Blog, Health, Recipes

Einkorn Rotini with Lentil Ragu

I’m not a huge pasta eater in general. Mainly because I feel bloated or sluggish after, so it’s not something you’ll see me order or make a lot!

However…. 🙋🏻 I do love pasta and all Italian flavors of tomatoes, olives, basil. You name it (except the meats cuz ya know.). So I will play around with pastas with alternative flours like lentil or rice flour!

This is my first time using Einkorn pasta from Young Living. And I love it!

Back to how grains should be.

Natural and not hybridized.

Real food.

Easy to digest!

Here’s how I made it:

1 onion

2 Tbs tomato paste

2 Tbs olive oil

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Red pepper flakes

28 Oz crushed tomatoes

1/4 c olives, sliced

Large handful of kale, chopped

4 leaves of basil, fancy chopped

1/2 bag of Einkorn Pasta

3/4 cup green lentils

Cook lentils according to directions. Though I’m pretty sure it’s around 1 3/4 water you gotta boil the lentils in with the lid closed for about 25 mins. Or until softish.

Cook Einkorn Rotini Pasta (time out with the sauce below). Takes 8-10 mins. Drain. Save a bit of pasta water.

In a sauce pan, add onions, olive oil and tomato paste over medium heat. Sauté for about 4-5 mins and add garlic and red pepper. Sauté another minute or so. Add crushed tomatoes and olives. Salt to taste.

Let it bubble and do its thang for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

Add kale, basil and lentils. Add pasta water if sauce is thick to get the consistency you like, though is supposed to be hearty!

Fold in drained pasta and let them get to know each other for a hot minute.

Sit down and eat. 🤤

Blog, Essential Oils, Health

Greens on greens on Multigreens

One of the best ways I get started in the morning is a green smoothie. I operate on an eating schedule of “let the Ferrari go first and the semi-truck last”. It’s all part of my Beauty Detox Lifestyle!

Why? 🤓 Most fruit takes 15 minutes to digest, bananas are 45 minutes. So definitely a Ferrari food to eat on an empty stomach. When we eat smart, our body doesn’t have to spend so much energy digesting and can do other things. Plus there’s no sluggishness like post thanksgiving.

Also, throwing it out there because this was life-changing for my skin. Smoothies, diet and natural quality products are my (not-so) secret to a clean, glowing complexion!

This is the first time my hippie dippy self has experimented with MultiGreens! What?! More greens in my smoothie and I still can’t taste it! Spirulina and chlorophyll are two supplements that have been on my radar that I’ve never dabbled with until now…so empty a couple capsules in your smoothie next time.

🌿Spirulina – rich source of magnesium, which helps to promote bone health and overall mood

🌿Chlorophyll – a natural source of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin K and magnesium, being a source of choline which supports energy production. May support healthy blood and digestive system.

Blog, Health

FitBit Challenges with Friends

On days where I would rather sit on my couch than go to the gym, I get myself moving. I’ve always said that I’m the type person who is motivated by seeing other people work out.

I also don’t run. Actually my running joke is that I really only run late. 🤣 Word puns!

My boyfriend bought me a Fitbit for Christmas and I soon discovered that I could connect with all of my friends!

The workweek hustles make me extra conscious to get moving after work. The weekend warrior challenge encourages me to go for a hike rather than lounge all day! I’ll chose the stairs and take multiple breaks to go for a walk throughout the day.

And can I just say how crazy impressed I am by the women in my challenges? Some are friends from middle or high school, college, yoga, and within my oily community that I have continued to stay in touch with.

We build each other up with positivity and healthy goals. Because why do anything different?

Shine on, friends.

Blog, Health

BPAs: The What, Why, and How to Avoid

I don’t know about you but sometimes I feel like there’s a little acronym overload in the world. I get confused! (Parentheses story: Yesterday my brother in law was talking about DND…it’s not Dunkin’ Donuts just an FYI to add more acronyms to the mix.) I mean they’re usually just short for long words we can barely pronounce anyway, so it’s a good time to abbrev.

So today, we’re talking about BPA. And why it should be an acronym we actually understand!

MSG, the first acronym I feared, is the reason why shiny Chinese food creeps me out. That one is a lurky acronym! Food additives to preserve food and make you overeat. Nooooo thank you! I’d rather go preservative free and eat nature’s fresh goodness. And let my body tell me naturally when I’m full.

Back to BPA! I know I have seen it all over water bottles and plastic ware, but why is it another lurky acronym?

BPA stands for Bisphenol A. Try saying that really fast 5 times. It’s an additive in a lot of plastics, since plastics became so mainstream in the 1960s.

Why should we care? BPA can leak into whatever touches it’s surface. Tupperware containing food you drink, bottles containing liquids you drink…lots of places that could end up in your body.   The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences cites a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with detectable levels of BPA in 93% of people six years and older.  Ick!

The FDA is doing studies on the effects of BPA and its relationship to various health concerns. Brain, behavior, prostate health, and increased blood pressure. Yikes, bikes! While nothing is a definite, those risks don’t sound worth it to me, so I’m gonna stay away from BPA to continue my toxin free lifestyle!

How do I stay away from BPA? If you’re concerned like me, here’s what we can do:

  • Use only BPA-free products like bottles, food containers, oil diffusers, etc.
  • Use less cans. Focus on fresh foods and dried beans. Some canned foods come in cartons if you look in the natural foods aisle.
  • Avoid heat. Hand wash plastics or heat your food on the stove. Def don’t put Tupperware in the microwave as heat can further break down plastic.
  • Use alternatives. Glass Tupperware, metal pots and pans to heat food, and reusable steel water bottles!
  • Check the little triangle before you buy! I’m gonna blow your mind. There’s a number inside that actually means something. On plastic containers, you’ll see a number 1-7. Avoid 3 and 7, which indicate BPA is present! The rest of them, all BPA free. The way to be!
Blog, Health

The Battle of the Milks: Cow vs. Almond

I recently saw a commercial of the cow milk industry attacking the almond milk industry.  A familiar scene I see in school, a spelling bee competition, an ingredient showdown of each type of milk.  milk

Almond milk begins.  The word: lecithin.  Well, even I had to look up how to even pronounce that when I first saw it.  Child obviously messed up, because about 95% of us would anyway.

Cow milk: spell milk.  Easy, peasy, right?  This kid obviously won the spelling bee with a word most first graders have down, but lecithin, c’mon!  This unfairness obviously explains the eye rolling of the girl who lost.

My question, why was this attack taking place?  What was so threatening about almond milk?

The cow milk industry is losing business to alternative plant-based products.  Fast.

In 2015, a Nielsen consumer study reported that sales for the cow milk industry dropped 7% whereas almond milk grew 7.8%.  Americans are going nuts for almond milk.

Plant Based Milk Benefits

The same study also reported reasons for the switch over.  Consumers liked the all natural, plant-based, high protein benefits that almond milk has to offer.

Consumers appear to be educating themselves about food and nutrition before blindly following the food traditions of our upbringing.  

My step sister, Laurel, now gives her daughter exclusively almond milk and drinks it herself. Her concerns were consistent with the Nielsen study.  She believes cow’s milk is intended for baby calves, not baby humans. She added, “I hope that doesn’t make me sound like a nut bag.”  I think she intended this nutty pun…

Dietary concerns play a factor as those lactose intolerant look for milk alternatives. A whopping 75% of the world’s population lose our lactose enzymes in early childhood, right after weaning.  This includes me!

I, for instance, geek out over scientific data based on the ingredients that aren’t listed on the labels.  The connections between the food we eat and our coinciding health.

What’s Actually in Cow’s Milk?

Let’s rewind back to that spelling bee commercial.  What is in milk that the FDA doesn’t require them to put on the ingredient label.  35 hormones.  11 growth factors. Casein.  Lecithin.  

Hold up… lecithin.  That sounds really familiar!  The same ingredient almond milk was being criticized for!

Casein, an extremely hard protein for the human body to digest. Cow’s milk contains double the amount of casein as human breast milk.  

Species with the highest protein containing milk are the fastest growing species.  A baby calf grows fully after 2 years.  Humans, by contrast, reach fully grown state during the teens and early 20s for some late bloomers.  Elmer's_logo.svg

Every wonder why Elmer’s glue has a friendly cow on the label?  Guess what ingredient helps make the glue.  Casein.  And now we understand why people report constipation after indulging in dairy…

The Dirty Dairy Secrets Revealed

Does milk actually do a body good? But, it has calcium and protein!  (psst…so do other foods)

If we reportedly gain calcium from milk to prevent bone loss, then why do countries with the highest dairy consumption have the greatest rates of osteoporosis?  One cohort study showed a link between mortality and bone fractures to be greater in those with high dairy consumption.

How does this happen? Our body desires an alkaline state, and dairy is acid forming, mucus forming (hence, the glue, remember?).  The most readily available source to neutralize acidity is…calcium.  Counterproductive, right?

Less life threatening, but highly embarrassing is dairy’s effect on the skin.  The mucus forming interactions of dairy on the body are reflected through acne.  Personally, I struggled with breakouts far into adulthood.  The best thing I ever did for my skin was giving up the ice cream, cheese, and dairy.  

The documentary What the Health explores the correlation of breast cancer and dairy.  Now, if milk contains hormones and breast cancer cells thrive on estrogen, can we add these two factors up?  Women who ate one or more full-fat dairy products were 49% more likely to die from breast cancer than those who ate minimal dairy.

Men aren’t totally off the hook here either.  One study concluded that men who had higher intakes of dairy were 32% more at risk than men who had one or less servings per day.  

The Bottom Line

Milk consumers are onto something.  Knowledge is power.

We aren’t just a bunch of nut bags for straying from the status-quo.  

Mooooooove over milk.

 

Blog, Health

Beauty Detox Basics

Five years ago, one of my friends gave me this book that rocked my dietary routine.

Then I quickly read her other book, The Beauty Detox Solution, anticipated two more books she published over the past few years, made so many of her recipes, followed her on social media, and listened to her podcasts as I strolled around Valley Green on my leisurely walks.  I basically soaked in any information from her I could.  Why? Because when I follow her Beauty Detox lifestyle, I feel and look better than ever.

Now for the culmination of my obsessive and semi-stalkerish behavior (but, in my opinion, just die-hard fan of her work)…Today, I am actually going to meet Kimberly Snyder! 

Seriously, who else geeks out about meeting their nutritionist guru?!  Um, this girl.  I may or may not have placed my vacation plans on hold until I knew exactly what date she was coming to Philly because it was that important for me to go.

For me, the biggest takeaway from her research and books is how to eat intelligently to simplify the digestive process for your body.  This allows your body to spend less energy digesting food and allow for more energy spent in other areas. Cell growth, muscle production, organ support, etc.  Your body can beautify itself when you eat in a way that doesn’t overtax the digestive system.  Makes sense, right?!

Here are a few of the BD basic principles + reasons why they work:

[ ]  Eat light to heavy throughout the day.  Kim presents an analogy in her first book, The Beauty Detox Solution, illustrating this concept.  On a highway, you have a semi truck, a high speed sports car, and an SUV.  Seriously, how much road rage do we all get when we are stuck behind slow moving trucks on the highway?  Now imagine that same fast digesting food sitting in your stomach.  So the lesson is to let the Ferrari digest in your body first thing in the morning.  Generally eat something lighter, such as fruit or smoothies, and abandon the eggs, pancakes, bacon, or toast in the morning.  Stay away from protein in the morning as well, since it is a heavier food to digest.  For lunch, eat a little bit heavier by incorporating veggies and a healthy grains and fats.  Snacks in between meals should be lighter, like veggies and dip, fruit, or a protein smoothie. If you do eat meat or seafood, wait until dinner to incorporate animal protein.

[ ] Eat fruit on an empty stomach. Fruit is the Ferrari of all foods in the digestive tract.  If you eat fruit with an already full stomach, the fruit just ferments and rots in your stomach since it can’t get through.  Most fruits digest in 15-20 minutes, though bananas are a little bit longer to digest at around 45 minutes.  If you choose to eat fruit with a meal, eat it before, perhaps while you are preparing food, but not for dessert.


[ ] Use proper food combining principles.
 This concept relates to the digestive enzymes your stomach uses to break down the foods.  Basically, protein and carbohydrate enzymes keep neutralizing each other, which means your body has to produce more of those respective enzymes and work harder to digest when you eat something like a spicy tuna roll or pasta with meatballs.  Choose one: protein or carbohydrate and pair it with the Switzerland of foods, veggies!  Healthy fats like nuts and avocado don’t pair well with protein, but do with carbohydrates.  Check out this cheat sheet infographic for more detail.

[ ] Incorporate Beauty Detox into your routine 80% of the time.  Nobody is perfect, and we can’t hold ourselves accountable 100% of the time.  We have to give ourselves some room to screw up every now and again, so that we don’t get discouraged and completely give up when we fall off the wagon. This was one of the ways I kind of screwed up when I first started Beauty Detox and became overly obsessive with living the lifestyle 100% of the time.  I can recognize some of my behaviors as orthorexic. I became too thin for my frame with one of my coworkers telling me to not lose anymore weight.  I turned down many meals with friends for fear of falling off the wagon.  In turn, I sort of isolated myself and even though I was fit, I wasn’t super happy.  My message to you: it’s okay to screw up, but figure out a detour and just do your best!

[ ]  Move your body in two ways: exercise + elimination.  In whatever capacity you like to exercise, do it.  Walk, run, do yoga, spin, kickboxing, weights, etc.  Find something that speaks to you and you’ll be more inclined to stick with it.  Next up, I’m gonna talk about it.  Poop. Yep, if you’re not eliminating that junk, then you’re just full of it.  Stinky, petrifying stuff sitting in your colon which makes you feel icky and sluggish.  So drink tons of water, follow the BD principles, and your body will respond by digesting things faster and more regularly.

 

Rest assured, the nutritionist geek in me will be attentively listening and taking notes on EVERYTHING Kim says throughout the talk tonight.  I’ll report back soon! Stay tuned…

If you’re looking for more guidance on the Beauty Detox lifestyle, check out http://www.kimberlysnyder.com for blog posts, recipes, and links to her books.