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Archive for February, 2011

Sweet Potato Latkes

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1 medium sweet potato
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup brown rice flour
2 medium eggs
1 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt

Mix all ingredients. Fry in butter or organic coconut oil until brown. Turn. Fry on other side.

Enjoy!

Fake Pizza

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Here’s a healthier way to enjoy pizza…

Instead of using flour for the crust, use corn tortillas – made from corn, lime and water, preferably organic.

Put the tortillas on a baking sheet. Spread a little butter, organic coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil on each tortilla. Spread a little of your favorite, healthy tomato sauce -pasta sauce, salsa, plain tomato sauce – on each tortilla. Grate some raw milk cheese and sprinkle on each mini pizza. Add your favorite toppings – onions, olives, bell peppers, etc. If you add sausage or other meat, make sure it’s nitrate and nitrite free. Put it in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the pizzas are warm.

Enjoy with a green tossed salad with extra virgin olive oil, raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar and Celtic Sea Salt for dressing!

Interpreting Nutrition Facts

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Have you ever wondered, how to interpret the Nutrition Facts on a food package? They give you the total calories per serving, but everything else is in grams.

How many calories are from fats? How many from carbohydrates? And how many from protein?

Suppose we have a food item that has 200 calories per serving and each serving has 1 g of fat, 36 g carbohydrates and 13 g protein.

To convert grams to calories, you need to know that

  • 1 gram of fat = approximately 9 calories
  • 1 gram of protein = approximately 4 calories
  • 1 gram of carbohydrate = approximately 4 calories

In the 200 calorie example above, to get the number of calories for fat, protein and carbohydrates, multiply the number of calories per gram, by the number of grams, i.e.

Calories from fat = 9 calories/gram x 1 gram = 9 calories from fat

Calories from protein = 4 calories/gram x 13 gram = 52 calories from protein

Calories from carbohydrate = 4 calories/gram x 36 grams = 144 calories from carbohydrates

Since these conversions are approximate, the total calories adds up to a little over 200 (205), but it’s close enough to give you a good idea of how much of this food item comes from fats, protein and carbohydrates.

To figure out the percentage of fat in the product, just divide the number of calories of fat by the total calories: 9/205=4%

Percentage of protein = 52/205=25%

Percentage of carbohydrate = 144/205 = 70%

The calories in this food item are approximately 4% from fat, 25% from protein and 70% from carbohydrate.

This is explained in great detail in the book, Healthy Eating: For Extremely Busy People Who Don’t Have Time For It.

Is There Any Such Thing As Healthy Fast Food?

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Years ago when I was preparing to teach the class, Healthy Eating In A Fast Food World, I looked for healthy meals at fast food restaurants. I checked all the ingredients in every menu item offered at the restaurants who listed their complete ingredients list online. Interestingly, those restaurants that claimed to be healthy did not list their ingredients online and they would not reveal them to me! Makes you wonder, huh?

If you’re in a bind and you just have to eat at a fast food restaurant, here’s how you can do it at McDonald’s.

McDonald’s says their burgers are 100% beef, no fillers. Of course they will be from factory farmed animals, not grass fed free range. So not ideal, but better than meat mixed with soy extenders and other chemicals.

Take the burger off the bun, along with the lettuce, tomato and onion. Get rid of the bun, sauces, ketchup, mayonnaise and other seasonings. Eat the burger, lettuce, tomato and onion. You can add a little salt and pepper for seasoning.

Add a salad. Side salad is your best choice. It’s just vegetables. They’re not organic, but you’re not likely to get organic vegetables at any restaurant unless you go to an organic restaurant or to a health food store. Skip the salad dressing. Most prepared dressings contain MSG and soy or canola oil, commonly genetically engineered.

The Premium Caesar Salad contains pasteurized cheeses with genetically engineered enzymes (most pasteurized cheeses on the market contain GE enzymes) and natamycin, an anti fungal drug used as a mold inhibitor.

The Premium Southwest Salad (without chicken) is similar to the Caesar Salad plus it contains a vegetable blend with roasted corn and black beans. This is okay. However, the tortilla strips contain genetically engineered oils (corn, soy) and hidden MSG (autolyzed yeast) and other undesirable food additives. Toss the tortilla strips.

You might think that a chicken salad would be a healthy choice. Let’s take a look at the Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken. The chicken contains numerous ingredients that are hidden sources of MSG, hydrolyzed proteins from GE corn and soy and a whole host of other harmful food additives. In addition, it’s prepared in liquid margarine = trans fat!

The salads with crispy chicken are also full of MSG and other undesirable food additives and preservatives.

The apples and grapes in the fruit and walnut salad are preserved with calcium ascorbate. That’s okay, but you’d be better off bringing your own organic fruit. Apples are high in pesticides as are imported grapes. Skip the yogurt and candied nuts because of the additives.

Check it out for yourself.  Click on “Food,” the specific food item you’re interested in. Then click on the “Nutrition” link. Scroll down for the ingredients.

Other fast food restaurants, but not all, have detailed ingredients lists online. When you check them out, make sure they list the ingredients the way they’re listed in the ingredients list on a package you would buy from the grocery store. Listing an ingredient, like cilantro dressing doesn’t tell you what’s in the dressing – most likely MSG, oils from GE corn and soy and a few other harmful chemicals.

So, if you find yourself in a bind and needing to stop at a fast food restaurant, you can avoid the worst choices by doing a little homework in advance. Take notes and keep them in your car, or where you have easy access to the info.

If you need help deciphering what all those ingredients mean, get a copy of FOOD ADDITIVES: A Shopper’s Guide To What’s Safe & What’s Not.

Dangerous Plastic Storage Containers

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Plastic bottles, storage containers and bags have been a convenience for many years. But are they safe?

Certain plastics leach BPA and other toxic chemical into the food you store in them. These you should avoid. Some plastics are safer than others.

The plastics you should never use are:

    • 3 vinyl, polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
    • 6 polystyrene (PS)
    • 7 other (includes polycarbonate, acrylic, polylactic acid, fiberglass)

If you must use plastic containers, safer choices are:

    • 1 polyethyelene terephthalate (PETE)
    • 2 high-density polyethylene (HDPE)
    • 4 low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
    • 5 polypropylene (PP)

But what about plastic bags and plastic wrap? Plastic bags are best avoided. If you must use plastic wrap, choose a brand that is BPA and PVC free, like Ziploc, Glad and Saran.

Read more…

Danger From Diet Soda

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New research is pointing to the possibility of a relationship between diet sodas and strokes.

A 10-year study showed that “daily diet soda drinkers … had a 48 percent higher risk of stroke or heart attack than people who drank no soda of any kind.”

While this study is done from a purely medical perspective, i.e. a non-healthy eating point of view, they don’t take into consideration that the chemicals and additives in this non-food may be a causative factor. However, just the fact that the mainstream medical arena is taking a look at this is a step in the right direction.

Healthy Lemonade

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Lemonade is usually made with sugar. But you know too much sugar isn’t good for you.

Here’s how you can make great tasting lemonade without sugar. And it’s a lot healthier for you too.

Squeeze 5 or 6 lemons in a glass quart pitcher.

Add filtered water.

Sweeten with Stevia, to taste.

Totally healthy. Drink as much as you like and enjoy!

Another Reason Not To Drink Colas

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It’s not bad enough that colas contain

  • sugar which leads to obesity and diabetes
  • phosphoric acid which can leach calcium from your bones leading to osteoporosis
  • caffeine which is a stimulant and addictive drug

Now there is evidence that the caramel coloring used in sodas contains cancer-causing contaminants.

Diet colas aren’t any better. The sugar is just replaced with artificial sweeteners which are actually more harmful than sugar.

So, what do you drink instead of soda? Water and herbal teas (caffeine free) are your best choices.You can add a little lemon or lime for flavor.

Choose pure water rather than tap water – filtered or reverse osmosis. You can get a home filter and fill up your own glass or stainless steel water bottles. It’s cheaper than buying bottled water, much of which is just expensive filtered tap water. You can also get water from a water store or vending machine. Make sure the water is filtered or reverse osmosis and the water vending machine is used and serviced frequently.

Find out the truth about bottled water in the 2011 EWG Bottled Water Scorecard Report

What if you’re so addicted to sodas that you just cannot quit? Here’s a way to wean yourself off the deadly drinks…

  • Cut the number of sodas you drink every day in half.
  • Don’t finish the soda. Drink half or less. Better yet, just take a sip or two.
  • Keep reducing the number of sodas you drink every day and the amount from each soda.

Eventually you will be free of the addictive and health-damaging control soda has over your life and you will be healthier for it.

Xylitol: Is It Really As Healthy As It’s Claimed To Be?

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Xylitol has been put on a pedestal. It is claimed to prevent tooth decay. It is said to be safe for diabetics. It is in everything from sugar-free chewing gum, candy and jams to breath sprays and toothpaste.

Touted as being natural, from birch bark, the xylitol on the market is really an industrial product, manufactured through a chemical process.

As an additive, xylitol has been shown to cause gastrointestinal distress, including gas, bloating and diarrhea. It has caused cancer in lab animals in high doses. It can cause weakness and seizures in pets.

Furthermore, no safety testing has been done with children. The levels that can cause adverse effects in children are UNKNOWN!

This is just one additive of the many thousands of chemicals added to our food. Learn more about food additives and how they can affect your health.

Food Additives and Hyperactivity in Kids

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The growing concern of parents about food additives causing hyperactivity in kids is leading the food industry to develop new food and drink products for kids that can claim to be free of artificial colors and flavors. The focus is on natural and organic.

Manufacturers are targeting more and more of their advertising directly to kids and at younger and younger ages. They are very conscious of making the packaging very appealing to kids.

Research shows that kids have more spending money and the food and drink manufacturers want to influence the kids to

  • spend it on their products
  • get their parents to spend it on their products.

What to watch out for here…

Even though these products claim to be natural and organic doesn’t mean that the ingredients are all healthy. In fact, natural is not legally defined, so manufacturers can use it even if a product has no natural ingredients at all.

Anything produced in a laboratory is processed to some degree. It’s not going to be as healthy as something picked from a tree or from your garden, or made from fresh produce from your grocery store, no matter how natural and organic it is.

If you must buy packaged products, it’s vitally important that you read the ingredients list. Nothing else on the package has any meaning if the ingredients are not healthy.

If you don’t understand every ingredient on the ingredients list, you can get help from the book, Food Additives: A Shopper’s Guide To What’s Safe & What’s Not. It classifies the additives according to safety and you’ll know, you won’t have to guess, if the product inside the package is healthy or not. The book is even simple enough for your kids to use when they’re choosing products they want to buy or want you to buy.

So, parents beware! The food manufacturers are targeting your kids with their advertising more than ever. Arm yourself with the tools that will help you and your kids to make informed choices.

Learn more about food additives.