Friday, June 29, 2012

Make Sense of Bread Labels!

WHOLE WHEAT bread BEATS the pants off "wheat" bread and of course white bread!

Five Fabulous Reasons WHOLE WHEAT WINS!

                                         #1 Fiber!
                                         #2 Vitamins!
                                         #3 Minerals!
                                         #4 Phytochemicals!
                                         #5 Protein!
                                         (often protein is higher in whole wheat/grains)

This the Anatomy of a GRAIN.
BRAN and GERM are REMOVED when whole grains are REFINED.
Adapted from image by Earnest Holistic Health.
White bread, wheat bread (that isn't WHOLE wheat/grain), and traditional pasta and most cereals
are made from REFINED GRAINS.

Click here for some healthy pasta alternatives :)


  1. LOW fiber (less than 2 grams)
  3. Sugar early in the list, by any name, including HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP
Click on HFCS to read some highlights from Michael Pollan's Food Rules.
Plus, more on food labels HERE!
Click on image to enlarge label.

White bread photo in image came from Chicago Tribune.

Here is an awesome post from 100 Days of Real Food that shows a nutrient comparison between refined, enriched, and whole grain flour and rice!  Thanks to Lisa of 100 Days and the Whole Grains Council!

HERE is an example of a great choice (Lawash tortillas)!

The whole HUGE tortilla had 10 grams of fiber, AND 10 grams of PROTEIN,
for only 120 calories!  Low fat (none actually!), sugar late on the list (none actually!), short LIST!

Lawash tortillas are awesome!
Lawash products are located in the Midwest, distributed by Sysco, GFS, and more!
Heinen's sells these awesome tortillas!

Try a simple roll-up with a whole wheat tortilla!
ROASTED RED PEPPER SNACKER with a delicious FARM-FRESH tomato and lettuce! 
COMING SOON: Great Grains!!, simple sandwiches!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Va Va Voom -- Video on Vitality!

Click on the image below to hear about why you'll LOOK fabulous when you EAT right!

It's a GREAT LITTLE VIDEO straight from one physician who has done tons of first hand research on this stuff and written lots of great books, including one mentioned in the video called the Wrinkle Cure.

Note: video is nothing about business, even though it's on a "busienss" news show :) 

How awesome is it that by eating bright colored foods (that are grown!) you can look BEAUTIFUL AND HEAL your insides dramatically!?  Here is another post about Attractiveness and Veggies!

Dr Perricone mentions 4 specific foods in this video: watercress, CHIA seeds, cinnamon, and turmeric (you can click on turmeric or  CHIA seeds for other posts I've written!)

Nicholas Perricone has written many wonderful books about the HOWS and WHYS of this simple concept and I introduced him recently when talking of the BENEFITS OF GREEN TEA!  So you can read a bit more HERE!

Plus, check out Nicholas Perricone's Books!

COMMENTS: Did you think this guy was really calm?  I loved that about this video as much as all of his TOTALLY awesome information!  Watch again and see!  Are you a calm or excited person?  I am definitely an excited person, but I definitely see the value and benefit of calming down.  I enjoy BOTH calm and excited!  Some day I'll post about Eckart Tolle's A New Earth which has many beautiful life lessons that I love.  For one, I suppose he first introduced me to calm.  Have a great day!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Silly Veggies for Kids!

Want your kids to eat their veggies?

Let them be silly with them!


Eat cucumbers like corn on the cob!

Eat bell peppers like apples!

Let them SHARE one big veggie, for FUN, when everyone is healthy!

COMMENTS:  What do you let your kids do in order to get kids to eat veggies??

Sunday, June 24, 2012

O'Hare's Outstanding Eats -- Rick Bayless Rules!

Flying in, out, or through Chicago O'Hare Airport? 
You MUST stop at Tortas Frontera!

It was named #1 of the top 10 places to eat of ALL American AIRPORTS!

This was the awesome mushroom Gouda sandwich that I moaned over through the last bite!
From the garden-fresh guacamole to the mouth-watering Mexican grilled sandwiches to the delicious soups, you will be pleased with whatever you order! 
Chef Rick Bayless is amazing!
Interestingly, he was almost chosen as the Executive White House Chef for the Obamas!
I'm sure this cookbook, of his many, is awesome!
How delightful (and super-unusual for an airport restaurant)
to see that Rick Bayless' Tortas Frontera uses so many local, organic ingredients!
For a bit more on LOCAL produce click HERE!
BONUS TIP: Looking for a sweet snack?  How about some dark chocolate covered nuts?  We loved ours from "Nuts on Clark", also at Chicago O'Hare.  They even had a HALF OFF sale!

Or how about a nice pecan caramel apple from Houston's George Bush Airport?
COMMENTS: Do you have any favorite airport restaurants?
We love Curritos at the Cleveland airport!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Wrinkle Free? Green Tea Please!

In the spirit of my trip to Asia, I'll share the IMMENSE benefits of GREEN TEA!

Yum, piping hot green tea each morning,
and then I enjoyed COLD green tea throughout the day!

CATECHINS are the phytochemical responsible for the awesomeness of green tea!

It's the source of antioxidants also found in BERRIES, CHOCOLATE, wine, and BEANS!
Catechins are more concentrated in GREEN tea than in many alternative sources.

Catechins act as ANTIOXIDANTS (link to various antioxidant posts), and
MORE IMPORTANTLY change our genes in many ways!

Your GENES put you at risk for diseases that run in your family.
There's more! YOU can CONTROL your genes!
It's true!  With the right foods and habits,
you can TURN ON helpful genes, and
TURN OFF harmful, disease-causing genes!

Catechins have been shown to turn ON and OFF a long, long list of genes to promote HEALTH!

Studies have shown that these POWERFUL and POSITIVE changes in gene expression may:

Decrease wrinkles!
Improve blood sugar control (prevention of type 2 diabetes)!
Help your body kill cancer cells!
Keep your brain and memory youthful!
In short, improve the function of ALL vital organs (seriously -- there is TONS of research!)!

Look at all the green tea that I enjoyed and collected in Thailand and Japan!
The tin is actually from China :)  And the pomegranate  tea is from here!
This guy is Nicholas Perricone.
He has done amazing research on nutrigenomics -- the science of genetics and its MANY connections to nutrition!

This awesome product comes straight from Japan to Costco!
Super AUTHENTIC tea AND SUPER bargain!
BONUS TIP: There is quite a SMALL amount of CAFFEINE in green tea,
roughly that of a cup of decaffeinated coffee.
Drink several cups of GREEN tea throughout the day,
for a slow and steady, energizing, caffeine infusion
to be CALMLY ALERT and PRODUCTIVE all day long!

COMING SOON!  Matcha tea!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Spice Up Your Life! -- Conveniently!

Using fresh spices has never been easier! No need to wash, chop, or worry about your herbs getting rotten!

These are refrigerated, fresh herbs by Gourmet Garden!
I purchased from Dave's Supermarket.


Basil for Easy Eggplant Parm or Penne Italiana!

Cilantro for Mexican Fiesta Bowl or Guacamole!

Dorot makes these awesome frozen fresh herbs I've mentioned before! This sweet package from Costco comes with 2 packs each of garlic and basil, plus a cilantro pack and a parsley pack. This package is a super bargain -- the entire box was around $8!

Parsley for Dr Oz's Tangy Green Drink!

Garlic for Heavenly Hummus!

McCormick makes these award winning pre-measured spices and recipe cards are so cool! I haven't tried these yet, but what an awesome idea! They have a wide variety of dinner dishes, from Chicken Cacciatorie to Tuscan Chicken Stew!
COMMENTS: Ever tried any of these?  Especially the last spicy example?

Friday, June 15, 2012

Crunchy Cancer Prevention! Kohlrabi, What?!

Funky LOCAL Produce!  Kohlrabi!

This was our Week 1 Selection from Geauga Family Farms!

KOHLRABI is the light green, round veggie in the middle.  It gives me a chance to talk about CRUCIFEROUS veggies, like broccoli and cauliflower, in case you don't come across any kohlrabi!

Think K-sound, and some Bs and Rs: kohlrabi, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, collard greens, broCColi / broCColi raab, Brussels sprouts, rutabaga, radishes, tuRnips, aRugula, and chaRd!


Amazing protection from CANCER and even TREATMENT for TUMOR REDUCTION! (Broccoli sprouts are SUPER jam-backed with this protection!)
Science has been finding impressive associations for AT LEAST the last 30 years!

National Cancer Institute has lots to say about this!

Here are some highlights of HOW Cancer may be Prevented!

Protect cells from DNA damage
Inactivate carcinogens
Anti-viral and anti-bacterial effects
Anti-inflammatory effects
Induce cell death (healthy killing of old or cancerous cells)
Inhibit tumor blood vessel formation AND tumor migration (prevents cancer from spreading)

Cruciferous veggies contain a wide variety of nutrients, including some vitamins (C, E, and K, folate) and minerals, fiber, and especially a wide variety of PHYTOCHEMICALS (indoles, carotenoids, such as beta-carotene and lutein)!

As you may read on the National Cancer Institute's website, various nutrients may be responsible for the protection.  Often one nutrient is studied in animals or on petri dishes, and sometimes results aren't as clear when human intake is studied.  

Remember that humans have a lot going on inside and out, so it isn't as easy to prove effectiveness.  

Plus, we're talking about eating veggies, not smoking a cigarette because a study told us it was good for us!  I'm saying it is a pretty low risk thing to try; while it may not cure us of cancer for 100%, there is ABUNDANT respectable information that says that it might -- pretty exciting to me!

So eat your kohlrabi!  Or!

Here is a yummy BRUSSELS SPROUTS recipe!

Or you can try this KALE recipe!

Or this BROCCOLI recipe!

Here is a great post all about KOHLRABI which included a great way to try it!
They suggested "slice... it thinly, mix... it Granny Smith apples, lemon juice, ginger, and oil for a quick salad."  Sounds good to me!

COMMENTS: Have any new cruciferous recipes you want to share?!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dragon Fruit in Thailand!

TODAY (actually 6/15 but we're a day ahead here!) is our 10 year anniversary! We're celebrating in THAILAND! I've meant to share so many fun foods and experiences on our trip, and anyway here is the first...a strange new (to me!) fruit!

What's black and white and red (magenta) all over? Besides a newspaper... it's dragon fruit!

You can try some yourself in dried form at Trader Joe's!  Straight from Thailand!!!

Probably tastes best fresh, so you might have some luck finding it at an Asian market, 
for a fun EXPERIENCE!  

New dried fruit flavor...TRY DRIED KIWI (shown below, super-sweet with no sugar added!).

You'll have to search a bit for it, not sure where best to find it in US!  Please tell me if you do!

Dragon fruit (also called pitaya) is high in vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and some minerals, and it tastes pretty nice, the seeds are just like a kiwi's seeds and the texture is sort of like a crispy melon, unusual and mild.  The best part of it is the fun experience of eating something so strange looking, inside and out!

For some mouth-watering taste, go for some mango, papaya, guava, passion fruit flavors!  Passion fruit has been my favorite ever since I first tried it in Australia back before we had kids!

Click here for some FUNKY produce grown in Cleveland, Ohio, and all over the US!

We enjoyed the fresh markets of Bangkok, pictures to come....but now I'm off to play some soccer golf!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Food Labels for Smarties!

No one who takes the time to LEARN is a DUMMY!

Cartoon by Mike Adams at

Don't be fooled by POSITIVE messages all over the package! The proof is in the NUTRITION FACTS and the INGREDIENTS list! Know your numbers on food labels! Easy as 1,2,3, ...4!

If you ever count anything, try counting fiber grams! Increase fiber intake gradually, but nearly EVERYONE can benefit from more fiber!

#2  Avoid saturated fat and trans fat, and also look under ingredients for sneaky culprits! (click HERE for more on these fats)

#3 Look for a product with more protein since this increases the energy you need to digest and metabolize the food; click here for a bit more on PROTEIN.

Short list is great! NO list is even better!
Avoid the following words: enriched, hydrogenated, any sneaky form of sugar

Here a few more pointers about ingredients care of Food Rules by Michael Pollan:
Avoid also: anything your great grandma wouldn't recognize, a third grader couldn't pronounce, or you couldn't picture in its natural form.


Plus, another post discussing some GREAT FOOD RULES!

NOTE: I am actually NOT concerned with calories, though SERVING SIZE is something to check on...often a single serving is much smaller than what one normally eats in a single sitting. If you're following the 4 recommendations above, it really won't much matter about calories or serving size because you'll certainly be eating a healthy food -- NOURISHING your body! GO YOU!

COMING SOON: let's look at the Example of Bread...
White, Wheat, Whole Wheat, Bread v. tortilla, Sprouted Grain...

COMMENTS: Do you look at labels? What do you watch, count, etc the most?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

FREE Yourself from these FATS!

There are HEALTHY FATS, which I talk about all the time!, and there are UNHEALTHY fats, which I prefer not to focus on, but a few comments might be helpful!

There are TWO fats one might want to limit:

SATURATED (mainly from ANIMALS: meat, poultry, cheese, fat in milk, butter, etc.)
Exception: Wild fish, especially salmon!...these are HEALTHY FATS called Omega-3 FATS.

TRANS fat sources (mostly from PROCESSED foods, unfortunately regular/traditional peanut butter (click HERE for a bit on "natural" peanut butter), fast food, fried foods, donuts, packaged desserts, many coffee creamers, surprisingly...sprinkles!)

These fats are detrimental to our health in TOO many ways, but I'll give you TWO that should be convincing!

HARMFUL to our:

Brains, nerves
Hearts, blood vessels

Especially since our nerves and blood vessels affect EVERY OTHER PART of our bodies!

This image was taken from ... perhaps you'll find something you like there!

I don't particularly like the show. So ... much to my surprise, the Simpsons Movie was pretty entertaining! Perhaps hormones were involved, but I honestly cried like 5 times during this movie, and of course, laughed a lot too. To give the makers credit, it's a pretty creative show.



You can simply decrease the amount of animal products that you consume, adding a bit more veggies, subtracting some meat, substituting some sour cream for some non-fat Greek yogurt, trying to make the switch from whole or 2% milk, to non-fat or 1% milk.  


Go to food LABELS!  There is a place for TRANS fat on the Nutrition Facts. You want this to be ZERO. Even with a zero, you still want to look at the INGREDIENTS LIST. If you see the word HYDROGENATED anywhere, ESPECIALLY early on the list, the product should be avoided!  

When there is less than 0.5 grams of trans fat, Nutrition Facts can say 0g trans. Half a gram may not sound like much, but just a tiny bit of trans fat is harmful to your body!

This example is from  Spy the fat words to avoid? 

...HYDROGENATED, Saturated, Trans (usually below saturated...not shown here).

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lemony Kale Pasta

KALE is a super-GREEN!  Benefits of kale: high in Vitamins K, A, C (just a cup gives you more than your daily requirement of each!), and calcium and iron!  Plus, a variety of phytochemicals that help prevent cancer and aging, especially of the eyes!

Lemony Kale Pasta

1 package whole wheat pasta... Here is a post on some pasta alternatives!
1 large onion, chopped ...I've used white and red onions, both are yummy!
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp pepper
1 pound kale ... I used more than half of Costco's bag of baby kales :)
1/4 c flaxseed, ground
1/4 c nutritional yeast
1/4 c wheat bran, course grain
1/4 c wheat germ
1/2 lemon, juice squeezed on top of pasta dish!

Prepare pasta as directed.  Saute onion, garlic, and spice for 5-7 min on medium high heat. Then add kale and cook for another 5 min, until greens become bright! Combine remaining dry ingredients. Lastly, mix everything together, squeeze lemon juice on top, and enjoy!

COMMENTS: Do you eat Kale?  Kale chips?  Kale soup?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Simple and Delicious -- Roasted Pepper Snacker!!

This is an AWESOME sandwich! Great on WHOLE WHEAT toast, flat bread, or tortilla as a roll-up!

  • 1/2 c fresh spinach - as much as you can get in there!
  • 2 slices roasted red peppers or yellow! Y-U-M!
  • (Costco and Trader Joe's sell jars of this yummy-ness at a great value!)
  • Hummus (best option!) or non-dairy cream cheese spread on toast
  • Whole wheat toasted bread

I ate two of these sandwiches for dinner tonight, along with some peanut butter chocolate banana ice cream!...healthy enough for me to comfortably give to all three of my kids FOR THEIR DINNER! Hope you like this sandwich!!

COMMENTS: Have any exciting plans for the end of school?!
Field day was today and I am so excited for summer!!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pasta IS Good for YOU!

You might have heard that "pasta isn't good for you!"  Well, if you choose old fashioned, enriched white pasta, I would agree that what you've heard is true!  Find out why in a bread post, coming soon!  THERE IS GOOD PASTA NEWS!  There are lots of great (YUMMY AND HEALTHY) options available!

Top 4 Pasta Alternatives/Varieties!

#1 Barilla Plus Pasta

Variety of SHAPES; TASTES and LOOKS very similar to traditional white pasta; INEXPENSIVE; Jam-packed with NUTRIENTS: high in a variety of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber!

Contains INULIN -- a nutrient called a PREBIOTIC; prebiotics are foods that "good" bacteria eat to grow and flourish. Prebiotics are similar to "healthy bacteria" found in yogurt and kefir!

These are CALORIE-free and gluten-free! Fettuccine, angel hair, and rice shapes!

#4 Spaghetti Squash

Nutritious, ONE-ingredient 'product'; cooks easily in a pressure cooker, oven, or microwave; contains less than 25% as many calories as traditional pasta!

Thank you Whole Foods for this lovely pic! Here is a site completely devoted to spaghetti squash, well other squashes are in there, but the site name is! It'll tell you how to prepare it (EASY!), and offer many recipes!

WINTER Squash includes a variety of squash including:

SPAGHETTI, acorn, butternut, and many more!

Top Benefits of Winter Squash

Richness in Vitamins A, C, and folate, as well as copper and magnesium help with:

1. Inflammation reduction (arthritis and asthma relief)
2. Heart AND LUNG health
3. Protection from birth defects
For more specifics on which nutrients help most with which function go to!
Try one of these healthy pasta recipes as you experiment with a new kind of pasta!

Here is another post you might enjoy!  Grains Galore (some other healthy grain options)!

COMMENTS: Have you ever tried any of these pasta alternatives?  Have any cool recipes to share?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Free Cooking Demo with Author Todd Pesek

Last month, I had the opportunity to enjoy an ENTERTAINING and INFORMATIVE presentation by Dr Todd, as well as sample some of his DELICIOUS recipes!

On June 5th, you can MEET Dr Todd, learn how to MAKE some of his recipes, 
and TASTE them yourself!  Then you can buy his book!

It's FREE!  All you have to do is sign up and then show up!
Call Heinen's Mayfield Village (440)449-4478

Here is the food pyramid Dr Todd follows and teaches!

Dr Todd's Superfoods Pyramid

Dr Todd is a holistic physician practicing at (and founder of) 
Great Lakes Health Institute in Lyndhurst, Ohio.

COMING SOON: what I want to share from Dr Todd's book/presentation!


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