Are Agrochemicals Affecting Our Health?

We are seeing more and more articles like THIS ONE regarding our food supply.  How does this article make you feel?

Do you believe that our food is linked to our health?

How do you feel about Monsanto?

What are your thoughts on food transparency and labeling?

Let’s discuss.

 

 

 

Is Agave Syrup Worse For You Than High Fructose Corn Syrup?

If agave syrup is in your cabinet, chances are it’s there because you thought it was a healthier alternative to other sweeteners.  Unfortunately, clever marketing infiltrated the health food market and this is not the case.Is Agave Syrup Worse For You Then High Fructose Corn Syrup?

I’ve been there with you.  It was my go-to for sweetening baked goods, tea and smoothies until I was informed otherwise while reading a book by one of my favorite nutritional advisors, Kimberly Snyder.  A quick google search then filled me in on all the details.

Agave syrup is highly-processed (often with chemicals and GMo’s) in a fashion similar to high fructose corn syrup.  While it’s true that it has a low glycemic index, it’s fructose ranges from 55-97%, depending on the brand.  High fructose corn syrup averages at 55% fructose.

The Harvard Heart Letter noted that fructose can be damaging to the heart and liver.  The liver processes fructose into triglycerides which increases the risk for heart disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.  It also increases LDL cholesterol, promoting the buildup of fat around the organs, increases blood pressure and makes tissues insulin-resistant (a precursor to diabetes) and increases the production of free radicals.  A recent Yale University study indicated that high concentrations of fructose contributes to overeating because it does not promote a feeling of satiety.

I welcome you to do your own research before purchasing this again.  I am more trusting of food as close to it’s natural form as possible.  This is not one of those foods as marketing would have us believe.  If you’d like an alternative, we now use maple syrup, honey, coconut nectar or stevia instead.  Before buying stevia, be sure to read this post first.

Goji Berry Tea + Benefits and Other Uses

I’ve had really low energy this pregnancy and my brother-in-law Jared, who happens to be a gifted healer, suggested adding goji berries to my tea in the mornings and then eating them. They’ve become such a pleasure in my life that I had to share the benefits with you.  And don’t forget your kids.  Olivia and Joshua love goji berries!

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Native to the Himalayan Mountains, the goji berry has been used for thousands of years for both medicinal and culinary purposes.

A good protein source, these miracle berries contain 18 amino acids (including all of the 8 essential ones). They have a whole host of other vitamins (A, c, B-1, B-2, B-6 and E) and trace minerals including calcium, cooper, iron, phosphorus, selenium and zinc. They are rich in carotenoids that protect your vision, and antioxidants to repair your skin. They’ve also been shown to increase energy, athletic performance, help digestion and reduce stress and fatigue. They also have anti-aging and UV protecting properties. Need I say more?

How to incorporate them into your diet

  • Make a tea: add them to warm water or herb tea and then eat them after you drink it.
  • Enjoy them plain, in oatmeal or trailmix
  • Add them to homemade granola, scones and muffins
  • Use them for garnish: on shakes (try the ABC Shake), soups (amazing on pumpkin and butternut squash varieties) and in salads.

Important to note, while doing my research I came across some precautions with goji berries. They are in the nightshade family (with eggplants and tomatoes) and some people can be allergic, so monitor your reaction. They also tend be a high pesticide crop, so get yours from a reliable source. And lastly, it’s always good to check in with your care provider when adding new foods to your diet, especially when on prescriptions. These have been known to negatively effect those on blood thinners.

I’d love to hear, how are you using goji berries? And please link to your favorite recipes with them so that we can all enjoy!

Travel Snacks

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There’s nothing like feeling good and energized when you arrive to your destination.  However, on long car rides, trains, flights, and even at work, digestible food is hard to come by.  The best bet is to pack yourself a goodie bag of wholesome, energizing fresh foods that you love.  I like to pack organic fruits, homemade granola, seasoned nuts, gluten free muffins and seaweed snacks when I travel (my kids love all these things as well).  The fruits keep me refreshed and energized (to the best of my ability this pregnancy!), and the protein keeps me feeling full and stabilizes my blood sugars (I get dizzy easily if I don’t pay close attention to this).

En route to the Toronto Film Festival yesterday I packed spiced almonds (made by a lovely friend), fresh fruit and Sea Tangle Crisps with almonds.

Parents: A Must for Your Bookshelf!

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With cold and flu season approaching us in the upcoming months, I wanted to highlight a book that has been a saving grace in my household, Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child by Janet Zand, Robert Rountree and Rachel Walton.

What I really love about this book is that you can look up your child’s ailment and see both alternative (herbal and homeopathic treatments) and conventional treatments and dietary guidelines.  It also gives mention to the appropriate times to call your doctor.

To a happy, healthy new year, Le’shana Tova!

Robyn O’Brien’s TEDx Talk on Food Allergies and GMO’s

A former financial and food industry analyst, Robyn O’Brien is an author, public speaker, strategist and mother of four. She brings insight and detailed analysis to her research on the health of the American food system as documented in her first book, The Unhealthy Truth, and has been called “food’s Erin Brockovich” by the New York Times.

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