Wednesday, April 28, 2010

You are what you eat or choose not to eat!

One of my facebook friends put this up and I just had to share it with everyone else! Here is the link to the article:

And, here is the actual article:

Foods So Unsafe Even Farmers Won't Eat Them

Grocery stores may sell them, but experts won't touch them; what you should know about your food.

By Laurel House
Santa Monica, CA, USA | Tue Jan 26, 2010 06:30 AM ET

photo of a farmer

Dick Luria/Getty Images

Green Home | Pollution | Vegan | Vegetarian | Water

Smoking was proven to be cancer-causing, tanning beds were shown to be on par with arsenic, but what about canned tomatoes, corn-fed beef, conventionally grown potatoes? What would it take to convince you to clean out your pantry and change your eating habits? Scientists, doctors, even simple farmers were asked what foods they refuse to eat. The responses had nothing to do with things like donuts due to fat content, or white bread because of the concentration of empty carbs. We're talking seemingly healthy things like tomatoes, beef, popcorn, potatoes, salmon, milk, and apples. For them, it's all about how they are produced and packaged.

7 experts in fields pertaining to both food and the environment answered one simple question: "What foods do you avoid?." Their answers, published in an article entitled "7 Foods the Experts Won't Eat"on Yahoo! Shine, will make you re-think food. When it comes to food and its affect on your health and the health of this planet, this is what they answered:

1. Canned Tomatoes

The Expert: Fredrick vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A.
The Reason: Tin cans are lined with a resin that contains the synthetic estrogen bisphenol-A, which has been linked to a slew of health problems including heart disease, diabetes, reproductive problems, and obesity. But that's not the biggest problem. The acid in tomatoes breaks down that bisphenol-A, leaching it into the food, and not just in insignificant amounts. According to the article, Saal comments that "you can get 50 mcg of BCA per liter out of a tomato can, and that's a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young." That's why he's not touching the stuff.
The Solution: If you lo0ve the taste of "canned" tomatoes but prefer to skip the bisphenol-A, select glass bottles instead.

2. Corn-Fed Beef

The Expert: Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of half a dozen books on sustainable farming.
The Reason: Cattle are naturally grass eaters... not grain eaters. In order to fatten the animals (and profit margins), farmers feed them corn and soybeans. And while the farmers are beefing up their earnings, they are minimizing the nutritional benefits. The article mentions the findings from a recent USDA-conducted study comparing corn-fed beef and grass-fed beef showing that grass-fed beef is "higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium; lower in inflammatory omega-6s; and lower in saturated fats that have been linked to heart disease."
The Solution: Pretty straight forward: Opt for grass-fed beef instead.

WATCH VIDEO: Why Grass-Fed Beef? Emeril Answers

3.Microwave Popcorn

The Expert: Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group.
The Reason: It's not the popcorn itself, but the chemically-saturated lining of the bag including a compound called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) that, according to a recent study from UCLA, may be linked to infertility. Microwaving vaporizes the chemicals as they move from coating the bag to lining the popcorn. But it's not like this fact is un-acknowledged. In fact the article points out that DuPont, as well as other manufacturers, have "promised to phase out PFOA by 2015 under a voluntary EPA plan, but millions of bags of popcorn will be sold between now and then."
The Solution: Pop your own popcorn the way they did it in the olden days--in a pot.

4. Conventionally Grown (Not Organic) Potatoes

The Expert: Jeffrey Moyer, chair of the National Organic Standards Board.
The Reason: Herbicides and pesticides may not be sprayed directly on root vegetables (since they're underground), but they absorb the chemicals through the soil and water. Because potatoes are considered the nation's most popular vegetable, producing a healthy crop is essential to keep up with demand. In order to maintain their health, the article exposes the scary fact that "they're treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they're dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting." But here's the scary thing, Moyer says that he's talked to potato growers "who say point-blank they would never eat the potatoes they sell. They have separate plots where they grow potatoes for themselves without all the chemicals."
The Solution: Another no-brainer— Only buy organic potatoes.

5. Farmed Salmon

The Expert: David Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany and publisher of a major study in the journal Science on contamination in fish.
The Reason: When salmon is crammed into pens, fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers (obviously an unnatural environment for the up-stream swimmers), they're levels of healthy vitamin D lowers as the contaminants increases. Those contaminants include carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides (like DDT). The article points out that DDT has been linked to both diabetes and obesity, quoting Carpenter in saying that "You can only safely eat one of these salmon dinners every 5 months without increasing your risk of cancer... It's that bad."
The Solution: Avoid farmed salmon and instead select wild-caught Alaskan salmon. But make sure the packaging reads "wild." If it just says "fresh Atlantic," according to the article, "it's farmed."

6. Milk Produced with Artificial Hormones

The Expert: Rick North, project director of the Campaign for Safe Food at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility and former CEO of the Oregon division of the American Cancer Society.
The Reason: Unlike in the olden days when fresh milk was some of the purest nutrients you could get, dairy cows today are fed growth hormones like rBGH and rBST to increase milk production. Problem is, while they may be making more milk, they are also increasing their chances of udder infections (which can lead to pus in the milk). More than that, the article points out that high levels of IGF-1 from the rBGH may play a role in the development of breast, prostate, and colon cancers... which is why North says that "it's banned in most industrialized countries."
The Solution: Read the labels and be sure that your milk doesn't contain rBGH or rBST and that it is labeled organic or "produced without artificial hormones."

7. Conventional Apples

The Expert: Mark Kastel, former executive for agribusiness and co-director of the Cornucopia Institute, a farm-policy research group that supports organic foods
The Reason: Apples are the recipient of the most pesticides of all Fall fruits. Chemical producers swear that the residue is not harmful for human consumption, but the Yahoo! Article goes on to quote Kastel in saying that "Farm workers have higher rates of many cancers."
The Solution: Buy organic apples where available or at least thoroughly wash and peel apples before eating them.

Friday, April 23, 2010


It is Official! Tim Tebow will play in the NFL, did go in the First Round, and will be playing with the Broncos. Two other Gator Greats were chosen as well, Joe Haden and Maurkice Pouncey! How exciting. When I look at the joy on Tebow's face and how proud his mom is of him, it makes me want to cry! When it was announced, Ryan had just walked in from playing kickball and I was jumping up and down! SO proud, time to get the Bronco Gear.

And, because this got me thinking of Football, which means yummy dips, I must share one of my favorite with you! Just in case you wanted to start the weekend off right!

Jalepeno Popper Dip

Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites

2 8-oz. packages cream cheese
1 c. mayonnaise
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
1 4-oz. can fire roasted green chilies (don't drain)
1/2-1 4-oz. can diced jalapeno peppers (drained)
1/4 c. panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine the ingredients, except reserving 1/2 cup of parmesan and the bread crumbs. Spread this mixture into a 9" pie plate or a small baking dish. Then combine the panko bread crumbs and the remaining parmesan cheese, sprinkle on top of the mixture and Bake for 20-25 minutes or until dip is bubbly and golden brown.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Before and After

We got the itch to redo our family room. We wanted a more open floor plan, the option to add more seating, and just something "new". I would like to paint... maybe one day! We would love a sectional in this room and another small sitting chair. I want an ottoman in front of the two chairs, but for now, we are loving our new design. And Tucher likes it because he can now sit on the couch and look out the front door, what a life!

Here is before:
A view from the top of stairs looking down:

And here is the AFTER:

It is so much more open when you walk in! Can't wait to watch all the Gator Games on this monster TV!
And I love this wall now! It is so beachy!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

wish you were here

There are just those days that you wish you were here:
in Hawaii,
on the Big Island,
watching sunset on new years' eve,
NO worries in the world!
(Yes, today is one of those days)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Loving Spring!

This weekend I mowed the lawn, bought and planted flowers, and got the backyard in somewhat better shape! I love how overnight everything comes to bloom, it is one of the best perks of living where you have a real winter where there are no leaves on the trees and everything is grey.
We are about to start a backyard project where we are extending our patio and adding a pergola, along with some draining. Our backyard used to be plush with grass, now it is more weeds because of how the water "sits" and doesn't drain off. The company we are using is supposed to start later this week. I will of course post before and after pics!
But for now, look at what I planted:

This is the existing herb garden. Once the project is finished, I will no longer be planting in pots but in a raised garden bed. I will however leave the mint and strawberries in pots because they can really overtake a yard! These have been planted for about 3 years, they have lasted thru the multiple snows we had this winter! Talk about a resilient plant! Mojitos here we come!

And to leave you with an excellent recipe. I found these from Elly Says Opa. They are so yummy and what I love so much is that in the morning, all you have to do is take out of the fridge, pop onto a tortilla and heat for 1 minute in the microwave! Now, for me to like something other than an English Muffin with melted cheese and egg whites (my normal regimen), says something about how great these are!

Chorizo and Black Bean Breakfast Burritos - adapted from Elly Says Opa (link above)

red, green, or yellow peppers, chopped

3/4 lb. chorizo (casings removed & crumbled if you are using links)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup salsa
2 whole eggs
6 egg whites
a couple splashes of milk or cream
salt and pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
10-14 flour tortillas (whole wheat please!)

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, and add the chorizo. Once browned, add the black beans, peppers, salsa and a little salt and pepper to taste, if necessary. Reduce heat and simmer until everything is heated through. Set aside on a plate.

Whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, and salt and pepper in a bowl . Scramble the eggs in a pan (make sure you don’t overcook them...MOM!). Mix the scrambled eggs into the chorizo and black bean mixture.

Heat the tortillas until soft (wrap them in a slightly damp tea towel and microwave for about 20 seconds.) Place a couple spoonfuls of the mixture onto the tortillas and top with sprinkle of shredded cheese. Roll up, burrito style. You can eat them as is, or bake them, or place them in the microwave to melt the cheese.

For the next day, I take the tortilla, add the mixture and cheese on top, and warm in microwave for 45-60 seconds until it is hot! So easy and So yummy, it was a great way to start the week!

And, I actually took a picture! Aren't ya'll proud of me!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

please vote!

A quick update... I completed my Pilates Training in February and became a pilates teacher, and am no longer working as a clinical dietitian. I would love to figure out a way to incorporate my nutrition into this, and it is something that I think of on an hourly basis! Ideas welcome!
Anyways, so last week, a photographer came to the studio (Pilates on Highland) to take pics for my business cards... I was super nervous, freaked out, and anxious. It is not everyday that someone holds a fan so your hair blows in the wind, or applies makeup to make your skin tone beautiful.... Ok, none of that happened and I am not Heidi Klum! Bottom line, here are the pics, what do you think! These are just 3 of about 4000 but these are the ones that stand out the most.

1. I like the reflection in the background and my arm

In this one, I like my extension
And this one is totally different, but I like something about it (can't exactly put my finger on it though!)
Can you believe, two posts in one day!

Crock Pot Pulled Chicken

Just a random picture of a night out with Mandi and Jared to Avo and Dram... Great food and drinks with our favorite couple!

This is a great simple and yummy recipe. It makes excellent lunches for us to take to work (plus, when you warm it up, your coworkers will come and check out what smells so delicious!)
I found it from one of my go-to blogs,

Here is the recipe... I tweaked it a little because I didn't have Alleppo chili powder

Crock Pot Pulled Chicken, adapted from Elly Says Opa

1 (14 oz.) can tomato sauce
3 chipotles in adobo, finely minced, and 2 tsp. adobo sauce (YUM! This adds the heat!)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (I like Bragg's)
3 to 4 Tbsp. honey
1.5 Tbsp. smoked paprika
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. aleppo chili powder (Didn't have, can be found at Penzey's or just use chili powder)
3 lbs. boneless/skinless chicken thighs and breasts (I used all breasts)
1 large onion, thinly sliced in half circles (Vidalia please!)
4 cloves garlic, minced

Whisk together the first 11 ingredients (through aleppo chili powder). Place the chicken inside. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Scatter the onions and garlic evenly over the top, and then pour your homemade barbecue sauce over the top. Cook on low for 5 hours (I just let mine go all night while I was at sleeping, so closer to 10...yes I sleep 10 hours a night). Shred the chicken with two forks and, if desired, continue to cook for a little bit with the lid off to allow mixture to thicken.

OK- when I woke up in the morning, the house smelled amazing, and made me want to get out of bed to go taste this new recipe! It is amazing. It is spicy, but not where you have to have a few glasses of water with it, but if you have kiddies, you might want to lessen the chipotle peppers, just a thought as I don't have kids and not sure if they eat spicy stuff!

I served this alongside Potato Salad... It is a very traditional southern potato salad, simple and easy. I make it like my mom does, except using mayo instead of Miracle Whip. My friend Mandi was down when I was making the 'tater' salad and she makes it like my mom does! Although, I cooked the potatoes too long and had "sweet" relish, and only discovered once I thought that all the ingredients were in there that I had forgotten the boiled eggs (BEST PART!)! Mandi's potato salad takes me back to many good memories of when my mom made it! OK, so potato salad recipe will become available if requested! Leave a comment!