Motivation!

I have always loved running quotes, workout quotes, any kind of motivational quotes.  I love putting them on my mirror and all over my desk.  Jordan made fun of me so much that I had to take all of them down.  It was a really sad day.  I'll have to find somewhere else to put them.  These are some of my favorites from pinterest.  Here is your extra motivation for the day!  












Why I Spend More on Organic food


Jordan and I just got back from a trip to Durango, Colorado.  It was so much fun!  We went mountain biking every single day and river rafted.  I loved it.  It was so nice to get away from living on the sun.  I wish I could just live somewhere else every single Summer, then Arizona would be the best place to live in.  



I may or may not have cried the first day mountain biking.  The bike shop we rented mountain bikes from told us to go on the Colorado mountain trail which was way above my level of mountain biking.  Jordan was making fun of me.  I seriously almost fell over on my mountain bike while clicked in to my pedals a hundred times.  


Here is what the Colorado looked like for almost the entire ride.  It was crazy.  The switch backs looked exactly like this but uphill.  So pretty much impossible.  Mountain biking is definitely a hard sport!  I suck at it.  The next day we did a trail that was much easier.  I talked to a different person and had a way better time.  It is such a pretty place to go mountain biking.  And a great place to visit!




THE LONGEST POST EVER!  Brace yourself!

I have wanted to do this post for a while, but there is so much information and it is hard to fit it all in one post.  Hopefully I can get my message across.  Hang in there, it is LONG!  



 For those of you who haven't seen the life changing documentary, "Food Inc." you need to!  This documentary exposes America's industrialized food system and its effect on our environment.  All the facts about where our food is coming from and what is being done to it before we buy it has been kept secret from us by people we are suppose to trust to protect us.  The USDA and FDA are suppose to protect us from harmful foods but are in fact doing the opposite.  These companies are putting profit before consumer health.  There are so many chemicals that are used on farmers crops to make sure more is produced at a faster rate.  The fruits and vegetables we eat travel on average about 1500 miles.


 In the film a farmer was interviewed and said he actually saved over fifteen thousand dollars in one year by not injecting his animals with hormones because it was costing him so much money in antibiotics because they kept getting sick.  Do we really want to eat these sick, sad animals?  It freaks me out. Even if you care nothing at all about animals and how they are treated you should care how you are treating your own body!  Do you really want to be eating meat that has been injected with hormones and chemicals!   I know I don't.  


"Seventy percent of all antimicrobials used in the United States are fed to livestock.  This accounts for twenty-five million pounds of antibiotics annually, more than eight times the amount used to treat disease in humans." From the book, Food Inc.


I know I know...Organic meat is expensive!  It should not cost more for healthier foods, unfortunately it does.  It's just about deciding what your priorities are.  Do you want a new car or do you want to eat healthier and live longer and have less disease.  In ten years when you are sick do you think you will really care if you have a cool car or not?  I don't think so.  I was really having a hard time about paying more for organic food until I really thought about this.  You need to invest more money in your health.  It has just become a priority for me.


It's so weird to think that all of humanity ate only organic food until the earlier part of the twentieth century.  For the past eighty years we have had so much chemicals put in the food we eat.  What do we have to show for this?  America has lost one third of its original topsoil; we have buried toxic waste everywhere; polluted and depleted water systems; worsened global warming and increase diseases from  cancer to diabetes to obesity.


Healthy Eating and Disease:
I know from all the research I have read that it is never too late to change your health.  You can always reverse the way your health is going by eating a whole foods plant based diet.  Heart disease, diabetes, obesity and much more can be prevented and reversed with a plant based whole foods diet.


In the book, The China Study Dr. Campbell says, "In my own laboratory we have shown in experimental animals that cancer growth can be turned on and off by nutrition, despite very strong genetic predisposition."  Crazy stuff!  This Dr. knows what he is talking about.  He has done thirty years of research and has conducted a study in China over the period of thirty years.


Listen up if you have young children:
In two books I'm reading, "Food Inc" and "The China Study" It says that according to the Environmental Protection Agency standard chemicals are up to ten times more toxic to children than to adults, depending on body weight.  According to the EPA's Guidelines for carcinogen risk assessment children receive fifty percent of their lifetime cancer risks in the first two years of life!  Well, I guess I'm screwed.  There may be hope for my husband since his mom was vegan when he was born haha.


-Laboratory tests of eight industry leader baby foods reveal the presence of sixteen pesticides, and three carcinogens.


-More than 300 synthetic food additives are allowed by the FDA in conventional foods.  


How Europe feels about Hormone Injected Animals:
Beef hormones have been banned in Europe since the 1980s.  The European commission appointed a committee to study the safety of hormones on humans.  In its 1999 report they found that residues in meat from injected animals could affect the hormone balance in humans.  This causes reproductive issues and breast, prostate, or colon cancer.  The European Union has prohibited the import of all beef treated with hormones, it does not accept any U.S. beef.  Obviously Europe knows how to be healthier than the United States.  All you have to do is look at the statistics of obesity.  It really makes sense why the United States has had so much disease.  Just think about what you are putting in your body and how long it traveled to get to you.  


PHEW....this is a long post.  Hang in there, Hopefully one person reads this haha.


Small steps you can take to eating a plant based whole foods diet with more organic foods.....



  1. Start out making small changes so you aren't overwhelmed.  I would definitely buy all of the foods that are on the dirty dozen list organic.  They have the most amount of pesticides in them.  When I first started buying organic food I took a copy of the dirty dozens list and bought all of those foods organic.
  2. Another change you should make is to buy organic chicken.  I buy mine at sprouts and it is only a couple dollars more than regular chicken.  Definitely worth it.
  3. Try to not have as much dairy in your diet.  Try not to use as much milk, yogurt, and cheese.
  4. Limit the amount of protein from meat you eat each week.  Research shows a strong correlation with protein from meat and cancer.
  5. Buy organic eggs!  This is a must!



All research has shown that a plant based whole foods diet is the best possible way you can eat.  I call it a whole foods plant based lifestyle.  The word diet makes me feel like I'm going to have to starve.  


What Foods I Now Buy:


Organic Eggs



Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt: Sprouts, Whole Foods
WARNING: Do not eat plain greek yogurt!  You have to add it to smoothies or add fruit with it.  Or you might gag like I did the first time. 



Wallaby Organic Yogurt:  Sprouts, Whole Foods



Organic Chicken:  Sprouts, Trader Joe's, Costco


unsweetened vanilla almond milk: 40 calories per cup!


The Way I Eat:

From everything I learned I know that a plant based whole foods diet is the best possible way you can eat.  This is the way I choose to eat.  I try to limit the amount of dairy and meat I have each week.  Lots of studies have shown that dairy and protein from meat is linked to cancer and many diseases.  Eating perfectly all the time is extremely hard and of course I eat junk food occasionally.  I eat mostly fruits, veggies, whole wheat bread, and whole wheat pasta.  You do not need to eat a ton of protein to be healthy.  Dr. Campbell has done many studies that show that the more protein from meat you eat the more likely you are to get cancer.  He says we only need about 50 grams of protein per day and we can get all of our protein from plants.  Plants are a way better protein source than animals.  

Don't take my word for it!  You have to decide for yourself how you will eat and how you will feed your family.  The way I look at food is completely different than the way I looked at it a couple years ago.  I look at it as a way to keep me healthy and strong and prevent many diseases.  I realize some things are not preventable and no matter how you eat you can still get diseases.  But If I do get some disease in the future I want to know that I was taking care of my body the best possible way I could.

DECIDE FOR YOURSELF!

movie documentaries I recommend watching:



Best by Far!  If you are only going to notice one thing from this post, this should be it!  Please watch this movie on netflix or rent it on Itunes.  It will change your life






Books I recommend reading:


This book goes more in depth than the movie, I just like reading it because it shows more statistics and solutions to the problems we face.  A lot of the book shows different websites and different things we can do to make a difference.



This is a great overall nutrition book that covers pretty much every topic in nutrition you can think of.  I love this book.


Basic food rules.  Good reminder on what to eat.


I have been reading this book nonstop since I got it in the mail.  This book is great because it summarizes thirty years of research done by Dr. Campbell.  


"Let food be thy medicine"
-Hippocrates


Phew!  That was a long post!  I wonder if anyone is still reading this?  







new recipes!

 Last night I made two recipes I have never tried and was a little scared of.  I made veggie burgers adapted from the blog oh she glows. I also made a yummy desert.  It actually turned out really good.  These recipes are both vegan.  I decided to try to make a dinner and desert that was completely vegan.  It was pretty fun.


Veggie Delicious Burger:



Ingredients:
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
flax eggs: 2.5 tbsp ground flax + 1/2 cup warm water, mix in bowl.  If you don't want to do this just use real eggs
1 cup oats processed into flour, I was lazy and just bought oat flour from the store
1.5 cups bread crumbs (process 3 pieces of ezekiel bread or any whole wheat bread until fine crumb
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and roughly pureed or mashed
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley or other fresh herb
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp oregano
kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:
1. In a large skillet, saute' onions and garlic in 1/2 tbsp oil.  Mix your flax eggs in a small bowl and set aside for ten minutes

2. Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and add seasonings and salt to taste

3.  Shape dough into patties, This made about eight.

4.  Cook on a skillet with a little bit of oil on medium heat for about five minutes on each side.


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard








The cookie dough for this tasted so good!  I am going to make some more and just keep it in the freezer for when I'm craving something sweet.  They don't have any eggs so you can snack on them whenever.  It is seriously good!

For the cookie dough:
Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted cashews
1/4 cup rolled oats (I used 1/4 cup oat flour)
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1.5 tbsp natural cane sugar (bought mine at sprouts)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 tbsp pure maple syrup (add more if the dough is still too dry)
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions: In a food processor, add the cashews and oats and process until it crumbles.  Then add in the rest of the ingredients and form into balls and store in freezer.


Chocolate chip cookie Blizzard recipe
3 peeled and frozen bananas cut into 1 inch chunks for easier processing
splash of coconut milk or vanilla almond milk
3 tbsp cookie dough from above

Directions: In a food processor add in your 3 frozen bananas and 1/4 cup of vanilla almond milk or coconut milk.  Cut them in chunks for easier processing.    Add in cookie dough until it is mixed in with the bananas.  You should have a soft serve consistency when you are done.  Poor this mixture into a cup and top with cookie dough balls!  So good!  I used my blendtec and I don't think it worked as good because I couldn't get the blizzard to stay thick.  I need to get a food processor.
Veggie Burger

by Sam Miller
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Keywords: vegetarian

Ingredients (serves 6)
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • flax eggs: 2.5 tbsp ground flax + 1/2 cup warm water, mix in bowl. If you don't want to do this just use real eggs
  • 1 cup oats processed into flour, I was lazy and just bought oat flour from the store
  • 1.5 cups bread crumbs (process 3 pieces of ezekiel bread or any whole wheat bread until fine crumb
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and roughly pureed or mashed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley or other fresh herb
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Instructions
1. In a large skillet, saute' onions and garlic in 1/2 tbsp oil. Mix your flax eggs in a small bowl and set aside for ten minutes
2. Place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and add seasonings and salt to taste
3. Shape dough into patties, This made about eight.
4. Cook on a skillet with a little bit of oil on medium heat for about five minutes on each side.
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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard

by Sam Miller
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Keywords: cookie dough blizzard ice cream

Ingredients (serves 2)
    Cookie Dough Ingredients
    • 1/2 cup unsalted cashews
    • 1/4 cup rolled oats (I used 1/4 cup oat flour)
    • 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    • 1.5 tbsp natural cane sugar (bought mine at sprouts)
    • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
    • 4 tbsp pure maple syrup (add more if the dough is still too dry)
    Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard Ingredients
    • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
    • 3 peeled and frozen bananas cut into 1 inch chunks for easier processing
    • splash of coconut milk or vanilla almond milk
    • 3 tbsp cookie dough from above
    Instructions
    Cookie Dough Instructions
    In a food processor, add the cashews and oats and process until it crumbles. Then add in the rest of the ingredients and form into balls and store in freezer.
    Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard Instructions
    In a food processor add in your 3 frozen bananas and 1/4 cup of vanilla almond milk or coconut milk. Cut them in chunks for easier processing. Add in cookie dough until it is mixed in with the bananas. You should have a soft serve consistency when you are done. Poor this mixture into a cup and top with cookie dough balls! So good! I used my blendtec and I don't think it worked as good because I couldn't get the blizzard to stay thick. I need to get a food processor.
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    Change the World

      I felt really good about myself the other day.  Mostly because the ring tone I have on my phone is one of the verizon ringtones that sounds like it should be on a soundtrack to someone about to make it to the top of a mountain with one leg. I sometimes don't answer my phone and just let it ring and pretend like I'm running a marathon or something.  I just signed up for a CSA program online and went to a farm in Lehi to pick up my weekly fruits/veggies and eggs.  Its 25 dollars per week.  All of their food is grown organically without any pesticides.  This is such a great deal.  You get to eat foods that are only in season.  For my other foods that I couldn't buy there I just went to sprouts and bought two or three organic fruits there.  I love helping local farmers and the environment!  If you don't live in Arizona just go to this website.  You can just type in your zip code and it will show you all the local farms in your area, farmers markets, and restaurants that have healthier foods.


    Check out their website here




    What I got for twenty five dollars last week:
    2 pounds of potatos
    2 pounds of sweet potatos
    1 pound of kale (I add kale in my smoothies, Mr. Farmer at this farm said they are great for kale chips)
    bundle of carrots
    cabbage
    zucchini
    beets (never again, i hate them, what was i thinking)
    leeks
    spaghetti squash: two medium




    what I got this week:



    This is definitely worth the money.  Especially since I am not a fan of the grocery store.  It is so easy, just go there and pick out your ten veggies and fruits.  They also have a bunch of different recipes each week that go with all of their food they have.  They pick the food on their farm daily.  I love it so much I want to work there.  I'm too embarrassed to ask the farmer if he would hire me.




    Here is a funny video from last night.  Our dog is so weird.

    video



    Date Night

      Last night Jordan and I went out to dinner to Joe's Farm Grill.  I had never been there before because the line is so long every time we try to go.  We waited in line for forty minutes, but it was definitely worth it.  I was disappointed there wasn't a roller coaster at the end or something for waiting that long.  Now I really want to go to six flags.
       Joe's Farm Grill is a unique place because they use only organic vegetables and meats.  They use vegetables and fruits grown from their own garden in Agritopia.  I'm very picky these days about what I eat so we have been trying out different places that have organic/vegetarian/vegan options.  We ordered the chicken sandwich with fries and a vegetarian pizza.  We both definitely liked the pizza the best.  It was so good!



    Location: 3000 E. Ray Road Gilbert, AZ 85296


    Next to Joe's Farm grill is a favorite place of mine, The Coffee Shop




    The Coffee shop has tons of smoothies and sandwiches.  I haven't tried their food yet because HELLO they have cupcakes that have been on cupcake wars before.  They are to die for.  I like them more than sprinkles cupcakes.  They have a vegan chocolate cupcake that tastes so good, it is probably my favorite.  They are all really good.  Every once in a while you just have to reward yourself for eating healthy and drive to the coffee shop for a cupcake!  The first time I went here I had no self control and ended up eating way too many cupcakes.  

    If you want to find fresh organic food near you visit this website.  All you have to do is type in your zip code and all of the restaurants that serve organic fresh food without pesticides will come up.  My goal is to try all of the ones in Chandler, Tempe, Scottsdale, Gilbert.  You have to drive a long way for good food.  It may take a while for me to try all of them.  


    Artificial Sweeteners

      I think most of us know that diet sodas are bad for us. So today I wanted to go over the reasons why you should put down your diet coke right now!


    In the documentary, "Hungry For Change" they talk about artificial sweeteners and the damage it does to our body.  You can read about it here.  In the film it says artificial sweeteners are the worst thing you can put in your body.  Aspartame causes formaldehyde to build up in your brain, which results in all kinds of potentially serious medical problems, such as:


    Frontal lobe inflammationVisual disturbancesMigraines
    A syndrome similar to multiple sclerosisSeizuresCognitive problems
    Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgiaSymptoms similar to Parkinson's diseaseSymptoms similar to attention deficit disorder


    The food industry says that aspartame is safe but what they are not telling us is that 90 percent of the studies were funded by the food and beverage industry.


    I know what you're thinking...I will never stop drinking diet coke until I die!  I am coming up with a couple of healthy low calorie drinks that will help when you crave your soda!

    Wow! Thats hilarious!  Drink diet coke to help women's heart health programs!  Are you kidding! How messed up is our food system.  Aspartame causes heart palpitations, anxiety attacks and much more.


    Whenever I research something I never trust anything unless it is from a medical journal.  It definitely is faster to just type stuff into google but you can hardly trust anything you read.  I did a lot of reading about aspartame and in the Journal of the Diabetic Association of India in 1995 I found some interesting things.  You can read this article here


    -Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


    -There has been over 10,000 complaints about 92 different side effects to aspartame


    -Many of these reactions are very serious and include seizures and death (reported in a 1994 Department of Health and Human Services report)


    Not that many people report problems from aspartame to the FDA because...
    Physicians have been told that aspartame is safe by the FDA and AMA
    It is difficult for someone to link reactions to aspartame because the side effects are delayed and gradual from prolonged use.


    Whats happening in your body
    Aspartate acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain by aiding the transmission of information from neuron to neuron.  Aspartic acid is an amino acid and in its free form it raises the blood plasma level of aspartate.  Too much aspartate leads to high levels of this neurotransmitter in certain areas of the brain and kills certain neurons by allowing too much calcium into the cells.  This then triggers excessive amounts of free radicals that kill the cells.  Aspartate and glutamate are called "exocitoxins" because in excess they cause neural cell damage and "excite" or stimulate neural cells to death.


    In my opinion both artificial sweeteners and sugar are bad for you but I would rather make my own drinks and add a small amount of sugar instead of drinking aritificial sweeteners.  Its best just to avoid both as much as possible.


    Ok..I think I have read enough medical journals for one day.  I am such a nerd!  On my next post I will write about all the different drinks I am coming up with for those of you trying to get off your favorite kind of soda.  You can do it!!!





    30 minute arm workout

    I love finding new workouts and mixing up my workout routine at the gym.  A website I love is bodybuilding.com.  You can pick a workout plan that works best for you and they will show you 3 months worth of work outs.  I love Jamie Eason and her work out schedule she posts.  You can look at it here.  This is one of Jamie Eason's (fitness model) workouts.  I love this workout and it only takes about thirty minutes to do.  I love it because its really fast but a really good arm workout.  You can do this work out at home or at the gym.  You just need one set of dumbbells.  




    wide push ups: 3 sets of 12 video
    dumbbell bench press: 3 sets of 12 
    flat bench cable flyers: 3 sets of 12  video (I use dumbbells)
    narrow push ups: 3 sets of 12  video
    overhead triceps dumbbell extension: 3 sets of 12  video
    triceps pushdown: 3 sets of 12  video  or do triceps kickback if you are doing at home here

    greek yogurt ranch dip

    I love to use greek yogurt to add more protein to my meals.  I sometimes add plain greek yogurt to my smoothies or for dressings and dips.




    Greek yogurt ranch dip


    Ingredients: 
    any plain greek yogurt
    any kind of ranch seasoning mix

    Just mix together.  You will just have to add a little at a time to see how much seasoning you like in it. And then you have 100 calories, 15 grams of protein of ranch dip for your veggies.  I love this dip because I don't feel bad if I eat a ton of it.  I usually make ranch dip with one thing of greek yogurt and keep it in the fridge all week for my veggies.


    Got Milk?

    Pretty much my whole life I have always thought that milk was necessary for me to be healthy.  Have you ever wondered why there is so much advertising on milk?  Pretty much every famous person has had a got milk picture at some point.  It is a major money making industry. 


    "The highest rates of osteoporosis are seen in countries where people eat the most dairy food."
    Marion Nestles book, "What to Eat."


    - Since the 1970s U.S dairy producers have reduced the number of dairy farms from 650,000 to 90,000


    -Average number of cows per farm increased from 20 to 100


    -The dairy industry has doubled the amount of milk obtained per cow


    The only way to get cows to produce more milk is to use hormones and antibiotics.  The more milk a cow produces the greater chance the cow will get an infection and it will need to be injected with antibiotics.




    Reasons why we may not need calcium from milk!


    -bones are not just made of calcium, there are many other components
    -calcium balance depends on getting enough of every one of the nutrients involved in building bones not just calcium
    -The amount of calcium you have in your body and the strength of your bones depends much more on everything else you are eating and how active you are other than how much calcium you take in.
    -Calcium is in so many foods: fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts
    -In other parts of the World where milk is not part of peoples diets there is less osteoporosis


    The next time you buy milk look at the label and read the amount of fat and sugar in your milk.  Even skim milk has 12 grams of sugar.




    Key points!
    -We may not need as much calcium from milk, we can get calcium from plenty of other foods.
    -Cows are injected with hormones and then treated with antibiotics that are harmful to cows and possibly humans


    The best milk options in my opinion






    Personally I drink unsweetened almond milk.  It only has 40 calories and 0 grams of sugar.   I just don't use milk that much so it really isn't an issue for me.


    All of my information is from Marion Nestles book, What to Eat It is a great book that covers everything about what we should be eating and what is harmful and what is the most safe.  I saw it on amazon used for 25 cents.  What a great buy!  She has published a couple of books and always backs her books up with a ton of research. 







    easy chicken pasta recipe

    This meal is healthy, quick, easy, and cheap.  Pretty much anything I make is quick and easy.

    Trader Joe's Marinara Sauce is awesome.  It has only like five ingredients with no additives


    organic whole wheat pasta capellini (sprouts or trader joe's)
    Marinara Sauce (Trader Joe's)
    organic chicken (Trader Joe's)
    Add fresh parmesan cheese on top