Organic Eggs – Factory vs Farm

Do you ever wonder what the difference between all the different organic eggs are?  Why are some $3 and others $6?  Here is an informative, short video about organic eggs: Youtube: Pastured Eggs

Are you now confused about which eggs to buy? Here is an Organic Egg Scorecard, so you know which eggs are best to buy: Cornucopia.org: Organic Egg Scorecard

I personally am a fan of Organic Pastures, they sell them at Lakeshore Farmer’s market (and a few others, go to their website and look at their schedule), but get there early because they sell out quick! There are also many other farmers that sell pastured eggs at Farmer’s Market, but make sure to ask if they are fed organic feed and if they are pastured raised.

At the store I’ll buy Alexandre Kids and Vital Farms. They sell those at Whole Foods, Berkeley Bowl and Farmer Joe’s and many other supermarkets (click the links to find out where).

The Problem With Popular Weight Loss Programs

It is still the beginning of the year and many of you are still enthusiastic about living a healthy lifestyle.  Whether your New Year’s Resolution is to drink less coffee and alcohol, exercise more, be less stressed, eat healthier or lose weight.  Losing weight and eating healthier are the most popular resolutions and many people turn to Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers and Nutri-System to help them with their goals.

Sorry to say it, but Weight Watcher’s, Jenny Craig and Nutri-System are just like a fad diet, you go on them, lose weight and as soon as you stop you gain the weight back.  They do not promote healthy eating, they count calories.  It doesn’t matter what the calorie is because a calorie is a calorie to them.  Do you know that Weight Watcher’s promotes McDonald’s food?  They will soon have their logo on certain items.  It’s okay to eat that Fish Filet or box of Chicken McNuggets and wash it down with a Diet Coke because it only counts as a certain number of points.  If you are under your allotted number of points for the day, you are doing great (according to WW)!

Nutri-System food is extremely processed.  The food choices and the ingredients in these foods are appalling.  Breakfast choices include donuts, muffins, cinnamon buns, scones, french toast, granola bars, and pancakes.  The blueberry muffin ingredients alone is almost half the length of this blog.  They do have 4 egg choices, but after looking at  the ingredients, can you really call it an egg?

Jenny Craig had a recent poll on their facebook page, what is your favorite ‘Jenny Snack’.  The top picks were: Triple Chocolate Cheesecake, Key Lime Pie and Brownies.  Enough said.

Nourishing Self can help stop the yo-yo dieting and weight fluctuation that goes along with these diets.  Nourishing Self doesn’t believe in counting calories, doesn’t put clients on a low calorie diet and doesn’t think that all calories are created equal.  Nourishing Self does believe in helping clients by incorporating healthy whole foods and making lifestyle changes that they can use now and throughout their life.

If you are thinking about joining Jenny Craig, Nutri-System, Weight Watchers or have belonged in the past and not seen the results you would like, call for a free 15 minute phone or in person consultation.  Why waste your money on something that is not going to help you out in the long run.  Nourishing Self can help you reach your goals and make changes that will positively effect the rest of your life.

Homemade Granola

Our family used to eat cereal a couple of days a week.  Once we decided it wasn’t a balanced part of our diet, it took us about 3 months to take all the cereal out of our diets, we had to slowly wean our children.  We have now been pretty much cereal free for the past year.

If you are wondering why we made this decision, here’s an article from Nourishing Our Children: What’s Really In The Cereal Bowl?  I was looking for another article about cereal to share and came across this one from Holistic Kid, she couldn’t have said it better and she also has a similar cereal recipe too that you can try:  Why Cereal Should Not Be In Your Bowl 

On occasion we do buy Ezekiel cereal and have recently started making our own granola instead for those get up and go mornings.  The kids love it, it’s easy to make and I feel that the ingredients are wholesome and yummy.

  • 5 cups Organic Old Fashion Oats (not quick oats) Any old fashion oats will do, but my favorite is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Extra Thick Rolled Oats.
  • 1/2 cup Organic Plain Yogurt
  • Enough cold water to cover oats completely

Mix all the above ingredients and let sit over night.

The next morning rinse and drain oats.

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 4 TBSP raw local honey (You can add more if you’d like a sweeter taste)

Melt the above ingredients.

  • 1/2 – 1 cup chopped walnuts, almonds or pecans (i prefer raw, soaked and dehydrated nuts, if so you can add them to the granola after it has baked)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt

Mix melted ingredients with above ingredients and mix together with soaked oats.  Spread thinly on a baking sheet and bake between 150 – 175, depending how low your oven goes for 12 – 18 hours, flipping one time after 6 hours of baking.  Taste them after 10-12 hours and take them out when you like the how crunchy they are, they should be fairly crunchy.  Break apart and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

Another option for plain granola is to omit the nuts and coconut and add 1/2 TBSP of Nutmeg and 1 TBSP of Cinnamon, or add raisins or dried fruit, the possibilities are endless :).

 

Delicious Almond Flour Pancakes

My family and I love restaurant type breakfasts on the weekend.  I’m always trying new recipes whether they are savory or sweet.  This morning we made almond flour pancakes and they were delicious.  My kids loved them, they had great texture and flavor and were not overly sweet.  I looked up a few different recipes online and tweaked them to my liking.  These pancakes are on the thinner side, if you are looking for fluffier pancakes you can replace the milk with seltzer water.

I was very excited to used my Blend Tec for the first time to make almond/walnut flour.  I was a little nervous about making nut butter instead of flour, so I stopped blending early and there ended up being small chunks of walnuts in the flour.  The walnuts ended up making the pancakes that much more delicious.

If possible, use nuts that have been soaked and dehydrated and make your own flour or purchase soaked and sprouted nut flours.  Most nut flours you purchase in the store have lost most of the nutritional content and can be stale or rancid. Store bought nut flours can also have phytates/phytic acid, which impede the absorption of minerals in your body and can also cause gas and bloating.

Enough talk, now for you to make and enjoy these pancakes.

Delicious Almond Pancakes

Ingredients: 

2 cups finely ground nut flour (ex. soaked and dehydrated almonds, pecans, walnuts)

2 Tbsp honey, melted

4 Tbsp butter melted (or coconut oil)

1/2 cup whole milk (raw milk is preferable)

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp sea salt

optional to add a few chopped walnuts (maybe 1/8 cup) to batter

Directions:

Mix together.  Butter skillet and cook on medium heat.

Top with sliced banana and toasted unsweetened shredded coconut.

For syrup, I like to melt 4 parts butter to 1 part Grade B Maple Syrup, drizzle on top and enjoy!

Tips on how to get those picky eaters to eat.

Today, I had a mom ask me for advice on how to get her picky eater to eat.  I’m sure a few other parents are wondering the same thing.

An example of what a dinner at our house is like, tonight we had:

  • Mahi Mahi with sage, butter and garlic
  • Seared Ahi Tuna with Chanterelle Mushrooms sauteed in Ghee
  • Farro with pomegranate, feta, red onions, olive oil and sea salt
  • Bok Choy sauteed with garlic and pastured lard
  • Leafy Green Salad with avocado, pomegranate, pine nuts, lemon olive oil and balsamic

I served them a little of everything and they finished everything, except the Farro.  I think the feta and red onions were a bit strong for them, but they did eat some of it.  They asked for seconds of the rest of the food and everyone went to bed satiated and happy.

I am speaking from my own experience on how to get a picky eater to eat.  My kids didn’t automatically start eating everything I made, my 2 girls were limited in what they wanted to eat.  They now will try everything I make and happily eat it.

Here are a few things you can do to get your kids to start eating more of what you eat or want them to eat:

  • Try to not have your child snack at least an hour before dinner.
  • Sit down and eat together as a family.
  • Don’t have the kids get up until everyone is finished, that goes for adults too.
  • Make the same meal for everyone.  You are not a short order cook.
  • Have your kids help, it can be something as easy as putting the food in the food processor and pressing the button (my 4 year old did that tonight with the garlic and sage).
  • Even if the kids don’t like a certain vegetable or food. Keep making it.  They will get use to seeing it on their plate, seeing the rest of the family eating it and maybe start eating more each time.  Put a little on their plate and have them take a bite or 2 before they get seconds of another food.
  • Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by serving spicy flavored foods.  You can always add more flavor to your plate.
  • Add butter and sea salt to the veggies they may not like (or even to veggies they like).
  • Don’t serve fruit with your main meals, have it as a dessert or snack.  You want your child to go for the food that is most nutrient dense with the least amount of sugar.

Don’t give up, take small steps.  It may take your kids awhile, but they may surprise you.

Can You Find The Real Butter?

 

I was shopping today in Washington D.C., trying to buy butter.  I have my go to brands back home, so I don’t usually look at the ingredients in butter.  I was intrigued and decided to also look at the light butter and butter substitutes.  Surprisingly out of all these choices, only:

  • 1 was organic with cream and salt
  • 1 was organic with cream and lactic acid
  • 2 had cream and natural flavoring**
  • 2 had cream and salt
  • 0 had sea salt
  • 0 were from pastured or grass-fed cows
  • 0 were from raw milk

The other ~52 butter and butter substitutes had multiple ingredients, I didn’t even know what some of them were.  When buying butter look at the ingredients (this goes for all food), even thought it says butter, it may not actually be just butter.  Depending on where you live and shop, the ‘real butter’ choices will vary.

In case you are wondering what I ended up getting, I picked the organic butter with salt (my 2nd choice would be organic with lactic acid* and 3rd cream and salt).  BUT, I put it back after I found Kerry Gold Unsalted Grass Fed Butter (cultured pasteurized cream) in the cheese section.

In short, buy butter with the least amount of ingredients (cream or cream and sea salt), organic and grass-fed preferred.

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*Was okay with the lactic acid, did not say: ‘Ingredients not found in regular butter’ for that specific ingredient.  I am not sure whether the lactic acid was naturally or commercially produced, that is why it is my 2nd choice.

**Are you wondering why I didn’t choose cream with natural flavoring?  Why would you need natural flavoring for butter?  What is natural flavoring anyway?  They are a man-made additive that gives processed food its taste.  More to come on that subject…