Thursday, June 27, 2019

Healthiest Fast Food!

My kids called it "the burrito shop" when they were really little and then it was "Burrito Bell"...anyway, we have been going for years, and many people think "yuck!" or "boy, that's surprising that you eat something so unhealthy". Anyway, we do eat there often!

So it was great to hear others think the same!

Carissa Stanz of Wide Open Eats just wrote an article about it: Did You Know that Taco Bell Has Become One of the Healthiest Food Chains?

Tessa Newell of the food news website called FoodBeast also wrote an article a few years ago called: Taco Bell Has Low Key Become One of America's Healthiest Fast Food Chains (Business Insider also shared Tessa's article)

Plus, Dr Neal Barnard, president of Physicians Committee of Responsible Medicine, has even suggested going to Taco Bell for a bean burrito!

These are my kudos for Taco Bell.

1. It's a FAST, CHEAP way to get some nutritious food, most importantly, BEANS, when you are out and about.

2. It tastes great and fresh!

3. The refried beans do NOT contain lard (often refried beans are made with lard).

4. This one I learned from Tessa's article...Taco Bell has reduced it's sodium content by 15% in the last decade (since 2008).

5. Also from Tessa, they have great online nutrition info at such as for allergens and ingredients. As of 2016, they planned to get rid of all artificial ingredients. I would say they have done well...there are lots of chemicals in pop, but as far as the food goes, the ingredients look pretty great!

Tips for ordering HEALTHY:

1. Order your items "fresco style". This means that cheese and sour cream will be substituted for pico de gallo (a tasty mix of chopped tomatoes, onions, and cilantro).

2. Replace meat in any item for beans. We always go with the refried beans, but they also carry black beans!

3. Tostadas and corn taco shells are your best bet for whole grains, though there is added oil, which will almost always be included in restuarant food. I already mentioned the reduction in sodium across the board. In general, Mexican food has less sugar than other types of food, so that's another good thing.

4. Add guacamole for extra flavor, nutritious fat, and satisfation to your meal! 
carla wasa at toco bell one month ago. written by carla.

This is what we order most often:

1. Spicy Tostada, fresco style, make sure jalepeno sauce is omitted, and add guacamole ($1.00 plus cost of guacamole which varies from $0.25-0.50).

2. Bean Burrito, fresco style, sometimes with guacamole (prices vary...around $1.29).

3. Pintos N Cheese, fresco style, really just pintos and pico :) ($1.39). 

This reminds me that I need to write posts for other restuarants! We love Chipotle (post about what to get), Qdoba, Aladdin's, several Indian restaurants, Bibibop, hmmm what else? I wrote about Curritos when I went to Houston, and we found a delicious restuarant in Boston called minigrow, and in Washington D.C. was the fantastic Fruitive.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

12 Benefits of Being in Nature and the Outdoors

A friend recently shared with me (during a run in the woods!) that there are so many benefits to being outdoors. It's really great for our mental and physical health, and this naturally is of great benefit to the development of children as well.

Just as I set out to look into the research, I hit gold immediately, as Business Insider had a wonderful article on the topic, including the journal citations (and links to FULL studies!) for each of the various benefits!

I made this visual from Friedman and Loria's list :)

I definitely recommend you read through this awesome article written by Lauren Friedman and Kevin Loria: Eleven Scientific Reasons You Should Be Spending More Time Outside (article cites various references for each of the reasons)

Here's the list in no particular order:

1. Sharper thinking and creativity
2. Stress relief
3. Reduced inflammation
4. Restored mental energy
5. Immune system boost
6. Better vision
7. Improved mental health
8. Improved concentration
9. Improved short-term memory
10. Reduced risk of early death
11. possible anti-cancer effects

Here is a PDF of the article. 

I can't discuss benefits of being outside without giving a shout out to Vitamin D! Vitamin D is definitely a reason to spend time outside!

And for fun, a few pics out in nature!

Finally, in case you are curious what fueled me through this was brownies, 100% Healthy Fudgy Brownies!

Healthy Fudgy Brownies

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Leafside Home Delivered Plant Based Whole Food Meals!

Leafside Home Delivered Plant Based Whole Food Meals

How's this for a logo?

This is such a fabulous idea for people who want to eat healthy on-the-go! For $7.99 with free shipping and handling, you can have a quick, nutritious and tasty meal! These are the first meals we tried!

I loved how you could really taste the raspberries in the sweet bowl! My daughter appreciated that you could NOT taste the mushrooms in the sweet bowl! Nice to for her to get some ERGOTHIONEINE. This is an amino acid primarily present in mushrooms, practically no other food, actually there is a little bit in some foods like organ meats and beans; however, mushrooms have 40x the amount of the closest competitor!

Ergothioneine protects our DNA!

Ergothioneine: A New Vitamin? - this is an article about antioxidants and aging, and here is a link to a video about ergothioneine!

I just love the amazing ingredients provided in one quick, effortless meal! Here is two examples! 

organic cashews
organic buckwheat noodles
non-GMO soy curls
organic white onions
broccoli florets
organic subdried tomatoes
white button mushrooms
organic nutritional yeast
organic flaxseeds
organic carrots
organic porcini mushrooms
sea salt
organic celery
organic miso powder
organic mustard seed
organic turmeric
organic lemon
organic black pepper
organic herbs & spices

organic dates
organic oats
organic raspberries
organic quinoa
organic cacao powder
organic cacao nibs
organic Ceylon cinnamon
organic coconut flour, 
raw macadamia nuts
organic flaxseeds
organic spinach organic kale
organic peas, 
organic beets
organic porcini mushrooms
organic mustard seed
organic herbs and spices

Some Awesome Smoothies:
Mint Chip Smoothie

Some Savory Meals:
Smoky Pea Soup

The savory meals contain salt, however you can ask for SOS-free versions. Note: the ingredients will still include salt and/or miso even though there will be none. On the front there will be a sticker saying "SOS-free".

Also, note that Leafside currently only delivers within the US. The company would love to hear FROM YOU where you are from, as they expand internationally.

I can't wait to try them all! Visit so you can try them too!

You can figure out which meals you enjoy the most and then have some come every few months to have some meals ready when you run out of time and don't want to eat junk!


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