Food Myths

Hi all!

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Some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes from my CSA. Ahhhh sweet summertime.

I have been so, so, so, so awful about posting lately. I’ve been crazy busy with life! Life is great and some awesome things are happening in my life. Hopefully more on that later- but in the meantime I came across something I wanted to share with you all.

I’ll just preface this by saying that I am all for people eating healthy and improving their lives, but it breaks my heart and frustrates me to see them going about it all the wrong ways! There are 1000 ways out there that claim they are the “perfect” solution. I am a firm believer in eating as naturally from the earth as possible. No “low fat”, “fat free”, aspartame chocked full foods are “good” for you. Less calories? Sure, but the effects that the poisons, yes poisons that are the so called ingredients, in those things are down right scary. Lately I’ve been putting a HUGE focus on natural healthy eating for me and Jake. And the differences I’ve noticed are enough for me to never stop. So back to what I wanted to share.

Tanda Cook is an amazing person I cam across lately (read her book and visit her website) and I love her and her out look on pretty much everything. She posted this awesome article on her own blog today and I wanted to pass it on to all of you.  She is an MD and a homeopathic/naturopathic. She shares her thoughts (very good ones at that!) on a list of foods that are often times labeled as “bad for you” but in all reality aren’t (in their pure natural forms).

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#1 butter 

First off, why do we even need fat? (Cuz that’s what butter is mainly, right?) We need fat to provide concentrated sources of energy, it’s the building block for cell membranes and the precursor for a variety of hormones.

So we HAVE to have it to maintain health and balance.

Now lets talk about sources, in particular, butter.

Butter is awesome. Eat it.

Why you ask?

Many reasons.

Organic pasture butter is a short chain fatty acid, which means it does NOT have to be acted on by the bile salts (our gallbladder), it is DIRECTLY absorbed for energy use (and less likely to cause weight gain FYI).

It contains antimicrobial properties to help protect us from harmful microbs in the gastrointestinal tract. It is one of the greatest sources of fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K.

Butter is mostly saturated fat. And lets set this straight as to WHY we NEED saturated fat as it has been demonized in the modern American diet.

Saturated fatty acids constitute about half of our cell membranes giving them the rigidity and structure to function optimally.

These fats help our immune system, specifically our white blood cells and enhances their ability to recognize foreign invaders like certain bacteria and viruses.

Saturated fat protects our liver from alcohol and medications.

Saturated fat also is essential for bone health as we need it to properly absorb calcium.

Not convinced yet?

How bout the fact that butter contains conjugated linoleic acid (a form of omega-6) that has strong anti-cancer properties as well as containing lecithin, which assists in the proper metabolism of cholesterol.

So go ahead and eat the stuff.

Oh, and what counts as butter?

That’s right, BUTTER

(not margarine, or Earth Balance, or spray butter, or I Cant Believe It’s Not Butter, or some other food-like-item claiming to be a butter-like-thing) 

So pass the pasture butter deliciousness, please.

#2 red meat

I’ve already touched on a lot of this in the 5 Food Myths post AND I think its worth saying again.

Eat red meat. It doesn’t cause heart disease. And meat is only as healthy for you as the health of the animal. So eat sick cows, you, most likely, will be sick too.

Eat healthy animals, you will bring in all sorts of nourishment, vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients into your life and body.

Red meat specifically contains saturated fat, which we have talked about the why around needing it. It also is a great source of vitamin B12 and iron.

Why do we need these?

B12 is needed to prevent anemia, nervous system disorders, helps with energy, feeding our adrenals, maintains fertility and natural growth. Early signs of deficiency usually is indicated when there is irrational anger.

We need good ol’ iron for the health of our blood. And iron found in animal sources, aka: meat and eggs, is more readily absorbed than plant sources.

So, purchase 100% grass-fed, pasture raised, or grass finished meats. Or even better, raise it yourself if you have the time and space. OR go to your local farmer, shake their hand and buy and support them.

www.eatwild.com

www.localharvest.org

#3 mayo

This I have noticed as a food that people either LOVE or Despise. I fall in the LOVE category.

And when I tell the closet-lovers-of-mayonnaise that there is no reason to be ashamed its like I have given them the moon.

Think about this. What’s IN mayo?

Give up?

K, ready…egg yolks, mustard, olive oil, lemon, sea salt, vinegar. Boom. Done.

And yes, you can make your own, check out Jamie Oliver’s recipe here:

http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/eggs-recipes/my-beautiful-mayo 

Pasture raised egg yolks contain the fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, D, and A a fat soluble vitamin needed for healthy eyes, hormones, immune system and blood clotting. They also contain essential fatty acids, iron, phosphorus and zinc.

There is nothing in mayo that’s not in homemade dressings. Its whole foods based, tastes amazeballs and goes well in my chicken salad recipe.

It won’t make ya fat if you’re worried about that.

Remember? Sugar has got that one covered for you.

Shhhpread away and enjoy it. And if you’re in the DESPISE camp, well, then use avocados instead.

#4 bacon

I think there are several crazed websites dedicated to the glorious food. And rightfully so, as everything’s better with it.

And it has gotten a bad wrap mostly because of its fat content.

And I’m gonna say this again, fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar does.

And pork in general has gotten a bad wrap, and no wonder because us Americans have taken a fabulous animal (the pig) and genetically mutated it so it grows super fast, is super lean, and is super unhealthy.

Pork and lard coming from pigs that have been raised on pasture is one of the best and most readily available sources of vitamin D (a fat soluble vitamin so we need to have fat present to absorb and utilize it)

Pigs, like humans, synthesize vitamin D in their skin. So when pigs are raised outdoors, in sunlight and on grass, that meat and fat has a TON of awesome vitamin D in it.

Sodium nitrates and nitrites are used to preserve color and prevent botulism in cured meats and have gotten badmouthed. Nitrites are compounds that are naturally found in plants like celery and butter leaf lettuce. They are also found in our saliva, and the studies done in animals that showed cancer development after large exposure to nitrates/nitrites have been discredited by peer review. So take all that with a grain of salt…eh, or bacon.

I’m more concerned about WHERE and HOW the pig was RAISED than anything else.

Eat bacon. Eat it in moderation. And love every bite.

#5 eggs 

I get this one so much. “I can’t eat eggs, or egg yolks if I have high cholesterol.”

False.

100% false.

Eggs are the bomb. They are one of the most COMPLETE foods on the planet. And as I explained in the 5 Food Myths, if you have high cholesterol I can assure you it’s not eggs fault.

High cholesterol just tells me that the body is under a lot of physical and emotional stress and cholesterol is being made in the liver to do damage control. Remember 80% of the cholesterol in your body is made by the liver and only 20% is dietary.

And we NEED cholesterol, and here’s why:

It’s a precursor for hormones.

It’s a precursor for vitamin D.

Cholesterol acts as an antioxidant.

It’s needed for proper serotonin receptor function in the brain.

Eat. Eggs. Pasture raised farm eggs. Please. The whole part. Please.

And a quick thing on purchasing the dang things, which can be SO SUPER overwhelming, when I doubt I follow this logic:

Best option is to raise your own.

If that’s not possible, find a farmer that does.

If that’s not possible buy PASTURE raised eggs.

If you don’t see that option buy organic.

If that’s not an option pick up the cartons and turn them around to see where they are COMING from and buy the eggs that are CLOSEST to YOU.

Terms that mean nothing:

“Free range”

“Vegetarian fed”

“Cage free”

“All natural”

Hope this helps.

Now go eat eggs.” -TC

To read this article in it’s entirety and check out the rest of her awesome content check out her website HERE. 

xoxo

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Staying Healthy This Summer!

Staying Healthy This Summer!

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Hi readers! This is a kind of a different post than what you’re used to from me but I’m excited to share something a little outside of the box with you! I’m also featuring a guest blogger in this post 🙂

A few weeks ago I got an email from the gorgeous Kendra Thornton. She reached out about the possibility of doing a collaboration post on various way to stay active and healthy during the super busy summer months! I was super excited and obviously said yes. Being healthy, fit, active, and making smart choices are things I strive hard to do and love helping others do the same!

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Kendra is quite the impressive lady. She left a job as Director of Corporate Communications at Orbitz.com to persue her dreams and do exactly what she loves. Currently she is travel guru (travel industry publicist) and runs her own PR business.  She has been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC and CW affiliates across the country sharing her wealth of knowledge on various things!

You should definitely check her out on Twitter.

Kendra has shared her top secrets for staying fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle while on vacation(which we all know can be pretty hard to do sometimes!)


My Top Secrets For Staying Fit on Vacation

Following a healthy lifestyle is always challenging, but when you’re traveling you have to be extra conscientious. Now that I’m going to be having family members visiting me in Chicago next month, I’m trying to think of some useful tips I can share with them. After all, I do try my best to keep my immediate family as fit as possible throughout the year, whether we’re at home or on the road. Hopefully some of what I’ve learned can be helpful to you.

One of my secrets for keeping my whole family energized when we’re traveling is to keep a good supply of healthy snacks on hand. This is something that takes some preparation, but it’s not difficult at all. Items such as energy bars, trail mix, containers of yogurt and fresh fruit are so much better than junk food you might find at a concession stand or in a vending machine. I really notice the difference with my kids, who are less cranky and hyperactive when they munch on these natural goodies rather than sugary snacks. Whenever we pass a farmer’s market, which you can now find in many cities, I always pick up some items for either immediate or future consumption.

When we’re on vacation, I’ve noticed that there’s usually a choice between a physical activity and a sedentary one. I always make sure we get in plenty of exercise rather than spend the whole time doing passive things like watching performances or sitting in tour buses. Sometimes we even rent bikes, which can often be arranged with your concierge at the hotel. Making little choices such as taking stairs rather than elevators means getting in some extra activity. Luckily for my family, Chicago offers a number of hotel options that have great gyms. Not only do they have great facilities, but they are also close to all the sites.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can use your vacation as an excuse to try out new and exciting sports. For example, kayaking, snorkeling, rock climbing or zip line courses are not only more interesting than typical tourist activities, they keep you moving. You don’t have to be an adrenaline junkie to have fun participating in adventure sports. When planning our vacations, I always check out what kind of sports and activities are available and arrange for us to do something like this. Even big cities now offer opportunities to experience such adventures, such as indoor rock climbing walls.

One way I stay fit when traveling is to always choose hotels that have good fitness centers. I find that starting the day with a vigorous workout gets me is the best possible way to get myself energized for a day of sightseeing. Many hotels have gyms, but it’s good to check before you book. If there’s also a swimming pool, you could finish your workout with a few laps around the pool. This doesn’t have to be time consuming. Even a half hour workout makes a big difference in how you feel the rest of the day.

I do my best to keep my family as healthy as possible, whether we’re at home or on vacation. This takes a certain amount of concentration and planning ahead. For example, I buy nutritious groceries and prepare healthy snacks for my kids. I also encourage them to be active in sports and to play outdoors rather than spending all of their free time online. I try to keep these principles in mind and will be encouraging my extended family to do the same when they arrive in town next month.


Thank you SO much Kendra! Those are some great things to keep in mind and remind us that with a little planning and prepping we can help facilitate healthy choices with ourselves and our loved ones.

When thinking about what I do to stay active while vacationing and during the go-go-go months of summer it’s very much the same as Kendra. We try to plan vacations and trips that involve activities. Camping, hiking, biking, swimming etc… we make sure to bring re-usable water bottles to make sure to stay hydrated and we bring plenty of good drinking water with us if we are unsure of the quality of water at our location. Water can’t ever go to waste and as I’ve sadly learned before, better safe than sorry!  We prep and bring plenty of healthy food too. Just because you’re camping or on the go doesn’t mean you have to eat fast food or over processed food! I prep veggies(Peppers, celery, carrots, cucumbers) and fruit(oranges, grapes,apples) to bring along and KIND bars are a favorite around here too 🙂

Lastly, thinking of summer and traveling, here are some places I would give my left leg to be at right about now:  🙂

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Glacier National Park- Montana

 

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Camping “up north” somewhere 🙂

 

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Italy ❤

 

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NO clue where this is but I’d like to get there…now.

 

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Heaven?

 

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Beaver Island, Michigan. My favorite place on earth.

 

Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you all have fun, safe, and healthy summers!!

xoxo

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*Many of the pictures above, I do not own and have taken from various websites.