30 Nov
2016

 

How to eat figs

Try them all!

Fig Newtons, anyone?  Except you don’t want to eat those because they are packed full of unhealthiness.  Hands down the BEST non-GMO fig bar I have found up to this point is made by Nature’s Bakery.  As you can see, they offer eight different flavors to choose from, and every one of them is delicious!

If you are doing bulk shopping, you can pick up a select few flavors at Thrive Market or a wider selection at Lucky Vitamin.  I have also found these at our local Costco.

These are easy to throw in your purse or include as a snack in the kids’ lunch!

They are great plain too!

My favorite brand of dried figs is Made in Nature, along with their other dried fruits (the list is long!).  You will find Smyrna whole figs and quarters, and whole Black Mission Figs.  I personally like them all equally but some have a preference for one or the other.  The Smyrna quarters are great for adding to other things like cereal.  Dried figs are particularly good because during the drying process they develop a light sugary coating on the outside to make them extra sweet.

Find whole Smyrna figs at Lucky Vitamin.

Made in Nature’s Black Mission Figs are somewhat difficult to find, but Woodstock produces Black Mission Figs.  Naturally, they are non-GMO verified and you can find them at Lucky Vitamin as well!

 

I put a handful in a bag for road trips to make an easy and delicious snack!

Which one is your favorite?

23 Nov
2016

 

What to choose…

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to tea I like it simple.   Choice Organic Teas is one of my favorites because they keep their flavors simple and tasteful…and even the packaging is simple and attractive to look at!  They offer a generous selection of loose leaf teas, many varieties of tea bags and even tea pyramids.

Another 5-star product!

Shop Choice Organic Tea at Lucky Vitamin to find your favorites, or even try something new!

 

 

 

 

Yogi Tea is one of my other go-to brands that is both organic and Non-GMO.  They do not offer loose leaf
varieties but their 60 bagged blends are great and they have formulated blends for many different functions including sleep, detox and energy (who doesn’t need more of that!).

Yogi Tea earn 5 stars from myself and many other tea drinkers!

Thrive Market has a moderate selection of Yogi Tea that you could include in your Thrive Market shopping list, or if you are a shopper at Lucky Vitamin, their selection is more complete.

 

My third favorite is Numi Tea.  There are several reasons I like Numi, but the primary one is that they make truly good tasting tea.  You will find turmeric teas, pu-erh teas, green, black and white teas, herbal teasans and indulgent teas.  You will even find flowering teas that are unique and beautiful!  And of course they offer loose leaf, iced tea and even single serve for your Keurig or other machine.

I believe that Numi is an elegant tea that everyone should try and will agree is a 5-star tea.

Find a number of selections of Numi at Thrive Market or numerous selections of Numi Tea at Lucky Vitamin.  Take some time and see what you can find to tempt your taste buds!

 

 

 

And FINALLY, when I am looking specifically for a medicinal type tea, I look no further than Traditional Medicinals.  With your health and healing in mind, they have created teas that are specific for health ailments including digestive, detox and women’s complaints.  One of my favorites is the EveryDay Detox; I notice a decrease in liver aching within a couple hours after drinking a cup.

If you’re not sure where to start, I would suggest starting with one of their variety packs or samplers to get a feel for their quality products.  Thrive Market offers a handful of their most popular teas to add when you do your regular shopping, or find a much larger selection at Lucky Vitamin.

As with any herbal medicinal, be sure to read the label if you are on any medications or have health conditions that might be contra-indicated for use.

How has using herbal tea improved your health??

 

 

 

 

 

 

21 Nov
2016

You would be correct in wondering what this has to do with GMO foods, and honestly it really doesn’t.  But I am not beyond sharing complimentary items to your non-GMO diet that I find unique and attractive!

Most tea companies produce their own tea infusers and other products that you can purchase at the same time as your tea.  I found Libre Tea and couldn’t help but share these unique glasses.

The concept of on-the-go, fresh-brewed tea is very attractive to me and these glasses deliver on that.  And they are stylish!  I also appreciate that Libre glasses are not exclusive to tea; you can use them for fruit-infused water or even just plain water or juice.  When you buy one you can use it for every other beverage you drink as well.

One other concept I like about drinking out of a glass container instead of just a drinking glass is that I can keep better track of how much fluid I am consuming in a day.  I have a terrible habit of not drinking enough fluid, but if I can fill a container and set it beside me I do better.  As a general rule of thumb, one should drink the same number of ounces of water in a day as half of their body weight in pounds.  If you aren’t reaching that rest assured you are not alone!  An attractive Libre glass might very well help you with that too!

 

18 Nov
2016

recombinant_dna
Recombinant DNA experiment in a petri dish

It has been a long-standing belief that all of the animal studies undertaken to test the dietary safety of GM grains have proven that GM grains have no negative effects on health.  There are, however, many other studies that seem to say the opposite that have failed to rise to the surface of public access.  Whether or not the involvement of monetary exchanges and politics has anything to do with that I will leave to your judgment…suffice it to say I believe it does.

 

Animal studies undertaken to test the safety of GM foods that are not included in mainstream science can be somewhat difficult to track down.  If you are interested in finding such studies, one of the most efficacious ways it to “follow the breadcrumbs,” so-to-speak, and read the references.  This will guide you to other resources more easily.

Before I proceed, please understand that I am aware that I am skirting on the very edges of what may be publicly acceptable when approaching the subject of GMO food research and I am perfectly comfortable with that.  You are free to leave your comments below, but I ask that you remain respectful if you are in support of GM foods.   Now, let us continue…

One of the top resources I have found that is easy to access is http://www.gmoevidence.com.  There is a surprising amount of research that has been completed on this website by scientists that are in the know about how to properly conduct a research experiment.  For the purpose of time, I am not going to summarize it all here but I will bring to the surface a handful of them.

A long-term study completed by Seralini et. al. that was conducted over a period of two years was one of the most telling of all animal studies conducted.  In this study, rats were fed a diet that contained 11% Round-up tolerant GM corn, with subgroups of corn that were cultivated both with and without Round-up.  I quote the abstract:

“The health effects of a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize (from 11% in the diet), cultivated with or without Roundup, and Roundup alone (from 0.1 ppb in water), were studied 2 years in rats. In females, all treated groups died 2–3 times more than controls, and more rapidly. This difference was visible in 3 male groups fed GMOs. All results were hormone and sex dependent, and the pathological pro- files were comparable. Females developed large mammary tumors almost always more often than and before controls, the pituitary was the second most disabled organ; the sex hormonal balance was modified by GMO and Roundup treatments. In treated males, liver congestions and necrosis were 2.5–5.5 times higher. This pathology was confirmed by optic and transmission electron microscopy. Marked and severe kidney nephropathies were also generally 1.3–2.3 greater. Males presented 4 times more large palpable tumors than controls which occurred up to 600 days earlier. Biochemistry data confirmed very significant kidney chronic deficiencies; for all treatments and both sexes, 76% of the altered parameters were kidney related. These results can be explained by the non linear endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup, but also by the overexpression of the transgene in the GMO and its metabolic consequences” (highlights are mine).

2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

As you can see in the text I have highlighted red, there was an increase in breast cancer and pituitary dysfunction in female populations of rats, and increased liver necrosis (death), kidney disease and kidney tumors in male rats.  There was huge endocrine disruption in both sexes partly due to the Round-up chemical itself, but also due to expression of the genetically modified gene in the corn itself in the body of the rat.

This brings me to the question…how many people to you know that have  or have had breast cancer, polycystic ovarian syndrome, pituitary imbalances, liver disease that was not caused by toxic substances, and kidney cancer or failure?  I have known several and the occurrence continues to rise.  It seems that seemingly healthy people are being diagnosed with breast cancer, and I find myself wondering if the GM food that we are all consuming is causing the expression of genetically modified genes from the food we eat in our own bodies that is creating hormone disruption and causing cancer, based on the findings of the study above.

256px-more_pigletsAnother study that raises a cause for concern in my eyes is one by Dr. Judy Carman.  She conducted a study using pigs, comparing groups fed a GM diet of corn and soy with a group that was fed non-GM corn and soy.  Pigs have a
digestive system that is very similar to that of humans, so the outcomes of such a study are more directly applicable.  You can find the summary here; but to summarize for you, the group that was fed GM feed showed severe stomach inflammation upon autopsy findings.  This is following the observations by investigators that noted there was a reduced ability to concieve, higher miscarriage rates, observable intestinal problems such as bleeding ulcers and death of the animal via hemorrhagic bowel disease (internal bleeding to the point of death), among other things.

Again I reflect on this and consider how many women I know that have had unexplained miscarriages and the inability to conceive despite trying even the strongest interventions, like IVF.  And digestive issues!  We all know people that have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, bleeding ulcers and long-standing stomach aches with no apparent cause.  Does this make you wonder?

There are many arguments as to why animal research is not applicable to human outcomes.

  • One is that animal physiology is different than human physiology so we cannot compare them.
    • My response: while this is true, the end result of any digestive process is break-down and assimilation of the food that is ingested.  Whether that happens in one step or ten, the end result is the same.   Food is broken down and absorbed into the body, so there is a high likelihood that the effects of consuming GM foods will be very similar.
  • Another is that we do not consume the same diet in content so therefore they are not comparable.
    • My response: we do not consume the same ratios of foods as other animals, but we do regularly consume the same foods.  In this instance we are referring to GM foods.  In fact, I think many of us are completely unaware how much we do consume, given that GM soy and corn is in a large portion of packaged and prepared foods.
  • My overarching concern is fact that these reactions are occurring at all!  It truly shakes me to the core that we as people would even be open to consuming these foods given the possibility that this could be causing the same symptoms in us as it does in the animals in these research studies.  We need to back the truck up and re-evaluate.

You will find more on the website, and you will see more from me on the research that should be turning the world inside out.  I encourage you to do your own digging and educate yourself so that you know the truth.

 

17 Nov
2016

Which is why your friends and family would love a gift of hot tea for Christmas!  Mighty Leaf Tea offers a wide range of tea selections for every tea drinker, whether they are the drop-in-the-bag type or the savor-the-brew type.  If you are not sure what to buy for the fortunate receiver of such a wonderful gift, make it easy and visit the “Gifts and Samplers” tab on the website.

The Art of Refreshment with Mighty Leaf Iced Tea
Hurry before it’s too late!

 

A wonderful and specialized compliment to your gift of Mighty Leaf Tea is a tea infuser glass from Libre Tea! With many different styles to choose from, you can find one to please any tea drinker.  Since they are multi-purpose, they can be used for fruit-water infusions and pretty much any other beverage. If you are feeling supremely generous, check out their gift sets!

10 Nov
2016

Don’t just Survive, Learn to Thrive!

Thrive Market is an excellent place to shop for Non-GMO Project Verified products.  With almost 800 food products including snacks, beverages, cooking foods, condiments and nut products, you are sure to find what you need without the hassle of going out.

While you are there, take some time to look at their non-food products that are also Non-GMO Project Verified.

Thrive has earned the reputation of being the online Costco of the health food world because they offer so many products to consumers at a discounted price.  Complimenting that, you receive free shipping with any order over $49, and when you sign up you receive 15% off of your first order.  You will get a free 30 day trial period, and they the annual membership fee is $59.95.  An added bonus-with your membership Thrive Market will sponsor a low-income family.

Find the Non-GMO Verified section of Thrive Market here to see what they have to offer and get started with your membership!

9 Nov
2016

 

Moringa is the Superfood of Superfoods

There are many superfoods available for you to add to your smoothies, but one in particular that I would highlight would be moringa.  It is one of the most powerful superfoods in nature, containing high levels of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, including all 9 essential amino acids that must be obtained in the diet.  It also has significant levels of vitamins A, C and E, calcium and potassium.  Moringa provides significant levels of anti-oxidants that help to reduce inflammation and pain.  You will have difficulty finding any other superfood that meets the nutrient density of this plant.  In fact, if your budget is constrained, this is one green superfood that I would add above all other because its’ nutrient profile is so complete.kalamunggay_moringa_oleifera

Moringa was a power food for the ancient Greeks and Romans. cultures that were known for their great fighting men.  The tree is native to parts of Africa and Asia, and its leaves have been used medicinally and as a food source for over 4,000 years.

The moringa tree is easy to grow and grows rapidly is varying conditions, which has made it an economic booster for many impoverished countries that have difficulty cultivating other crops.  The leaves can be eaten fresh to add a radish-like flavor to salads or greens.  Most commonly they are dried to preserve them and make them more available to the public.

You can find Organic India Moringa Leaf Powder  and a capsulated Moringa supplement on Amazon if you are not a regular smoothie consumer.  Grab this while you are shopping for your Tulsi tea and feel good about what you are giving your body!

Natural & Organic Products + Free Shipping
Visit Organic Merchants and see what they have!

If you are looking to shop for Moringa and your other superfoods, grains and baking needs, you get Free Shipping over $50 at Organic Merchants.  Make a one-stop-shop!

Thrive Market is a great place to find Organic India Moringa capsules and other products.  They are also a one-stop-shop for a larger variety of foods that are Non-GMO Project Verified.

 

And don’t forget to leave a comment with your moringa success story!

9 Nov
2016

Why is Tulsi different than other teas?

The list is long and quite incredible actually.  Tulsi tea is comprised of holy basil, the most prized and sacred herb in India, and for good reason.  The list of benefits is highly desirable:

  • Respiratory aid with infections, improve lung function with both acute and chronic conditions, and to help to relieve congestion
  • Cardiovascular support via the magnesium content and presence of antioxidants
  • Immune support by combating infections with anti-microbial factors
  • Help manage stress by modulating cortisol levels
  • Anti-oxidants improve overall health and help you look and feel healthy and radiant
  • Increase metabolism to help you reach your weight loss goals
  • Improve liver function
  • Improve digestion
  • Kidney detoxification and health
  • Increase energy and endurance
  • and many others!

 

My favorite tulsi tea is Organic India.  The ingredients in all of their teas are sustainably grown with the highest quality in mind.  With 26 varieties of tea, each flavor is designed with Ayurvedic health benefits to balance and restore.

Complimenting the flavored teas are blends specific to relieving certain conditions.  You will find blends to improve sleep, digestion and relief of digestive ailments and detox support for the liver and kidney.

I strongly suggest that everyone add Organic India tea to their daily routine because tulsi has such a wide variety of benefits.  Who do you know that doesn’t need stress relief right?!?  And Organic India is Non-GMO Project Verified so you can be guaranteed you are doing right for your body.

You can find the most popular flavors of Organic India at Thrive Market to go with the rest of your non-GMO shopping, or shop for Organic India Tulsi Tea on Amazon to find more variety.

Leave a comment with your favorite Tulsi flavor!

 

9 Nov
2016

Chia is a great superfood to add to any food because it offers omega 3 fats, proteins, fiber and minerals.  This also makes it a great addition to snacks because proteins and fats have a higher caloric content and will stave off hunger for a longer period of time.

One of my favorite chia snacks is Mamma Chia.  I first encountered the Chia Squeeze packets several years ago and thought it was one of the best inventions ever!  Made in 6 flavors, it comes in a convenient packet with a resealable lid so it is perfect for on-the-go and kids’ snacks.

Mamma Chia Squeeze comes in boxes of single flavors or combination on Amazon, perfect for stocking  up for school!

If the squeeze packets just aren’t your squeeze, try the Mamma Chia Vitality Bars, with nuts and crunch and tasty flavor!  Their current flavors are Caramel and Sea Salt, Maple and Glazed Pecan, and Peanut Butter and Sea Salt.  You can also find other flavors from the past on Amazon, grab them before they’re gone!

9 Nov
2016

There are a handful of drinks that offer unique beverage experiences that one may not directly look for but is still something you may enjoy.

Add some aloe vera to your diet

Alo Juice combines their organically grown aloe juice and pulp with fruit juice in different combinations to bring you the benefits of the aloe plant.  Aloe has been used for centuries as a healing plant that is useful for digestive complaints, stomach aches, detoxification and an overall source of vitamins, minerals and amino acids.  You can find Alo in almost every fruit flavor under the sun, that are all Non-GMO Project Verified.  Shop on Amazon to find your flavor!

 

 

Apple Cider Vinegar is good for your health

Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Drink is apple cider vinegar with juice and spices.  While drinking apple cider vinegar does not sound highly appetizing, there are health benefits.  Maintaining an acidic digestive tract is important for proper balance and function.  The stomach must remain acidic for proper digestion of proteins, the small intestine neutralizes the acidity of the stomach to some degree but maintains slight acidity for continued digestion.  Mild acidity in the large intestine is important for intestinal flora to survive and reproduce.  Consuming mildly acidic drinks can also help in preventing kidney stones by increasing the acidity of the urinary tract and preventing calcium stone formation.  And, if you ever end up with food poisoning, drinking a glass of straight ACV will usually kill the bacteria.  It’s a hard thing to do but it sure does help!

Bragg has made it a easier to get that maintenance dose with their ACV drinks, thank goodness!  Look for all of their flavors on Amazon.com.

  • ACV and Honey
  • Apple Cinnamon
  • Concord Grape-Acai
  • Ginger Spice
  • Limeade
  • Sweet Stevia
  • Pomegranate Goji

Drink your chia

Chia is growing in popularity as a superfood that you can add to just about anything.  In fact, I use it as an egg replacer in baked goods and it works great.  Drinking chia is an easy way to reap the benefits of omega 3 fats, protein, fiber and minerals.

Mamma Chia has created novel products to make chia drinks tasty and improve your health at the same time!  Their organic vitality beverages in seven flavors are tasty juice blends with chia:

 

  • Blackberry Hibiscus
  • Cherry Lime
  • Coconut Mango
  • Cranberry Lemonade
  • Guava Mamma
  • Raspberry Passion (my favorite!)
  • Strawberry Lemonade

If you are looking for greens with your chia, grab one of the four flavors of Mamma Chia:

Ginger and Lemongrass

Kale and Mint

Beet and Ginger

Cayenne and Lemon

Or if you need an energy boost but feel guilty about drinking a popular “energy drink” these will do the trick.  Energized with Guayasa in a base of fruit juice, you can’t go wrong here:

  • Grape Power
  • Cherry Charge
  • Blackberry Blast
  • Raspberry Razz

All three brands are Non-GMO Project Verified so enjoy freely!