Love Your Mother

20130523-114215.jpg
I just finished off my bottle of apple cider vinegar and this lovely culture was floating around in my mug. Isn’t she beautiful?
Naturally occurring cultures are GOOD! You want to make sure that your ACV has the “mother” in it – as this is the most beneficial part!
Studies show that it may help with diabetes and obesity, heart health, cancer, and high cholesterol. I just love it because it warms my soul, calms my stomach, soothes my throat, and makes me smile!
My sister calls this drink – a combination of ACV, raw honey, and hot water – a hug in a mug. I couldn’t have said it better myself!

What do you do if you are craving sweets? Watch this video.

Need a good way to ensure that you won’t be eating sugar later today, tomorrow, next week, next year? Here ya go! This is a little clip from an awesome UK show “Supersize vs. Superskinny”.

Last semester, I worked on a project that would help curb childhood obesity in Michigan. One of the points I brought up was skinny-fat people (especially kids) because although they appear to be “healthy” (aka, less fat) they are not healthy on the inside. Internal organs coated with fat is not healthy.

Next time you feel like eating some gummies, or a fruit roll up, or a slushy – think about this. Remember what all those ingredients really are…not REAL food.

Don’t starve your body from nutrients. Don’t overfeed your body crap. Be pure, Be healthy, & Always eat real food.

Rant: GMO, gut disease, inflammation, and the great USofA

Happy Monday! I feel like the last 48 hours are a blur and a dream…I’m officially a college graduate and beginning the next chapter of my life – a 23-year-old still trying to change the world, become the healthiest person I can be, and to appreciate all the little blessings in my life. This past weekend, I had an amazing time with my family and friends.

And when it rolls back around to Monday morning, and I check back in to reality, and I’m not feeling 100% great (lots of sugar, cheese, white bread, and less water, veggies, and fruits)…I decide that May 1st will bring about a month of hot yoga – every single day. I’m going to go for my own 30 day challenge. Starting today, as I’ll be out of town as of May 31st (more on this very soon), I’m going to go to yoga every day. I’m still going to try to keep up with running too – just don’t want to push myself too much.

Anyway – back on to the rant. At the bottom of this post, there will be a lovely video that I highly suggest watching. It is a little long (about an hour) but so worth it. It highlights a lot of aspects of GMO foods – health concerns, bad science, market prevalence  legislation, policies in other countries, influence on kids, and what we can go – so if you have a little time – watch it, share it, enjoy it, PLEASE.

Some highlights:

  • In 1992, the FDA set a precedent that GMO foods are safe and can be used in consumer goods. However, in 1998 there was a leak of internal documents that showed there was not research to back up the safety of GMO foods and scientists actually proved it was unsafe.
  • Many scientists refer to the industry conducted research as “Tobacco Science” – highlighting the ways in which Big Ag acts similar to Big Tobacco in the 1970s…blaming problems on personal responsibility instead of their harmful product
  • Michael Taylor was involved in the FDA back in the early 90s, when these precedents were set, and then worked for Monsanto, and now he’s back at the FDA and holds the Food Safety Czar job…and there are tons of examples of the revolving door between Big Business and the Feds.
  • GMO food increase in consumption is correlated with increases in digestive issues, inflammation, mental health issues, birth defects, allergies, etc.
  • Big Ag, just like Big Tobacco plays up the aspect of personal responsibility, while downplaying the role of industry in the market, not to mention manipulative labeling and advertising. We could also ask if corporations should be held personally responsible as well, considering they are individuals in the eye of personal freedoms.
  • A lot of research funding in public universities, across the nation, are traced back to Big Ag…and scientists tend to lose their jobs if they attempt to expose the downside of GMOs.
  • “We’ve all been blissfully ignorant” – a quote from a mother, during the Kids and GMOs segment
  • What can happen? As many more developed nations are banning GMO – multinational food corporations are making changes – referred to as “the tipping point of consumer rejection” because GMOs become “marketing liability” and thus are removed from the formulation and products are offered with NONGMO labeling (but not here in the USA)
  • Genetically Engineered attempts (that have been denied due to consumer rejection) – tomato, rice, potato, wheat, biopharmaceuticals (vaccines in food), alfalfa, landscaping grass, and HOPEFULLY salmon! <—- SIGN THIS PETITION

Please enjoy the movie. Share with friends, family, coworkers, school administrations, doctors, WHOEVER – just get the word out that there is proof that GMOs are hurting us. We deserve to know.

Until next time, eat well, be pure, love yourself & others <3

Trail Mix, Coffee, & Quality

IMG_6840

Well, today is Thursday, and just less than a week ago, I finished cleansing with Bepure. I had a great cleansing experience – but due to the stress of  life, I’ve been needing a little boost of caffeine this whole week. Maybe it has been the rainy weather…or the late nights…or the anticipation for graduation – but I’m needing coffee this week. Oh and the smell, is soooo lovely. Plus, I got this super sweet coffee grinder from my grandma, and well, I should use it as often as possible. I think my mom wants to kidnap it from me, as she asks me to bring it over every time I visit…so I have to use it so she doesn’t have a reason to take it from me.

IMG_6849

About 6 months ago, I found the BEST coffee I’ve ever had. Something about this delicate, but robust coffee, with hints of raisins, chocolate, and nuts…make it a winner in my book. Plus, it is 100% organic, fair trade, and perfect. Check it out – and ALWAYS support cooperatives when you have the ability to. So…as I hadn’t been drinking coffee, or consuming dairy, for a while now…I wanted to a cup of coffee but had no cream or milk or anything that could possibly help me out. I don’t like my coffee black – not sure why – but I’ve always done a little splash of cream or milk…with no sugar. I never liked mochas, or lattes, or flavored coffee. I did have a job as a barista for about a year, and loved it, but never tried any of my crazy flavored latte concoctions…I just knew they tasted good because of the smells. Anywhooo…I needed something…so I thought hmm. Let’s try this (shown above and below) – I took a tsp of cocoa powder (organic and fair-trade in bulk at $16.99/lb, so I use it sparingly), vanilla extract, and coconut oil…just a little bit of each (you could add more or less, depending on what flavors you like…or try some almond extract, or some chili powder?) and enjoy!!IMG_6853

 I really like this mixture – especially with the Bike Fuel blend from Just Coffee Coop so I’m back on my coffee kick…but keeping it to 1 cup a day, not every day, and only with these add ins.

As my days have been hectic for the past two weeks, and it will continue on, well…I guess forever?…I decided that I really needed to increase my healthy snack options. Yes, I do a lot of fruits and veggies – but these get pricey, go bad quickly, and aren’t the easiest thing to shove in my backpack and nibble at when I’m out and about for 12 hour days. Over the past year and a half, I’ve done a lot of research that has made me shun granola, trail mix, and “healthy” snack bars (like Kashi, Luna, or even Kind) just because of the added sugar, the mass-produced-ness, and well..the lack of love. BUT…I can make my own, and add love to them, and know each and every ingredient that goes into them.

So….I’m having issues with my camera (well…more like my lighting) and until I move out…I’ll be stuck with my horrible lighting and my lack of knowledge to remedy the situation. But regardless, I tried to capture a few images of what went into my trail mix…so always remember, you can add/subtract whatever you like – you can start with a base and throw in different things each day…whatever works. I think this would be tasty in oatmeal, yogurt, with some milk, and just plain old plain.

IMG_6856

As this week was Owner’s Appreciation Week at the coop, I decided to buy bulk things that are slightly pricey ($18/lb local MI dried cherries…$10/lb fair-trade, organic dark chocolate mini chips, and a locally made, wheat-free vanilla almond granola at $8.99/lb). I brought in my own jars because well, they are cute, and it saves on waste…so minus the weight of the jar, I got about a 3/4 lb of each – and after making a good amount of trail mix – I still have a LOT left…which is awesome and unexpected.

My trail mix consisted of (pretty) equal parts of the following:

  • Slivered almonds
  • Raw walnuts
  • A mixture of dried cherries, cranberries, and raisins (all organic and bought in bulk, but yes, they are sweetened)
  • Raw sunflower seeds
  • Dark chocolate mini-chips

And, I thought about added some shredded coconut, but not sure if that would be good for an on-the-go snack…but I may have to try some energy balls next week – and I’ll definitely let you know how those go!

IMG_6859So I tossed all the ingredients together, put a heaping handful into a plastic bag for later this evening (in between errands and yoga, after work)…and I’ll probably do another one for my travels tomorrow, as there is nothing worse than traveling without healthy snacking options…because you may get stuck with nasty airport food, or processed nuts on the plane…and I’d rather be safe than sorry. I think my next post will discuss how to travel healthy – as I’ve got a few tricks for that too!

Anyways…time is flying and I’m graduating in one week and two days – and I can’t wait! I’m excited for my grandparents and brother to come in to town. I’m excited for my family to meet my friends. I’m excited to eat tiramisu at my favorite restaurant in Kalamazoo. I’m excited to be an “adult” and to move towards the next chapter of my life.

Also, a quick side note, regarding adulthood – I purchased my first real works of art, from a good friend (and maybe a future-something-more) – two prints – one on metal and one on wood…so when I get my lighting figured out, I’ll take pictures of his pictures and share. I’m really happy with my purchase and feel like it is another step in the right direction…the direction of being true to myself, finding beauty in life, and supporting local.

Enjoy and be healthy <3