Monthly Archives: February 2013

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5 Fats that Won’t Make You Fat

From the Hungry For Change website. A good follow up to my previous skinny post. Enjoy!

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The Skinny on Fat – Is low fat good for you?

Mentality of the 2012 dietician: Eat low fat, no fat, reduced fat, lean fat, find the label with the LEAST AMOUNT OF FAT ON IT! Don’t you dare pick up a 2% milk when skim is available. And they make no fat cream cheese now. How much fat is in it? Do you eat butter? Sugar is fat free, have you tried eating just sugar?

Courtesy of Stefanie Says

Courtesy of Stefanie Says

BIG LESSON TO LEARN TODAY: 60% OF YOUR BRAIN IS COMPOSED OF FAT !!!!!!!!

I know what you all want to know…

What does fat do exactly?

Fats are NECESSARY for human nutrition and brain function. Fats punch more calories per ounce over any other macro-nutrient, thus being a fuel for energy and a reason to eat more of it. (do you ever find yourself tired when eating poorly?)

Fats transport NUTRIENTS such as Vitamins A, D, E and K. Fats help compose cell membranes and protect vitals organs from trauma and temperature changes. They insulate the body and help create temperature regulation. They also help food have a stable texture and make things taste better. This is why you’ll see more ingredients (usually chemicals) added to low fat labels – to make it look and taste the same as the full fat counterpart. Look for yourself next time you’re near a label – even skim milk has sugar added to it. Full fat milk does not.

The Jargon can be confusing

Do I want more polyunsaturated, long chain triglycerides, extra stearic acid or some saturated medium chain fatty acids? FORGET IT. Simply put, you need them all. Some more than others of course, but the real point I want to make it that fat itself is healthy and needed and that you should seek to learn about the QUALITY of fat, not the quantity of it!

What to look for

In an ever changing grocery store, you can be overwhelmed at which choice is the “right choice”. I’m going to make these easy – you want the most complete molecule of food possible! Seek to buy WHOLE FOODS. How did the milk come out of the cow? At around 4-5% fat, it’s not that much more than the partially skimmed 1-2% that went into a centrifuge to separate out the “evil” fat from the rest of the water. Skim milk is a processed food! Then we pasteurize it so it’s a dead white liquid with some sugar by the end of the day, maybe with some synthetic vitamins added back into it, if you’re lucky. Thanks Dairyland! (my sarcasm is awesome). It doesn’t matter what the food is, you want it as close to the source it came out of BECAUSE nature intended it to be that way. The nutrients are there for a reason and need to be together to digest properly and provide optimal nutritional benefits. You will not get fat. You will get smart! You will feed your brain all of the warm, delicious, nutrient rich fats it needs. Why do you think they say kids need so much fat while growing? To develop their brain. We still need fat as adults too.

Good fat examples: nuts, seeds, unprocessed coconut oil, olive oil, flaxseed oil, fish oil, wild fish, avocado, clean meats, fresh cheese, grass fed butter, and many other forms of whole food dairy.

courtesy of Jerseyland Organics

courtesy of Jerseyland Organics- non-homogenized FULL FAT yogurts

What to avoid

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should run out and eat only fat or an intensively high fat diet. It just means you should avoid the chemicals, processed and removed-fat products and replace them with the best whole foods one you can find. I was shocked to see the list of ingredients on Dairyland’s sour cream. They recently made a ploy to take down the local supplier in our grocery stores. I protested via email and within a few weeks Sicamous’ DeDutchman’s sour cream (with only 3 ingredients) was back on the shelf! Local and with fewer ingredients!!! I no longer support any large label dairy companies because they don’t want was is best or healthiest for you – but what is best and most profitable for them. And the big players aren’t afraid to wave their muscles to get more space. Sad, but I’ve seen it first hand! The other major item to avoid is trans- fats via hydrogenation. If you see the words “hydrogenated” anywhere on the label, RUN! That means the oil or fat wasn’t shelf stable enough for their liking so they add hydrogen gas to make it semi-solid and less likely to go rancid. This process removes some of the healthy unsaturated fatty acids and has shown horrible health consequences. “A recent study has also raised possibilities of delay in infant development because of the mother’s excess intake of trans-fatty acids”. The TFA’s can cross via placenta and breastfeeding!

The worst offender is the oil used in fast food restaurants. It’s is the cheapest vegetable oil they can find, it is almost guaranteed to be a GM oil and it is re-used at extremely high heats causing the oil to actually to go rancid while having no effect on the end-product’s taste. Have you seen them pour it out? Sometimes it’s nearly black and full of bits of food accumulated throughout the week. Disgusting!

Bad fat examples: deep fried foods, cheap vegetable oils, shelf stable products, industrialized or large scale dairy, removed fat products, chemical replacements such as margarine, unclean meats and hydrogenated items.

Hopefully we will change the 2013 dietician into some whole-foods-sense!!!
What do we use?

Low heat/dressings: organic virgin olive oil from Costco Canada
High heat: organic coconut oil from Trader Joes or Costco Canada
Butter: organic butter from Costco USA
Milk: organic whole fat or highest fat, never homogenized, local companies first
Cheese: organic raw full fat cheese from Jerseyland Cheese
Supplements: wild cod liver oil, New Chapter

What do you use and how do you feel about FAT!!!!??

Easy vegetarian taco salad

Many pro-animal activists are suggesting we all try to support local and loved meat by eating fewer meals with animal products (even one a week) so that you spend the same amount for better meat! I am a HUGE fan of eating less meat and an even bigger fan of eating CLEAN meat! Don’t use meat-a-tarian excuses because I live with a meat lover. I understand the struggle. Our family testing out these types of recipes is perfect to see how easy or difficult the change can be. According to this recipe, it’s EASY!!! And since taco salad is his favorite weekly meal, the real test was seeing if it tasted good too. He ate two giant plates and packed the rest for lunch. Success!

We never really used beans much for the past three years (sad, I know) except for chocolate bean cake of course! So we invested in some organic beans. We cooked them in a giant pot and froze them into portions appropriate for our family’s size. Any kind of bean can be frozen this way. Then we throw steam them in a pan, until thawed, then add any veggies on hand like onions, carrot, zucchini, cabbage and our favorite MSG-free Mexican seasoning and spices (pre mixed or make your own with cumin, paprika and chili spices etc). Add a small pour of organic tomato sauce to intensify the flavor, and mix well until the carrots are cooked to your liking. Iphone mid-cooking photo and proof I cook for 6 people (we eat a lot!):

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Ingredients side note: Beans used for this particular meal were frozen kidney, canned organic navy and canned organic chickpeas. Organic tomato sauce and spinach from Costco. We also prepare a pot of rice to make it go further!

Then do this (iPhone pics):

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Organic cheese, salsa and sour cream on top are my favorite part! Try it next time you are stuck for ideas. This is an easy 30 minute meal!

BEST PIZZA IN KELOWNA + GIVEAWAY

I am probably more excited than most of the city for finding this gem of a restaurant! We love to make homemade pizza but sometimes you just want to go out! We’ve tried almost every pizza place around and find “mediocre freshness” and “ok tasting” are the most popular adjectives we’ve used. We recently tried Panago’s multi grain veggie pizza thinking it might be the closest thing to healthy out there, but it was SO disappointingly flavorless. I had given up on pizza in this city.

Less than 2 weeks ago, I found out that DeBakker’s Kitchen in Glenmore produces hand made, partially organic and mostly all local ingredient pizza in their STONE OVEN with local apple wood to boot! I didn’t want to get too excited but I ventured in for a taste and this is what came out:

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The next words out of my mouth: THIS IS THE BEST PIZZA I’VE HAD IN KELOWNA EVER!!!

They do a full lunch and dinner menu with some amazing sounding specials on their boards! Plus some organic wines/beer, organic loose leaf tea and organic oxtail french onion soup that I hear good reviews on. They also sell a range of other fun items to-go like organic eggs ($4/dz), muffins, fresh breads, blondies, granola and homemade frozen soups/lasagnas for your convenience:

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Check out these specials below: Italian Ice Cream and Lamb Sausage Pizza?! Yum!

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Website under updating, but hours and information still available here.

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So DeBakker’s wants you to WIN a free night of dine in pizza for two! (Up to a value of $40). Just follow the contest at http://www.facebook.com/OrganicIsAwesome and use this pizza menu to choose your favorite pizza!!!!!! “Make your own” is also a good answer aside from the 10 listed! Good luck.

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Contest rules:

1. DeBakkers and OIA hold all rights to remove the offer at anytime.
2. Dine in only so you can experience the fresh taste and exceptional atmosphere.
3. Value of $40 used as a gift certificate to cover all charges except gratuity, must include at least one pizza!
4. One winner selected at random
5. Contest opens Feb 14th and closes Monday Feb 18th at 4pm.

Healthy Homemade Organic Ice Cream (DQ ingredients revealed!)

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Just a few years ago, we realized ice cream was no longer ice cream at all! With ingredients like corn syrup, guar gum and flavorings, we banned ice cream from our house all together. Have you actually read what is in DQ “ice cream”? Get ready.. one small cone please…

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And we serve this to children? Obviously a life without ice cream wasn’t an option so I immediately ordered an ice cream maker and figured I would start to learn how to make amazing ice cream. I read all kinds of long-winded, over-the-stove, cool-for-3-hrs recipes and got a little discouraged. After a few years of playing around I finally found a mom-friendly recipe good for when you have only TWENTY MINUTES to show time! I recently tested this on my friend Richard who was visiting and he thought it was acceptable to share with the world! So here you go.

What you will need: frozen ice cream maker, any kind of organic cream, any kind of organic milk, any kind of organic sugar and vanilla bean is ideal but you can substitute for any flavor of ice cream (fruit, cocoa etc)

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I’m a free pourer so I tried to measure but this could be subject to your own sweetness and preferences (more cream=smoother):

4 cups total of cream and milk, start with about half of each
2 tablespoons of sugar
half of one vanilla bean
optional: pinch of mineral salt

Mix well. Add in vanilla bean and mix again. Turn on ice cream maker (a must before you pour for Kitchenaid attachment) and POUR IT IN!

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How to open vanilla bean (cheapest at Costco):

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Slice open one side of the bean with a sharp knife
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Scrape out with a spoon, you can go over it a few times if necessary

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Although it sticks together, you should be able to mix it into the ice cream fairly evenly with a whisk. Wait about 20 min for the ice cream to turn into a “soft serve” texture like this:

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Serve immediately.

Or my personal favorite… use for waffle sandwiches! Mmmm

 

Watch out for “Mum” or “Mom” Marketing!

I AM OVERWHELMED with the amount of products aimed at parents to “practice how to snack” or making a drink “just for moms”. That is called creative target marketing. Snacking isn’t practiced, you just give them food and they do it and drinks for moms include water and a variety of other clean beverage choices, no need for flavoring, vitamins or other fancy looking ingredients. I wanted to bring to everyone’s attention the following new and popular offenders:

Organic Mum Mums (I won’t even look at the non-organic)

Ok without going too crazy lets review the main ingredients:

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JAPONICA RICE: white short grain germ-removed rice
SUGAR: number 2 ingredient!
POTATO STARCH: a very refined starch extract from potatoes for thickener, tolerates higher temperatures than corn starch
SEA SALT: processed salt with no minerals intact

Now look at the vitamins, fat and calories chart – do you seen any benefit to them at all? I see some sodium and some sugar alongside almost no calories or protein. As much as they aren’t “that bad”, they are good for children in any category. Something worth considering.

Healthy Day-Stable Alternatives? (meaning you can take with you and not worry it will need go bad) Organic sprouted bread, brown rice cakes, homemade baked goods without sugar, using fruit or reduced sugar. On the fresh side, some carrot sticks will last quite nearly a whole day just fine and are great for teething, gnawing or sucking on! (at least they might suck some real vitamins out of it haha)

Next, the newest offender, that isn’t organic yet but worth talking about, is the Similac Mom Beverages. I couldn’t believe my eyes. They suggest this to PREGNANT mothers! Read it for yourself:

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Again, sugar listed second. Both GM friendly soy and corn are listed multiple times. The vitamins are synthetic proven by the “dl” prefix, artificial flavor and color listed, and then there are the words you can’t pronounce. My favorite part is the mention of coconut oil as an intolerance, but not listed as an ingredient. This is me taking apart ONE ingredient. I chose the last one- cyanocobalamin because I didn’t even know what is was. Let’s learn together:

“If your vitamin label says cyanocobalamin, it is a cheap, synthetic chemical made in the laboratory that is produced with cyanide. Low-end vitamin manufacturers use this to claim that their product “contains vitamin B-12.” They won’t tell you that this form of B-12 is bound to a toxic cyanide molecule that must then be detoxified from your body by your liver.”

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/036367_vitamin_B-12_cyanide_cyanocobalamin.html#ixzz2KC3dPcLt

Also everyone is into the Omega movement, including myself. But it helps to know that the ideal ratio of Omega 6: Omega 3 is 1:1 or 2:1. We have an average intake of 10-20:1 in our American diets. This drink is 7 times to the negative of the ideal ratio. But if you didn’t know what ratio to look out for, this would look like great information! Well marketed indeed.

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How else can I say “PLEASE DON’T LET FRIENDS WHO ARE PREGNANT, OR NOT, DRINK THIS!”. This also goes for most every faux beverage supplement, protein, vitamin powder mixture out there including the replacement category like Body By Vi which is made with sucralose (Splenda). Just stick to water, some fresh juices, regular treats like milkshakes once in a while and smoothies from frozen fruit. I will make it my mission to help every mother, father and child out there to eat whole foods for the rest of my life but it will only help if you become aware and share! Be sure to study the ingredients carefully before purchasing. There are clear reasons to avoid to the profit-driven poorly-constructed shelf-stable “snacks” parents are flocking to.

Any other popular scary items marketed to moms you’ve seen lately?

The “best” cloth diaper advice

I’m going to call this post “ORGANIC BUM CARE 101”. Why am I posting about diapering on a health and wellness blog you ask? Because I care about everything chemical and diapers are a big one. Not only do they leach them into the baby’s skin but also into the environment and landfills which I care about deeply. And if you are reading this right now, you probably do too. Aside from where to buy organic meat and what to feed our children, the other big question I get asked almost weekly is what kind of cloth diaper to use. Now, after writing at least a dozen individual responses in the past couple months, I can amalgamate them into ONE place, filled with thorough thoughts and information.

Background

I have a 10 month old daughter who we decided to use cloth diapering on from the beginning. I spent about 8 months studying, learning, touching and researching all of the brands I could find. Since then, a few people have seen my success posts and “joy of cloth diapering” if you will, so when they reach time to have a babe of their own I immediately get a message! I absolutely think everyone can do this.

I don’t think there is much need for me to review ALL OF THE MANY BENEFITS of cloth diapering but I do want to mention the lack of knowledge about the 50+ chemicals that are present in plastic diapers. They leech directly into the baby’s skin and are a cause of rashes and irritation that are covered up with more chemicals (diaper creams). Rash care should be simplified to edible organic oils like olive, almond or coconut oil and lots of fresh air, with extra changes, until cleared up. Options include taking the diaper off for nap time if they don’t move around too much, or having play time in the bath tub or outside in the grass diaperless! Baby powders have fragrance and are of no need.

The “Other” Disposable Diaper

Some people choose to get biodegradable diapers like Seventh Generation and I think they are PERFECT for travel and long outings or even overnight care, however they still have two major flaws. They are the most expensive diapers out there. Also, they aren’t environmentally perfect. Some brands dye their diapers a light brown to make it “look” like a natural fiber. Who knows what else there could be but let me make it clear – biodegradable is the next best choice!

The “perfect” cloth diaper

-no snaps(velcro preferred by most moms and snaps add bulk)
-not bulky(many kids clothes won’t fit the all-in-one sizes)
-has separate inserts(easy to carry around, smaller wet bag needed, can make them yourself inexpensively)
-has lasting outer shells (so you need fewer diapers overall)
-easy to wash
-look cute!
-function with minimal leaks
-dry quickly

So without further adieu, I am happy to share my TWO favorite brands of cloth diapers I have ever come across. Keep in mind, I haven’t seen every brand in the world and anything similar to the functions of these two brands are considered equal!

G Diapers (click to read more)

Gdiapers.ca sizing

Gdiapers.ca sizing

This is the brand I ended up buying, on sale and even found some on clearance! Regardless of price, I love them because I only need 6 diapers of each size small, medium and large (skip the newborn unless you have premies and potty train before the xl). So the starter kit for 6 with inserts or a box of biodegradable disposables is $150. We have a 10 month old and she is still in mediums with room to spare so this year cost the average person $300 plus extra inserts in diapering. CHEAP! I highly recommend making your own inserts as their brand is sub-par for absorption. The other reason I love them – you don’t need pants in the summer! They are a stretchy cotton feeling fabric. I have so many pictures of pants-less baby:

Who needs pants?

Who needs pants?

And they often have special prints such as XO’s for around $24:

2013 print

2013 print

What we don’t like: sometimes the breathable plastic liner gets stinky if you can’t disinfect it in the sun. Costs $3 to replace each one as they get stained/stinky.

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SoftBums (click to read more)

These are the first all-in-one system that seemed to avoid the bulky, snappy, ugly problem! They have pull strings inside to change the size of the diaper called Slide2Size and they go from TINY to 40lbs! They also have a snap in liner that is removable, which we love!

The Echo

The Echo

It’s not as easy to make the liners unless you forgo the snap in part or sew that on (I’m sure someone has done it!) but it’s certainly worth a look at the brand. I’ve been told the cotton liners absorb the best and the bamboo ones are the softest so you might want a few of each! Each Echo costs about $22 and the Omni shell about $25. Also with CUTE prints:

Animals!!!

Animals!!!

What we don’t like: has no plastic liner inside so once you wet through the liner, you have to change over the entire diaper.

What you should do: TOUCH, SHOP AROUND, ASK, BORROW and BUY USED! Don’t waste your time testing out disposables and adding to the already over-burdened landfill – just commit and join the happy life of a crunchy green earthy dirt loving life! The technology has really made it easier than ever. I promise! What brand you do love???