Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I'll be focusing a couple posts of Cod Liver oil in a few weeks when everything calms down. In the meantime, check out Kelly the Kitchen Kop blog and all the related articles.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Recipe for banana-strawberry smoothie:
~1 frozen banana, slightly thawed
~2 frozen strawberries, slightly thawed
~3 heaping tbsp of full-fat plain yogurt
~1/2 cup (approx) of raw whole milk
~1.5 tsp Perfect Greens powder
~.25 tsp powdered eggshell for calcium
~1 tsp lemon-flavoured cod liver oil (for vit D with the calcium) - I use Health First Cod Liver Oil Supreme plus Vitamin D in lemon flavour. It is totally non-fishy tasting and quite good.
Photo credit: blary54 from morguefile.com
I throw all these ingredients into a wide-mouth large mason jar and blend it together using my handy-dandy immersion blender. (Have I mentioned how much I love that thing? It's awesome for making hummus, soups, mixing ingredients for ice cream, and so much more. But it's especially good for smoothies, and really easy to clean. Mine has a stainless steel shaft, made by President's choice.)
The smoothie is thick and still slightly frozen. It's very filling and satisfying, especially if you use really ripe bananas. Basically, I buy bananas fairly ripe (already with brown spots) and take them home, wash them, and put them directly into the freezer whole, with skins on. That way, you can set them on your counter to thaw for about 20 minutes or so without a big huge mess if you forget about them. Then all you have to do is peel the end open and squeeze out the fruit. If you'd like a more frozen smoothie, don't let the banana thaw completely, of course. That's what I do.
Within five minutes of drinking the smoothie, I feel energized, like I just drank two or three cups of coffee. The energy lasts all morning, and with the fat in the yogurt and milk, plus the good fruit, I feel very full. (I generally don't eat breakfast - I follow the Intermittent Fasting theory and it seems to work for me.)
I rarely get sick these days, now that we're pretty much off of the standard crap diet (processed foods, etc) and go to the chiropractor regularly, so it's hard for me to tell if my health has improved. I do notice a general increase in energy.
Overall, I think the Perfect Greens is a little pricey, but if the ingredients do all they are said to do to support health, then it's worth it. It's amazing the money people will pay for things they don't need but avoid investing in their health.
So does anyone else have a review of Perfect Greens (or other superfood powder like Greens+ or Vega)? I'd like to hear your input.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
For more information, read this article by Natural News, and pay particular attention to the portion quoting Dr Light.
Photo credit: mconnors from morguefile.com
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Hazardous chemical found in majority of CanadiansUpdated: Tue Aug. 17 2010 16:00:52
You may be surprised by what you're getting in that can of soup or a bottle of pop.
A new Statistics Canada report shows an overwhelming majority of Canadians have detectable levels of bisphenol A in their bodies.
The chemical is linked to everything from cancer to developmental delays.
The study shows 90 per cent of Canadians ages six to 79 have BPA in their body.
BPA is found in everything from lining of food cans to plastic bottles. It even coats many store receipts.
It no longer appears in items like baby bottles, but it's still in our environment, including tap water in some communities.
And some, including Hamid Habibi with the University of Calgary's Institute of Environmental Toxicology are calling for an outright ban.
"I think steps need to be taken by the government in partnership with the industry to find solutions," says Habibi.
Health Canada has formally declared bisphenol A a hazardous product. (emphasis mine)
well, it's about time!
Speaking of freelance writing, I started a new blog, but it's mostly for use as a website for my business. I am familiar with the blog platform so I figured it would be just as easy to create one for that purpose than to learn how to make a webpage.
If you're interested, or know someone looking for a writer for a brochure, flier, cover letter/resume, content article, news column, or otherwise, send them to my new blog, Make Words Work. There's not a lot of content, article-wise. I added in some writing samples and the rest is just information on how to contact me, about me pages, things like that. Go have a look. Tell your friends.
By the way, running group was tonight instead of last night, and we did just under 4.1 km in less than half an hour. It was more like 20-25 minutes, when you take out the stretch time. We ran almost twice as much during this run, too. Pretty soon we'll be running the entire 4 km (and increasing our distance, too).
Monday, August 9, 2010
The last few weeks, though, have been pretty hectic. I'm searching for a new place to live, trying to find constant writing work, and dealing with an ill husband (nothing serious, just a stomach thing but you know how men get when they're sick). And then last night my two year old daughter came down with something that caused vomiting and diarrhea. It's the first time she's ever been sick (how many parents can say THAT about their 26 month old kids?) and was pretty upset. She's better since this afternoon but still needs more attention than normal.
So those are my excuses. Please bear with me, at least until I find a place to move into (hopefully within the next couple of days to finalize a potential place I looked at on Sunday). Then we should have until the first of September when I'll begin packing and generally going crazy. I hate moving. With a passion. I turn into a raving you-know-what just at the thought of doing it again. Oh well, such is life.
The potential apartment that we hope to get is amazing, though. I realize this is a health and fitness blog, but it's MY blog and if I want to post something of interest to me that is outside those topics is my prerogative. If you don't like it, sorry. Just don't read any further, ok?
Anyway, here's the deal with the apartment. It's in a renovated church - the place was gutted and 16 one-bedroom apartments were built in it. Yes, it's a 1 bedroom. My daughter sleeps in our room so it isn't a big deal.
The apartments themselves have only been open for residency since last August, and every single thing inside them, appliances included, are brand new. Ceramic tile on the floor (no carpets for pet dander, dust, and dirt, YAY!) an actual bathtub with shower, super high ceilings (I'm going to guess 14 feet), lots of light, small kitchen. The absolute best thing about the place is that it's in a church. That really appeals to me. Aside from that, there are a bunch of other great things about it. First of all, utilities and garbage disposal are included in the price. So I don't have to worry about dealing with a deposit and monthly billing. Second, there is a small yard where my daughter and dog can play safely. There's also lots of trees and shade. The BEST part about the outdoor space is that there are tenant gardens available to people who want them. They are 6X6 plots. There were several not in use so I'm guessing that by June of next year, if they're not all claimed, an interested tenant could take more than one. The super even said I could likely bring my compost bin and stick it in the back corner.
The church is located just a few blocks from a large park with splash pad and play equipment. There is a Lion's outdoor pool right across the street from the park. Only about a 20 minute walk from the church is an off-leash dog park. Basically, this place is PERFECT for me and my family. The rental company rep is going to call me tomorrow to let me know if the apartment is going to be available for October, or if we have to settle for a basement apartment (less light) for September 1. Obviously we'd rather take the main floor one as there are no stairs and tons more light - and more time to save for first and last. We just had an expensive fix on the one vehicle so we got set back a little with our savings.
In any case, my hopes are set, which I know is bad and I always do it. I hope I'm not disappointed, because I've fallen in love with the place and just want to move. I am really looking forward to moving into a brand-new sparkly clean apartment with no clutter! It's so much less stressful when your surroundings are neat and tidy, don't you think? Organized personal space brings a zen feeling to your home.
See, there! I managed to tie it all in to health anyway! HA!
Image courtesy of morgueFile
Saturday, August 7, 2010
The Dark Side of Vitaminwater
By John Robbins. Dated August 5, 2010
Now here's something you wouldn't expect. Coca-Cola is being sued by a non-profit public interest group, on the grounds that the company's vitaminwater products make unwarranted health claims. No surprise there. But how do you think the company is defending itself?
In a staggering feat of twisted logic, lawyers for Coca-Cola are defending the lawsuit by asserting that "no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking vitaminwater was a healthy beverage."
Does this mean that you'd have to be an unreasonable person to think that a product named "vitaminwater," a product that has been heavily and aggressively marketed as a healthy beverage, actually had health benefits?
Or does it mean that it's okay for a corporation to lie about its products, as long as they can then turn around and claim that no one actually believes their lies?
In fact, the product is basically sugar-water, to which about a penny's worth of synthetic vitamins have been added. And the amount of sugar is not trivial. A bottle of vitaminwater contains 33 grams of sugar, making it more akin to a soft drink than to a healthy beverage.
Is any harm being done by this marketing ploy? After all, some might say consumers are at least getting some vitamins, and there isn't as much sugar in vitaminwater as there is in regular Coke.
True. But about 35 percent of Americans are now considered medically obese. Two-thirds of Americans are overweight. Health experts tend to disagree about almost everything, but they all concur that added sugars play a key role in the obesity epidemic, a problem that now leads to more medical costs than smoking.
How many people with weight problems have consumed products like vitaminwater in the mistaken belief that the product was nutritionally positive and carried no caloric consequences? How many have thought that consuming vitaminwater was a smart choice from a weight-loss perspective? The very name "vitaminwater" suggests that the product is simply water with added nutrients, disguising the fact that it's actually full of added sugar.
The truth is that when it comes to weight loss, what you drink may be even more important than what you eat. Americans now get nearly 25 percent of their calories from liquids. In 2009, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health published a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, finding that the quickest and most reliable way to lose weight is to cut down on liquid calorie consumption. And the best way to do that is to reduce or eliminate beverages that contain added sugar.
Meanwhile, Coca-Cola has invested billions of dollars in its vitaminwater line, paying basketball stars, including Kobe Bryant and Lebron James, to appear in ads that emphatically state that these products are a healthy way for consumers to hydrate. When Lebron James held his much ballyhooed TV special to announce his decision to join the Miami Heat, many corporations paid millions in an attempt to capitalize on the event. But it was vitaminwater that had the most prominent role throughout the show.
The lawsuit, brought by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, alleges that vitaminwater labels and advertising are filled with "deceptive and unsubstantiated claims." In his recent 55-page ruling, Federal Judge John Gleeson (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York), wrote, "At oral arguments, defendants (Coca-Cola) suggested that no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking vitamin water was a healthy beverage." Noting that the soft drink giant wasn't claiming the lawsuit was wrong on factual grounds, the judge wrote that, "Accordingly, I must accept the factual allegations in the complaint as true."
I still can't get over the bizarre audacity of Coke's legal case. Forced to defend themselves in court, they are acknowledging that vitaminwater isn't a healthy product. But they are arguing that advertising it as such isn't false advertising, because no could possibly believe such a ridiculous claim.
I guess that's why they spend hundreds of millions of dollars advertising the product, saying it will keep you "healthy as a horse," and will bring about a "healthy state of physical and mental well-being."
Why do we allow companies like Coca-Cola to tell us that drinking a bottle of sugar water with a few added water-soluble vitamins is a legitimate way to meet our nutritional needs?
Here's what I suggest: If you're looking for a healthy and far less expensive way to hydrate, try drinking water. If you want to flavor the water you drink, try adding the juice of a lemon and a small amount of honey or maple syrup to a quart of water. Another alternative is to mix one part lemonade or fruit juice to three or four parts water. Or drink green tea, hot or chilled, adding lemon and a small amount of sweetener if you like. If you want to jazz it up, try one-half fruit juice, one-half carbonated water.
If your tap water tastes bad or you suspect it might contain lead or other contaminants, get a water filter that fits under the sink or attaches to the tap.
And it's probably not the best idea to rely on a soft drink company for your vitamins and other essential nutrients. A plant-strong diet with lots of vegetables and fruits will provide you with what you need far more reliably, far more consistently -- and far more honestly.
To learn about inexpensive and healthy foods and beverages, and practical steps you can take toward greater quality of life and economic freedom, read John Robbins' critically acclaimed new book The New Good Life: Living Better Than Ever in an Age of Less. For more information about his work, or to sign up for his email list, visit johnrobbins.info
Friday, August 6, 2010
We took it fairly slowly and walked for 5-6 minutes for a warm up then stretched, as planned. The beginning of the route was very steep uphill so it worked out okay. We did cycles of run/walk, but didn't have a stopwatch (or watch of any kind!) so we just ran when we felt like it and walked when we ran out of steam. We did about 5 run cycles, and totaled 4.09 km in just under 35 minutes. Not bad. I used to jog 4 k in 24 minutes in college.
We'll likely be meeting on Mondays in addition to Thursdays, and hopefully hold each other accountable. It's always easier to do it when you have someone counting on you to be there, isn't it!
I've come up with a very loose program. I had it all typed in here and looked lovely, until I tried the "preview" option and realized the post field is too narrow for the chart. Grr. Sometimes I don't like blogger very much!
In any case, perhaps I'll write up the program in list form when I have more time. The gist of it is pretty simple; slowly increase running cycles while shortening walking cycles (leaving a 5 min cool-down walk at every one), gradually increasing distance until we can run about 8 km without difficulty. That should take about 8 weeks.
In the meantime, stay fit and healthy!
Thursday, August 5, 2010
I haven't finalized the plans for the entire program yet, but we'll start on a slow pace, and walk briskly for 5 minutes to warm up then do some stretching. Then we'll begin our run/walk cycles. I figure we'll run for one minute and walk for 2, depending on the fitness level of the other women. Of course, my fitness level is above that, but I'm sure they'll catch up to me in no time.
I plan on going about 2.2 km tonight, although that may change on a whim.
Will post later with details and more information on the actual running program.