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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Heart Wednesday - The Morning Smoothie's 1:26 on Thursday morning, but I'm doing my best.

Each morning Havah and I enjoy a fruit smoothie. We try to make it as yummy as possible, but keep still keep it simple.

Starting your morning with fruit, even if it is just a piece of fruit means that you are filling your body with alcaline forming, vitamin rich food.

My smoothie is a bit different each morning. I keep several key things in the fridge to make it a success.

Left Over Bananas
Organic Peaches
Organic Berries (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, etc.)
Any ripe fruit that was about to go bad on the counter

100% juice (my personal preference is anything but apple or grape - they don't always taste or combine well with what I'm making)
Raw Almonds (usually soaked)

Any combination of two to all of the the above gets tossed into my vitamix and blended on high for about a minute. I use half juice and half water when I'm adding the liquid. Frozen fruit can often not be as sweet as you would expect because they flavor doesn't really come alive until things are at room temperature. A room temperature fruit smoothie just seems kind of gross. Adding the juice will increase the sweet flavor. Using half juice and half water means I'm not overloading myself with sugar that my body can't handle.

I always toss in a handful of raw, soaked almonds. This adds some protein and will help keep my blood sugar stable for hours to come. Raw almonds are the only alcaline forming nut. They also add a yogurt like taste to the smoothie.

The berries and peaches are organic because they have a very high pesticide residue even after washing them. Pesticides are there to ward off and kill bugs. Definitely not something that you want to put in your body on a regular basis. In past years I have not been such a stickler for organic fruit, but since we are consuming it daily and in high quantity it is becoming a higher priority. Honestly, when I use conventional berries Havah tends to keep a diaper rash and her skin isn't as soft.

I price hunt of frozen fruit as it can be expensive if you buy it all at Whole Foods. Here in KC I find the best prices are at Price Chopper, Costco and I get the organic stuff from our food cooperative or Whole Foods.

I could make this every morning, but at least once a week I feel the need to change things up.

Now for something completely different.

The Beloved Coconut Shake

1 young Thai coconut (sean likes his coconuts like his women...just ask him)
1/2 cup raw soaked almonds
2 T of natural sweetener (maple syrup, dates, honey or agave - risky i know)
1 T of vanilla extract (though sometimes I like more)
1/2 c ice

Open that young Thai coconut and pour in all the water - freezing the meat or adding a bit for some extra good fat. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend on high for 1-2 minutes. This makes the most amazing morning shake. Packed with tons of nutrition, good fat and electrolytes.

It is pretty easy to get creative with this. We often add:
orange zest (think cream sickle)
cacao - risky again!
coffee grounds

So enjoy your mornings! Make a great smoothie. It doesn't require much but a blender and a few minutes. There's no worrying about fruit going bad on your counter and your kids will love it.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Misconception Monday

After an amazing week with my family I will attempt to blog regularly again. Attempt...

They Henry's always eat healthy.


While I have packed my little brain full of glorious nutrition and health information - I break and bed the rules. This doesn't exactly mean that I have ice cream every time I want ice cream. It does mean that this week I had cupcakes on two occasions this week. Next week I will not be eating cupcakes.

As a general rule the Henry's eat food for meals, that almost always means plants. At times that can mean plants on pizza! We love the Vegetarian Gourmet Pizza from Papa Murphy's.

I was watching a video on Paul Nison's blog this week where he interviewed Frederic Patenaude. I can't remember the exact quote, but Patenaude said something along the lines of, "It's not what we eat in a meal that counts, but what we eat in a day." I'm not looking to every piece of food I put in my body to provide me with perfect health, though that does make a huge impact. I first look to The Creator. Health and life are a gift from Him! Life is a gift as well and I plan to enjoy it! Sometimes that means I enjoy food that bends and breaks the rules of what I know to be healthy. They may be high in fat, salt, sugar and refined something (hello cupcake), but these things are the exception. I've worked hard and long (longer than I'd like to admit) to kick my addictions to these brain stimulating foods. They can be just like drugs. Being eight months pregnant means that the battle is raging!

In order to win this battle I change my expectations. There are seasons of total abstinence, raw food and not breaking a single one of those golden health rules. I love these seasons. I feel great. I know I'm doing my body a tremendous favor. The longer I eat this way the more I want to eat this way! Then there's the rest of the time. I don't want to set myself up for failure. That feels horrible and only leads to binging. This may not be the case for everyone, but I know myself well enough to know that if make food a religion I will fail miserably and food will fail me! I want to teach my children good lessons in health and nutrition. I want to help them make good life long decisions that will promote health and an enjoyable life. It is totally possible to have an enjoyable life on a raw food vegan diet. That just isn't a realistic life for my family.

I have my regular food patterns, the rule that I almost never dismiss. I take Barley Life every morning. I know that barley grass juice is one of the best things I can put into my body, so I don't skip it. Next I have a fruit smoothie or at least a piece of fresh, raw, ripe fruit. If I do these two things first thing in the morning I feel better all day and make better food choices all day. I also follow closely to a Levitical Diet. God gave us some rules about food that I think are most beneficial for long term health. Most days I choose to eat a plant based diet. I enjoy it and I understand the benefits that I reap from sticking with it. I don't beat myself up with my food facts, but I use them as tools in my tool belt. I use them to get what I want and to avoid what I don't want!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

It's in the Water

I've always known that fluoride was bad, but I didn't realize how bad. When I was younger I can remember one of my sisters had to have her front teeth replaced because fluoride had caused her teeth to rot! The dentist that told us that and replaced those teeth gave me regular fluoride treatments when I would go for a cleaning.

In my last post on coconut oil I confessed how hard it has been for me to give up deodorant. Now for my next confession...I love to use "normal" Colgate toothpaste. I have used the Tom's (gross) and the TJs brand (not as bad) but have never successfully made the switch. I did have found a few that I thought were okay, but ouch - they are expensive. So...I'm considering making my own. The other bad thing about the store bought natural versions is that they almost always contain sodium laureth sulfate. I've read enough on it to know that it is something that really does not belong in your mouth. The next time you think about it take a peek at your labels friends. It is in almost every kind of soap (hand, dish, shampoo, toothpaste, carpet shampoo). Google it if you're interested in the topic because I'm not talking about SLS today, I'm talking about fluoride!

Actually, I'm doing talking and will let Dr Kim from take it from here. Check out this video. I thought it was good.

5 Things to Consider About Fluoride Author: Dr. Kim, March 19th, 2010

I began doing some research in preparation for this blog post on fluoride, and there’s just SO MUCH info out there. I just don’t have the time to learn most of it, and I don’t like super long posts. So, here are my5 main points. The longer, original post with more info and links is below:

1. Fluoride is a man-made TOXIC BYPRODUCT. Meaning, it’s chemical waste that would cost billions of dollars to dispose of properly.

2. Fluoride is the active toxin in rat poisons and cockroach powder. It has been proven to be deadly, and harmful even in small doses.

3. Your body is not capable of metabolizing fluoride. Whatever goes in, stays in. It gets stored in your fat, where most toxins are kept. The only way to rid your body of it is through a purposeful detoxification.

4. Fluoride in small doses added topically to your teeth MAY help reduce cavities. There seem to be more studies showing that it causes tooth decay. (And whatever is happening to your teeth is also happening to your bones–you just don’t see it) The problem is, we get MUCH more than just a little, and if we’re drinking it, it’s not just topical.

5. Adding fluoride to your water without your consent is, in my opinion, horribly unjust. If you have fluoridated water, everything you drink and cook, and even bathing adds fluoride to your body. Call your water company to find out if you have fluoridated water.

What Is Fluoride?

Fluorine is an element. It is a gas, never occurring in its free state. In microscopic amounts complexed with other minerals, it is often listed as a trace mineral, a nutrient for human nutrition.

This has nothing to do with fluoride or fluoridation. The fluoride added to 90% of drinking water is hydrofluoric acid which is a compound of fluorine that is a chemical byproduct of aluminum, steel, cement, phosphate, and nuclear weapons manufacturing. Such fluoride is manmade. In this form, fluoride has no nutrient value whatsoever. It is one of the most caustic of industrial chemicals. Fluoride is the active toxin in rat poisons and cockroach powder. Hydrofluoric acid is used to refine high octane gasoline, to make fluorocarbons and chlorofluorocarbons for freezers and air conditioners, and to manufacture computer screens, fluorescent light bulbs, semiconductors, plastics, herbicides, — and toothpaste.

It also has the ability to burn flesh to the bone, destroy eyes, and sear lungs so that victims drown in their own body fluid.

Yeah. I want to drink that.

Once in the body, fluoride is a destroyer of human enzymes. It does this by changing their shapes. In human biochemistry, thousands of enzymes are necessary for various essential cell reactions that take place every second we‘re alive. Without enzymes, we‘d die instantaneously.

Here‘s the short version: fluoride is a toxic byproduct in the manufacture of nuclear arms, aluminum, cement, steel, and phosphates.

Millions of tons of this poison are produced every year. Imagine the cost of containing and disposing of those mountains of waste every year. It‘s in the billions.

But what if lobbyists from these industries could present “scientific studies” paid for by the industries, and provide for a continual stream of media presentations about the health benefits of fluoride, and create unimaginably lucrative positions for “research” and “education” within the American Dental Association and the AMA, and do all these things in a consistent and unending way, year after year?

What are the economic advantages of that? Simple: instead of paying money to dispose of toxic waste, money could now be made by selling fluoride to the water companies of the nation.

They‘ll use the public water supply as a sewer for industrial wastes. And now with these new billions added instead of subtracted, there‘s plenty to go around, for everyone involved. Out of the Red, into the Black.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

I Heart Wednesday - Coconut Oil

I heart coconut oil. says:

Coconut oil is extracted from the kernel or meat of matured coconut harvested from the coconut palm.

Of all of the things in my pantry the coconut oil might get more use than anything else.

I use it for all kinds of things.
Deodorant - I make my own. The main ingredient is coconut oil. Oh friends, I have a list of products that I have held onto dearly through the years while I transitioned to a healthy, natural lifestyle. "Normal" deodorant was on the top two of the list. I have clung to my aluminum filled deodorant, failing miserably ever time I tried to give it up. Come on, who wants to stink?? Surprisingly, this has been a MUCH easier transition than I would have expected. The recipe I use works much better than Tom's, Jason's or any other natural deod I've tried.

Make-up Remover - massage into your skin and over eyes then rinse off with a warm wash cloth - I LOVE this part of my day

Moisturizer - there are so many strange things in lotion. Skin is SO thin. Whatever you put on your skin goes into your blood stream. Not only does it work really well, but it is purely plant oil. Nothing strange about it and it smells nice. Perfect for dry baby skin (cradle cap, paci face, winter dry skin, red skin around a runny nose - you get the idea).

Hair Goo - Pregnancy hair has not been so nice to me. Most days my hair ends up in a pony tail or bun. On the other days I use a little to smooth down the frizz.

Diaper Rash Cream - When Havah was in diapers (and sometimes still) I would rub a little on her tush when she started to look rashy. I have had to use other creams, but this is my first choice and usually her skin responds pretty quickly.

Anti-fungal cream - Confession...I have a weird toe nail. I suspect a nail fungus (ewww gross!). It has been that way since I was 11, so it's been a few years. I've started applying apple cider vinegar and coconut oil. I've noticed a tremendous improvement in the nail since I've started doing this regularly. I know several folks who've had rashes quickly disappear by applying coconut oil regularly. A much better option than most RX creams that kill everything alive on your skin.

I think you get the idea. If it doesn't look normal just put some windex...I mean coconut oil... on it.

In the kitchen I use it:

In place of crisco - I've made some delish chocolate covered strawberries recently. Adding 2 tablespoons of c/o has made them pretty close to perfect.

In raw recipes - I have a few favorites, like Andrea's Raw Cheesecake, that call for coconut oil. They are usually luxury items, but oh they are good.

Whenever we need to "cook" with the oil (sautéed veggies, baked potatoes, making popcorn, etc). I don't advocate using oil on a regular basis in food because it just doesn't promote health and can contribute to heart disease, but if you are going to use it - and I do - this is the one to grab!

The rule of thumb with oils and cooking is - if it is solid at room temperature it is safe to cook with (butter, c/o). I do sometimes make eggs in butter, but really I prefer to use the c/o if I'm going to cook with oil. There is no cholesterol in the coconut oil and there's plenty in the butter.

So there -put some coconut oil on it!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Myth Busting Monday

If you buy it from the health food store it must be healthy!

Many times I have walked into Whole Foods and checked my brain at the door. It's so easy. You can just turn on auto-pilot and start filling your cart! Unfortunately, just because something comes from the health food store does not make what you are buying healthy. No, not everything at the health food store is organic, actually "whole food" or even good for you! If you go to Trader Joe's and buy sugar - guess what folks - it is still just as bad as any other sugar and might as well be from the discount grocer. I LOVE to shop at health food markets like Whole Foods. It is easier to find the things that actually are healthy foods, organic produce and some of those hard to find products that might not be available anywhere else. But quite often things are over priced at these grocers.

I may write more on these topics later, but just so you get the idea:

Ice cream at the health food market is STILL ICE CREAM! There may be less chemicals, but I'm betting there's still just as much sugar and fat!

Just because the vitamins come from the health food market does not make them good for you.

The "snacks" at the HFM most of the time are still junk food!

Just because the packaging says - Good for you, less fat, less calories, less salt, vegan, gluten free, raw, organic bla bla bla does not mean that it is any of the things!

Just because it is organic does not make it healthy. Come on...I can buy organic dog food, but I'm not going to eat it! On a side note, there are a few things that should always be organic, but the list is pretty short.

I can buy whatever I want from the HFM, buy some oil while I'm there, take it home and deep fry it. While this might taste like a piece of heaven it is probably not good for me.

All of that said, again - I still LOVE the health food markets and suggest that you support them! At the same time, I make it a practice to buy healthy, whole food items at the regular grocer nearest to my house. When I go into Price Chopper I make sure I buy a piece of organic fruit every time I go in. I want my local market to know that I want and will buy good, local, organic products! While the HFM already recognizes the need for these things my neighborhood grocer may not! When I'm at Wal-Mart I might buy the organic, local apple just to tell them - HEY! I want to support my local farmer! I want to support the biodynamic farmers who are growing food in a way that supports health for people and the planet.