Monday, September 19, 2011

Buying Local Meats & Preventing Drug Resistance

Excerpt from September 19th, 2011 Yahoo News, "Growing Concern over Drugs Fed to Animals.

Drugs fed to animals to promote growth and prevent diseases may play a key role in the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria, microbiologists said.The practice of administering large quantities of antimicrobial drugs "favors the emergence of drug resistant bacteria that can spread to humans through the consumption of contaminated food, from direct contact with animals or by environmental spread," said Awa Aidara-Kane of the World Health Organization.

Factory farming is an unnatural method of raising our livestock that requires pumping animals full of steroids and antibiotics. We have heard for many years that this will lead to antibiotic resistance of diseases we once thought long gone. Sadly, this predicted future is now here and will only continue until we take measures to correct it. Fortunately, you and your family can choose to be a part of the solution while also helping to protect yourselves.
Choose organic, grass fed, free range animals. For the most optimally raised livestock, visit your local farmer’s market and get to know your local farmers. 

Grass fed beef is not only free of antibiotic hormones but also contains a third the calories of traditional beef. In addition, grass fed beef,  compared to grain fed, contains high quantities of Conjugated Linoleic Acid, which has many documented health benefits including promoting lean muscle. There are many grass fed beef sources at natural grocers and plenty of restaurants are now serving grass fed burgers and steaks.

Free range, organic chicken is free of antibiotics and hormones that are  prevalent in 99% of commercially available chicken. Significantly healthier for you and your family, it is also said that free range, organic chicken tastes better. Not all chickens labeled 'Free Range' and 'Organic' are given optimal conditions and, in fact, Michael Pollan visited one of the more popular “Free Range / Organic” farms that is commercially available in many natural grocers and found that the chickens were only given these conditions during the last few weeks of their lives. A great resource for information is:

Bottom Line: Choose local and organic farms whenever possible.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Are your “healthy” beverages really healthy?

Excerpt from September 1, 2011 Yahoo! Health News, "Half of Americans Drink Daily soda, Sweet Beverage":
Half of Americans drink a soda or sugary beverage each day - many are downing much more than this. 1 in 20 people drink the equivalent of more than four cans of soda every day, even though health officials say sweetened beverages should be limited to less than half a can.
From Kim:
Over half of Americans are drinking a sugary drink each day. We know what you might be saying right now, “But, I don’t drink sodas”. Before you exempt yourself from the masses, we invite you to ask yourself: Am I drinking Packaged Teas, Juices, Flavored Waters or “health” beverages such as certain Kombucha’s that contain high amounts of sugar?

Labels can be deceptively seductive, making it easy to believe we are doing ourselves a favor even as each sip creates spikes in our blood sugar and sets off a cascade of negative health effects such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. It also triggers cravings, mood and energy issues: the very items that give rise to a pop of the sugar top.

Anything beyond an occasional 4-6 grams of sugar – whether through cane sugar or fructose - per serving is likely to set off the sugar cascade.

Unfortunately, artificial sweeteners, as inferred in the article, are not the antidote to sugar. They have much more dangerous effects than sugar including neurotoxins. Think they will help you shed the lb’s? In fact, many of our clients who eliminate artificial sweeteners before beginning our programs begin immediately melting away the very pounds they hoped to shed when they picked up their first diet drink.

Think instead you can reach for fruit juice? Fruit juices are loaded with fructose and behave similarly to sugar.

Sugar begets more sugar and learning to tame this beast will allow you to operate in a much healthier and happier zone. Click here to learn more about Solving the Craving Riddle.

What are some truly healthy beverages?

Top Natural Beverages:

  1. Plain Water
In a league of it’s own, there is no documented replacement for agua, plain and simple. Has your palette become so accustomed to sweets that this natural elixir has lost its sparkle? Try swapping out 1 non-water “beverage” every day for water. This natural progression will allow your palette to adjust slowly as it begins craving what truly nourishes its system. Click here for more information about your best bets when it comes to water.

Before we launch into “Healthier” beverage alternatives, it should be noted: There is no replacement for water. In other words, though we believe that the beverages below are healthier alternatives to the stealth sugar drink explosion, none of these should be used as a substitute. And in fact, for each glass of a non-water beverage consumed, an extra glass of water should be drank, even after something as seemingly innocuous as herbal teas.

  1. Herbal Teas
Brew your own herbal teas throughout the day and watch your cravings melt away. Having a cold or hot toddy to sip on throughout the day often sates the physical and emotional desire for something soothing. In warm summer months, Hibiscus or floral teas cool the senses.Whole Foods offers a gaggle of tasty and refreshing iced teas, ready to self-serve in the Coffee Bar. In warmer months, opt for smokier, robust flavors such as Rooibos or LoveLife Method’s Awake Tea, a delicious coffee substitute.

  1. Bragg's Apple Cider Beverages
If you are a fan of sweet and sour, you’ll love this unusual pairing. Fermented apple cider vinegar, mixed with spice and fruit and then sweetened with Stevia - most of these selections fall within our recommended range of less than 6 grams of sugar. Our favorite is their Apple and Cinnamon.

  1. GT Dave’s Kombucha
Not all Kombuchas are created equal and many Kombuchas contain as much as 20 grams of sugar per serving! Considering that most containers have two servings, this “health” beverage is landing you right up there with a coke. Kombucha makers will say that the net sugar content in these beverages is negligible due to the fermentation of the bacteria that feed on the sugar as their food source. While we are huge advocates of fermented foods and beverages and, understand that a small amount of sugar will allow the good bacteria to thrive, there is a law of diminishing returns to consider. For this reason, one of our favorite kombuchas is GT Daves. Most of their drinks are under 2 grams of sugar. Our latest favorite – Grape Chia flavor.

  1. Tonix Coconut Kefir
Coconut Kefir is a fermented fizzy beverage that contains loads of natural probitoics waiting to crowd out the unfriendly bacteria that create a range of issues as it makes a cozy home in your belly. With only 2 grams of sugar, this effervescent beverage will delight your taste buds, your senses and your body.

Client Transformation: A Man Transformed!

CLIENT: Todd Bartee, CEO of Aquasana

WEIGHT: 204 - 184 = 20lb loss

  • Citrus: Increases Congestion and Joint Pain
  • Soy: Impacts Weight Holding
  • Turkey: Impacts Weight Holding

    Feels best with one serving of grains per day, limited to breakfast.

    "Through this process, not only did I lose almost 20 pounds in six weeks, but I also felt more energetic throughout the day, and learned some things to help me maintain these gains ongoing. For example, I learned that citrus causes me to have elevated levels of congestion and joint pain and soy and turkey cause me to retain water and gain weight. I feel empowered to make better choices going forward that will enable me to feel better, have more energy, and be more productive."

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    Seaweed and Sesame Seeds?! Oh my!

    A very unexpected pairing of seaweed, sesame seeds and a hint of maple syrup meld together to delight the palette in these Kelp Crunch Bars. The protein content also makes them a wonderful afternoon snack, helping to banish cravings. Seaweed straight from the Maine Coast, is unfettered of radiation which sea minerals from the Pacific might contain. Seaweeds are high in minerals and rapidly replenish common dietary deficiencies. These minerals also have wonderful mood boosting properties.

    A staple throughout Maine, these can also be found online at various retailers including here at GoldMine Natural Food Co.

    We plan on trying out a version of these ourselves in our test kitchen, we'll be sure to post the recipe if they're a success! Check out our test kitchen results here.

    Spice Cabinet: The New Medicine Cabinet?

    Have a cold? An infection? Look no farther than your spice cabinet. Mother Nature has created tasty balms for most everything that ails us. Coriander is the latest in a host of other spices that have demonstrated potent anti-bacterial properties.

    Several other spices have also proven anti-bacterial properties, many of which have been show to be effective against MRSA, E. Coli, and the Common Cold Virus.

    Top 5 Anti-Bacterial Spices & Herbs:
    • Coriander (the dried seeds from the Cilantro plant)
    • Garlic
    • Oil of Oregano
    • Rosemary
    • Cumin

    From Funk to Spunk

    As school is back in swing and summer holidays fade into distant memories, the daily rhythm of life kicks back into high gear and many people experience the latest syndrome or itis. Post-Holiday syndrome is a kind of Busy-life-itis, resulting in a funk or depression that greets us as we resume the cadence of our daily lives.
    If you experience the Post-Holiday Blues, how can you get yourself from funk to spunk? One of the quickest ways to sparkle is to adopt healthier eating habits and to reset your system after a summer of decadence.  Here are our top tips for using foods to get back on track this fall:

    • Choose Alkalizing Foods – Alkalizing foods are synonymous with green. Think Kale, Swiss chard, Green Juices, Salads and loads of veggies. As you alkalize, your body will begin craving these foods that enliven and resuscitate your happiness. Aim for 1 serving of greens along with 1 green juice and watch your cravings topple. (Check out our super simple recipe for making Kale Chips at home, a great way to work in some green at snack time! Or try the Kale and Quinoa Salad with Balsamic Dijon Dressing, unexpected and delightful recipe to get both your greens and protein.)

    • Aim for 1 Meal-Sized Salad each day - Raw vegetables and salads contain enzymes and are a great “trick” to choosing a predominantly healthy meal laden with veggies. Skip the dairy-based dressings, which are a source of heavy calories and opt for a light vinaigrette.

    • Omit Sugars and Processed Foods – Sugar filled junk foods are one of the quickest avenues to funk with both sugar and processed foods singing the blues. Most of us know the ill effects of sugar, but can feel powerless to its addictive cycle. Replacement is the key. Simply omitting something requires us to use will power, which is rarely successful long-term. However, omitting and replacing with the right synergy of alkalizing foods sets you up for success. 

    • Omit anything that is inflammatory – Have one of your kryptonite foods crept back into your diet? Whether chocolate, gluten, or citrus, one person’s poison is another’s super food. Finding your unique sources of inflammation can go a long way to kicking blues and boosting your happiness. Mood elevation and decreased irritability are one of the most common effects we see in LoveLife Method programs.

    • Eat small, frequent meals and snacks – One of the best ways to balance blood sugar and reduce irritability and bad moods is by staying properly fueled throughout the day. When craving sugar, try substituting for protein snacks instead. Keep these nearby – in your purse, in your desk drawer, or in your car – to reach for healthy when you’re h’angry. Visit our Snack Section of the blog for some of our favorites.

    Youthful and Lean In Less Time

    Excerpt from August, 31 2011 Reuters Health, "For Heart Health, Every Bit of Exercise Counts":
    Researchers have known that exercise is good for heart health for decades. Pounding the pavement on a regular basis helps reduce blood pressure and improves blood flow in the heart, Swain said. The authors of the new study, led by Jacob Sattelmair, wanted to test the benefit of exercise on heart disease in relation to new federal guidelines to provide a better picture of just how much activity is necessary for heart protection. United States guidelines from 2008 recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise (such as brisk walking) each week, or 30 minutes five days per week, as a minimum for health benefit. Twice that, the guidelines say, adds additional benefit.
    From Kim:
    Think you have to spend hours in the gym each week to derive any benefit? Think again. The latest research shows that as little as 10 to 15 minutes of brisk walking a day was associated with a reduction in heart disease. Some is definitely better than none. Often just by telling yourself you are going to exercise for 10 minutes can lead to longer sessions.

    If time is truly the issue, opting instead for exercise with bursts of high intensity activity allows your metabolism to rev up to high gear all day long. Just 20 minutes, two to three times per week, can keep you stay lean and fit. It also activates high amounts of Growth Hormone which is also known as The Youth Hormone.

    One of our favorites in this philosophy is Phil Campbell’s Peak 8 Exercise routine. Advocated by health and wellness expert Dr. Mercola, you can learn more here.

    In Happiness & Health,
    Kim Love

    Nutty Oven-Baked Green Beans

    The other afternoon we had a hankering for a comfort food type of snack and fondly remembered the oven-fried green beans our mom used to make. Those childhood beans were lovingly battered in eggs and breadcrumbs and we wondered how we could update the recipe to fit LoveLife Method snack requirements. We got to work in the test kitchen and swapped the eggs for chia seeds and rolled them in nuts in lieu of the gluten-laden breadcrumbs. Adding to their new grownup attitude we threw in some ground mustard and turmeric for good measure. 

    The result? An entirely satisfying recipe teeming with fiber AND protein (a winning combo that helps curb cravings and keep energy levels soaring!)  

    And current Phase 2 clients, listen up: These are a PERFECT way to test the nut category - enjoy!

    • 1 pound of green beans, washed and trimmed 
    • 1/3 cup of your favorite nuts, finely ground (we used a combo of almonds and hazelnuts
    • 1 TB chia seeds
    • 4 TB water
    • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric
    • Himalayan Salt and black pepper to taste
    • A bit of olive oil

    Preheat oven to 375- 400 degrees and lightly brush a cookie sheet with olive oil. Unlike other oven-fried recipes that employ breadcrumbs and can withstand hotter ovens, the nuts necessitate a lower temp to prevent scorching. Sprinkle the sheet with Himalayan Salt and black pepper (a little tidbit we picked up from Cooks Illustrated's recipe for Oven Fries.)

    Mix the chia seeds with 4 TB of water and set aside until they transform into a gel, between 5-10 minutes. At this point it will be ready to take the place of the egg in the original recipe.

    In a shallow dish combine the ground nuts with the mustard and turmeric.
    Place the green beans in a plastic bag and scoop the chia gel into the bag. Using your hands mix the beans with the gel covering each bean as best as possible.

    One by one, dredge the chia covered green beans in the spicy nut mixture and lay on a the pre-oiled cooking sheet. Sprinkle with a bit more Himalayan Salt and black pepper.

    Adjust the rack to the middle position. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove sheet and flip beans. Put back in oven and continue baking for another 10-12 minutes until beans are golden brown and slightly shriveled.

    Enjoy the beans naked (ooh lala!) or dipped inyour favorite condiment. We like them with a dollop of Greek Yogurt mixed with Sriracha (*contains nightshades).