Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cannellini Cilantro Hummus - Quick, Easy, Different, and Clean

Cannellini Cilantro Hummus


- 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic

- 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, drained
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

  In a food processor, combine garlic and cannellini beans with lemon juice and process until smooth. Mix in oil, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper and process until blended. Add 3 tablespoons cilantro and pulse until mixed.

Monday, January 30, 2012

No Breakfast? Big Problem


  There are a few “must do” items every Clean Eater ( or anyone who is trying to stabilize or lose weight ) must do – and one of them at the top of the list is making sure to eat a nutritious, balanced breakfast each morning. It’s called breakfast on purpose – you are “breaking the fast” from the night before.

Are you never hungry for breakfast? Have a hard time eating early in the day? 
I once read a wise statement I try to keep in mind as I go about my afternoons and evenings: “If you aren’t hungry for breakfast, you’ve eaten too much the night before.”

A well balanced breakfast consists of a lean protein, a fruit source, a vegetable source, and a dairy source. What could this look like for a Clean Eater?

1 Medium omelet stuffed with spinach and cheese with a glass of orange juice or a side bowl of fresh fruit


1 bowl steel cut oatmeal with raisins and walnuts,  a side of fruit / OJ, and a stick of cheese


1 cup Greek yogurt with a sprinkle of Grape Nuts / whole grain cereal, banana or apple slices, and a handful of almonds or walnuts 


Toasted slices of whole grain bread with peanut or almond butter,  scrambled eggs, and a bowl of blueberries and strawberries

Do you see a pattern here? You’re combining a source of protein ( egg, Greek yogurt, walnuts ) with a source of fresh fruit ( a fruit bowl, or added fruit to your yogurt / oatmeal, or a glass of orange juice ), and in some cases adding a source of whole grain. Giving yourself the protein your body needs to fuel it for the morning, and adding vital vitamins and minerals.  Eating a protein in the morning ( instead of a heavy carb - bagel, donut – or worse yet, nothing ) provides your body’s machinery something to work on in the morning – thus raising your metabolism early in the day, and giving mind and your muscles the energy they need. 

Skipping breakfast is a big problem. If eating in the morning is an issue for you, start slow, and build up your "food tolerance." Eat a cheese stick, a Grape Nuts baked breakfast bar,  or a small bowl of clean breakfast ceral from Kashi.

If you've always skipped breakfast before but realize you need to incorporate breakfast into your Clean routine, start the night before. eat a lighter supper than usual, and try hard not to snack after dinner. The next morning, prepare a tasty breakfast for yourself with  a balance of protein, dairy, fruit, and vegetable. It doesn't have to be a big breakfast. Eat something small, and then a few hours later supplement that with another similar small meal. Keep doing this, and in no time at all, you'll wake up with a growling stomach and a mind thinking about starting your day off Clean. No breakfast? Big problem.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tanga.com - Clean Eating Magazine Only $5.99 a Year!!!

Head over to Tanga.com   right now to snag a year's subscription to Clean Eating Magazine for $5.99 a year! If you are new to Clean Eating and have been buying this magazine at the newsstand, you'll save A LOT of money by getting in on this subscription.
This deal is only good for 24 hours, so head over there now to get in on it.

Enter code "eating" as you check out to reduce the price from $24.99 to $5.99.

If you order "Quantity 2", you will get a 2 year subscription at $5.99 a year - an amazing savings over the newstand price.

Clean Eating In the News: Arsenic in Apple Juices

     This post is taken verbatim from the Consumer Reports website: Arsenic in Apple Juice . I've edited out for brevity some passages that give certain background information or aren't as relevant to the information. If you'd like to read the article in its entirety, click the link above.


     Arsenic has long been recognized as a poison and a contaminant in drinking water, but now concerns are growing about arsenic in foods, especially in fruit juices that are a mainstay for children.
Controversy over arsenic in apple juice made headlines as the school year began when Mehmet Oz, M.D., host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” told viewers that tests he’d commissioned found 10 of three dozen apple-juice samples with total arsenic levels exceeding 10 parts per billion (ppb). There’s no federal arsenic threshold for juice or most foods, though the limit for bottled and public water is 10 ppb. The Food and Drug Administration, trying to reassure consumers about the safety of apple juice, claimed that most arsenic in juices and other foods is of the organic type that is “essentially harmless.”
     But an investigation by Consumer Reports shows otherwise. Our study, including tests of apple and grape juice (download a PDF of our complete test results), a scientific analysis of federal health data, a consumer poll, and interviews with doctors and other experts, finds the following: 
  • Roughly 10 percent of our juice samples, from five brands, had total arsenic levels that exceeded federal drinking-water standards. Most of that arsenic was inorganic arsenic, a known carcinogen.
  • One in four samples had lead levels higher than the FDA’s bottled-water limit of 5 ppb. As with arsenic, no federal limit exists for lead in juice.
  • Apple and grape juice constitute a significant source of dietary exposure to arsenic, according to our analysis of federal health data from 2003 through 2008.
  • Children drink a lot of juice. Thirty-five percent of children 5 and younger drink juice in quantities exceeding pediatricians’ recommendations, our poll of parents shows.
  • Mounting scientific evidence suggests that chronic exposure to arsenic and lead even at levels below water standards can result in serious health problems
  • Inorganic arsenic has been detected at disturbing levels in other foods, too, which suggests that more must be done to reduce overall dietary exposure.
     Our findings have prompted Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, to urge the FDA to set arsenic and lead standards for apple and grape juice. Our scientists believe that juice should at least meet the 5 ppb lead limit for bottled water. They recommend an even lower arsenic limit for juice: 3 ppb.
“People sometimes say, ‘If arsenic exposure is so bad, why don’t you see more people sick or dying from it?’ But the many diseases likely to be increased by exposure even at relatively low levels are so common already that its effects are overlooked simply because no one has looked carefully for the connection,” says Joshua Hamilton, Ph.D., a toxicologist specializing in arsenic research and the chief academic and scientific officer at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.
As our investigation found, when scientists and doctors do look, the connections they’ve found underscore the need to protect public health by reducing Americans’ exposure to this potent toxin.

What our tests found

Juice samples
     We tested juice from bottles, cans, and juice boxes that we bought in three states. We went shopping in Connecticut, New Jersey, and New York in August and September, buying 28 apple juices and three grape juices. Our samples came from ready-to-drink bottles, juice boxes, and cans of concentrate. For most juices, we bought three different lot numbers to assess variability. (For some juices, we couldn’t find three lots, so we tested one or two.) In all, we tested 88 samples.

     Five samples of apple juice and four of grape juice had total arsenic levels exceeding the 10 ppb federal limit for bottled and drinking water. Levels in the apple juices ranged from 1.1 to 13.9 ppb, and grape-juice levels were even higher, 5.9 to 24.7 ppb. Most of the total arsenic in our samples was inorganic, our tests showed.
     As for lead, about one fourth of all juice samples had levels at or above the 5-ppb limit for bottled water. The top lead level for apple juice was 13.6 ppb; for grape juice, 15.9 ppb.
     The following brands had at least one sample of apple juice that exceeded 10 ppb: Apple & Eve, Great Value (Walmart), and Mott’s. For grape juice, at least one sample from Walgreens and Welch’s exceeded that threshold. And these brands had one or more samples of apple juice that exceeded 5 ppb of lead: America’s Choice (A&P), Gerber, Gold Emblem (CVS), Great Value, Joe’s Kids (Trader Joe’s), Minute Maid, Seneca, and Walgreens. At least one sample of grape juice exceeding 5 ppb of lead came from Gold Emblem, Walgreens, and Welch’s. Our findings provide a spot check of a number of local juice aisles, but they can’t be used to draw general conclusions about arsenic or lead levels in any particular brand. Even within a single tested brand, levels of arsenic and lead sometimes varied widely.

Minute Maid Apple Juice
  • Lowest sample for arsenic: 2 parts per billion
  • Highest sample for arsenic: 3 parts per billion

Apple and Eve apple juice

  • Lowest sample for arsenic: 3 parts per billion
  • Highest sample for arsenic: 11 parts per billion


  • Lowest sample for arsenic: 4 parts per billion
  • Highest sample for arsenic: 16 parts per billion

Juicy Juice

  • Lowest sample for arsenic: 2 parts per billion
  • Highest sample for arsenic: 22 parts per billion


  • Lowest sample for arsenic: 3 parts per billion
  • Highest sample for arsenic: 36 parts per billion
     Arsenic-tainted soil in U.S. orchards is a likely source of contamination for apples, and finding lead with arsenic in juices that we tested is not surprising. Even with a ban on lead-arsenate insecticides, “we are finding problems with some Washington state apples, not because of irresponsible farming practices now but because lead-arsenate pesticides that were used here decades ago remain in the soil,” says Denise Wilson, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Washington who has tested apple juices and discovered elevated arsenic levels even in brands labeled organic.
     Over the years, a shift has occurred in how juice sold in America is produced. To make apple juice, manufacturers often blend water with apple-juice concentrate from multiple sources. For the past decade, most concentrate has come from China (PDF). Concerns have been raised about the possible continuing use of arsenical pesticides there, and several Chinese provinces that are primary apple-growing regions are known to have high arsenic concentrations in groundwater.

     We also wanted to know whether people who drink juice end up being exposed to more arsenic than those who don’t. The resulting analysis of almost 3,000 study participants found that those reporting apple-juice consumption had on average 19 percent greater levels of total urinary arsenic than those subjects who did not, and those who reported drinking grape juice had 20 percent higher levels.

    So - Maura here again. Should you be curtailing your apple juice consumption? I think if I knew now what I did when my son as small...he wouldn't be drinking apple juice. Apple juice is regularly used to sweeten foods as well. Should you be avoiding those? Possibly. I think if you get down to the nugget of truth, the kernel at the heart of this story -...it is not that our food supply is untrustworthy. It is the use of products grown outside of the US - specifically, the apple juice concentrate most companies use is imported from apples grown in China - that is the harmful and potentially dangerous part of the equation.

     The answer? Buy local. Do you have apple juice / apple cider produced in small batches within a few hundred miles of your home? Buy that. If you drink a lot of apple juice, or regularly have it in your house - look for locally produced alternatives. You can be more assured that the product does not have a banned chemical, or a harmful additive. Have a little one at home? This is a decision you'll have to make. Juice consumption for toddlers is supposed to be really controlled. They are probably better off without much ( if any ) fruit juice - but that is a personal decision each parent needs to make after weighing the pros and cons.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Junami Apples

Seeking out new fruits and vegetables has become a sort of hobby of mine - my own little "Where's Waldo?" as I roam the fresh fruits area. I guess I can't be terrible surprised when a young grocery employee shyly approached me at the store over the past weekend and told me to come look in a front bin. He had received a shipment of Junami apples and he knew I'd be interested. 

Well of course I was! 

Junami is a cross between Ideared and Maigold with Elstar, originally cultivated in Switzerland but now grown here in the US. The fruit has a wonderful, almost perfectly round shape. Some apples appear to be red colored mottled with green. Others are green shot with flecks of red. A beautiful apple, and fairly heavy for its size. Why? The Junami's trademark: juiciness. This apple was bursting with apple juice - so much so that it gave the taste of the apple a crispness not unlike the taste of apple cider that has been sitting in the fridge a bit too long gets - a picky, sparkly taste that means the apple cider is turning to apple jack.

It was delicious and extremely satisfying. I will definitely buy these again if I see them - Junami apples are available now in various U.S. markets, and will be for three to four weeks while supplies last. They build flavor in storage between the fall harvest and release in January. So these are a limited time only apple. Look for them at your grocer today.

Interesting factoid from the Junami website:

Apples have been found to contain a unique substance called phloridzine, which apparently is only found in apples. Phloridzine sees to it that part of the sugars you eat are not digested. So if you eat an apple it will curb you appetite and fill your stomach... but it won’t make you fat! What’s more, your body can’t ‘access’ the sugars in apples as well as those in, for example, candy. Your body has to use more energy to free up the sugars in apples and that is why an apple is a much smarter choice for a snack than a chocolate bar or other sweets. Do you often eat apples and also choose a Junami? Then we have great news for you! Research has shown that a Junami contains twice as much phloridzine as other apples. By the way, the highest concentration of this special substance is in the peel!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Coupon Alert: Pure Bars- Buy One, Get One Free!

Love my Pure Naturals Bars, and love saving money at the same time!

Pure Bars: BOGO Coupon 

Click the link above and fill out your info to get a BOGO coupon emailed to you.

Newstand Alert: Consumer Reports Food & Fitness March 2012

     I love finding reading material that enhances my understanding of Clean Eating. I get both Oxygen Magazine for Women in the mail, as well as Clean Eating magazine. I also occasionally will pick up  Whole Living, Eating Well, and the sporadic issue of Cooking Light.  I was really happy last weekend to find a new Consumer Reports magazine ( I don't think this is a monthly - but hey, you never know! ) called Consumer Reports: Food & Fitness.

     This issue has multiple really relevant articles for Clean Eaters including:

 - A classic Consumer Reports rating chart for Colombian Coffee ( surprise, Newman's Own Organics is a top pic! )
 - Check out the Health Alert on pages 18-21! Very informative 2 pages on fish  - fish that is mislabeled, mismarketed, and which species will be lower in mercury than others. Awesome quick blurb on food labeling, another on caramel coloring used in food, and I love how they point out Perdue chicken and how their commercial claims are all but meaningless.
 - The weekly menu planner has some very good recipes, mostly Clean but some that can be easily Cleaned with a few recipe tweaks. ( I'm still looking for a decent salmon Croquette recipe, so I'll try the one on page 25 ! )
 - I love how they makeover a family's eating style in "From Hectic to Wholesome"
 - A wonderful eye opening article on hidden salts, sugars, and fats in foods starting on page 40

Definitely check out this magazine. There's a lot more than I've outlined above. Simply wonderful issue!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Clean Eating In The News: Eating 2 Slices of Bacon A Day Increases Cancer Risk by 1/5

     Eating two slices of bacon, one sausage, or 2 slices of cold cuts a day can increase a person's risk of a deadly form of cancer by almost a fifth, according to a Swedish study. This, along with the Harvard School of Public Heath's link of processed meats with heart disease  should be scientific proof enough for any intelligent person that processed meats like cold cuts, bacon, and ham are significant health risks.

     New research by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm found that eating 1.8 ounces (50 grams) of processed meat a day can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 19 percent. For people consuming 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of processed meat, the increased risk jumps to 38 percent and 57 percent for those eating 5.3 ounces (150 grams) a day.

      The authors of this study have suggested that one of the reasons could be that some of the chemicals that are used to preserve processed meat are turned in our bodies into some really harmful chemicals which can affect our DNA and increase the chance of cancer. The World Cancer Research Fund is advising consumers to limit their intake of cooked red meat to 500g ( a little under 20 ounces ) a week and to avoid processed meat altogether.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Greek Yogurt Review IX : Liberte Mediterranee Yogurt

Liberte Mediterranee yogurts are a delicious "get it when you can find it" yogurt. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a few select flavors at the store the other day ( no vanilla or honey! ) so I bought a 6 oz cup to try.. For some reason, I didn't note that I didn't have a 0% fat cup in my hand - it was 4% milkfat.

Liberte Yogurt

I tried the strawberry flavor, because that was one of the only flavors available at the time of my purchase. It is a fruit on the bottom type of yogurt, but it was easily mixed and mixed thoroughly. No issues there. It was also "high test" - not 0% fat - and oh, the difference was delicious. It was thick , rich, and oh so naughty delicious.

The ingredient list was so-so - while it has 2 sources of added sugar, it was free of preservatives and unrecognizable chemical sounding ingredients. Clean Eating? Borderline. It wasn't tangy at all - maybe a tang of 1 out of 5 on my tangy scale...but it was much more dessert like.

Whole milk ingredients:

270 calories and 12g of fat? *Gulp*

By contrast, here's the 0% version ingredients - note only 1 source of added sugar ( besides the fructose in the strawberry ). Huh.

120 calories and 0g fat. Better. Would I buy this yogurt again? Yes, definitely - however, I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for the 0% fat version. The calories, fat grams, and carbs is worth the swap out. But looking for a sweet dessert like treat? Liberte Mediterranee is the way to go.

Sad end note: I found this at Bloom, a MD/DC/VA arm of Food Lion that is closing in the middle of next month. Many Bloom locations are closing, my Bloom just happens to be turning into a Food Lion. Fingers crossed they still will carry this yogurt.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Kitchen Window Sill Herb Garden: Herbs At Your Fingertips

     If you go into any hardware or home improvement store about now, the stores are starting to put out displays for eager gardeners to peruse, searching for just the right plants for the upcoming growing season. You can be that eager gardener, too - even if you live in a New York high rise apartment. Try your hand at window sill herb gardening. Raising your own herbs isn't just easy - it's economical. A small bundle of fresh thyme at the grocery store can be $4 or more. Spend under a dollar per pot for the soil and seeds, and you'll have yourself MANY bundles of thyme at your fingertips with no further expense. I like to blog about Clean Eating topics that will enhance your CE experience and save you money as well.. Growing your own herbs is definitely a win-win for the Clean Eater.

     Many varieties of herbs are quite hardy and really take no special skills for success other than a sunny window sill, and an occasional dose of water: basil, thyme, sage, mint, dill, and parsley are all incredibly easy - prepare a suitable pot with a drainage hole in the bottom with pre-fertilized potting soil, plant the seeds, water them, and set the pot in a sunny location. Somewhere between 30-45 days later, you'll have a lovely pot of herbs with which to flavor your cooking.It's really that straightforward and easy.

     I'm not the best gardener. I tend to forget plants need water until they look so pitiful they catch my attention. Husband is the official plant waterer in this house, and he's agreed to shepherd the plants I'm going to cultivate ( Yay! ).

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thinking of Your Vegetables First - The Impefect Vegetarian

     During a conversation with North  the other day, we were discussing Clean Eating, nutrition, and blog topics. He mentioned something along the lines of ( sorry, North - I didn't write down your exact words! ) "When I think of putting a meal together for my family, I think of the meat first, and then add the side dishes ( vegetables, starches, etc ) around it. I should really be doing the opposite. Picking the vegetables for the meals, and then adding the protein and other things around it. "

     I had to stop and think about this concept for a while, but he's exactly right. We learn - from out Mother's side, through Home Ec classes in school, then at the feet of the Food Network - it is Protein, Starch, Vegetable - in that order.

      One phrase he said has echoed for days. "I need to be an Imperfect Vegetarian."

     What a great phrase; an interesting point of view. You don't need to be perfect, card carrying vegetarian. You simply need to shift your thinking from making meat the center of your plate to making the meat a corner of you plate. Meat IS natural, Meat IS Clean Eating. Meat shouldn't be the focus, however.

     Perhaps the point is to become more Veggie-Centric. Thinking of vegetables as the main portion of your meal, rather than something "on the side."

What do you think?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Clean Eating With A Slow Cooker: Vegetable Pasta Sauce

     If you are like me, mornings zip by in a furious flash - trying to round up my son and getting us out the door with everything we need for the day is a job in itself. I rarely have time to think about dinner for that evening...unless I am prepared ahead of time. Enter the joy that is your slow cooker. There is nothing more welcoming than arriving home after a hectic day and the aroma of a pot roast hangs heavy in the air.

     Using your slow cooker for Clean Eating can be a challenge; many recipes hinge on convenience foods like bottled condiments or canned soup. This recipe is the first in a series I'm embarking on to provide Clean Eating slow cooker recipes: easy, healthy, and versatile.

Vegetable Pasta Sauce

2 cans ( 14 ounces each ) low /no sodium diced tomatoes ( can be flavored with herbs or olive oil ), undrained
1 can ( about 14 ounces )  whole tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 small yellow squash, cut into 1/4" slices
1 small zucchini,. cut into 1/4" slices
1 can ( 6 ounces ) tomato paste
4 green onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon fresh parsley ( or 2 tablespoons dried )
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flake ( optional )
1 teaspoon black pepper

If time is pressing in the morning, chop all vegetables the night before and store in the fridge.
Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker. Mix well. Cover and set slow cooker to low for 6-8 hours.

Note: this recipe is flexible as to vegetables and seasonings. Consider it a base from which to create. Add spinach, corn, edamame if they please you. Add sriracha, diced jalapenos, or hot chili powder if you like spicy foods. Add grated organic parmesan for a creamier sauce.

Serve over whole grain pasta, rice, or over chicken breasts or fish.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Clean Eating In The News: Unapproved Fungicide Found In Imported Orange Juice Concentrate

     One aspect of Clean Eating is making sure the foods you consume are wholesome and untainted with potentially sickening chemicals and preservatives- things that could impair your body from working correctly. This week, Coca-Cola ( which owns Simply Orange and Minute Maid ) admitted it had detected an unapproved fungicide in samples of orange juice concentrate that had already shipped to market, and some "in that of a competitor." ( As an aside, PepsiCo owns Tropicana. )

      The fungicide in question, carbendazim, is widely used in Brazil to treat orange trees with mold. Europe allows juice imports that contain as much as 200 parts per billion of carbendazim, and Japan and Canada allow even more of the chemical. Carbendizem is unapproved for use in the US per the FDA. Since as little as 15% of Brazilian juice exports end up in the U.S., Brazilian farmers tend to adhere closer to European standards - and hope that 15% slips by and isn't detected.

       You might not be aware, but the FDA requires the country of origin to be posted somewhere on the label. If the label says it is made from "100% US / Florida oranges", you are good. Your juice contains NO foreign concentrate. However, if you see something like "Made from citrus concentrates from the United States and Brazil" - you don't have a 100% US product there, my friend. It is probably ok to drink. Probably. This is what I'm on about when I post about trying to stick to foods that are produced in the United States. You simply don't know what chemicals or preservatives foreign foods are being treated with. Look carefully at the ingredient label on the juice in your fridge.

     Just be aware, for your next purchase. Most people don't have time to hand squeeze their own juice, or the equipment necessary to do so. Specifically reach for a carton that says "100% Florida Orange Juice" on the front. You'll know your food is free from potentially harmful and unapproved chemicals.

Thanks, Wall Street Journal

Sunday, January 15, 2012

White Sugar Alternatives

     The average US adult eats about 150 pounds of sugar per year. That is a staggering amount of sugar. Think about it. That's 30 of those 5 lb sacks of sugar from the store. There are 1,750 calories in a pound of sugar - 150 pounds is 262,500 calories. Divide that by 3,500 calories you need to gain a pound of body fat, and you get 75 lbs. 75 lbs of body fat, potentially. Granted, sugar is the first thing your body reaches for to burn for energy, so a lot of that is burned off - BUT...your body doesn't get to burn your excess fat if you are stuffing your face with granulated sugar. Sugar is hidden in a lot of processed, bottled foods - like sauces, dressings, marinades - so be careful of those!

Here are some excellent white sugar alternatives. As always, you sugars sparingly.
Special thanks to deliciouslivingmag.com for this excellent article. Great website - I recommend them highly!

Most of these can be found either in the "Natural Foods" section of your local grocery store, in the baking aisle, or you may have to visit a health food store ( or, as my BFF calls his local store,  "the hippie hut" ) 

Sweetener: Agave nectar

What it is: Golden-brown liquid traditionally derived from the boiled sap of the blue agave plant. Less viscous than honey, but thicker than maple syrup, it’s intensely sweet.
Health impact: Glycemic index (GI) of 15, the lowest of any sweetener. (Note that GI only measures glucose, so numbers don’t tell the whole story; agave is 92 percent fructose and only 8 percent glucose.) Contains more calories per teaspoon (20), than white sugar (about 15).
Best in: Soft-textured foods such as smoothies, drinks, salad dressings, pies, cheesecake, and custards. Can also be used in breads, cakes, and cookies.
How to use: Substitute 2/3 cup agave for 1 cup white sugar; in baking, reduce other liquid by about one-third.

Sweetener: Brown rice syrup

What it is: Dense liquid made by fermenting brown rice with enzymes to convert starches to sugars. Thick, creamy texture, pale golden color, and mild sweetness reminiscent of butterscotch.
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Health impact: Relatively low GI of 25 (contains 50 percent complex carbs and 5 percent glucose). Same calories as sugar but only half as sweet, so you may need to use more.
Best in: Soft-textured dishes, such as pies, hot cereals, and sauces. Tends to make baked goods heavy and hard, so better for crunchy items, like cookies, biscotti, or granola.
How to use: Substitute 1 1/2 cups brown rice syrup for 1 cup sugar; reduce liquid by 2 tablespoons.

Sweetener: Date sugar

What it is: Dehydrated and ground dates. Grainy texture; deep, earthy color and sweetness.
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Health impact: Minimally refined and processed; rich in minerals, plus 1 gram fiber per tablespoon. Relatively few calories (12 per teaspoon).
Best in: Baked goods such as crusts, spice cookies, nut breads, or anything with a dark color and dense texture. In light-colored cakes, cookies, or puddings, will appear as brown flecks. Doesn’t dissolve in liquid, so not ideal for beverages, puddings, or pies.
How to use: Substitute 2/3 cup date sugar for 1 cup white sugar. Browns quickly and burns easily, so shorten recipe cooking time by several minutes. Don’t use in recipes where sugar needs to melt.

Sweetener: Palm sugar

What it is: Granulated or chunk sugar made by boiling the sap of coconut palm-tree flowers. Looks similar to brown sugar; has a more robust flavor than white sugar or honey, with hints of caramel and maple syrup.
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Health impact: Relatively low GI of 35; same calories as white sugar, but slightly less sweet.
Best in: Recipes where a mild maple-caramel flavor will complement other tastes, such as oatmeal cookies, bean dishes, and sweet marinades. Because it dissolves easily and provides bulk, the granulated form is ideal for baking.
How to use: Substitute 1 1/8 cups palm sugar for 1 cup white sugar

Sweetener: Stevia

What it is: Derived from a shrub; now available in leaf form (ground or whole leaf) and as a chemically refined liquid or powder concentrate. Usually sold in the supplement section. The raw leaf is 60 times sweeter than sugar; in concentrated form, stevia is 150 to 300 times sweeter than sugar.
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Health impact: In South America and Asia, people have used raw-leaf stevia safely for centuries as a flavor enhancer. With zero calories, it exerts no impact on insulin levels (some studies suggest stevia may actually help control insulin levels). Late last year, the FDA granted “no-objection” status to Coca-Cola and PepsiCo to use stevia-based products in beverages.
Best in: Ideal for sweetening tea, lemonade, or other liquids. Lacks bulk, so it’s trickier for baking—works in cookies, granola, and pies, but not as well in breads, cakes, or anything where texture matters.
How to use: In baking, replace 1 cup sugar with 1 teaspoon stevia powder (or liquid), plus 1/3 cup of a bulking agent, such as egg whites, applesauce, mashed bananas, pumpkin purée, or yogurt; increase liquid by 2 tablespoons. Can add a bitter aftertaste, so go easy.

and if you must...

Sweetener: Organic granulated sugar

What it is: Unbleached, less processed granulated sugar cane.
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Health impact: Essentially the same calories and GI as white sugar, but retains some of the mineral-rich molasses. Eco-bonus: Some brands, such as Florida Crystals, are certified carbon neutral.
Best in: Anything that uses regular sugar; similar texture, and adds no color. Demerara or turbinado organic sugar (“raw sugar”) is slightly browner, with larger crystals.
How to use: Substitute 1:1 for regular sugar.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Clean Eating On The Cheap - A Grocery List To Keep Your Budget In Line

I'm definitely all for saving money at the grocery store, and the following Clean Eating items are a sort of Clean Eating grocery list of what to be on the lookout to fill your pantry in a healthy and frugal manner. Some of the items are usually more expensive; make sure to note store specials on the expensive items when in season!

* Apples -Apples on special are a CE delight and staple food.
* Asparagus - Definitely something to stock up on when you see a store special
* Bananas - Potassium for pennies.
* Barley - A tasty alternative to rice and potatoes.
* Beans - (canned or dried) Kidney, pinto, navy, black, red, and many more.( make sure to rinse them before using! )
* Bok Choy - Steam and serve with a little soy sauce.
* Broccoli - Yes, a store special. Usually closer to $2 per pound.
* Bulgar Wheat - Try it in pilaf or a tabouleh salad.
* Cabbage - Green and red -- I like mine fried.
* Cantaloupe - Melon is wonderful - and often small ones are $1
* Carrots - Raw or steamed; rich in carotenes, a healthy antioxidant.
* Celery - Stir fry it for a change.
* Chicken - Whole or various parts, on sale.
* Chickpeas - AKA garbanzo beans -- mash 'em up as a healthy sandwich spread.
* Cornmeal - "Polenta" is all the rage these days, but I loved it years ago when Mom called it "cornmeal mush."
* Cucumbers - Try peeling, seeding, and steaming with a little butter and salt.
* Daikon Radish - My new favorite raw veggie.
* Eggs - Don't overdo them, but eggs provide high quality protein and still cost about $1 per pound.
* Green Beans - Frozen, but fresh are sometimes on sale for under $1 a pound in-season.
* Greens - Kale, mustard, turnip, and collard greens are rich in vitamins and a good source of fiber.
* Grapes - Store special @ .99 a pound.
* Grapefruit - Bake with a little stevia on top for a healthy dessert.
* Lentils - Perhaps the perfect food -- healthy, cheap, and versatile (think soups, salads, sandwich spreads -- and those are only some of the "s" possibilities).
* Liver - Chicken livers usually cost under $1 a pound, and sometimes beef and pork liver can be found for cheap.
* Mangoes - High in fiber and vitamins A, B6, and C.
* Milk - Yep, on a per-pound basis, milk still costs well under $1 a pound.
* Napa Cabbage - Delicious steamed or raw in a salad.
* Oatmeal - The good old-fashioned "slow cooking" kind...that takes all of five minutes.
* Onions - Try baking them whole basted occasionally with beef or veggie stock
* Oranges - Frequent sale price when in-season.
* Pasta - Store special @ .50 a box for regular, $1 a box for whole wheat
* Peanut Butter - Special sale price, but stock up because it usually has a long shelf life.
* Pork - Inexpensive cuts of pork frequently go on sale for 99 cents per pound or less
* Potatoes - White and red - baked, mashed, boiled, broiled, steamed.
* Pumpkin - Yes, you can eat the same ones you buy as holiday decorations, and they usually cost under 50 cents a pound.
* Rice - White for under $1 a pound; brown, a little more expensive but better for you.
* Rutabagas - Hated them as a kid; can't get enough of them now.
* Spinach - Frozen (but Popeye doesn't care).
* Split peas - Add vegetable stock and make an ultimate comfort soup. Try them in the crockpot!
* Squash - Try baking acorn squash with a little brown sugar.
* Sweet corn - Canned, or fresh on the cob, in-season. (Try this recipe for summer corn fritters.)
* Tomatoes (canned) - Canned are often better than fresh to use in cooking, and occasionally you can find fresh on sale for under a buck, in-season.
* Turkey - A popular bargain priced loss-leader around the holidays -- buy an extra bird and freeze it for later.
* Turnips - Make me think of my grandparents, who always grew them.
* Watermelon - Whole, in-season melons can sometime cost less than 20 cents a pound if they're on sale and you find a big one.
* Yams/Sweet Potatoes - One of the healthiest foods you can eat, and usually available year around for under $1 a pound.
* Yogurt - Greek, 6-ounce containers on sale  for $1.
* Zucchini - OK, they're a type of squash (above). But I love them so much they deserve their own place on the list.

Thank You,  The Daily Green

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Kicking the Soda Habit

 One of the hardest things for some trying to eat clean is replacing the soda they've come to depend on for their liquid with water. It is one addiction that is brutally hard to change, for some. I guess I was lucky; I was drinking iced tea and water for quite some time and had nearly shied away from my beloved Diet Coke completely once I embraced CE.

Soda  - especially Diet Sodas - increases your appetite, and increases overall cravings for sugary, fatty treats...definitely not Clean Eats.

Give up one daily 20-ounce cola and at the end of the year you’ll save:
  • 91,000 calories
  • 7,280 teaspoons of sugar
  • Potentially lose up to 26 pounds of fat
I've got a few tips to wean yourself off soda so you can add "Soda Free" to your CE merit badges.

1. Add carbonated water to your soda to thin it out gradually. Over a period of a week or so, you should be at a 50/50 mix of soda to carbonated water. After that, start thinning it more until you feel you can make the break from soda completely.

2. Go get yourself a Brita water filter and keep it in the fridge so you always have ice cold water on hand. Add lemon or lime juice if you need a flavor.

3. Mentally prepare yourself for the switch to water / iced tea only. Keep telling yourself that drinking soda will not get you where you want to be. It is liquid chemicals that are keeping you fat, increasing your appetite, and pulling you away from the person you want to become. A healthy, slender person - clean inside and out.

4. Always have a BPA free water bottle with you. Keeping yourself well hydrated with water will keep you from craving inappropriate liquids - specifically, soda.

5. Start drinking hot tea or chai in the mid-morning / afternoon. Hot liquids will really help keep soda urges at bay.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Greek Yogurt Review VIII - Taste of Inspiration Greek Yogurt

Taste of Inspiration is a Hannaford brand. Hannaford is a chain of grocery stores on the East Coast that stretch from Maine to Virginia, with a presence in Florida as Sweetbay grocery stores, and with a strong presence in the New England states in particular as Hannaford. They have over 1,500 stores across multiple grocery store chains - so chances are if you live on the Eastern seaboard - you have a Hannaford owned store near you.

I was impressed with Taste of Inspirations brand yogurt - for a "store brand" - it was much tastier than the heinous Safeway brand yogurt  I tried last year. The price was right; about .80 a cup on sale. For a Greek yogurt, that is a pretty good price. The flavor was thick without being pudding like, and mildly tangy ( about a 2 out of 5 on the tangy scale ).

As far as ingredients goes - Taste of Inspirations is similar to Dannon - a few added extra ingredients, but nothing that makes it a "no go" for Clean Eaters. There is much better Greek yogurt on the market today - and much worse. Taste of Inspirations is somewhere in the middle.

If you see this yogurt at your Hannaford store, I'd recommend picking up a cup and trying it. Greek yogurt is one of those foods that everyone seems to have their preference. Some people love Chobani, some hate it. Some love Oikos, some hate it. Try Taste of Inspirations and see for yourself. I liked it, and will get more cups when I have the chance.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Clean Eating, BPA Free

     Bisphenol A ( more commonly referred to as BPA ) is widely used in the linings of many canned foods and beverages as well as in many hard plastic containers and thermal receipt paper. BPA has been in use for over 50 years, and is often used to make plastics hard and shatter-resistant. It's also used to coat metal items like the inside of food cans, bottle caps and canned drinks. You can find BPA in plastic baby bottles, sports equipment, compact discs, water bottles, medical equipment, dental sealants, eyeglass lenses, electronic devices, paints, and countless other consumer products.
 BPA leaches because the ingredients used in producing polycarbonates and epoxy resins are just loosely bound enough that they break down under heat or when damaged.


      Seven U.S. states have banned BPA in some products ( infant products, specifically - Connecticut, Minnesota, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York Wisconsin, Vermont, and Washington State ) , Denmark and France have restricted it, Canada designates it a "toxic chemical," and Germany warns consumers to avoid it. I found this list online, and was quite taken aback by the number of large food companies that still use BPA in packaging. To be fair - most companies do have plans to phase out BPA. However, most have set the phase out date far in the future - some as late as 2020. 

I found this helpful visual over at Rubbermaid to be of use. Nice to see a company pointing out exactly which products they make are BPA Free.

 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expressed "some concern" about BPA's potential effects on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and young children but has not banned it. Specifically, scientists believe BPA consumption especially among women of child bear age is strongly cautioned - the effects of BPA are cumulative, and perinatal exposure to BPA has significant risks to the unborn child.

 How are recyclable plastics marked?

  In general, plastics that are marked with recycle codes 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 are very unlikely to contain BPA. Some, but not all, plastics that are marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 may be made with BPA.

     Why is this connected with Clean Eating?  Clean Eaters try to eliminate unnatural things from our consumption - and quite clearly, BPA is one we can easily avoid if we take some common sense steps and make a few key swap outs. Most of us have a plastic water bottle within arm's reach at all times. That bottle must be BPA Free.

     If you're concerned about exposure to BPA, follow these simple suggestions from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences:
  • Don’t microwave polycarbonate plastic food containers. (Look for the recycling symbol #7 on the bottom.)
  • Reduce your use of canned foods over all
  • When possible, opt for glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers, particularly for hot food or liquids.
  • Use baby bottles and toys that are BPA-free.
      As there is a clear link between heat and BPA leakage from canned products, aim to keep your canned goods as far from the stove as possible, in a cool pantry with good air flow to lower the ambient temperature. Don't heat water in the microwave in plastic containers, and make sure all food containers you use in the microwave are labeled "BPA-Free"

Video & Recipe: Greek Style Lamb Burgers

     Try something new this week - pick up some ground lamb and prepared tabbouleh, and make Greek style lamb burgers. If your store doesn't have ground lamb, pick up a large piece of lamb and ask the store's meat department to grind it for you ( they actually will! ) Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern "salad" comprised of parsley, bulgar wheat, tomatoes, red onions, olive oil, and spices. It is delicious on it's own; marvelous when added to meat.


Tabbouleh ( below )

After seeing the above video last week, I decided to make these myself. I bought prepared tabbouleh and ground lamb. I added a good dose of powdered Greek seasoning to my burgers because I like it so much - and the results were fantastic. It was a wonderful change of pace from beef and turkey burgers I've been eating. The lamb burgers were cooked perfectly medium well on my table top grill, and were incredibly juicy and flavorful. The prepared tabbouleh I bought was a great addition - and I will be making these again. Lovely!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday January 8th, 2011 - Light a Candle Against Violence

I rarely post off topic, so please indulge me for a moment.

Today ( January 8th ) , the Brady gun control lobby is urging candlelight vigils to "protest gun violence".
They should really be protesting violence in general - because lawful gun ownership is not the cause of gun violence.

Don't let them tell you how to think. A gun is a tool, plain and simple.

If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything. 

Weer'd Beard said it best: "Remember lighting a candle only gives off a meager amount of light, but a lawfully carried gun can do wonders to prevent violence."

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pure Naturals Fruit and Nut Bars

You know how devoted I am to my Larabars...but I always keep my eyes peeled for other options when I'm passing by the "sports nutrition / supplement " aisle. I will pick up a bar I'm not familiar with, flip it over, and peruse the ingredient list - usually to my disappointment.

Yesterday, I actually found another Clean option.

I came across 2 flavors of Pure Naturals bars while shopping the other day - and they are a nice change of pace from my Larabar fetish!

According to their website, Pure Naturals have been around for a bit. I tried two flavors - peanut raising crunch and chocolate almond.

These aren't low calorie by any stretch of the imagination - each bar has 200 calories and is only 1.5 ounces. They are small and dense in calories and nutrition.

The peanut raisin crunch bar was really tasty - but nothing like a Larabar. Whereas a Larabar is an amalgam of dates and nuts, the peanut raisin bar had recognizable chunks of nuts and raisins, held together with a vaguely sticky toffee like stuff ( and don't take that as a negative! ).

PEANUT RAISIN CRUNCH PURE BAR INGREDIENTS: Organic Peanuts, Raisins, Brown Rice Syrup, Peanut Flour, Organic Tapioca Syrup, Organic Agave Fiber, Peanut Butter (Peanuts), Chia Seeds, Molasses, Sea Salt, Coconut Oil, Water, Natural Flavor. 

The chocolate almond bar was much more like a Larabar - the fruit amalgam! But it was rich with a dark cocoa flavor - very satisfying.  I enjoyed it!

The next time you are in the "nutrition bar" aisle of your local store - I suggest looking for the Pure Naturals line of bars.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

4 Fruits To Avoid During Winter

You can't always buy 100 percent local, but you can avoid the foods that come from very far away, or that clearly aren't in season in this region of the planet. Here is a list of some faraway foods you might want to avoid this winter. The closer you are to the area of harvest, the fresher and cheaper the produce.


Blueberries are a sweet summer treat.  Blueberry production basically goes from south — starting in Florida in late March or early April — to north, ending in Oregon, Washington, Michigan and then Canada in late September or early October. Then South America becomes the main source and the little berries double in price (they're highly perishable).
Instead of topping your cereal with blueberries during the fall and winter, try having some citrus on the side. Grapefruit and oranges are winter fruits.


Americans used to only eat California grapes, but there weren't any to be found during cold winter months. The Chilean industry kicked in in the 1970s to solve that problem, and consumption more than doubled. Depending on where you live, if you're chomping on grapes from April to mid-May they're Mexican grapes; from late May until early November, the fruit is likely from California; and from December through April they come from Chile and sometimes South Africa.
Like little bursts of flavor? Try pomegranates, which are in season in fall and early winter and come from California, on their own or as a topping for yogurt and ice cream. Unlike grapes, you'll need a utensil.


in late April and May, you'll find peaches from Georgia and California (the California season extends through September). Later in the season, peaches might come from Washington, Michigan, South Carolina, or New Jersey. But from November through the spring, peaches hail from all over the globe, including Argentina and Thailand. Pears, on the other hand, are a fall fruit and come mostly from California, Washington, and Oregon.


California and Washington are top stateside producers of asparagus. But before we see the fruits of the states' harvest, asparagus arrives from Mexico. Come colder months, most asparagus comes from Peru, according to USDA data. Stick to asparagus in the summer months!

For some green, try kale, a winter veggie that's chock-full of nutrients.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Understanding Fats - Saturated, Hydrogenated, Unsaturated

 A focus for me this coming year is to better understand the scientific nutritional "underpinnings" of Clean Eating. In the coming months, I'll be sharing my research with you.

A first focus for me is fats - specifically fats that are good, fats that are bad, fats that have a bad reputation, and more importantly, fats that are naturally occurring and fats that are additives.While I know trans fats are bad for me - why are they bad for me? How can I be more efficient at recognizing good ingredients from poor choices? What is an acceptable fat?

Although all fats have the same amount of calories, some are more harmful than others: saturated fats and trans fats in particular and should be eaten in moderation. I'm definitely NOT telling you to be a vegetarian. Animals were put on this Earth for our consumption, and "If it walked the Earth it is a Clean choice" remains a standard for me. I think the value in this education lies in eating fewer servings of heavily fatted beef per week, and increasing the more wholesome fats that occur in things like cold water fish ( salmon ). Also, I believe weighing days where you do consume beef with a Meatless Monday is a much healthier and well rounded way to go. Meat has a place in our diet.

Much of this post is information gleaned from reputable online resources - The Harvard School of Public Health  and  The Mayo Clinic. I specifically avoided biased sites and sites that had no scientific backing.
While a bit long, if you've ever wondered about the oils you see listed in some products, this is important information to understand.

In the late 19th century, chemists discovered that they could add hydrogen atoms to unsaturated fats by bubbling hydrogen gas through vegetable oil in the presence of a nickel catalyst. This was far more than a chemical curiosity. Partially hydrogenated oils don't spoil as easily as nonhydrogenated fats. They can withstand repeated heating without breaking down. And the process can turn a liquid oil into a solid, which allowed for easier transportation and wider uses; this solid fat was also much less expensive than solid animal fats.

These characteristics were attractive to food makers. Over the last several decades, partially hydrogenated oils became a mainstay in margarines, commercially baked goods, and snack foods. When saturated fat was fingered as a contributor to high cholesterol, companies such as McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts switched from beef tallow to partially hydrogenated vegetable oil for frying French fries and donuts.

At the time, switching from butter or lard (both of which contain high amounts of saturated fat) to a product made from healthy vegetable oil seemed to make sense. Intake of trans fat increased dramatically. Before the advent of partial hydrogenation, the only trans fat that humans consumed came from eating cows (or dairy products), lamb, and deer; in ruminants like these, bacteria living in the stomach make small amounts of trans fat. But due to the growth of partial hydrogenation, by the early 1990s, trans fat intake in the United States averaged 4 to 7 percent of calories from fat.

Saturated fats

These fats are derived from animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs. But they are also found in some plant-based sources such as coconut, palm and palm kernel oils. These fats are solid at room temperature. Saturated fats directly raise total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Conventional advice says to Avoid them as much as possible. More recently, some have questioned this, as there are different kinds of saturated fats, some of which have at least a neutral effect on cholesterol.

Trans Fats or Hydrogenated Fats

Trans fats are actually unsaturated fats, but they can raise total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while also lowering HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Trans fats are used to extend the shelf life of processed foods, typically cookies, cakes, fries and donuts. Any item that contains “hydrogenated oil” or “partially hydrogenated oil” likely contains trans fats. Hydrogenation is the chemical process that changes liquid oils into solid fats. The tide is turning against trans fats. Since January 2006, all food manufacturers are required to list trans fat content on food labels.

Do all Foods listing hydrogenated oils contain trans fats? Foods that contain trans fats have "partially hydrogenated oil" or "hydrogenated oil" listed in the ingredients. Before trans fats were required to be listed on nutrition labels, from January 2006, this was our only way of knowing whether these harmful fats were present. Yet a number of products state "0g Trans Fat" or declare themselves to be trans-fat free but still have these oils listed in their ingredients. How can this be?
There are two reasons why foods containing hydrogenated oils may be labeled trans-fat free, or list 0g trans fats on the label. First, items that list partially hydrogenated oils in the ingredients but contain less than 0.5g of trans fats per serving are considered by the government to be trans-fat free. A good example of this would be commercial peanut butter, which contains a tiny amount of partially hydrogenated oil to prevent separation. The problem with this definition, though, is that if you eat more than the stated serving size, those fractions of a gram add up, and you are most certainly consuming trans fats. Second, products that contain fully hydrogenated oils are trans-fat free.

Unsaturated fats

Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are two types of unsaturated fatty acids. They are derived from vegetables and plants.
  • Monounsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature but begin to solidify at cold temperatures. This type of fat is preferable to other types of fat and can be found in olives, olive oil, nuts, peanut oil, canola oil and avocados. Some studies have shown that these kinds of fats can actually lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and maintain HDL (good) cholesterol. 
  • Polyunsaturated fats are also liquid at room temperature. These are found in safflower, sesame, corn, cottonseed and soybean oils. This type of fat has also been shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol, but too much can also lower your HDL cholesterol.

Omega-3 fatty acids

These include an “essential” fatty acid, which means it's critical for our health but cannot be manufactured by our bodies. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include cold-water fish, flax seed, soy, and walnuts. These fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and also boost our immune systems.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Clean Eating Core Tenent #1 - Eating Naturally

     Clean Eating is multiple nutrition "guidelines" that come together seamlessly to form a healthy, nutritious diet - as humans were meant to eat. Drinking a lot of water daily, monitoring additional intake of sugars and sodium, and removing processed foods from your diet - all of these are essential components of Clean Eating. 

     By removing foods that are processed and don't naturally occur in Nature from your diet, you are by default keeping your daily intake of food to be among those naturally produced by the Earth: fruits, vegetables, nuts, berries, grains, dairy, meats from animals, and seafood. There is sound scientific and logical fact to support the theory that removing processed foods from your diet will promote optimum health : genetics and evolution. Regardless of your religious beliefs - your body processes foods that have been around for thousands of years - not ones made in a factory or "invented" within the last 50 years. It has not adapted to process Pop*Tarts, nor will it ever as these are not a naturally occurring food. They were first produced in the early 1960's, making them a blink in the eye of the evolution of the human food chain.  Your body "sees" processed foods as low grade, low quality, and not wholesome.

     Fruits, vegetables, meats - these are the foods that your genetic structure as a human being recognizes as nutrition. Religious or Atheist views aside, you can't deny that human bodies were created ( in one way or the other ) to process fruits, vegetables, nuts, meats - that which the Earth produces and are not man made. These are the foods your digestive system was created to process. These are the foods your body has evolved to process.

     Eating close to Nature means eating foods as close to how they naturally appear in Nature as possible. While I don't care to eat raw meat and unpasteurized milk, eating grains with the wheat germ intact ( a "whole grain" ) and eating fruits and vegetables with as little cooking as possible ( to keep the inherent nutrients as intact as possible Microwaving vegetables versus boiling... ) is the right way to go to accomplish a Clean Eating lifestyle.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Day - A Clean Beginning

     Clean Eating is about taking your health and nutrition seriously. Not putting yourself and your body's needs on the "back burner." The quality of the food you put into your body is directly proportional to the energy, good workings, and mood that comes out. Eat well, and you have energy to get things in your life accomplished. Your health will improve. Your mood will brighten and lift. If you choose to eat poorly, your energy will flag, you will have increased health issues, and you become listless, tired, and depressed.

Garbage in, garbage out.

As a good friend of mine likes to say "So how's that working out for you?"

Yep. That's where I was in August 2010. I knew something had to change. I knew what I was doing wasn't working. I knew my health was compromised. But I was so convinced I couldn't change anything. I was convinced I was the way I was, and that was all there was to it.

And then I did something profound. I stopped eating garbage, and quietly began eating healthier. I took great pains to control my emotional eating. I worked hard to have foods on hand that were nutritious and healthy.

Will 2012 be the year you put aide those habits which have held you back?
Will this coming year be the year that you decide junk food has no place in your diet?
Will you change your life, health, and well being?