Monday, December 13, 2010

Natural drain cleaner

To naturally clean drains...
  • Pour about a cup of baking soda into the drain
  • Follow with about a cup of white vinegar (Warning, this will fizz up like crazy)
  • Wait about ten minutes and pour boiling water down the drain

BBQ Red Bean Burgers



Normally I'm not one for veggie or bean burgers, but these were super good!!! Jillian Michaels from Biggest Loser posted a recipe on facebook awhile back and I had been wanting to try it for awhile. Well, as with any new and strange recipe, I put it off, put it off, and put it off. It was on my menu for about 4 weeks but I kept skipping it. I finally tried it tonight! I made some changes so I will post below how I made them. They were great!

BBQ Red Bean Burgers

    • 1 teaspoon olive oil
    • 1/2 minced onion
    • 2 chopped and seeded tomatoes
    • 1/2 minced jalapeno (I only used half since I'm feeding kids. If I was to make it for myself, I'd use 2 jalapeno's probably)
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 3 cups organic kidney beans
    • 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
    • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce ( I use Trader Joes BBQ sauce, YUM)
    • 1 egg white, beaten
    • 4 whole grain buns, toasted (I used Ezekial buns)

      Toppings: (any, all, or none)
      jack or cheddar cheese, organic of course
        lettuce
      slices thick tomatoes  
      avocado
      bbq sauce
      onions

    •  Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.
    • Add onion, tomato, jalapeno, garlic and chili powder; sauté 5 minutes.
    • Using fork or potato masher, coarsely mash beans in bowl.
    • Combine with onion mixture, breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of the barbecue sauce and egg white.
    • Shape mixture into 8  1/2-inch-thick patties.
    • Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill
    • If grilling, oil the rack or spray grill rack with nonstick spray, then fire up coals to medium heat.
    • If pan-frying, heat a little olive oil over medium heat.
    • Place patties on grill or in skillet and cook until golden brown and heated through, about three minutes per side. (I did them in a skillet. I did them three minutes on each side, twice.)
    • Place burgers on buns.
    • Top with any of the above toppings or use your imagination!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Chicken noodle soup

Tis the season for Chicken Noodle Soup! And there's nothing better than making it with organic ingredients!

Chicken Noodle Soup

4 quarts chicken broth (I used Pacific's organic free range chicken broth)
1 lb of chicken (I used thighs)
5 carrots peeled and sliced
5 stalks celery, chopped (reserve leaves)
2 onions, diced
1/2 ts ground pepper (more or less to taste)
1/2 ts salt (more or less to taste)
pinch of thyme
1 ts lemongrass paste
3 bay leaves
1/2 ts garlic powder
1 pkg of organic egg noodles

Boil chicken in chicken broth until cooked through. I boiled them for an hour because I walked away and went and did something else. It by all means doesn't need that long, but it was pretty tender. Pull out the chicken and shred or dice, and throw back in the pot. Add the rest of the ingredients except the pasta and celery leaves. Simmer for an hour, or low boil for 30 minutes until carrots are tender. Meanwhile cook pasta in another pot, drain, and set aside. Once the carrots are tender, throw in the celery leaves and cook for a few minutes. Fish out the bay leaves. Dish out the pasta into the bowls and pour soup on top. For an added kick, sprinkle in some cayenne for a sinus clearing! This made approximately 6 big bowls. It could easily be doubled, tripled, or halved as needed. This is a very forgiving recipe! Enjoy!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Plastic

Since the "BPA scare of '08" the general public has been more aware of the plastics they use. Think about it, do you really want to ingest plastic. Ick, plastic? Some plastics leach into the foods they come in contact with. Here is a basic list of the types of plastic. Flip over your plastic bottle and look at the recycling symbol on the bottom. That number is the type of plastic you're dealing with.

#1 PETE, PET (polyethylene terephthalate) Transparent. Soda, water bottles, cooking oil, medicine bottles. Generally safe to use, do NOT reuse. Usually recyclable.

#2 HDPE (high density polyethylene) Sturdy, harder plastic. Used in storage containers, milk, and detergent bottles, etc. Safe. Recyclable. 

#3 PVC (polyvinyl chloride) used for plastic wrap, detergent, and cooking oil bottles.Increases the risk of birth defects and hormone-related cancers. Production is hazardous to workers and the environment. Not safe. Not recyclable.

#4 LDPE (low density polyethylene) Flexible plastic. Bags, wraps. Not for reuse. Somewhat safe. Not recyclable.

#5 PPE, PP (polypropylene) Pliable plastic. Squeeze bottles, reusable food containers, etc. Safe. Recyclable.

#6 PS (polystyrene) Used in rigid take-out containers and foam meat trays. Can leach styrene when heated, a possible endocrine disruptor and carcinogen. Not safe if heated. Not recyclable.

#7 Other (usually polycarbonate) This was used in baby bottles (most have been banned since BPA became known about publically) Five gallon water jugs, reusable water bottles. It can leach a hormone disruptor called bisphenol A (BPA). Worse when heated. Stay away from this plastic at all costs! Not safe. Not recyclable.

Tips to avoid plastic leaching in your food:
-Heat up food in glass or ceramic containers
-Store food in the refrigerator in glass, ceramic, stainless steel, or PVC-free plastic wrap
-Do not use plastic containers for anything that leaves a residue that will have to be scoured. Scratches in the containers cause more leaching.
-Don't cover hot food with plastic wrap, let it cool first.
-Wash plastics by hand as much as possible. The dishwasher heats up the plastic, making more likely to leach, and causes scratches, causing more leaching.
-Use wax paper, butcher paper, #5 reusable sandwich container, or #4 plastic bags for sandwiches.
-Use a water pitcher made of #2 or #5 plastic, glass, or stainless steel
-Use #4 freezer bags, or glass labeled "freezer safe". Always let food cool first!
-Do not store food in plastic containers labeled 3, 6, or 7 ever.
-For dry food storage, use #5 plastic containers, or glass, or stainless steel.

How to make mayonnaise!



This is the best mayonnaise I have EVER had! I never met a mayonnaise I wanted to eat by the spoonful until I made this one!

2 eggs (see note below)
1 tsp dry mustard (you can use more for taste if you wish)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar because we like it, use whatever you like)
2 TB lemon juice, usually about half a lemon
sprinkle of paprika
1 cup oil (more if necessary to thicken more) ( I use light olive oil, evoo is very strong!)

Blend all ingredients except oil in a blender until mixed. IMPORTANT: if you have a vitamix, use setting 6. Use the lowest setting only on a regular blender!

As you are mixing the ingredients in the blender, pour oil in a thin stream through the lid while blender is going. Keep slowly pouring until some of the oil floats on the surface. If mayo is still runny (though it will thicken when chilled) scrape the sides and start again adding more oil.

Note: Please be advised that the eggs are raw in this recipe. Use of organic farm fresh eggs is highly recommended. Commercial eggs have a very high rate of Salmonella. Farm fresh organic free range eggs have a very low rate of Salmonella.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Groceries

I'm often asked how much I spend on groceries. So here it is....At this time, living in NY (organic food prices are pretty high), I spend anywhere from $160-200/week on groceries for a family of 5 (the baby doesn't eat food yet). That does not include the $20/week I spend on 4 gallons of raw organic milk. Plus we only eat meat a few times a week. Eating more meat with greatly increase the cost of groceries. So for the sake of your colon, and your wallet, eat more vegetarian meals! Also, our eggs are "free" from our chickens. Though the cost of chicken feed, bedding, accessories...they are far from free.
I have been surprised lately to hear that many families spend $200/week buying non-organic groceries....that made me feel great!

Rocky the Rooster

I cannot believe I'm being bullied by a rooster. What does this have to do with organic and natural living...well they're organic free range chickens of course!
So we have this rooster, Rocky. He's beautiful. But in the last few weeks he's made me his prey. Why? I have no idea! I walk outside and he makes a bee-line for me. He'll get about 10 feet away and stop and pretend he's eating, pecking at the ground. Meanwhile I can see his beety little eye staring at me. He'll fluff up his neck feathers, come a little closer to me, stop and peck at the ground some more. This goes on and on until either I walk away (um, I mean run...yes I run from a chicken) or he gets close to enough to actually attack me. He throws himself at my leg and before he can do any damage I boot him and run.
Often I'll look up from what I'm doing and I'll see him standing outside the side door staring in at me. It's just seriously creepy!
Earlier today, the chickens were roaming around the yard and I went out to collect eggs from the coop. There were a couple dozen so it took me a few minutes. I step out of the coop and who is standing about 5 feet from the coop door? Rocky! Augh, seriously, how did he even know I was out there! He starts doing his "I'm about to attack you" dance (pecking, looking, fluffing feathers, getting closer, etc) So I head off into the woods. Then I realize I don't want to try to jump over a creek holding two dozen eggs. So I lure Rocky one way and then run around a tree and go the other way. As I'm heading over the bridge, I turn around, and he's actually RUNNING after me. Granted, I can run a heck of a lot faster than a rooster, but that really freaked me out! Yes I got safely back in the house without him actually attacking me, this time.
To quote Rachael Ray "If I had to actually go out and catch them and do you-know-what to them, I'd be a vegetarian" Totally my motto...but Rocky is very close to becoming dinner!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Amazon store

I have created an Amazon store where I have products that I have tried and tested. In the organic journey it is a bit intimidating with all the products out there. I have tried many that I have hated. Now I have compiled products that Amazon carries that I recommend.

http://astore.amazon.com/naturalando0c-20

Go Organic

Go Organic!


Your biggest challenge will be reading labels and understanding them. This is the hardest thing to get used to. Start with a few items to look out for and as you get used to spotting those, add a few more...eventually you'll be able to scan an ingredient list and know right away if it's ok to eat. Start with partially hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup.

Changing your life is a hard thing to do for most. Take it slow if you need to.
This is the order I recommend you start with:
-Drink pure water with no chlorine or fluoride.
-Start with buying organically the produce highest in pesticides. Download
a handy guide to pesticides here www.foodnews.org
-Buy organic meat and dairy
-Buy organic/natural (but read the label) packaged foods. Packaged
foods should be kept to a minimum...but we all know in this day and age
it is hard to avoid.
-Personal Care Products. This is a really hard one but well worth it. Most
mainstream personal care products have carcinogens in them.
Deodorants have aluminum in them. Check the "Ingredients to Avoid" list.
Some brands I like: Burts Bees, Jason, Alba, Avalon Organics (check label
though), Castille Soap, Eco Bella (make-up)
-Cleaning Products. Commercial cleaning products are absolute poison!
They kill brain cells, even if they are just sitting in the cupboard waiting to
be used. They harm your lungs. They are very dangerous, and how many
people actually use gloves when using them?
7th Generation makes great cleaning products. I personally like to make
my own which is very cost effective and extremely safe.

-Avoid all medications. Use herbal and homeopathic "medicines". A great
book everyone should have is "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"


If you are driving along in your car and your oil light comes on you can
either unplug the oil light, or get an oil change...both things will make the
light turn off but obviously only one of those options is good for the health
of your car. Taking Tylenol for a headache is like unplugging the oil light.
It takes care of the symptom, not the cause.
-Do NOT use a microwave. Microwaves mutate the genetic composition of
food...you are what you eat =) They also put out electromagnetic waves.
Check out the warnings that come with microwaves that most people
don't bother reading.
-Avoid Genetically Modified Foods (GMO's).
Contains insecticides and pesticides which kill insects, so what are they
doing to you?
Attacks organs
Causes cancer
Causes viral and bacterial illnesses


Below is a basic list I made previously. These are in no particular order of importance. But all should be done eventually to live an organic life. Most are repeats of the above information.




-Read labels! Please visit our list of ingredients to avoid. Your best bet-if you can't pronounce it, don't eat it!

-Know your body care products. Most deodorants have aluminum in them which can lead to many health problems, including Alzheimer's. Shampoo's and anything that lathers may have sodium laurel sulfate. This is a cancer causing substance...as are parabens.
Castile soap is a good alternative. This can be used as shampoo, body wash, and even a veggie wash. This is great to take camping because it is so versatile. You can find Castile soap in a variety of scents.

-For Women - Don't buy mainstream cosmetics. They contain cancerous and harmful ingredients. You are putting these chemicals in dangerous areas - your eyes, mouth, nose. Think about lipstick and how you can lick your lips all day and ingest it. Know what's in your makeup, read labels. Brands such as Burts Bees seem to generally be safe, but still check the label. Many health food stores have a nice a selection in safe cosmetics.

-Avoid dyes in food and medicine. One major problem with them is they cause hyperactivity in children.

-Avoid these "Whites":
Bleached white flour
White refined sugar
White iodized salt

-Avoid pasteurized dairy products. This isn't always the easiest thing to do, but well worth it. See our article on pasteurization.

-Avoid all hydrogenated oils. This is on our "Ingredients to Avoid" list, but well worth mentioning on it's own. Read our article on "Hydrogenation".

-Eat an abundance of raw fruits and vegetables. This is the best way to get a variety of live vitamins and minerals. Your body will thrive on raw food.


- Only eat organic meat, produce, and dairy products. Sustainably grown is good, if it's a reputable farm.


-Steaming vegetables is the best way to cook them, it retains the
most amount of vitamins. Though raw is always best.

Go Green!

Help me Go Green!
Where do I start?

Start with one item at a time or dive right in and change your life
!

1. Buy local, buy organic
Supporting local farms helps everyone. Buying organic reduces toxins put into the environment and your body.

2. Compost
Start a pile in your yard. Or buy a fancy composter. Either way, your scraps are not filling landfills.

3. Turn off lights and electrical equipment not in use. Save money, save electricity. Don't leave chargers plugged in when not in use, they continue to drain energy.

4. Recycle
Check locally what you are able to recycle. Go the extra mile with items you can't recycle locally and save them to turn in on a trip out of town.

5. Reuse
Save and reuse containers. If plastic, make sure it's a plastic that can be reused without leaching. Check our article on types of plastics. Glass containers are best to reuse, no leaching and easily can be put in the dishwasher. Reuse for crafts: cardboard, egg cartons (chicken farms will gladly take these as donations also), tp/pt rolls, containers for holding supplies, magazines/ads for collages, paper can be reused for doodling, baby food jars can be used for a ton of things...almost anything can be used for crafts with a little imagination, or a google search =)

6. Fires - burn right
Learn how to properly make a fire for minimal smoke being let off into the air.

7. Drive less
Combine errands into one trip.

8. Don't carry excess baggage
The more you carry in your car, the worse your gas mileage.

9. Buy from bulk bins
Save packaging...and may also save you money.

10. Don't pollute your own environment
Use green cleaning products. Simple vinegar and water is a great all-purpose cleaner. Go one step further and add a spoonful of Borax and a couple drops of tea tree oil for even more cleaning power. You can save a lot of money by making your own cleaning products. But you can also buy green cleaning products like Seventh Generation and Ecos.

11. Don't buy individually wrapped snack bags.
Buy a big box and divide it out yourself into reusable containers.

12. Use renewable energy
Building a new house? Think solar! Or, if available, hydro-electric power. Many states will give you a refund for part of the price of the system.

13. Eat free-range and organic meat
It's better for the environment and your health. Commercial farms pollute the air, ground water, and surrounding areas. They are dirty. Animals are raised inhumanely. The animals are given unnatural diets. They are given hormones and antibiotics. All of which ends up in the meat you eat and in turn it ends up in your body.

14. Print only what you need
You can save files and documents on your computer, they don't need to printed and waste paper. Use double sided printing when you do need to print.

15. Laundry - Use cold water and line dry.

16. Buy used - ebay, craigslist, freecycle, thrift stores

17. Use rags for cleaning instead of paper towels. Use wet washclothes for cleaning off kids faces and hands after a meal.

18. Use cloth grocery bags

Ingredients to Avoid

This list will continue to be added to as needed.
A good rule to follow when reading ingredient labels...if you can't pronounce it, don't buy it.

-Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils
-High fructose corn syrup
-Bleached flour
-Iodized salt
-Pasteurized or homoginized dairy products
-Commercial dairy products and meat
-Commerical pesticide riden vegetables
-Aspartame
-Soy
-Refined white sugar
-Aluminum
-Modified food starch
-Food dyes
-Canola (rapeseed) oil
-Fluoride
-MSG (this can go by many other names!)
-Genetically modified food


The following would only be in personal care products. If you find them in food, Augh, don't eat it.

-Propylene Glycol - antifreeze. causes liver and kidney damage. (These are in some food dyes too and medications)

-Sodium laurel/laureth sulfate - skin irritant. Reacts with other ingredients to form carcinogenic nitrates and dioxins. Your body will absorb this upon use. You are exposed to 50-100 X more nitrates using a product containing this than you would consuming bacon with sodium nitrate. Enters the brain, heart, and liver and impairs the immune system, eye and skin irritant, and allergic reactions.

-Aluminum (made both lists)- Suspected link to Central Nervous System dysfunction like Alzheimer's.

-Mineral Oil - derived from petroleum. Suffocates the skin, clogs pores. Possible carcinogen.


-DEA, TEA, MEA - Carcinogen

-Titanium dioxide -Carcinogen

-Collagen and elastin - derived from animal skin and chicken feet. And if that wasn't enough, over moisturizes skin, and has the ability to make bacteria grow.

-Formaldehyde - may be listed as formalin. Absorbed into the body and can cause allergic reactions, headaches, and asthma. Mostly found in nail polish. Look for nail polish labeled formaldehyde-free. Suspected carcinogen. Neurotoxin.

-Talc - doesn't allow skin to breathe. Linked to ovarian cancer. Carcinogen when inhaled....found in baby powder. In the lubricant on condoms...can cause fallopian tube fibrosis and infertility.

-Fluoride - environmental toxin. May contain lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, radionuclide. Bone disease. Carcinogen.

-Fragrance, Synthetic - when listed as "fragrance" on a label this can include 100's of chemicals. Some have been found to be neurotoxins and carcinogens.

Pasteurization

Created by French chemist, Louis Pasteur in the 1800's, pasteurization is the process of heating a liquid to a specific temperature for a specific amount of time without allowing re contamination. This process kills off the bacteria making a uniform quality among the milk industry. There are many reason this isn't a good thing. For one, the original product can have an extremely high bacteria count because that bacteria will be killed during the heating process. That in itself promotes bad farming practices and makes the commercial cow barely genetically resemble a cow. Most commercially raised cows are given a growth hormone that stimulates the pituitary glad. These hormones are secreted into the milk. This can cause growth abnormalities and is also associated with the formation of tumors and cancer. Cows taking this hormone are prone to many diseases and secrete puss into their milk and therefore are given a high amount of antibiotics. Looking at the point that modern practices of using a stainless steal tank and the modern milking machine, plus efficient packaging, makes pasteurization unnecessary. There are still outbreaks of salmonella in pasteurized milk, so what is it protecting us from? When pasteurized milk gets old, it goes rancid. Raw milk sours with age and is still useable for baking. Pasteurization also kills beneficial bacteria, minerals and vitamins and causes the fatty acids to become rancid. The high lactose content of pasteurized milk causes unnecessary strain on the pancreas and may be a cause of diabetes. Pasteurized milk lacks enzymes which are necessary for assimilating minerals such as calcium, which is why you can drink pasteurized milk and still get osteoporosis. Then there are the synthetic petroleum based vitamins they fortify the milk with. They are toxic….enough said.
Drink Raw Milk. Raw milk can be bought directly from many farms. Inquire as to what they feed their cows and how they pasture them. But under no circumstances should anyone drink pasteurized milk.

Hydrogenation

Hydrogenation is a chemical process that adds hydrogen atoms to unsaturated oil. In food production it is used to keep fat from becoming rancid. This process takes normally liquid at room temperature polyunsaturates into a solid at room temperature. Cheap oils, which are already rancid from the extraction process, are then mixed with metal particles. The oil is then subject to the hydrogen at high temperatures and high pressure. Then starch and soap type emulsifiers are added to give it a "good" consistency. The oil is then steam cleaned at a high temperature. To make it into margarine it then needs to be bleached to remove the unappetizing gray color. Then dyes and artificial flavors are added. This process changes the molecular composition of the oil. Before this process the hydrogen atoms occur together on the chain allowing the chain to bend. At the bend electrons are concentrated. This is a natural formation in nature. After hydrogenation one of the hydrogen atoms moves to the other side to straighten the molecule. This makes this into a toxin. Your body doesn't recognize it as a toxin, unfortunately, and doesn't eliminate it. They become part of your fat cells. So in turn, your cells become partially hydrogenated. This interrupts cell metabolism with the electrons disturbed and the chemical reaction can't take place. In the 40's a link between cancer and the consumption of fat was found. Until recently, saturated fats and trans fats were lumped together. It is now knows that it is the trans fats that cause the biggest problems. In addition it can also cause obesity, diabetes, sexual dysfunction, birth defects, immune problems, sterility, bad vision, lactation problems, bone issues. Not only should you not eat margarine but read labels and avoid any item containing partially hydrogenated oils.

The Dangers of Soy

Soy is one of the most talked about "health foods" out there. But most of what you hear is not the truth. The propaganda put out by the soy industry has led us to believe that soy is a miracle food.
Soy didn't even start out as a food product. It was used in crop rotation to fix the nitrogen level in soil. Once the fermentation process was discovered, it became an occasional food product by the Chinese. The Chinese NEVER ate it unfermented because of the toxin level. It can cause many problems such as gastric distress, deficiencies, and pancreatic problems.
99% of soy today is genetically modified. Because of this a high amount of pesticides and herbicides are needed therefore making soy one of the highest pesticide contaminants of any food.
Then we come to the deficiency problem. Soybeans have a high phytic acid content which blocks the absorption of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. Zinc is most affected by the mineral blocking and zinc is needed for optimal brain function. Soy happens to have one of the highest phytate contents of any grain or legume. Unlike other high phytate containing grains, soybeans are resistant to long, slow cooking to reduce it. The only way to get around this at all is to consume soybeans with meat which reduces the mineral blocking effect. This is obviously a problem for vegetarians that use soy as a meat replacement. When Chinese consume soy, it is in small amounts usually in a broth of a fish based soup and then they follow it with a meat or fish dish. They use it as a condiment, not a meat replacement. Celibate vegetarian monks in monasteries use soy to dampen libido.
The main "ingredient" in most soy foods is Soy Protein Isolate (SPI). To make this, an acid wash is done in aluminum tanks which leach a high amount of aluminum into the product. Nitrites are formed during the spray drying technique, which are very potent carcinogens. Often MSG is added for taste. Animals that are fed SPI have enlarged organs, especially the pancreas and thyroid. SPI is added to many products including school lunches, baked goods, beverages, and fast food items.
In China, soy has never been consumed in high amounts except during times of poverty or famine. So how has this been advertised to the American consumer as a health food? Soy is marketed is an upscale miracle food. "The quickest way to gain product acceptability in less affluent society is to have the product consumed on its own merit in a more affluent society," said an industry spokesman.
There are no great amounts of conclusive studies that prove soy reduces cancer.
A 1991 study by Japanese researchers showed that 2 TB of soy a day for a month increased the thyroid stimulating hormone. 25 grams of SPI contains 50-70 mg of isoflavones. In studies it only took 45 mg of isoflavones in women to disrupt thyroid function. This happens to be the minimum amount for cholesterol lowering. Replacing meat with soy only lowers cholesterol if the cholesterol level is higher than 250. 100g of soy is the maximum amount of soy suggested for lowering cholesterol. This can contain 60 mg of isoflavones, which is toxic.
Soy can't prevent osteoporosis since it blocks calcium absorption and causes Vitamin D deficiency.
Soy fed to birds speeds up their coloring. Birds that wouldn't obtain their color until 18-24 months get their color at a few months old. One long time bird breeder noted that their birds had decreased fertility, deformed babies, and premature death, mostly in females. Their autopsies showed disintegrating organs. When taken off the soy, their birds started reproducing normally and eventually got back to normal. Mike Fitzpatrick, PhD, toxicologist, investigated this and found evidence that soy consumption leads to infertility, cancer, leukemia, and other disorders.
A baby fed soy formula receives the same level of estrogen as 5 birth control pills a day. There is almost no estrogen content in dairy formula or human milk, even if the mother consumes soy. Many years ago it was proven that soy formula causes thyroid problems in babies. Normal male babies have a testosterone surge in the first few months of life which helps start normal mail brain function. A male that is fed soy formula is getting too much estrogen to have the testosterone surge. Studies done in animals show that the lack of male hormone causes learning disabilities.
Female puberty age is getting lower and lower. Studies are showing that soy formula is more responsible for this than the hormones in chickens. Entering puberty too early can cause other problems later in life such as not menstruating, infertility, and breast cancer. New Zealand put out a warning in 1998 about soy formula, the US never has.
Consuming soy late in life increases the incidence of Alzheimer's and dementia.
The only thing soy has ever been labeled GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the FDA is for binder in cardboard boxes. The FDA requires safety specifications and monitoring procedures before food can be labeled as GRAS. This has never been done with soy.
Check the list of ingredients on your packaged foods. Many contain some form of soy. This is to be avoided as much as possible. For the many reasons stated, don't ever eat unfermented soy! Be careful with your health, and especially your children's health. This miracle food isn't such a miracle after all. It's cheap to produce so it is saturated onto the market to fill the pocketbooks of the industry leaders. Farmers are generally not to blame, they are fed the same information as the rest of the American public and have been scammed into thinking soy is good for you. It's not.
References:
Coleman, Richard J., "Vegetable Protein - A Delayed Birth?"
Katz, Solomon H., "Food and Biocultural Evolution: A Model for the Investigation of Modern Nutritional Problems"
Rackis, Joseph J. et al., "The USDA trypsin inhibitor study. I. Background, objectives and procedural details"
El Tiney, A.H., "Proximate Composition and Mineral and Phytate Contents of Legumes Grown in Sudan"
Ologhobo, A.D. et al., "Distribution of phosphorus and phytate in some Nigerian varieties of legumes and some effects of processing", Journal of Food Science 49(1):199-201, January/February 1984
Rackis, Joseph J. et al., "The USDA trypsin inhibitor study"
Fallon, Sally, "Nourishing Traditions"
www.unitedsoybean.org

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

TP

We always buy "green" toilet paper. If you've ever used it, you know it's not the softest. One day we were at someone else's house and my 5 year old had to go. When I wiped his butt he said, loudly, "What is THAT and why is it so soft???" haha

Money Saving Ideas

Sometimes when eating organically it seems as though prices are just going up. It was a real price shock moving from California to New York. It’s amazing to me how much more produce is. Not to mention, even things like crackers and bread. What I wouldn’t give for a Trader Joes. If you have a Trader Joes, I highly recommend you shopping there. Otherwise, here are some ideas I’ve used over the years:
-The crockpot has become my fan. Not just for cooking meals. Honestly I don’t actually cook many meals in them. But I cook things like dried beans and then freeze in 2 cup portions. After moving to NY I found that canned organic beans were $2 a can! Augh! I can spend less than 50¢ for each 2 cup portion. Before cooking, rinse the beans, soak for atleast 6 hours, drain,rinse, put back in crockpot, fill with water (atleast an inch over the surface of the beans). Add salt and any seasonings you may like. I generally add a little garlic powder and cumin. If you want to make refried beans, I suggest throwing in half an onion (only chop it up if you intend to keep it in with the beans when you process them) and a couple cloves of garlic. You could certainly add a jalapeno or two if you’d like spicey refried beans. Cook on low for 6 hours or so. Check every couple hours if you can to make sure they don’t need more water. After 6 hours taste a bean to make sure it’s to your likeness ( I can’t stand hard beans, but that’s just me). You can also cook any kind of soup and portion it out and freeze it too. Much better for you than canned soup and cheaper. Here I pay $3+ for a can of soup. We’re a family of five, we can split one can of soup. So that makes soup a bit pricey. I actually prefer the cartons of soup, which are still $3+. Depending on the type of soup you make you’ll probably be spending anywhere from less than 50¢ to a dollar or so for a portion. My next venture in the crockpot is to try to make tomato sauce. I don’t like spending $2 a can for that either. Obviously I use a lot of tomato sauce and beans. But we can’t get organic tomatoes yet so I’ll wait a little later in the year. Which brings me to my next idea…
-Buy produce when in season and freeze or can for when it is not available…or when the price is doubled or tripled. This is especially important if you live summer with real seasons…like winter for instance. I was clueless moving to NY. I had no idea that some produce was not available in the winter. Totally makes sense but I had never dealt with that before. Find organic u-pick farms for berries and apples. I can’t believe I have to pay $5 for a container of strawberries. I WILL find an organic strawberry farm this summer and freeze a ton of them! Produce stand have great prices too. Or…
-Grow it yourself! Even if you don’t have room for a big garden you can plant a small one, or container garden. My goal last winter was to attempt growing tomatoes inside in a really sunny room. The winter got away from me and I never did it. But I may try it this summer just to see if I can do it. I read an article once saying that it was entirely possible, and pretty easy too. I’ve seen hanging containers for strawberries and tomatoes, anyone has room for those, inside or out. An herb garden works great in a sunny window inside. If you end up with more herbs than you can use, dehydrate them. Same with extra produce…if you don’t freeze or can it, you can dehydrate it. I love my dehydrator…
-Invest in a dehydrator. Organic dried fruits and veggies are expensive to buy. But to dehydrate them yourself is super easy and super cheap. Beef jerky too. Way expensive to buy, not cheap to make, but cheaper than buying and you can season to taste. Bonus if you find an organic farm you can meat from directly. Most grocery stores now carry organic meat too.
-Coupons! I went years thinking I could never use coupons because you just don’t see coupons for organic brands in the newspaper. I found that you can contact your favorite companies directly, usually through their website, and they will mail you coupons. Some will even email them to you. I also found that my grocery store’s natural department puts out a monthly magazine with great articles…AND coupons! So they are out there, you just have to look, they aren’t just handed to you like with the cruddy unhealthy brands.
-Use a water filter and reusable bottles. If going for plastic, find #2 plastic. Sigg and Klean Kanteen make good bottles too. They even make sippy cups for kids. When at home, opt for glass if possible. I’m sure you can only imagine how much you will save not buying water in disposable bottle, not to mention the environmental reasons to.
-Make your own condiments. I got really tired of paying $8 for a tiny jar of organic mayonaisse. I got a great recipe from a friend and now make it myself. It’s really easy and SO much cheaper. Ketchup and mustard aren’t that expensive for me so I haven’t tried them yet, but I know people that have. Salsa and hot sauce are also pretty easy, and much cheaper to make. You can play with the recipes until you have something you absolutely love and you’ll never go back to buying it premade!
-Buy organic eggs straight from the farm. In the winter, when the chickens are producing less and I can’t get them from the farm I buy them from the store for $4 a dozen. From the farm I pay $2. We go through about 4 dozen eggs a week, that’s a huge savings! If you have room, get your own chickens. We now have our own chickens. We have 16 (we did have 26, stupid fox). We get about a dozen eggs a day, it's great!

My favorite cleaner

I will start with my favorite all purpose cleaner.
Fill a spray bottle half-way with white vinegar. Add a ts of borax. A few drops of tea trea oil or orange oil (your choice). Fill the rest of the bottle with water. Great disinfector! And it won't make you lose brain cells while cleaning!

Welcome...

Welcome to Natural and Organic...the lifestyle! I'll start by telling you a little about me. I am a natural mom of 4 kids. The first three kids were born at home with a midwife. The 4th was born naturally in the hospital with a midwife. I breastfeed all my kids for atleast two years. I wear my babies. I make babyfood myself. We eat as organically and naturally as possible. It was much easier to obtain organic food in California. Since moving to NY almost three years ago it's been a little more difficult. But regardless of price, we buy everything we can organic. And more recently we have started searching out non-GMO food. We juice as much as we can. I only use natural cleaning products. I make as many of them myself as I can. We use natural personal care products. Unfortunately I do not cloth diaper, though I always wish I did, but my babies only wear Seventh Generation diapers, non-bleached, biodegradable. I use Seventh Generation baby wipes. For about 7 years we have been on this "organic" journey. We have learned a lot and I am here to share that information with you...and share some cute stories along the way. I hope to inspire everyone to be more natural and organic! It's not as hard as it looks =)