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Archive for December, 2010

Fish … To Eat Or Not To Eat

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That is the Question.

Do you eat fish? Do you ever wonder about the mercury and PCBs in the fish you eat and wonder what’s the trade-off when it comes to the health benefits of fish vs. the dangers of chemical contamination? Is it really worth it?

I recently came across Smart Seafood Guide 2010. It is the best guide I have ever seen for determining the safest varieties of fish to eat. It categorizes the safest fish nationally and by region of the country (U.S.)

“Food & Water Watch analyzed over 100 different fish and shellfish to create the only guide assessing not only the human health and environmental impacts of eating certain seafood, but also the socio-economic impacts on coastal and fishing communities.”

Check it out here.

For more help with choosing healthy food, get the FREE Healthy Eating E-Class. Work through all the lessons and implement what you learn. It is guaranteed to get you eating healtfully in 5 easy lessons … if you follow the plan.

Meat and Vegetable Curry

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2 large onions, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped (organic only)
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1 cup frozen corn (organic)
1 cup green beans cut in 3/4 inch pieces (organic only)
1/4 cup lime juice
1 pound ground meat (grass fed beef, lamb or free range turkey)
2 cans or 2 heaping cups home cooked dried organic beans (black, kidney or pinto)
1 28 ounce can of organic tomatoes
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons turmeric
6 cloves of garlic sliced, chopped or minced
1-2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped
4 teaspoons
Celtic Sea Salt®

Cook ground meat and set aside.
Saute onion, bell pepper and garlic in a little water.
Add frozen corn and green beans.
Add olive or coconut oil and lime juice.
Add Celtic Sea salt, cumin, coriander and turmeric. Stir until spices are evenly distributed.
Add meat, beans and canned tomatoes. Simmer 5-10 minutes or until thoroughly warmed.
Add chopped cilantro. Mix. Cover pan. Turn off heat. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serve over brown rice or quinoa with a large tossed salad.

There are enough vegetables in the curry, but I like to also serve steamed or sauteed greens along with this.

This is one of my family’s favorites.

This recipe freezes well. Store in glass freezer-safe dishes. Cool uncovered before freezing.

Top 10 Ways to Avoid GMOs

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Avoiding GMOs is getting harder and harder as more and more GMO crops are planted and high levels of secrecy are maintained as to which products contain genetically engineered ingredients.

Here are some tips from Maria Rodale about how you can avoid GMOs:

1. Buy USDA-certified organic food.
2. Avoid all nonorganic soy products like the plague. (I recommend avoiding ALL soy.)
3. Don’t buy anything that claims to be “non-dairy” that isn’t organic.
4. Don’t buy or eat anything with corn in it that isn’t organic.
5. At all costs, eliminate high-fructose corn syrup (a.k.a. “corn sugar”) from your diet.

Read the full article.

GMOs are everywhere. They are contaminating non-GMO crops. Organic crops that have been contaminated with GMOs include corn, soy and soil to plant sugar beets. The USDA attitiude seems to be one of lack of concern.

For more info, see these articles:

For more help with choosing healthy food, get the FREE Healthy Eating E-Class. Work through all the lessons and implement what you learn. It is guaranteed to get you eating healtfully in 5 easy lessons … if you follow the plan.

No Mayo Coleslaw

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1/2 head of cabbage, grated or shredded
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 of a medium zucchini, shredded
1/2 of a small onion, finely chopped (optional)
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar, or to taste
Celtic Sea Salt® to taste

Vegetables can be grated, shredded or chopped in a food processor. This makes it really quick to prepare.

Mix all ingredients. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Most mayonnaise on the market is made from soy, canola or safflower oil. None of these are healthy oils. Mayonnaise made from extra virgin olive oil is very expensive. This is a great alternative to using mayonnaise on your coleslaw and it tastes great!

The Truth About Organic Eggs

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Have you ever wondered what’s different about the organic eggs you pay such a premium price for and if they’re really worth the extra cost? What about the organic eggs that are lower priced? Are they still as good as the higher priced organic eggs?

These are very good questions,and you’ll probably be surprised at the answers.

There are some less than honorable egg farmers out there producing “Bogus” organic eggs and calling them “Organic.” Read the article here to get the full definition of “Bogus” organic eggs.

How do you know if the organic eggs you buy are the real thing or the oh-so-common “Bogus” organic eggs?

The Cornucopia Institute created an “Organic Egg Scoreboard” and rated them on housing and outdoor space for roaming and feeding. The rating system is from 1 to 5 stars, 5 being the best.

Some of the common organic brands found in Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Safeway, WalMart and other popular grocery stores scored only in the 1 star category – “Bogus Organic Eggs.”

Are you eating any of these “Bogus Organic ” brands?

  • Trader Joes Organic
  • Safeway’s O Organic
  • Costco’s Kirkland Signature
  • A&P’s Green Way
  • Walmart’s Great Value
  • Whole Foods 365 Organic
  • Land O’Lakes
  • Horizon Organic
  • Garden Valley
  • Eggland’s Best
  • Chino Valley Ranchers

These are only a few of the “Bogus” brands.

A couple of the 3 star brands – rated “very good”

  • Clover Organic Farms
  • Organic Valley

The 5 star farms are small to medium family farms. Most of those brands I’ve never seen in the health food markets where I shop and actually have never heard of.

See the entire Organic Egg Scorecard.

Now’s the time to start scrutinizing the brand of eggs you buy. It’s obvious by this study that organic on the carton, even certified organic may not really be true organic.

Learn more about healthy eating.

Healthy Veggie Burgers

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My big complaint about veggie burgers is that most you buy in the stores contain soy ingredients, canola oil and/or some form of MSG. It’s really hard to find a healthy veggie burger in the grocery store or your natural foods market.

When I came across this article on veggie burgers, I was very suspicious that they would contain some of these harmful ingredients. I was pleasantly surprised.

Millet Burger with Chive Pesto

All healthy ingredients.

Beans and Greens Burger

Calls for orange zest. Make sure you make it from organic oranges only. Non organic oranges can be artificially colored with Citrus Red. No. 2, which is a possible carcinogen.

Calls for toasted whole grain bread crumbs. Make sure they’re free of harmful chemical additives. Better yet, make your own from organic, sprouted grain, flourless bread.

Calls for olive oil to cook the burgers. A better cooking oil is coconut oil. Organic coconut oil has had the coconut flavor removed and still has the healthy, therapeutic properties of coconut oil.

Mushroom and Black Bean Burger

Calls for olive or canola oil to cook the burgers. Skip the canola oil. It is an unhealthy oil. And as I mentioned above, coconut oil is a better choice for cooking than olive oil.

Calls for stale or toasted sandwich bread to make breadcrumbs. Best to use organic, sprouted grain, flourless bread.

Calls for hamburger buns or hard rolls. Flourless, sprouted grain is your best choice. However if, like me, you don’t like using buns or rolls, try wraping your burger in a couple big leaves of lettuce. It’s a great way to have sandwiches without the bread.

Lentil Almond Burger

Calls for olive oil for cooking. I recommend organic coconut oil.

Calls for celery. Make sure you buy organic. Celery is #1 on the 2010 list with the most pesticides.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burger

Calls for whole spelt flour or other flour. If you use other flour, make sure it is whole grain.

Calls for tamari. Traditionally made tamari, as made in Japan, is fermented over long periods of time and is one of the few soy products that have the least harmful effects. However, made in America, the processing is modern, high speed and very unlike traditional processing. Modern soy sauces may contain dangerous levels of toxic chemicals. “The safety of commercial soy sauces cannot be assured.” Reference, The Whole Soy Story, by Kaayla Daniel.

If you can get traditionally prepared tamari imported from Asia, then that would be a better choice than American made. I personally substitute Celtic Sea Salt in recipes that call for tamari or soy sauce.

If you enjoy veggie burgers, give these a try. They’re definitely more healthy than the pre-made ones you buy in the stores.

Fake Chicken

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Do you ever let your kids eat Chicken McNuggets? If so, do you know how much chicken is in a Chicken McNugget?

There is actually less than 50%. That’s right, less than half of a Chicken McNugget is chicken.

So, what makes up the other 50% of this kids favorite?

“…corn derivatives, sugars, leavening agents and completely synthetic ingredients.”
In other words, highly processed ingredients, most of which are probably genetically engineered, MSG, canola and/or soy oil, a toxic preservative and an antifoaming agent.

Find out more.

Tasty Veggie Dip

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1 cup filtered water
2/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 teaspoon
Celtic Sea Salt®
1 thin slice fresh onion
1 clove fresh garlic
1 heaping teaspoon Italian Herbs
3 tablespoons raw, unfiltered, apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy and smooth.
Chill at least 30 minutes before serving.

This is great with all kinds of raw veggies and is a healthy alternative to Ranch dressing. It can also be used as a salad dressing.

Adapted from Sunny Salad Dressing in The Guilt-Free Gourmet: A Vegan Cookbook & Lifestyle Resource Manual

Is There A Healthy Natural Sugar?

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If you’ve looked for a healthy sugar, you’ve probably seen things like turbinado sugar, raw sugar, evaporated cane juice, whole cane sugar or organic sugar. But are these any healthier than regular sugar? Although the manufacturers would like you to believe that these are healthy alternatives to plain sugar, that’s not necessarily the case.

Here’s a very good article … “The Truth About Evaporated Cane Juice” that is very enlightening and actually does give you a recommendation for a healthy sugar – the sugar that I actually do recommend.

Read the article to find out more.

For more help with choosing healthy food, get the FREE Healthy Eating E-Class. Work through all the lessons and implement what you learn. It is guaranteed to get you eating healthfully in 5 easy lessons … if you follow the plan.

Healthy Snacks Your Whole Family Will Enjoy

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Celery, apple slices or banana with peanut butter – the celery, apple and peanut butter should be organic. Remember, celery had the most pesticide residue of all produce items tested by the Environmental Working Group in 2010, and apples were the fourth worst. Buy only organic celery and apples.

Almonds and raisins – all nuts should be eaten raw or soaked and dehydrated. There are no really true raw almonds grown in the U.S. anymore. All U.S. almonds, even organic are required to be “pasteurized” to kill any microbes that might cause health problems. The only truly raw almonds are imported.

Plain whole milk yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit – mix the fruit in with the yogurt and add a little stevia if you’d like a sweeter taste. Make sure the yogurt is organic, or at least from free range, grass fed cows, NOT fed antibiotics or hormones.

Nuts in shells – all kinds … walnuts, filberts, Brazil nuts, almonds. Have fun cracking them open and eating them from the shells.

Popcorn – made in a hot air popper, drizzled with real melted butter, Celtic Sea salt, a little cayenne pepper or any other herbs and spices that you like. Organic popcorn is best. NEVER make microwave popcorn!

Eat fresh fruit – all kinds. Mix several different varieties for a delicious fruit salad.

Get creative. You can snack on any healthy food that you like.