Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Time to change it up...

It's been over a year and a half since I started this blog, and it's amazing to think about how far I've grown since then. But lately I've been feeling that I've taken this as far as I can right now. For the past few months I have been torn between wanting to write for Plenty of Thyme and feeling like I have to write. I started this blog as a project to chronicle my ups and downs on my path to becoming healthier and to pass on the information I was learning with all of you. I feel now that I am fully saturated and have had a hard time coming up with new content. 

Another thing that has been nagging at me is that I am more interested in writing for Raw Generation's blog as I am fully immersed in developing the brand and company. I don't want the two blogs to overlap. So I have chosen to pick Raw Generation. 

I'm going to keep this blog up so that if someone stumbles across it the information I've written about is available to them, but I am not going to commit to writing anymore. If something really inspires me then obviously I'll share, but I'm motivated to share more of my juicing/raw foods experiences now. 

So... if you would like to continue following me you can find me over at Raw Generation's Blog.

Peace out!!! XOXO

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Stress & IBS

One of my dear friends has been dealing with Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms for several years now. I have been giving her suggestions here and there on what to do to try to get rid of it. Until recently I was under the impression that IBS was one of those things that doctors would diagnose you with if they didn't know what was wrong with you. Now I know that IBS is something that doctors diagnose you with if there seems to be nothing wrong with you.

If you are having IBS symptoms, there is obviously something wrong... it's just nothing that doctors are testing for. They are looking in the wrong place. Here's what my friend has learned that has helped her tremendously.

After three years of dealing with IBS, I've learned what my "triggers" are and what I can't eat a ton of. If I have too much dairy, particularly cheese, or processed sugar, like candy or Splenda/Equal or things like that I get set off. Part of what I learned though was how connected your digestion system is to your nervous system.  My stress levels also had a significant impact on my digestion, maybe even more than my trigger foods.
With that, came my new years resolution: to be kind to myself.  The following have helped ease my stress, which in turn eased my IBS symptoms and digestion issues.

1. Drink warm water or tea after every meal.  Warm water not only eases digestion  by relaxing the muscles, but is also a natural detoxifier.  Keeping hydrated, especially with warm water has a certain comfort to it too!

2. Being mindful of what I am eating. I often rush through my meals, which either causes me to be hungry and crave my trigger foods later or causes indigestion.  Slowing down and bringing all the senses to my meals means that I eat only until I am full and helps my digestion system break down the food, rather than swallowing it whole practically.

3.  Deep breathing or alternate nostril breathing.  First of all, concentrating on the changing nostrils has definitely distracted me and allowed me to put my stressor in perspective.  Second, deep breathing is meditative even when you aren't going for that and has a calming effect.  Lastly, we are all given so many breaths so by making each one count slows you down to be in the moment.
~ L 

When was the last time your doctor talked to you about anything like that? Being someone who is prone to letting stress and anxiety get the best of me, I can relate to her suggestions about deep breathing and taking the time to eat, relax, and take care of yourself.

If your body is screaming at you, it may be more beneficial to check in on your stress levels and how you are  (or are not) taking care of yourself. To-do lists never go away & there is always tons of stuff to do each day.

Who is it going to effect if you take time out of your day to make sure you are taken care of? (hint: YOU!)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Whole Foods to Require GMO Labeling

I thought this was newsworthy enough to pass it along to you guys. I have been aware of the dangers that GMO's pose to us for some time now and have written about it on more than a few occasions. In my research and in just becoming aware, I have started to notice the little NON GMO Project Verified icons showing up on more and more products.

And now Whole Foods will be requiring food companies to label all products sold in their stores that contain GMO's by 2018. Even though 5 years seems like quite a long time, it is still a great thing in my opinion if they can pull it off. While Whole Foods boasts that they are a healthy alternative to regular grocery stores, you still have to read labels if you are trying to eat clean. Their shelves are lined with heavily processed soy ingredients, artificial ingredients, and yes... GMO ingredients.

Unless corn, soy, canola, sugar & artificial sweeteners, papaya, cotton (and it's oils), meat, and dairy are organic, they are genetically engineered. Just between corn and soy and all of the food ingredients they make with those two items, a huge percentage of packaged foods are contaminated.

Here's a quick article summing it all up...

Whole Foods announces mandatory GMO labeling by 2018
Natural News (Original Source
In a huge victory for the alternative media and grassroots activism, Whole Foods announced on Friday that it would require GMO labels on all products by 2018. (Click here for the press release.) This announcement deals a significant blow to Monsanto, DuPont and all the GMO pushers who openly admit that they want consumers to remain ignorant about what they're eating. 
It's a brilliant move for Whole Foods, given that by 2018, anyone who wants to be certain whether they are avoiding GMOs will gladly choose to do all their shopping at Whole Foods. After all, if Albertson's (for example) doesn't require GMO labeling while Whole Foods does, in which store would you rather shop? Whole Foods! 
But the real story here is everything that led up to this. The turning point in all this was, in my opinion, the 2012 release of the Organic Spies video in which Whole Foods employees were caught on camera lying to customers about GMOs. 
Natural News broke this story and was instrumental in getting the video posted on our free speech protected video service, a public location which could not be easily banned by Whole Foods. YouTube, by comparison, routinely bans videos that blow the whistle on dishonest corporate behavior, but hosts whistleblowing videos and has so far resisted all attempts to have those videos banned or removed. (We even host most of the Jesse Ventura Conspiracy Theory series, including the "memory-holed" FEMA camp episode that has disappeared everywhere else.) 
This Organic Spies video proved to be hugely embarrassing to Whole Foods, causing an uproar across the 'net and causing many customers to start shopping elsewhere such as Green PolkaDot Box, which avoids carrying any products containing GMOs. 
Following the Organic Spies video, InfoWars reporters Aaron Dykes and Melissa Melton launched a breakthrough video investigation that exposed the "big Whole Foods lie" of claiming "Nothing artificial, ever" on the side of their stores while secretly selling unlabeled GMOs in their stores. We also documented the "Nothing artificial, ever" fraud here on Natural News. GMOs are, of course, "artificial." They are engineered by man, not created by nature. In this video, Whole Foods was caught in yet another blatant, embarrassing lie. 
The Prop 37 campaign was also in full swing during all this, and Whole Foods refused to contribute a single dollar to the California ballot measure. After being confronted and publicly shamed, a Whole Foods executive did quietly contribute $25,000, but only after being called out for failing to support the campaign. 
Alternative media holds Whole Foods' feet to the fire
Add all this up and you get the impression that Whole Foods was actively opposed to GMO labeling. And it was the alternative media that was holding Whole Foods' feet to the fire. While the mainstream media refused to even touch the issue (because mainstream media is nothing more than a dumbed-down, cartoon-level disinfo broadcast for morons and sheeple), the alternative media plowed full steam ahead. Natural News, InfoWars, Mercola, the Organic Consumers Association, the Institute for Responsible Technology and many other organizations kept hammering the issue, and tens of millions of grassroots activists made their voices heard in a resounding way. 
Through various back channels, Whole Foods got the message loud and clear that there was no way they were going to be able to stop this. The alternative media can't be easily bought off because the key people who run the alternative media aren't in it for money (unlike the mainstream media). 
If Whole Foods didn't get fully behind the mandatory labeling of GMOs, it was going to find itself in a runaway confidence crisis. After all, if health-conscious customers can't trust Whole Foods to be transparent with them about what's really in their foods, there's not much of a reason to shop at Whole Foods, is there? 
Whole Foods capitulates and decides to require labeling
Sometime between November 2012 and March 2013, Whole Foods executives made a decision to finally get behind GMO labeling. They announced that all the foods they carry would need to be labeled with GMO content by 2018. As reports:
Whole Foods Market announced... that, by 2018, all products in its U.S. and Canadian stores must be labeled to indicate whether they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It is the first national grocery chain to set a deadline for full GMO transparency. 
On the surface, this was immediately heralded as a highly ethical leadership decision by the market leader in health food retailing, but behind the scenes an entirely different equation was being calculated. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey never makes a decision unless it's in his financial interest to do so, and as his history of false-identity Wild Oats blogging shows, he's not beyond engaging in wild deceptions in order to make more money for himself and his investors.
Ultimately, Mackey and the Whole Foods executives realized what I've been trying to tell them for months: That if they didn't get behind GMO labeling, they were going to lose everything. Promoting GMO labeling isn't simple a choice of ethics for Whole Foods, it's a matter of economic survival.
(Original Source)

As much as I applaud Whole Foods for stepping up, I am generally disgusted with the food industry. Being that I am a commercial producer of food now, I would not be able to live with myself if I knew my company sold food products containing the garbage that most foods are made of. I'm just glad that I can say I'm not poisoning people with Raw Generation juices. I'm actually creating a real food product that has no artificial anything. There are so few companies that can say that today, but here's to hoping Whole Food's decision is the momentum we need to create the tipping point.

How Do I Eat?

Here is a lovely article by one of my favorites... Mark Bittman. He answers the seemingly impossible question, How Should I Eat?

Image courtesy of the NY Times 
When Diet Meets Delicious
(Original Source)
The “How do I eat?” thing has become increasingly combative and confusing. Do you give up carbs, or fat, or both? Do you go vegan or paleo? 
No. You eat like a Greek, or like a Greek used to eat: a piece of fish with a lentil salad, some greens and a glass of wine. It’s not onerous. In fact, it’s delicious. 
The value of this kind of diet (“diet” in the original, Latin sense of the word “diaeta,” a way of living) has once again been confirmed in a study from Spain involving thousands of participants and published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine. So compelling were the results that the research was halted early because it was believed that the control group was being unfairly deprived of its benefits. 
Let’s cut to the chase: The diet that seems so valuable is our old friend the “Mediterranean” diet (not that many Mediterraneans actually eat this way). It’s as straightforward as it is un-American: low in red meat, low in sugar and hyperprocessed carbs, low in junk. High in just about everything else — healthful fat (especially olive oil), vegetables, fruits, legumes and what the people who designed the diet determined to be beneficial, or at least less-harmful, animal products; in this case fish, eggs and low-fat dairy. 
This is real food, delicious food, mostly easy-to-make food. You can eat this way without guilt and be happy and healthy. Unless you’re committed to a diet big on junk and red meat, or you don’t like to cook, there is little downside. 
On Monday I spoke by phone with Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health, who has been studying the Mediterranean diet for as long as I’ve been writing about food. His take was simple: “We have so many types of evidence that this kind of eating works, but the weight of evidence is important, and this adds a big stone to that weight.” 
As encouraging as the study is, it’s far from perfect, and it would be hyperbolic — ridiculous — to say that it represents The Answer. 
For one thing, the control group was supposedly on a low-fat diet, but didn’t necessarily stick to it; in fact, it wasn’t a low-fat diet at all. And the study did not show reversal of heart disease, as was widely reported; as far as I can tell, it basically showed a decrease in the rate of some cardiovascular diseases in people at risk as compared with people at risk who ate the typically lousy contemporary diet. 
In short, as Dr. Dean Ornish said to me, “It’s clearly better than a horrible diet, which is what most people eat.” Dr. Ornish, who has devised a low-fat diet that has been demonstrated to reverse heart disease, said that “the most responsible conclusion from this study would be, ‘We found a significant reduction in stroke in those consuming a Mediterranean diet high in omega-3 fatty acids, when compared to those who were not making significant changes in their diet.’ ” 
Exactly. And that’s good news, because it might encourage some of the majority of people who are not making significant changes in their diet. Most Americans eat so badly that even a modest change in the direction of this diet is likely to be of benefit. That was the revelation of the Mediterranean style of eating when it came to public notice a generation ago. (Next year is the 20th anniversary of the publication of Nancy Harmon Jenkins’s “Mediterranean Diet Cookbook.”) 
Since we’re being all Med, I could say nihil novi sub sole — there’s nothing new under the sun — but it’s not exactly true. What’s new is all the junk that has been injected into our foods and our diet since the end of World War II. What’s not new is that eating real food is good for you. 
You could say that the Mediterranean diet prohibits nothing that was recognized as food by your great-grandmother. Whole, minimally processed foods of almost any type can be included in a sound diet. Period.
(Original Source

Sounds good to me!! 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sometimes the best thing to do is NOTHING

Monday and Tuesday of this week were utterly overwhelming for me. It was like an avalanche of stuff was holding me back from getting anything done. Part of the problem was I was trying to get everything done at once and the other part was that I was looking at the big picture instead of the bite size pieces. You can't get an entire project done all at once. You need to work on one bite at a time. That is when it's manageable. 

It's been a long time since I've felt the need to cry. Like literally months (which I think it is a new Jess record)! The tears started welling up a few times on Monday and Tuesday which is my signal that I need to calm the F down. My dad told me a long time ago that "there is no crying in business" and I like to keep it that way. Plus it usually ends up ruining my makeup and my face gets all red and blotchy. I'm sorry but I've never seen a pretty crier. 

By the end of Tuesday I was so completely and utterly overwhelmed and mentally drained that I made the executive decision the take yesterday off.  But not before I got a good breakdown in while on the phone with my dad. Just another perk of being in business with family!

So yesterday I literally turned off my phone for a good portion of the day, didn't respond to one email, and laid in bed reading some crappy chick novel about the horrors of being a bridesmaid. I laid in bed all day. I drank coffee, read, took a nap, read some more, and almost fell asleep for nap #2. And I didn't think about business at all. I painted my nails, went out to dinner and watched a movie (I highly recommend Life of Pi). 

When I woke up yesterday morning I felt like I was completely renewed. And got more done than I had anticipated. 

I definitely learned this week that:
  • I need to turn work off for at least a little while each night... no emails or social media
  • I need to give myself time to think about/do something other than work a few nights a week
  • sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is nothing

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Adrenal Fatigue... no one talks about it, but it's what's making you (and me) sleepy

I am one of those people who gets stressed out easily. I have done a lot of work to try to minimize the stress in my life, minimize the amount of anxiety I put myself through, and increase the amount of time I spend taking care of myself.

But every once and a while I let the craziness of running a new business get the better of me and I end up running myself into the ground. It looks like... I get 8 hours of sleep a night, I wake up exhausted and it takes me a long time (and a little bit of caffeine) for me to feel awake. I have racing thoughts, and the constant feeling that I am not getting things done fast enough. I work from the time I wake up until shortly before I go to bed. I wish that I didn't have to sleep at all.

This is not sustainable for me... and it is where I am at right now. I have been aware of adrenal fatigue for a while now and I am pretty sure that this is the reason I constantly feel exhausted when I'm in high stress periods of my life. I have been reading Kris Carr lately (if you don't know about her she is an awesome cancer survivor who turned her life around and now promotes healthy living and eating) and I was just emailed one of her blog videos that I think eveyone would benefit from watching... because we all know most people are overworked, stressed out, and not taking care of themselves!

Monday, March 4, 2013

How a 15 year old is advancing cancer detection

It is pretty rare that I am inspired by teenager. I mean I don't have any kids of my own so maybe that will change when I do. Usually they piss me off (except my beautiful niece and nephew). They dress like they don't give a S-H-I-T about anything and care of nothing except Teen Mom TV drama bullshit. For the most part.

But this kid is different. His name is Jack Andraka, and he's 15. He gives me hope that there are still intelligent human beings that will pass on their good genes and carry the rest of the morons along with them.

Watch this short Ted Talks video... this guy is going to make waves in the field of cancer research.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Getting Back to Cooking

My nights in the kitchen have been seriously sporadic as of late. I'm finding it really hard to get everything done and still have the desire to shop and cook. But I snuck a quick meal in the other night and it was soooo good!

sorry for the not so creative picture...the camera on my phone is
so much more convenient 

Scallops are tricky sometimes because you can overcook them very easily. It is the type of thing that you actually have to pay attention to. But overall this was a quick and tasty dish that I highly recommend you try. Let me preface this by saying I usually do not opt for rice (I'm a pasta girl) but I wanted to try jasmine rice for the first time.... and I'm hooked. I don't know why I've never had it before.

  • scallops (6 per person)
  • scallop seasoning: paprika, Jamaican curry, cayenne pepper, garlic powder
  • jasmine rice (1 c. per 2 people) 
  • snow peas
  • cilantro
  • scallions
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • shredded coconut
  • olive oil
  1. Soak the rice for 20 minutes in room temp water
  2. Coat both sides of each scallop in it's seasonings
  3. Saute the garlic, ginger, & scallions in olive oil, put aside to mix with rice
  4. In same pan, saute snow peas for a few minutes
  5. Drain rice and add new water (1 1/2 c. per c. of rice), bring to boil, stir, cover, let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Cook scallops in same pan used for snow peas. Add more olive oil if necessary (should lightly cover entire pan). Cook 4 minutes per side.
  7. Mix garlic, ginger, scallions, and coconut into rice. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
  8. Done & done!
This whole meal should take about 30 minutes, and it was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! The sweet rice goes really well with the spicy scallops.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Self Doubt Creepers

I know I've used this cartoon before but it is very fitting for today

Over the past few days I've been feeling the self-doubt creeping into my thoughts. Mainly I guess because I'm starting something new and I'm just nervous that it isn't going to work out. I'm going into uncharted territory in the world of Jess and it’s F-ing nerve-racking. 

So I started my day out yesterday with a much needed convo with my business coach and we hashed out all of the S-H-I-T in my head. Haha, actually at one point she said 'your head isn't a litter box so get that shit out of there!' Love her! Usually I'm the one telling people to stop thinking bullshit thoughts and sometimes I guess I need the same advice. 

Something that I had worked on a few years ago when working through the hard core anxiety I used to have was asking myself if my thoughts were true. Like, when I would start what-if-ing about hypothetical situations that might happen. All I had to do to challenge it is say to myself... what are the chances that that particular situation would happen the way I think it's gonna happen? Slim. What happened to all of the catastrophes I conjured up in the past? They never happened the way I thought!

Anxiety and negative thoughts are not healthy! In fact I think they might be equally as bad as eating fast food. (Just my personal theory)

All I had to do this morning to whip myself back into shape was realize that I was being Debbie Downer and told myself to STOP! and THINK POSITIVE THOUGHTS so I can move on and conquer the juice world!

Thanks Tracey!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Cooking Chickens

If you've been reading me for a while you know that I'm obsessed with eating soup in the winter. I'm in soup mode now and have my cooking itch back now that the Christmas season is over and things are settled with the re-branding of Raw Generation.

I made a really great soup a few days ago from one of the chickens I picked up from the farm I get my meat from. I was shocked at how much soup I got from 1 chicken. I made 2 different stocks which I'll describe below. Both were super easy, but do take some time.

Broth #1:

  • 1 chicken, whole
  • 1 onion
  • 1 apple
  • 1 container organic vegetable broth
  • water
  • salt, pepper, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, coriander, cloves (just a touch), bay leaves, garlic powder
  • olive oil
  • celery
  • 4 sml. red potatoes
  • carrots
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put whole chicken in lg. baking pan/ casserole dish breast side down. Pour in vegetable broth and fill pan to cover half of chicken with water.
  3. Add quartered apple, chopped onion, spices, and drizzle chicken with olive oil.
  4. Bake for 1.5 hours
  5. Let chicken cool, take out of broth, and cup up breast meat. 
  6. Add meat back in to broth with chopped carrots, celery, & potatoes (chop small).
  7. Simmer on stove for 10 minutes at medium high heat.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Broth #2
  • Chicken from Broth #1
  • 1 onion
  • water
  • salt, pepper, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, coriander, cloves (just a touch), bay leaves, garlic powder
  • celery
  • carrots
  1. Pull chicken from broth #1 apart into pieces and put in lg. pot on stove.
  2. Add in onion and spices.
  3. Fill pot with water and boil for 10 minutes. Turn heat down to simmer for 45 minutes.
  4. Let cool and strain broth into another lg. pot, catching chicken pieces into a strainer.
  5. Pull meat off of chicken pieces and put into broth.
  6. Add in chopped carrots & celery and simmer on stove to 15 minutes.

Both ways make good chicken soup, but they are a little different. Broth #1 has a stronger flavor and Broth #2 is more like traditional chicken soup. This one chicken made a little over a gallon and a half of soup! I put some in the refrigerator and most in the freezer. Definitely a great way to stock up! 

Hope everyone in the NE stays warm and safe during the snow storm!!! Have a great weekend!
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