Monday Morning Espresso Shot

It’s a special day here in Boston. With 36,000 runners pounding the pavement to run the 2014 Boston Marathon, more than a million spectators, a Boston Red Sox game, and all on a gorgeous sunny day….it’s wicked awesome. I posted this video last week, but it’s worth a double post for today.  Happy Patriot’s Day!

 

“Organic” produce? Why does it even matter?

Organic…schhhhmanic. I know….everyone’s sick of hearing and seeing the word “organic” (even I am) and lots of people just ignore it as a marketing hoax. If you’re one of the “organic” eye-rollers…. before you neglect it, let’s make sure you know WHY health nuts and environmentalists alike recommend organic, specifically organic produce.

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Eating organic produce is the best way to eliminate the harmful effects of pesticides on your health. It’s a bit of a bummer that while we all know by now to eat loads of veggies and fruits for optimal health, most of the conventional produce come with harmful chemicals you may be ingesting. Don’t let this get you into debbie-downer mode and just give up! It’s not hard…we just have to be a little pickier with the produce and instead of wasting time and money on a new juice cleanse, diet fad, pedicure, or a new video game (wherever the moolah goes)……buy more organic fruits and vegetables!

Originally all foods were “organic” without needing any label or certification from the government. They were grown without pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers. It’s crazy that getting back to this simple way of food production is not an easy, but actually daunting task…..due to the food system and economy built from it. Since chemical farming and food processing began (around WWII), the soils and foods of the world have been depleted of lots of good nutrients and minerals.

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Buying all organic all the time these days is expensive (although not blinking an eye to pay $600 for a new iPhone and getting annoyed that organic apples are 20 cents more seems backwards doesn’t it?).  You don’t have to buy all organic all the time to reduce your and your families exposure to and risk of chemical contamination. Below is a quick list of the most contaminated produce (aka. the Dirty Dozen) and the least contaminated ones (aka. the Clean Fifteen) to help you make decisions on organic or conventional at the store.

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Monday Morning Espresso Shot

Some good music (like the new Clean Bandit song below….I can’t get enough of it right now) is sometimes all you need to turn a mundane walk/ride to work, study session, house chore, workout/run into something enjoyable that makes you smile and move your body with a little more pizzazz throughout the day.   Make it a great week and Happy Monday!

Veggie Scrambles

I love breakfast. Coffee time and breakfast together in the morning is one of my favorite parts of being with our families. I know it makes me sound a bit old, but I’ve been this way since I was a kid…it’s totally genetic. I thrive in the a.m. and can’t finish a movie for the life of me after 9pm. Dave makes the eggs (he’s an egg pro) and I cut the veggies and wash the berries/fruit, and soon we have a Spina special served. Ok enough about my love for breakfast….what I’m trying to promote here is the veggie scramble. I’ve definitely made this for myself for dinner and even lunch at times (especially when I had morning sickness, to get protein and sneak in extra veggies without barfing).

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Eggs (aka. the perfect protein) have so many great properties:  First, they are less expensive (even organic eggs) than meat and fish protein sources. They are rich in two unique antioxidants shown to protect your eyes from damage. Eggs contain all essential amino acids, meaning they are a complete protein. They contain choline, which helps stimulate brain development and function, and is shown to improve alertness and memory retention. They help cure a hangover because they contain a substance that supposedly cleans up the left over toxins in your body. So you get it…they are good for you, but it’s also about how you feel when you eat them…

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Spring Detox Salad – Meyer Lemons & Fennel

We all want Spring to come to New England (and everywhere else) soooo badly. After little, if any, vitamin D from the sun all hockey season long in Sweden, I’m eager for warm, long, sunny days. I decided to try to jump-start the season by making a real simple, light, and versatile salad. Most importantly, it’s different. I used a couple of new ingredients (Meyer lemons and fennel). The same old salad and meals can become so routine and boring for your body. The body craves a variety of nutrition. This time of year, our bodies want detoxifying foods, such as citrus and greens. They are in season and it’s your body’s way of saying “I’ve had enough chili, meat, slow cooker meals, potatoes, hot food all winter….I’m bloated and I need a little break!”

end salad my detox salad

Read on for the recipe and more info on Meyer lemons and fennel. It took me less than 15 minutes start to finish. I always say this, but it’s worth repeating…..Due to the fact that I sometimes struggle in the patience department, the recipes I post are always simple and quick.

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Dairy Deception…read ingredients & keep it simple

We have gravitated (and not by our own fault) over the past 20-30 years to low-fat, no-fat, low-calorie foods. These “health” claims have been splattered all over the dairy industry. I remember when I thought no-fat frozen yogurt was sooooo healthy…..ew! (and that’s a Jimmy Fallon “EW!”).  It’s full of artificial crap and sugar instead of fat.  Where has this trend taken us?….further in the hole of the health crisis.  Higher rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and all the tag along co-morbid diseases. Fat (excluding the bad trans fat) isn’t what’s causing heart disease. This push towards more sugars and carbohydrates and less fat in our diets has been shown in studies (Harvard studies…so they have to be good) that HDL “good” cholesterol goes down and triglycerides go up, which increases heart disease risk.

pot of strawberry flavoured Danone Activia yoghurt. Image shot 2008. Exact date unknown.

Read this label and you’ll be shocked to see the added refined sugar, chemicals and artificial ingredients.

Read on to learn more about dairy deception and what simple way you can avoid the trap…

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