on.  They can be added to salads or any other place you would want a salty, savory topping.

To see the nutritional benefits of kale you can go to this website.  Not only do you get kale but you also are getting nutritional yeast which is high in B12, Peppers as well as cashews.  These are little power houses of nutrition.

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Raw Coconut Chia Pudding

I saw a recipe for a raw chia pudding.  So I decided to try it this morning.  It is delicious!  This is what I used:

1/3 C Coconut Milk (with some of the cream mixed in) - You can also use almond milk, rice milk, raw milk, hemp milk or anything you want.
1/2-3/4 Tbs Chia Seeds
1/4 tsp Pure Vanilla
Agave to taste - you can also use Stevia, Honey, Maple Syrup

Play around with it.  Next time I will try some cinnamon or some fresh fruit.  The possibility is endless.

For those of you who want to know how to make some coconut milk, here is a great recipe.  I have a BlendTec blender and it works great.  I got my cheese cloth at Bed Bath & Beyond as well as a wonderful metal strainer.


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The Green Eyed Monster

It's the Halloween weekend and I made a green smoothie for breakfast.  I have named it the Green Eyed Monster because you will be so envious.

1 Cup Kale
1 Ring of Pineapple
1/2 Banana
1 TBS Hemp Seeds  (yum - this is my first time trying them and they are awesome!)
1/2 TBS Chai Seeds
20 oz Water + a few ice cubes if you like it cold

Blend until smooth and creamy.  Drink up!

Check out the powerhouse of nutrients in this smoothie.  A great way to start your day.


Power Up!

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