Monday, May 31, 2010

Reducing toxins

So, key #5 is about reducing toxins in your environment.  There are lots of examples in the GPRx/MD books, everything from avoiding use of microwaves to shower filters.  One of the babysteps that Lee and I mutually agreed on was getting rid of our non-stick cookware.  I don't know much about the chemicals that are used to make it "nonstick" but we both understood that all the scratches into those chemicals probably was not what we wanted released into our food.

One of my questions as I get rid of unhealthy things or switch products is what to do with the old.  Can someone else use it or is it harmful enough to through it away completely?  It was painful to throw pots and pans in the garbage, but that is what we agreed was the safest.  There are some eco-friendly, chemical safe pots and pans but they cost a pretty penny.  For now, we are using stainless steel.  It takes some getting used to cooking in, and I've had to scrape some messes off.  It's a good feeling not to wonder what else might have been cooked into our food.

Environmental changes are easy babysteps because there are so many things you can change one thing at a time.  I've started to switch most of our cleaning products, which lead me to a year long goal.  I discovered a website by the Environmental Working Group called Skin Deep.  It's a database of thousands of products, and it gives each product a rating.  My year long goal is to switch all of our health and beauty products over to low hazard products.  I will post our current products and hazard ratings and what we were able to switch to.  Some of my switches thus far have been an epic fail so it's not as easy or as affordable as just picking something with a low hazard score.

Here's another post I just came across a few minutes ago.  It has to do with the chemical 1,4-dioxane which is in all sorts of soaps and cleaners.  I'm in the process of currently switching baby wipes (my biggest epic fail) and laundry detergent so far unsuccessfully.  After reading this article I might be switching from Tide a little sooner than later (sorry, Lee!).

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Food for thought

Would you eat your face cream??  What about your body wash?  Is it ok to use things on your body or near your face that you would consider toxic to ingest?  This really goes more with the removing toxins from your environment key, but I thought I'd go ahead and plant some bugs!  More to follow...

Friday, May 21, 2010

Quiz Answer!

Yesterday's Know Your Ingredient Quiz was Farm Rich Non-Dairy Breakfast Creamer.  Ok, YUCK!  Caffeine is slightly frowned upon in the Maker's Diet and GPRx books.  Yes, I do feel somewhat redeemed by the fact that his wife snuck out to Starbucks!  Coffee is going to be very, very hard to avoid if I ever decide to give it up.  I've decided that right now it's going to be one of my indulgences.  While I was pregnant, I detested anything even remotely sweet so for the most part I drank my coffee black, and that's still how I drink it often.  However, I love a good splash of cream and a dollop of coconut oil...mmmmmm!

I know the coconut oil sounds weird but I'll talk more about that soon!  For a long time, I'd grab non-dairy creamer without the shelf without even thinking about it.  Fat free sounds even better, right?  After reading that list of ingredients, I don't think I will ever be able to drink "non dairy" creamer again.  But, you say you're lactose intolerant?  We'll talk more about that, too.  I'm telling you right now, I was lactose intolerant for almost 20 years that I can remember, but no more! I love nothing more than putting some organic, non-homogenized, low-pasteurized whole cream in my coffee now.  Yes, that's a mouthful but each of those adjectives have an important place that I'll discuss soon.  Guess what the only ingredient is....cream!!! 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Know Your Ingredients

The one thing that I keep reading over and over in books and hearing from friends that have also made the switch to whole foods, organic living is that "I thought I was healthy before.  I thought I ate healthy."  I thought the same thing.  Then when I started cutting out things I realized how much I was having to cut out.  I realized that many of the things that I thought were smart choices were filled with preservatives, pesticides, chemicals, things I can't pronounce. 

In the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, Sally Fallon has some eye opening quizzes called "Know Your Ingredients."  Some of the quizzes are obviously for junk food but it still opened my eyes as to HOW MUCH junk food is in them.  Some of the quizzes are for things that sound quite healthy.  So let's see just how much you know about the ingredients in some of the most common household items.

Here's the first quiz...this is 100% cholesterol free
Water, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, mono- and diglycerides, soy protein, sodium stearoyl lactylate, dipotassium phosphate, polysorbate 60, sodium acid pyrophosphate, salt, artificial color, colored with betacarotene.

Feel free to make a guess!  Answer tomorrow!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Homemade babyfood

So, what is the first babystep we unknowingly made?  Babyfood!

Shortly after Kai was born, Lee and I had a conversation about feeding Kai as healthy as possible.  Something about jars of water-logged peas and bananas lost its appeal.  I don't remember where I read it, but I came across the idea of making sweet potatoes as a first babyfood.  There's just not much easier than boiling, steaming, baking, microwaving sweet potatoes.  One of our favorite dishes is sweet potatoe souffle.  In fact, it's a staple of every special dinner, occasion, or holiday, and if you turn your nose up at it we give you a very funny look.  Of course, it's not exactly the Maker's Diet recipe yet ;)

Well, I started reading more and more and how easy it was to make babyfood.  All you do it cook the fruit or vegetable and ten puree it.  It freezes for a month or so, and you almost always save money over the water logged peas.  Of course, I did try to make pees, and that didn't go over so well.  I didn't make a lot of fruit because it wasn't really in season at the time, but we made the stew out of potatoes and 3 different kids of squash.  With Caitlin I've already made avacado and banana in addition to sweet potatoes and squash.

So this kind of gets to how to buy food.  It's not always possible or feasible to buy organic.  For us, we still felt better about making our own babyfood vs. buying babyfood with the first ingredient as water.  I buy organic fruit as much as possible due to pesticide (more later), but I've also learned that buying frozen food is a good option.  Not as good as organic, but frozen food is often picked at the peak of freshness without as much time for the pesticide to soak in as it ripens.  Much better than canned, salted, soggy vegetables.  The biggest difference between organic is that it retains a lot more of the nutrients, and you don't have to worry about hybrid, genetically modified, half green produce.

Yay for homemade babyfood!  Two must have resources are and Super Baby Foods book.  They both provide excellent information about fruit, vegetables, and food in general.  I used Super Baby Food as a reference for yogurt, bread, and lots of meal ideas.  It makes babyfood almost more simple than buying tons of jars of babyfood and wondering how much water is added and just exactly how they made it so "smooth."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

#1. Eat to Live

Maybe I'll actually get this blog going!  One week exactly after Kai split his tongue open, Caitlin was diagnosed with her first ear infection.  Fun stuff!  Jordan Rubin would be proud of me...I voiced my dislike of the fact she needed antibiotics, but I plan on giving a double dose of probiotics!  More on that later...

The first Key in the Great Physician Rx book (which I'll be referring to more than the Maker's Diet) is Eat to Live.  As Jordan Rubin writes, too many people "eat to live."  He describes our indulgence in fried, high-calorie, high-sodium, high-sugar, high-fat foods, but I would argue that I think there is equal danger in the low-fat, sugar-free craze.  I work with so many colleagues that are so proud of their salad and diet coke with sugar free pudding.  Either way, the end result is processed foods that God did not create. 

The idea behind Key #1 is to eat what God created for food, and in a form healthy for the body.

This is my new mantra.  I don't always follow it, and I don't follow it well.  I won't tell you how many cups of coffee I drank today or how much I'm craving cheez-its.  However, for breakfast I had sprouted bread toast with almond butter and for lunch I had my homemade "meat pies" and vegetables.  I've learned that it's not all or nothing.  I would love to eat an organic, whole food diet 100% of the time, but it's also not beating myself up over. Babysteps, babysteps.  Tomorrow I'll write about one of the first babysteps we unknowingly took...

Thursday, May 6, 2010

On vacation...

Ok, not really.  I figured it looked funny to start a new blog and then not blog!!  I need to take a break for a few more days.  Kai ended up in the ER needing stitches in his tongue, and we decided that this weekend would be a great weekend to have a big yardsale.  Oy!

I really will catch back up to speed this weekend.  Some of the topics, other than the GPRx and MD books, will be steps we've taken such as making our own baby food, cloth diapers (boy, oh boy), the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, the Cosmetic Database registry, and so forth.  Lots of good stuff, and a few more babysteps!