Friday, December 12, 2014

Fat Facts

By Melissa Diane Smith
When it comes to your health, one of the most important things you can do is steer clear of processed fats, meaning partially hydrogenated oils and vegetable oils that are high in polyunsaturated omega-6 fats. Just as avoiding refined carbohydrates—such as sugar and refined wheat or gluten-free flour—is a critical nutrition strategy for preventing disease, so, too, is avoiding partially hydrogenated and refined vegetable oils.
Hydrogenation is a chemical process in which hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oils to turn them into semi-solid oils that are used in deep-fat frying, added to processed foods, and used to make margarine and vegetable shortening. These man-made trans-fats cause dysfunction in the body on a cellular level, and they promote obesity and insulin resistance and double the risk of heart disease.
Many consumers over the past decade have learned about the dangers of trans-fats and have been gradually moving away from them, and fewer food companies are using them. Even so, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that further reducing trans-fats in the food supply could prevent an additional 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year and up to 20,000 heart attacks each year.

What You May Not Know about Vegetable Oils

Monday, December 8, 2014

Cooking with Herbs

By Lisa Turner
From the bright, aromatic essence of basil to the subtle licorice undertones of tarragon or the hints of pine in rosemary, few foods add flavor, aroma, and visual appeal as quickly and easily as fresh herbs. Here’s a simple guide for both beginners and seasoned chefs on buying, storing, and using them.

Selecting & Buying Herbs

Fresh herbs are sold in a variety of ways: in pots, in small plastic clamshells, or in bunches (especially parsley and cilantro). However you buy your herbs, look for bright green leaves with no browning or yellowing at the tips. If you’re buying them in bunches, look at the stems—dry, splitting stems mean they’re older. For herbs sold in plastic boxes or bags, give them a sniff before buying. They should have a pronounced aroma with no hints of mustiness or mold. Potted herbs are a great choice. You can snip leaves and keep the plant alive for future harvests.

Storing Fresh Herbs

Herbs are more delicate than other produce and have to be stored and handled gently. Generally, keep them dry and refrigerated. If you buy them in bunches, take them out of the bags and remove the rubber bands, then snip the ends and stand them up in a glass with 1/2 inch of water, then store in the refrigerator. If you buy them in plastic boxes, remove them from the box and wrap them in very lightly dampened paper towels, then store in the warmest part of the fridge to prevent freezing.

Using Fresh Herbs

Rinse herbs gently just before using them. If they’re very dirty or sandy, immerse them in a large bowl of cold water, agitate gently, and lift them out of the bowl. Never cut herbs when they’re wet, or they’ll blacken and get slimy. Instead, pat herbs with paper towels and let them air-dry before cutting, or use a salad spinner to dry larger quantities of herbs.
Be sure your knife is very sharp before cutting herbs—dull knives, blender blades, or food processor blades will bruise the leaves and destroy the vibrant green color. And use all parts of the herb, not just the leaves. Rosemary, sage, and thyme stems can flavor soups and stocks, and chive, sage, thyme, and other herb blossoms are beautiful garnishes (don’t use basil or marjoram blossoms, since they’re often bitter).

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Organically Minded Websites

It’s easy to go organic in all areas of your life with this mini resource guide.

If You Are Interested In …Go to …
Learning more about (operated by the Organic Trade Association)
Getting involved in the organic
Learning about local, sustainable
Avoiding GMOs (and learning more about how to do so)
Finding organic
Organic household
Organic beauty and personal

Your Brain on Gluten

By Lisa James

Problems with gluten often range well beyond intestinal issues to affect other parts of the body, including the brain. For example, scientists have known for decades that people with celiac disease, in which gluten triggers an abnormal immune response, are prone to ataxia, a neurological disturbance marked by unsteady balance and jerky, uncoordinated movements.
However, the association between gluten and the brain has been found to go far deeper. Memory slippages, fuzzy thinking and low mood may all be linked to this troublesome protein.
Connecting the Dots

The linkage between gluten and a variety of brain dysfunctions is only now becoming a matter of concern among the general public. “It has awaited critical mass,” says David Perlmutter, MD, board-certified neurologist, president of the Perlmutter Health Center in Naples, Florida, and author (with Kristin Loberg) of Grain Brain (Little, Brown). “We now understand there is a powerful relationship between the gut and the brain.”

For example, “depression is found in as many as 52% of gluten-sensitive individuals,” says Perlmutter. He notes that up to 90% of the body’s serotonin, which helps regulate mood, is produced in nerve cells found in the gut (known as the “second brain”). Gluten has also been linked to anxiety and schizophrenia (The Psychiatric Quarterly 3/12).
Children with celiac disease have a higher risk for developmental delays, learning disabilities, seizures and headaches. In fact, Doni Wilson, ND, who maintains a three-location practice in the metropolitan New York area, says the most common signs of gluten sensitivity among her younger patients are “headaches and stomachaches. When a child has these, right away I’m thinking gluten.”

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Healing with Music

By Linda Melone

Your next prescription from your doctor may include a playlist of songs to go with your medication. Studies of music healing show more than ever how music affects the brain and, subsequently, health, says Kamal Chémali MD, a neurologist with Sentara, an integrated health system in Hampton Roads, Virginia, and co-founder of the Cleveland Clinic Arts and Medicine Institute.

Every civilization in history has used music to heal and cure, says Chémali. “The difference now is we have ways to prove we were right about the benefits through modern technologies such as the MRI.”

Aside from medical uses, listening to music can help you prepare for an exam, improve your memory and help you sleep better, says Joseph P. Cardillo, PhD, clinical psychologist and co-author of Your Playlist Can Change Your Life (Sourcebooks). “Your brain's plasticity, or ability to change, helps you create long-term change and even target those changes to specific tasks and goals.”

For example, to “rewire” your brain to relax, first play a recording of a nature sound that relaxes you, suggests Cardillo. Then play a song you know relaxes you. You'll feel a greater effect from that song. “As little as two 5-minute applications of your playlist a day and you’ll feel better within about two week’s time,” says Cardillo. 

Cardillo recommends making a variety of playlists to target different situations. For example, he recommends making two lists for driving, “One to calm down and one to bring you up if you need to be energized for a meeting or presentation.” The key lies in using beats per minute (BPM) of a song. Slow, relaxing songs include those with 100 or fewer BPM (such as Sinatra’s “New York New York,” which is in the range of 30 BPM), versus those at 100 to 130, which will start to alert you; 135 to 155 beats will bring you to a higher state of alertness and 165-plus to the highest state. High-alert songs are popular for exercising and running. Examples include:

Boys of SummerThe Ataris201 BPM
Chain GangThe Pretenders138 BPM
Rebel YellBilly Idol167 BPM
Rock This TownThe Stray Cats204 BPM
Beat ItMichael Jackson139 BPM
Power of LoveHuey Lewis155 BPM

To find a song’s BPMs, search on Google by typing in the name of the song and “BPM,” says Cardillo. 

“Music changes the speed at which your brain waves vibrate,” says Cardillo. So when you’re feeling elated you brain is likely producing more neurochemicals (brain chemicals such as serotonin) and your brain waves are vibrating at a higher velocity; when you’re feeling mellow you’re producing different neurochemicals and your brain waves are vibrating at a slower velocity, explains Cardillo.

“You can trick your brain into producing more of that blood chemistry to bring you up or down and train your brain waves to enter a specific velocity at a specific time.”

For example, imagine you play the same playlist to help you relax in traffic on your way to work. In about three weeks, as soon as you get into your car—even without the playlist—your brain calls up the mindset in your head and you relax without the music. “You’re training your brain to alter itself in specific situations for the better,” says Cardillo.

For the greatest benefits pay attention to music actively rather than having it play in the background, says Chémali. Live concerts intensify music’s effects the most. “The concert setting allows you to see the emotion of the musicians. The visual effect also affects the listener,” Chémali says.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Creamy Cauliflower Bisque with Chive Oil

Serves 4

2 Tbs. coconut oil, divided
2 small leeks, thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
1 small celery stalk
1 large head cauliflower, cored and chopped (4–5 cups)
3–4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup almond or cashew butter
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 large bunch fresh chives, divided
1/2 cup olive oil

Heat 1 Tbs. coconut oil in large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and celery, and cook 4–5
minutes until softened. Add cauliflower and 3 cups broth, cover, and cook until cauliflower is soft, 15–20 minutes. Add almond milk and cashew butter, and warm through, about 3 minutes.

While soup is cooking, toast almonds in small pan, and set aside.

Finely chop 2 Tbs. chives, and set aside. Hold remaining chives under hot water to soften and lightly blanch, about 30 seconds. In food processor, combine softened chives with olive oil, and purée until smooth. Strain through fine mesh sieve, and discard solids.

When soup is finished cooking, purée in batches in food processor or blender until creamy and very smooth, adding more stock if needed. Season with salt and white pepper.

To serve, divide soup among four bowls. Drizzle chive oil over each bowl, and sprinkle with almonds and chopped chives. Serve hot.

per serving: 427 cal; 12g pro; 34g total fat (10g sat fat); 24g carb; 4mg chol; 816mg sod; 6g fiber; 5g sugars

Monday, July 14, 2014

Spinach, Avocado, and Ruby Grapefruit Salad with Blackberry Vinaigrette

Serves 4

2 small ruby grapefruits
2 Tbs. blackberry fruit spread or preserves
1/4 cup unrefined avocado oil
8 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves*
1/2 cup blackberries
1 small avocado, peeled and cubed
1/3 cup toasted macadamia nuts

Peel grapefruits with sharp knife, completely removing white pith. Cut between membranes to release grapefruit segments, holding over medium bowl to catch juice. Set grapefruit sections aside. Squeeze membranes over bowl to extract remaining juice. Discard membranes.

Whisk jam into grapefruit juice until well blended. Slowly drizzle in avocado oil, and whisk until creamy and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

In medium bowl, combine spinach, grapefruit sections, blackberries, and avocado cubes. Drizzle with dressing, and toss gently to mix. Sprinkle with macadamia nuts, and serve.

per serving: 363 cal; 4g pro; 27g total fat (4g sat fat); 30g carb; 0mg chol; 80mg sod; 8g fiber; 14g sugars

Friday, July 11, 2014

Asparagus Bundles with Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette

Serves 4

1 small bunch green onions, divided
1 small lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbs. minced fresh thyme leaves
1 lb. slender asparagus stalks, tough ends removed

Cut green tops from green onions, and set tops aside. Finely mince one scallion bulb. Reserve remaining
bulbs to use in another recipe.

Grate 1 tsp. zest from outside of lemon, and place in small jar with tight-fitting lid. Juice lemon, and add lemon juice to jar. Add minced green onion, olive oil, and thyme, and shake until well blended and emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange asparagus spears in vegetable steamer, and steam over boiling water 2–3 minutes, until bright green and crisp-tender. Add green onion tops to steamer on top of asparagus. Return lid to steamer, and let green onion tops wilt briefly, about 30 seconds.

Remove vegetables from steamer, cool until just easy to handle, and divide asparagus into four bundles. Tie one or two pieces of green onion around center of each bundle.

To serve, arrange bundles on platter or individual plates. Drizzle vinaigrette over each bundle, and serve with additional dressing on the side.

per serving: 147 cal; 2g pro; 14g total fat (2g sat fat); 5g carb; 0mg chol; 11mg sod; 2g fiber; 1g sugars

Monday, July 7, 2014

Salmon en Papillote with Arugula Pesto

Serves 4

4 large squares parchment paper
1/2 cup olive oil
1 ½ cup packed arugula leaves
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
2 small garlic cloves, minced
2 lbs. wild Alaskan salmon, cut into 4 equal pieces

Preheat oven to 375°F. Fold one parchment square in half, and draw half heart shape on paper. Cut and unfold to make heart-shaped piece of parchment. Repeat with remaining parchment pieces.

Combine olive oil, arugula, basil, and garlic in food processor, and process into thick paste, adding water to thin if needed, 1 Tbs. at a time. Season with salt and pepper.

Wash salmon, and pat dry. Place one parchment heart on flat surface. Arrange one piece of fish on one half of parchment. Spread pesto evenly over fish. Fold parchment over fish. Starting at pointed end of parchment, crimp edges together, making 1/4-inch folds around fish to create a half-moon. Place on baking sheet, and repeat with remaining parchment, fish, and pesto.

Bake 10–15 minutes, depending on thickness, until fish flakes easily with a fork. Transfer packets to individual serving plates, and slit parchment open just before serving.

per serving: 574 cal; 49g pro; 41g total fat (7g sat fat); 1g carb; 102mg chol; 107mg sod; <1g fiber; <1g sugars


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Beauty Foods

By Lisa Turner

You can spend hundreds of dollars on pricey creams, lotions, and cosmetic procedures. But the fact is, good skin starts from within.

Want to be more beautiful? The formula for promoting smooth, glowing skin doesn’t have to be complicated, cost hundreds of dollars, or take months to work. It can be as simple as eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats; drinking plenty of filtered water; and avoiding excessive caffeine consumption, which dehydrates cells and makes fine lines more noticeable. Other skin-zapping foods: sugar, which damages collagen and elastin, the fibers in skin that keep it smooth and firm; refined and high-glycemic carbs, linked with an increase in acne breakouts; and alcohol, which dehydrates cells and causes dilated blood vessels and facial redness. In addition, a few foods top the list for skin beautifying. Some of the best:

1. Asparagus is high in antioxidants including glutathione, which helps protect skin from sun damage and minimizes the effects of aging. It’s also high in vitamin C, beta carotene, selenium, zinc, and other skin-beautifying nutrients, and works as a natural diuretic to reduce puffiness and swelling. Eat it very lightly cooked or raw to protect the glutathione content.

2. Salmon contains 2-dimethylaminoethanol, or DMAE, a compound found naturally in the brain. DMAE protects cell membrane integrity to keep skin smooth and firm, and helps inhibit the body’s production of arachidonic acid, a compound that encourages wrinkles, sagging, and signs of aging. Salmon also contains omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce the risk of skin cancer. Choose wild Alaskan salmon instead of farmed. Sardines and other small fatty fish have similar benefits.

3. Almonds are rich in monounsaturated fats that keep cell membranes strong and flexible, encourage smooth skin, and prevent and treat eczema. Almonds are also high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that can not only protect against, but also reverse, skin damage from the sun’s UV rays. Other nuts have similar benefits.

4. Avocado contains the skin-healing vitamins A, D, and E, and is rich in antioxidant carotenoids that prevent free radical damage to skin cells. Studies have shown that some constituents of avocado offer protection against UV damage to skin cells. And like almonds and other nuts, avocados are high in monounsaturated

5. Spinach is rich in vitamin K, a fat- soluble vitamin that helps keep skin springy and firm and helps prevent wrinkles and fine lines. It’s also a good source of lutein, a type of carotenoid that helps protect the skin from sun damage. Plus, spinach contains zinc, which guards against blemishes and breakouts.

6. Ruby red grapefruit gets its pink hue from a potent antioxidant called lycopene (also found in tomatoes and guava) that fights free radical damage to the skin and protects against wrinkles, sagging, and skin discolorations. Several studies have shown that lycopene can also protect against burning from the sun’s UV rays.

7. Cauliflower, like other cruciferous vegetables, is rich in glucosinolates, cancer-preventive compounds that also protect the skin from free radical damage. Studies show that isothiocyanates, which are converted from glucosinolates, can prevent wrinkles and stimulate skin detoxification. In one study, an isothiocyanate extract increased firmness and smoothness of skin in people who worked outdoors in the winter and were exposed to cold weather and low humidity.

8. Arugula, like cauliflower, is rich in glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, cancer-fighting compounds that also protect the skin from free radicals and sun damage. Some studies show that isothiocyanates prevent inflammation in the skin and can protect against psoriasis. Arugula also stimulates the liver, and can promote skin detoxification.

9. Blackberries are good sources of skin-protective vitamins A, C, and K. They are also high in anthocyanins, the compounds responsible for their deep purple color and their ability to protect against cellular damage. Blackberries contain another antioxidant called ellagic acid, which helps shield the skin from damage by the sun’s UV rays and helps repair existing damage from excessive sun exposure. Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries have similar benefits.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Breathing Easy

Paying attention to how you respire can foster greater health and well-being.
by Beverly Burmeier

Drawing breath: It is the very definition of being alive. But as ordinary—and vital—as the act of respiration is, most people don’t do it in the most healthful manner.

“Correct breathing is a cost-free, drug-free path to better health,” says Gerilynn Connors, RRT, MAACVPR, FAARC, a respiratory therapist and pulmonary rehabilitation specialist in Falls Church, Virginia, and chair of the American Association for Respiratory Care’s Continuing Care and Rehabilitation Section. “We take breathing for granted because it’s automatic and natural from birth, but the benefits of proper breathing affect all systems of the body.”

Test your own breathing style by placing one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen. Take a normal breath and see which hand rises more. If the hand on your chest does, you’re taking short, shallow breaths instead of deep, relaxed and effortless breaths that come from using your diaphragm, the dome-shaped muscle between the chest and the abdomen, to move air in and out of your lungs.

A significant number of studies have shown that deep, meditative breathing helps to calm the nerves, relax muscular tension and reduce pain and stress. Deep breathing also boosts blood circulation while reducing blood pressure and heart rate; in addition, it promotes clearer thinking and increases energy levels. “Getting enough oxygen into your body allows muscles and organs to function more effectively,” Connors says.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Nutiva Organic Red Palm Oil

  • Nutiva Organic Red Palm Oil is a versatile baking and cooking oil - the red palm adding a rich, earthy aroma and a great buttery taste. 
  • The palm oil is high in antioxidants, Tocopherois/Tocotrienols (Vitamin E), and Beta-Carotene (Vitamin A).
  • It offers zero trans fats, and is both Kosher and Vegan.
  • It's cultivated in harmony with nature - rainforests and orangutan habitats are unharmed.
  • The palm oil is organic and grown on small family farms in Ecuador.
  • It can be used in rice, quinoa, muffins, smoothies, spreads, sauces, soups, stews, fish dishes, guacamole, popcorn and medium-heat sauteing.

For more information, visit, or come by the store!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Shower With a Friend!

Enviro Shower Filters

  • Softer Skin 
  • Healthier Hair 
  • Chlorine Free Water

Provides a year of natural chlorine free water.

Contains KDF-55 and Crystal Quartz Elements.

Fits all showers. No plumbing required!

Monday, January 13, 2014

NEW WAVE ENVIRO: Informative Chlorine Articles

Water Bottle Pollution Facts
  • Americans use 17 billion barrels of crude oil used annually for 1-time-use water bottle manufacturing - not including transportation resources.
  • Over 80% of empty water bottles end up in landfills.
  • Bottled water tested, contained contaminant levels that exceeded strict state health limits. "One study found that hormone-disrupting phthalates had leached into bottled water that had been stored for 10 weeks."
Chlorine Free Living (via Flyer):
  • For intestinal health avoiding chlorine is crucial. Chlorinated water kills the good bacterial in the body.
  • "Studies show- a strong link between chlorinated water supplies with elevated trihalomethane levels and cancers of the bladder, kidney, liver, pancreas, gastrointestinal tract, colon and brain," - Jordan S. Rubin, N.M.D.
  • Chlorinated water can contribute to dry skin. - 70% of the skin's blemish and wrinkle fighting hydration comes from the water we consume." Phd. Kat James
  • "Drinking chlorinated water, causes scarring of the arteries." - Kevin Trudeau