Long Time No Talk

Hello readers!

It has been a while, to be sure. But I hear a lot of things fall through the cracks when you get ENGAGED!!  That’s right, I’m engaged!  My twitterpation and wedding plans have seemed to fog my mind the past month.  My wonderful fiance Spencer and I are so excited to only have TWO months left before tying the knot in Salt Lake City.  Image

I dearly love my blog and have felt pangs of guilt for neglecting it so.  Hence, this short and sweet post. 

I would like to issue a challenge to all you readers, who feel in need of a challenge.  This challenge was initially issued to me from a gym instructor and I love it. 

CHALLENGE: when you do your grocery shopping this next week, shop only around the perimeter of the store.  Do not go down any of the aisles.  This is almost a guaranteed way to find healthier, REAL foods.  I’d say if you need a treat, feel free to go down the cosmetics aisle and pick up a new finger nail polish.  That is bound to make you feel better and sexier for summer than any bag of heavy chocolate (sorry chocolate, I don’t mean to throw you under the bus). Image

So try it out for a week. See if it influences your eating habits in a positive way.

Also, in our efforts to establish healthy lifestyle patterns as a new household, Spencer and I have begun exercising more together, which is mostly great (except he outperforms me every time, despite the fact I work out twice as much as him).  We just started the Insanity DVDs.  First day was yesterday and boy is my butt feeling it today!  Loved it.  I’ll continue to give brief updates on my take of the workouts and any results gained.

Have a great week everyone!  And if any of you have any great wedding planning/reception tips, I am all ears!

 

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This post is brought to you by Pinterest.  If you haven’t jumped on the Pinterst bandwagon yet, that is fine. I will bring some of the goodness Pinterest has to offer, to you. 

ImageI stumbled across a gem of an article about that stupid sticker on every.single. produce item you buy at stores.  If you’re anything like me it’s a subtle annoyance every time you have to peel that sticker off.  A day I buy an apple that doesn’t have that sticker, is a small victory on my part. 

However, little did I know, all this time I’ve been throwing away a valuable piece of information with the flick of a finger.  That little sticker tells you A LOT about how the fruit/veggie was grown.  By reading the sticker (PLU code), you can tell if the fruit was genetically modified, organically grown, or produced with fungicides/herbicides.  Pretty cool right?! 

Okay here are the rules:

  • 4 numbers in the PLU means: produce was grown conventionally with the use of pesticides. (For example, a traditionally grown banana will always have the code: 4011)
  • 5 numbers in the PLU and the number starts with “8” means: produce is genetically modified (GMO banana  code: 84011)
  • 5 numbers in the PLU and the number starts with “9” means: produce was grown organically and is not genetically modified (Organic banana code: 94011)

And in case you still aren’t washing your produce before consuming it, you’ll be glad to know that the “stick” in the sticker is considered food-grade.

I’m not going to toot the organic-horn too loudly here, but as a general rule of thumb, if you are going to eat the outside of a unit of produce (ie apple skin, any lettuces, grapes, etc) you should buy organic. ImageSo try matching up your produce with these PLU codes.  It was kind of fun to see that this system actually is used!

Snozzcumbers Bug Guts & Pink Slime

I recently re-read one of my favorite books of all time: The BFG, by Roald Dahl.  If you’ve ever read any of his books, you know what a colorful array of imaginary foods Dahl creates.  Everything from fizzy lifting drinks, glumptious globgobblers, and snozzcumbers,  to devils drenchers, frobscottle, pishlets and scorchdroppers.  I don’t know about you but every time I watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory I envy those children walking around a life-size Candyland.

Dahl was a mastermind at inventing new foods.  And reading about the imaginative frobscottle and snozzcumbers spurred a train of thought, which has led to this post: the imaginative foods of our day.

PINK SLIME has been getting a lot of media facetime lately.  This slime is composed of inedible meat product trimmings, which are then mixed with ammonia, squished out of a tube and married to ground beef to make hamburger patties.   Jamie Oliver did a fantastic bit about the making of Pink Slime:

pink-slime-beef-with-ammonia

Have you eaten at McDonalds, Taco Bell, or Burger King in the last 8 years?  Have you purchased ground beef from the supermarket?  If so, consider yourself slimed.  You have been fortunate to taste the pink slime.  But did you know you were eating it?  Was it listed in the ingredients on your package of ground beef?

BUG GUTS  are another common ingredient found in many chain-store foods.  This South American bug is “harvested” for the rosy color it secretes when squished.  Starbucks has recently been taking the heat for using the crushed bug carcasses as substitution for the standard petroleum red dye #40 in their popular strawberry-flavored items.  As you can imagine, this has made vegans, and people who generally don’t like eating bugs, vomit around the globe.  These bugs, deemed safe by the USDA were never listed on ingredient lists.

GROSS!!! I dont’ know about you but I don’t like meat slime or bug secretion.  But that’s not the point. What companies choose to put in their food is their decision and their right.  THE POINT IS:  we as customers/consumers have a RIGHT to know what is in our food. 

Inspected for Wholesomeness. Hearing these types of stories kind of cheapens the USDA's definition of Wholesomeness.

The USDA approves a lot of iffy things, like crushed bugs and dirty laundry meat.  And somehow these foods get around having to be listed in the List of Ingredients.  Specifically in the case of Pink Slime, it doesn’t have to be listed as a separate ingredient because it’s composed of beef, therefore it is a beef product.  Tricky, tricky.

Sadly, when we eat out or buy meat from supermarkets we are probably eating slime. And maybe bug guts too.  Because of the negative publicity, slime and guts are being phased out of many stores.  But they will just be substituted with other questionable products to keep the price of food artificially low.  There is really no way to avoid questionable foods like these, except by preparing our own foods, or eating at organic restaurants.   I realize in today’s world it is considered extreme to eat at home for every meal of the day. But perhaps that shouldn’t seem like such a anomaly.  It’s a sneaky, dirty, dog-eat-dog world in the food business.  And our modern day food inventors keep getting more and more creative.  So lets all try to stick to organic!  Or better yet, homemade!  Afterall, homemade food is scrumdidilyumptious!!!!

The Time To Cleanse is Upon Us!

Yawn, stretch, yawn.  Hibernation is over.  The budding trees outside remind me spring has indeed sprung.  And like earth is doing right now, so should we be doing: CLEANSING!  Cleansing is a dirty, intimidating word to a lot of people that makes them be like:

But I assure you, if you do a cleanse that works with your body, you will discover the absolute necessity of cleansing throughout the year, (ideally quarterly).

First thing to note when considering a cleanse: THERE IS NO RIGHT CLEANSE FOR EVERYONE.   The age old cayenne pepper and lemon juice cleanse may be great for some constitutions, while it may kill other constitutions.  So I would choose a cleanse that is suitable to:

  • A) your will-power.  Do not choose a cleanse you know you cannot follow.  This is just setting yourself up for failure. 
  • B) Your lifestyle.  Think realistically about what you can do without completely disrupting your day to day life.  A cleanse will require you to sacrifice a bit of your time and perhaps social events (as most social events revolve around food)  but it’s only for a few weeks of your life.  It’s worth it and you owe it to yourself. 
  • C) Your Current Level of Health.  If you are a health nut already and eat a lot of raw foods, you may want to look at doing a deep colon cleanse using the aide of herbs.  If fruits and veggies are foreign to your diet, a more basic cleanse may be a good way to start. 

Regardless of your current eating patterns your body NEEDS to cleanse.  There are so many benefits to cleansing.  To further convince you to do a cleanse, I will highlight the more catchy reasons:

WEIGHTLOSS   If you follow your cleanse, you will notice pounds dripping off, for two reasons: 1) you won’t be eating junky foods    2)You will be giving your body a break from the hard work of digesting foods like dairy, carbs, processed foods, excess proteins, so it can focus on cleansing and eliminating the built up gunk in your system.  That gunk really packs a punch and can EASILY add an extra 5-15 pounds on the scale.  Once you begin to cleanse, that gunk caked to the sides of your intestinal tract will be released which will aid to weight and inches lost, primarily around the abdominal area.  Have I convinced you that a cleanse is a good idea yet?

ENERGY INCREASE   Just as I demonstrated in the first three words of this entry, people tend to feel sluggish as they come out of their winter hibernation, but are eager to shed their winter “coats”.  A cleanse is a great way to aide this process.  Cleansing will actually give you energy because you will be eating HIGH QUALITY FOODS, and the built up gunk (I suppose I’ll stick with the same, non-technical verbiage) will not be around to weigh you down.   REMEMBER:  it is possible to have long lasting energy without eating breads and animal products, both of which should be avoided while on any decent cleanse. 

DISEASE PREVENTION  Cancer, Candida, Hypo/hyperthyroidism, specific organ diseases, diverticulitis, allergies, Celiac, IBS are all diseases/conditions caused by poor digestion, caused by the standard American diet.   Just like teeth, our bodies produce plaque/mucus when we eat, as a defense mechanism to protect itself from chemicals, unnatural ingredients in our food.  There are over  12 organs involved in the digestion process, all with an estimated surface area to be the size of a football field!   That’s a lot of organs exposed to the foods we eat, both good and bad.   Cleansing allows your body to catch up on digestion, and clean the mucussey-hard to reach places inside the digestive tract where diseases like the ones listed above thrive.  Plaque/mucus build up is the perfect breeding ground for disease.  Similar to our teeth, we should schedule cleanings every 3-6 months for our bodies.  It only makes sense.

If you are unsure which cleanse you want to try, or don’t want to take the time to look around, might I offer a suggestion? 

For two weeks eat a diet composed only of fruits and veggies. This is not meant to be a two week period of starvation.  You should feel full at the end of every meal.  Your day should go something like this:

  • Eat as many fruits as you need to feel full throughout the morning.
  • Enjoy a huge DEEP LEAFY GREEN salad for lunch with as many veggies, nuts/seeds as you want
  • If you get the munchies throughout the afternoon, snack on raw almonds, or carrots
  • Eat a huge DEEP LEAFY GREEN salad for dinner with as many veggies, nuts/seeds as you want.
  • If you are craving sweets, figs will be your best friend. They are loaded with natural sugars and fiber.
  • If you’re absolutely dying from cravings and you feel your only options are to fall off your cleanse or eat chocolate, BUY CACAO NIBS

The deep leafy greens such as chard, kale, or spinach will act as a scrub brush throughout your digestive tract and are the best thing to help you rock your cleanse. The more you can eat the better.  DRINK TONS OF WATER  (tons meaning at LEAST 8 cups)

  

THINGS TO AVOID

  • Any beverage except water
  • Breads in any form
  • Pasta
  • Processed food
  • Baked goods
  • Animal Products
  • Dairy
  • Sweets

If you are looking for a deep cleanse, which I would HIGHLY recommend, I would trust no one else besides Vicki Talmage.  She is a life-saver, literally.  She will change your life and help you to view health in a way that you never have before. 

These are the organs associated with the digestive tract

I’m telling you, cleanses are great.  They will improve your health drastically.  Not gonna lie, you’re going to be crabby the first few days because you’ll realize how much you rely on food for entertainment, happiness, or comfort.  But cleansing will let you test your strength.  After the first week, you’ll be feeling pretty good about your health and it may be easy to justify stopping.  Don’t.  Tell yourself good job and keep cleansing.  If you think there’s nothing left to cleanse, keep cleansing.  The longer you can cleanse the better.  You owe it to yourself to at least give it a try.

 

 

PS I apologize for the annoying “text enhance” popups throughout this post.  Thank you WordPress.  Anyone know how to get them to stop?!?!

Spring has Sprung!

Google's Interpretation of Spring

Welcome to the first day of Spring!  Although the weather may choose not to observe this day, the calendar certainly does and that is good enough for me.

At the moment, it’s nature’s dormant growing season and my blog seems to have followed suit.  Summer came early for me this year with back to back trips this month.

My interpretations of Spring.

As a side effect, I have greatly neglected this blog.  And to be perfectly honest I am going to continue to neglect it for a few weeks more.  This concept of dormancy led me on a quest and I stumbled upon this definition:

Dormancy is “a state of stillness during the development of many plants, characterized by their inability to grow, though continuing their morphological and physiological activities, until they are given the stimulus in which to grow.”  

The reason behind giving you a biology lesson for today rests in the beginning of the quote: “a state of stillness during development” and the end of the quote:  “until given stimulus to grow”.

These two little quotes hit home.   The lifespan of a living thing has many dormant periods, whether it be physically, sexually, financially, geographically, mentally, etc.  This lack of movement does not signify a lack of growth.  Quite the opposite.  Just like plants, in our lives it takes a period of dormancy to provide a strong foundation for when growth producing stimuluses are obtained.  And with spring upon us, what better time to dust off, crawl out of hibernation and find those things in life that stimulate growth.

Happy spring everyone I hope you are able to enjoy it for the ups and downs it will bring. (Thank you Pinterst for making cheesy quotes like this so easy to find and so hard to resist)

On the backburner: SPRING CLEANSES