4-6 ounces lean ground beef
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon minced onion
1 clove garlic crushed and minced
1 serving Melba toast crumbs or crushed nut thins
1 recipe marinara sauce (recipe below)
Serves: 2 or more
How clean is YOUR home? I’m not talking about dirty floors and piles of dishes. But what kind of products are you using to clean those items? Do you know that you could be putting yourself and your family at risk with everyday products you use in your home? Toxic chemicals from cleaning products, laundry detergent, soaps, lotions, deodorants, make-up, etc are most likely hiding in the ingredient list and you might have no idea how to spot them.
As a society, we stress more about what goes IN our body and rarely think twice about what we are putting ON it. Our skin has the potential to absorb up to 60% to what we put on it. You have to wonder where it all goes, right? And the sad thing is, almost all the products out there are NOT regulated. The safety lies in the hands of the manufacturers. Now that’s scary!
There are thousands of chemicals out there. But for the sake of not overwhelming you, lets just touch lightly on 3 popular ingredients that have been studied and are known to be harmful. There is SO much information out there, so do your research!
1) Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (SLS, SLES)- An inexpensive and effective foaming agent. This ingredient is a surfactant, detergent and emulsifier-used in thousands of cosmetic products, as well as industrial cleaners. Also listed as Ammonium Laurel Sulfate (ALS). The harm comes in the manufacturing process, as it results in becoming contaminated with a carcinogenic by-product. Many cases showing it can lead to irritation of the skin and eyes, organ toxicity, development/reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity (poisonous or destructive to nerve tissue), endocrine disruption, cellular changes, possible mutations and cancer.
2) Parabens– Parabens are man-made chemicals often used as preservatives in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, foods, and beverages. They may be listed as any of the following: butylparaben, ethylparaben, isobutylparaben, methylparaben or propylparaben. While some researchers report that the amount entering the body is too small to be of concern, we do know that parabens are known as xenoestrogens, which mimic estrogen in the body. “Estrogen disruption” has been linked to breast cancer and reproductive issues. They can enter the body if ingested and they are also absorbed through the skin. That information alone should be a good enough reason to steer clear of paraben containing products.
3) Fragrance/Parfum/Perfume– Found in most personal care products including sunscreen, shampoo, soap, body wash, deodorant, body lotion, makeup, facial cream, skin toner, exfoliating scrubs and perfume. Even products labeled, unscented, can still contain fragrance to mask any unpleasant odors. When it comes to fragrance, what we don’t know could actually be hurting us. Current laws do not provide the FDA with the authority to require disclosure or public safety of fragrance ingredients. In the U.S., companies are required to list ingredients on the label; however, this regulation excludes the individual constituents of fragrance in order to preserve fragrance trade secrets. This law is one that is outdated, unnecessary and poses a real barrier to ensuring the safety of personal care products.Unfortunately, a “fragrance” can include dozens to hundreds of individual chemicals, some of which are known carcinogens, neurotoxins, endocrine disruptors, or known to cause allergies.
Ok, if you haven’t already, go check to see if any of your personal care products contain any of the 3 listed chemicals. I understand that many of these products are expensive. If you have them, use them up, then research safer alternatives.
We spend a large amount of time indoors, in our own homes. Up to 80-90%. That’s a lot time. Why not invest the time and be more cautious about the products you are using on a day-to-day basis.
2 cups cottage cheese (blended in Ninja blender)
1 cup low fat Greek, plain yogurt
1 can artichoke hearts (not marinated)-chop
1 bag frozen spinach
16 ounces frozen broccoli
3 cloves garlic
2-3 cups chicken broth
4 to 6 ounces chicken, cooked and diced
1 apple, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg, cardamom, and salt
Sweet Leaf Stevia to taste
Wedge of lemon
Phase 2 modifications: Add chopped walnuts or raw almonds. Mix in plain yogurt or 1 Tablespoon of sour cream for a creamier texture.
(1 protein, 1 vegetable, 1 fruit)
We are well into the winter months with many more to go. (Yuck) And as we all know, the winter months are typically the harshest on our skin. The cold weather and constant hand washing can lead to dry, cracked and flaky skin.
Do you like DIY recipes? Here is a quick, easy and chemical free recipe that only takes a few ingredients and you can whip it up in no time. Even if you are not a DIYer, you will still want to give this one a try. You’ll be happy you did.
DIY Whipped Body Butter
• 3/4 cup grated cocoa butter
• 1/4 cup coconut oil
• 1/4 cup shea butter
• 1/2 cup almond or jojoba oil
• 3-5 drops of Tangerine, Peppermint, or any another essential oil
Melt the cocoa butter, coconut oil, and shea butter in a double boiler. When melted completely, stir in almond oil and essential oil until combined. Chill in refrigerator until slightly hardened, about 30 minutes. Whip with mixer until smooth and creamy, about 5-10 minutes, then store in glass jar.
Are you looking for a breakfast alternative for yourself or your kids?
Move over yogurt parfaits, smoothie bowls are the healthy food world’s new breakfast. Smoothie bowls have become the biggest new breakfast trend that packs in a ton of nutrients in one bowl. All you need is a blender and 5 minutes. With endless ingredient options, you can mix up one every day of the week and never eat the same thing twice.
Below is an easy to follow list to get you started on whipping up a bowl of nutrient-dense deliciousness.
The holidays are upon us and it’s inevitable that we will be tempted to indulge in a few of our favorite treats. But without proper planning, overindulging is a surefire way to sabotage your weight loss or throw any healthy eating plan off kilter. Follow these few steps to help keep your waistline and weight in check over this holiday season.
Don’t skip meals Skipping meals or “saving calories” for an event later only sets you up to eat more than you should. Stay on track by eating a balanced diet everyday. Include a healthy breakfast that contains a
Pick Protein Choose foods like turkey or roasted chicken.Or opt for animal free proteins like lentils, quinoa or beans. Higher protein diets are associated with greater satiety, which help to maintain a healthy weight.
Hydrate Drink water. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water throughout the day not only helps fill you up, but you avoid filling up on sugary, calorie laden sodas and empty calories found in liquor.
Ditch the added Sugar Stick to sugar in it’s natural form-fruits, vegetables and grains. When going for the sugary desserts of pies, cookies and cakes, choose a small taste of the things that you are truly craving, rather than piling up a plate full just because it’s there.
Sneak in the Vegetables Add veggies to sandwiches and casseroles. Puree vegetables and add to baked goods, casseroles, soups and dips. Or just load up your plate with raw veggies to munch on. The bonus is they are low in calories and full of fiber.
Stay on the Move Although exercise doesn’t compensate for overeating, staying on a regular work out schedule will help stabilize weight and gives you a psychological boost.
Get Plenty of Sleep Seven to 8 hours of sleep every night is most desirable. Trying to function on 5 or less hours of sleep leaves you feeling not only groggy, but lowers your leptin levels. Leptin is a hormone that controls how full you feel. People who are sleep deprived also have higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates the appetite. When you’re exhausted, you feel more hungry and less satisfied after meals. This in itself is one sure way to sabotage your diet and gain weight.
Say NO It’s ok to say NO. It’s ok to be a picky eater. Just because it’s offered, doesn’t mean you need to partake. And when enjoying company, pick a spot away from the food table to avoid picking and sneaking too many nibbles.
Remain Positive If you have a bad day, don’t stress about it or feel like you’ve sabotaged your entire diet. There’s no need to go off the deep end…”I ate horrible, so what’s the point?” Stay focused and get back on track the next day.