WHAT IS FOR BREAKFAST?
When it comes to breakfast, I tend to find something that I like...and I am able to eat it most every morning for weeks. Then slowly I find something else that sounds good and I am able to eat that for weeks. A week or two ago, I had been eating STEEL CUT OATS for breakfast most mornings (check out our recipe in our recipe section here). Within the last week I have started eating a new breakfast...
Right now, I am loving MUESLI!
Maintanence Mommy added a wonderful Muesli recipe to our recipe section- this is the RECIPE that I use. Muesli is basically soaked oats, grains, nuts & seeds (raw) eaten with fresh fruit.
I don't add all the ingredients listed...but that is the great thing about this recipe, you don't have to have all the ingredients to make a wonderful breakfast Muesli. You could make Muesli using oatmeal, coconut and cinnamon if you wanted to.
Here is what I do:
I add all the ingredients that I want to a container and shake it up well. I place this container in the freezer. I make a double recipe so it will last me weeks- and it is ready when I need it.
Right when I wake up...I pour 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of the mixture into my bowl and pour the same amount of rice milk over the top.
I let is soak in the bowl all morning- while I am getting ready, exercising, and getting the kids ready for school.
I let the MUESLI soak until the ingredients have softened- which is usually about 2 hours or so.
Then I chop up a variety of fruit and mix it in- and I sometimes add some chopped raw walnuts and ground flax seed for extra nutrients (Why walnuts and flax seed? See my EFA blog here).
I usually always add chopped apples and pears...but sometimes I add cut up grapes and bananas. Blackberries make it extra yummy!
This is such a EASY and YUMMY breakfast! You have to try it!
"NO BAKE" Chocolate Drops
I am always on the look-out for recipes that provide the "HEALTHY FATS" for the kids...that they will actually eat.
I was so excited when I found this recipe! It is a WHOLE FOOD treat for my kids- that is basically half nuts & seeds and half dates.
I struggle at times getting enough nuts & seeds in my children EVERY DAY. They eat oatmeal with walnuts and granola bars...but this will be a new staple at my house. Be careful! Mommies can eat too many of them if they are not careful...they are that good!
"NO BAKE" Chocolate Drops
5 ounces ground raw cashew pieces
2 ounces ground raw blanched almonds
2 ounce ground walnuts
2 ounce ground raw sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons flax seed -ground
8 ounces date/coconut rolls or soft pitted dates- FINELY CHOPPED
(I have only used the coconut rolls- YUMMY!)
3 - 4 TBS Cocoa powder (or to taste)
1 teaspoons vanilla
Measure ingredients using a kitchen scale. Finely chop nuts & seeds in powerful blender (or food processor would work). I grind my flax seed in a coffee grinder. In a food processor- combine ground nuts & seeds with the finely chopped date rolls. Add cocoa and vanilla and process until well mixed. Form into bite sized balls.
Makes approx. 25 balls.
I place the formed balls in the freezer- wait till they are somewhat frozen then put them all in a freezer bag for easy access. Since they are almost half nuts and half dates...I am just fine with my growing kids having 2 a day.
They are also a great sweet for me- when I feel like chocolate :)
How do you read NUTRITION LABELS...so you know EXACTLY what you are eating?
We "MOMMIES" should all know how to read and understand labels- we need to know what we ARE and what we ARE NOT putting in our children's mouths. In a perfect world- we wouldn't be putting anything in our families mouths that had a nutritional label.
We would be eating WHOLE foods from our garden or local farmer's markets.
But unfortunately- life isn't that easy!
When you google this question- the FDA's website is at the top of the results list. I looked on their site and they have A LOT of information regarding this subject. THEY HAVE 9 PAGES WORTH!
QUESTION: Why does the standard NUTRITION FACTS label have to be so complicated that it takes 9 pages of information to understand it? How many America's have taken the time to read this information? Believe me, to fully understand where the numbers come from on LABELS- you really do need to read it.
QUESTION: Does our government make the information on the NUTRITION FACTS label as EASY as possible to understand?
QUESTION: Would there be any benefit to the food industry if the NUTRITION FACTS label was complicated- and somewhat misleading?
Believe me- the Food industry benefits HIGHLY from our countries NUTRITION FACTS label!
FORTUNATELY- Even though the label is confusing- there is a fun and easy way to read it (and you don't have to read 9 pages to understand it!)
I love sharing these SIMPLE TOOLS on how to truly read and understand NUTRITION LABELS. I received some of these TOOLS from JEFF NOVICK (director of Health Education for the National Health Association). Check out his WEBSITE here. Jeff is such a smart and entertaining dietician and nutritionist. If you ever have a chance to hear him speak- check him out for sure!
Once you get these tools down- you will have so much fun reading labels. You will be shocked about how MISLEADING most of them are!
Along with sharing these fun tools, I will also be sharing some of the information I found on the FDA's website- just to show you how misleading the label truly can be.
First and foremost: Never EVER believe anything on the front of ANY product!
(I will write more about this later)
There are 4 foods that we American's eat too much of in packaged foods:
FAT / SODIUM / REFINED "WHITE" SUGARS / REFINED CARBOHYDRATES
We are going to set guidelines for each of these foods.
PART 1: FAT (my favorite tool!)
How much FAT does a human body need?
Our bodies really only NEED 3-5% of our calories from fat to survive (not thrive- but survive). AND this fat needs to be from essential fatty acids (EFAs).
In our country- the average intake is ~35% of calories from fat (and out of this 35% most people are not even getting enough of the good fats (EFAs).
Where should we be at when it comes to fat? There is A LOT of experts out there.
THE LOW FAT GROUPS= Recommend ~10%-15%:
The HIGH FAT GROUPS= Recommend ~30%-35%:
Show the longest living people eat 15% - 20% of their calories from FAT-almost entirely from vegetable origin. ("Healthy at 100" by John Robbins)
No matter what group you most belong to- I like to take Jeff Novick's advice on FAT:
Go right down the middle=
For packaged foods- choose foods that have 20% of their calories from FAT (or less)....
AND...make sure that the FAT doesn't come from
the "BAD FATS":
|IMPORTANT NOTE: SINCE WE HAVE BEEN GETTING HEALTH GUIDELINES IN AMERICA, ALL HEALTH GUIDELINES HAVE ASKED US TO LIMIT FAT AS A % OF CALORIES.|
SO...QUESTION OF THE DAY: WHY does every product label in America list FAT by weight???
DO YOU THINK IT MIGHT BE THIS WAY TO CONFUSE US?
Actually- if you look at the LABEL below- you will see 3 different values for FAT in this product.
You see: 12 g, 110 and 18%. So which one do you look at?
The FDA wants you to look at the 18%. So you would say to yourself..."18% doesn't seem that high? This must not be a high fat product."
When in reality- this product is almost 50% FAT!!!
Let me show you how:
Here is a glass of water. By itself- this water weighs 750 grams and has 0 CALORIES.
Now add 1 TBS of OIL to the water, the oil weighs 14 grams and has 120 CALORIES.
So- if you drink this beverage now...it is 100% FAT- because all the calories are from FAT.
HERE IS WHERE THEY TRICK YOU:
When you look at FAT in regards to WEIGHT (like the FDA), this beverage is
ONLY 2% FAT. (14/750=2%)
The food industry likes to advertize this type of product as 98% fat free.
But it is actually 100% FAT!!!
(Add SALT and SUGAR to this "beverage" and you have the recipe for most lowfat salad dressings in the supermarket)
Does this make you mad? That the Nutrition FACTS information can be so misleading?
ALWAYS LOOK AT THE CALORIES FROM FAT ON THE NUTRITION FACTS LABELS. YOU WILL HAVE TO DO SOME EASY DIVISION TO DETERMINE THE % OF CALORIES FROM FAT. (wouldn't it be nice if the label did this for you? It would make it much too simple if it did that) MAKE SURE THAT IT HAS 20% OF CALORIES FROM FAT OR LESS (AND DOES NOT CONTAIN ANY OF THE BAD FATS)...AND YOU ARE GOOD TO GO!
There is a product is almost every home in America that advertises itself as FAT FREE...when it is actually 100% FAT. Do you know what this product is? I will reveal the answer in my PART 2 blog on SODIUM.
Next time you go to the supermarket- have a little fun looking at how much FAT is really in products!
Why should we eat a Plant-Based Diet?
I got this idea from looking at Tal Ronnen's book "The Conscious Cook". Tal is the VEGAN chef that OPRAH had on her show last year. He was the one that put OPRAH on a vegan cleanse.
I absolutely LOVE his book! Most of the recipes aren't "nutritarian"- but he has some really fun ways to prepare yummy Vegan meals. I can't wait to try some of them!
At the beginning of his book - he asks the question...WHY VEGAN?
I took a few of his answers and added to them. He makes a great point:
"You don't have to go all the way...even a step toward it- say, going meatless 3 days a week- lets you in on a lot of the benefits."
HEALTH Because cutting out animal products means virtually eliminating the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease (the #1 killer in this country), and several types of cancer. Your energy shoots up and your weight is likely to drop.
We know that the protein found in milk (casein) promotes every stage of cancer in laboratory studies. (All known carcinogens are determined this same way).
ETHICS Because most of us question the morality of eating animals, and many people who feel it's absolutely wrong, do it anyway out of habit. Eating with a clear conscience- feeling good about everything you put in your mouth- lightens up your life.
PLANET Because factory farming of animals consumes and pollutes insane quantities of water and demands so much feed that it threatens forests. And because greenhouse gases from animal emissions are destroying the atmosphere. More than half of all greenhouse gas emissions are attributable to our desire to eat chicken, pigs, and other farmed animals. See LINK) "Refusing meat is the single most effective thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint.” Al Gore
HELPING OTHERS Because the grain fed to livestock could feed at least twice as many hungry people in third-world countries. Weakening the livestock industry by buying less or no meat is a step toward using resources to save lives.
BECAUSE ALBERT EINSTEIN SAID SO: "Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of live on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."
Reasons why WHOLE FOOD MOMMIES think Vegetarian type diets are catching on:
1. Tal Ronnen's vegan cookbook "The Conscious Cook" and Alicia Silverstone book "The Kind Diet" are on the New York Times bestseller list.
4. Carl's Junior has to put a sign in their window stating that the food (chicken) they serve may cause major issues. Check out NEWBIE mommie's blog here.
5. T. Colin Campbell on Larry King Live this past year- Staunchly promoting a plant based diet.
6. Organizations like PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) financially backing many programs promoting HEALTH for our country through a VEGAN diet.
...and we plan to add many more!