cytotec order If you have never tried spaghetti squash before or haven’t had it in a while, let me remind you of these reasons why it is a great swap for pasta–
-Low in carbs. One cup has about 10 grams of carbs whereas 1 cup of pasta has around 43 grams.
-Low calorie. One full cup of spaghetti squash has about 40 calories, whereas pasta has 220. Need I say more??
-Spaghetti squash is a good source of vitamin C, manganese, potassium and B vitamins. It’s also gluten free!
But the thought of purchasing one and cooking it for the first time can be intimidating. So I broke it down for you —
I cut three slits in the top of it and then put it in the microwave for 3 minutes (If you don’t do this you won’t be able to cut it in half. Trust me. I’ve had a huge knife stuck in one that I couldn’t get out because I skipped this step.)
After you get it out of the microwave cut it in half.
Then take a spoon and scoop out all the insides. Kind of like a cantaloupe.
I cook mine entirely in the microwave. Mainly because it takes less time.
I just sit both sides in there, face up and cook for about 7 minutes. (Microwaves are a topic for another day– I have a love/hate relationship with them. Let’s just say that I go in another room while it is cooking to try to escape the radiation.) You can cook it in the oven, and I should probably start doing that.
To know it’s done make sure it can easily be pulled apart with a fork.
Then scrape it out and you’re done!
I personally use it for a substitution for pasta or rice. It is great with spaghetti sauce, sautéed peppers, onions and meatballs. We had leftover Japanese the other night and I added it and some avocado and it was perfect! I added some herb seasoned olive oil and salt and pepper to it and it was delish!
The Standard American Diet is horrible and is full of convenient, heavily processed foods that are killing us. I watched a documentary that said the way we eat has changed more in the last 50 years than in the previous 10,000. We are sicker, bigger and more tired than we have ever been and the foods we eat are a huge part of that problem.
You want your food to go bad. Ask yourself: if this food item fell under the seat of my car how long would it take to realize it? If a french fry fell under your seat it would probably look the same and possibly taste the same months later. A banana would not.
Foods have become a chemical concoction and our bodies are a test lab. We don’t know how to process and digest these foreign particles. This gets back to my rule of 5 ingredients or less, and know what those ingredients are.
So my advice is to check your pantry and fridge and see what heavily processed items you can swap out for a real food.
So this has been a touchy subject with me for a long time and it gets back to my “five ingredients or less” rule. Not only are the fewer ingredients the better, but you also want to know what those ingredients are. And I don’t know what “natural flavors” means — and that is the goal of the food industry.
So I just quit drinking my favorite hot cinnamon tea everyday for several reasons, but one is because it contains “natural flavors”. Another reason is because I was drinking too much (like 15-20 bags a day) and it was turning my teeth brown. But it wasn’t organic and it has natural flavors so I gave it up. One thing you will quickly realize about me is I usually take things to the extreme — like buying cases of tea at a time and all but ODing on it. Don’t get me wrong, hot tea can be great for you — but sometimes I have a problem with doing things in moderation.
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration:
“The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.”
So what does that really mean?
It just means that the flavor had to have originated from a “natural organism”. But not all natural flavors are created equal or naturally. They can contain emulsifiers, solvents and preservatives. Just one natural flavor can contain between 50 to 100 ingredients!!! So do you really know what “natural strawberry flavor” is? No. It could contain 100 different ingredients! Yikes.
Oh and I almost forgot about MSG. Monosodium Glutamate, which is linked to migraines, fatigue, food cravings, depression and obesity can be disguised on labels as “natural flavorings”.
Sadly there are no regulations when it comes to “natural flavors” and they are currently the fourth most common ingredient listed on food labels.
Remember when LaCroix made headlines for having cockroach insecticide in its sparkling water? Yea, that was part of their “natural flavoring”.
You want cinnamon in your spice cabinet! I couldn’t live without it. It is a staple at home and I have a jar in my desk at work. You never know when you’ll need to sprinkle it on a big scoop of almond butter and dip some dark chocolate in it!
Not only does cinnamon add flavor without adding sugar but it is extremely healthy. It’s main claim to fame is helping control blood sugar, which is a huge deal for everyone. It may also slow tumor growth and help control cholesterol.
I buy cinnamon in a 1 lb. bag. I know that sounds crazy but it is cheaper to buy in bulk and I used a lot when I was making smoothies everyday. (We will chat about smoothies another day.)
But one main reason I buy in bulk is because Ceylon cinnamon is better for you than Cassia. Ceylon is considered “true cinnamon”. It is less common and known more as a cooking spice. Cassia is lower quality and very cheap. It also contains a lot of coumarin, which can be toxic in large quantities. Cassia is what is commonly sold in stores and probably what you have in your cabinet.
If it isn’t labeled “Ceylon”, it’s Cassia.
I found this organic ceylon cinnamon on walmart.com for $7.18. That is pricier than regular cinnamon but I believe it is worth the cost. If you use a lot you can order the 1 lb bag off amazon for $14.00 and refill your container.
This cinnamon from target is organic, but not Ceylon. You really want it to be both.
I’m not one of those people who has to have everything organic. I pick and choose what I get organic because it is more expensive and not always worth the cost. But I do get organic ceylon cinnamon. Non-organic cinnamon is usually irradiated — which is the process of killing bacteria using of gamma rays. This method is still new to the food industry and still undergoing many tests about the effect it has on food. It is said to have a negative effect on the Vitamin C and antioxidant levels in cinnamon, so stick with organic!
Tips for use:
-Add cinnamon to your oatmeal
-Sprinkle on a banana or apple before adding peanut or almond butter
-Add to your coffee or even coffee grounds for some flavor!
I commend people who always have their fingernails done. My boss does and she looks like a million bucks at all times. Not only are her nails always done but she is just classy and put together in general, but her nails being done is just that added touch that makes all outfits pop.
So of course y’all know my first issue with it is “I’m sure its toxic”. Story.of.my.life. It’s like I’ve educated myself so much that it freaks me out. Sometimes I almost wish I knew less and was just oblivious like I used to be and would buy makeup and nail polish and body lotion because it was on sale.
I tried to get past it a few months ago when I was going to Mexico for my birthday. I thought it would look nice to have coral gel nails and it looked great. I loved it, it made my bathing suits and every outfit pop. Pictures of me holding a frozen drink with the ocean in the background also looked great because of my nails.
Fast forward 9 days and they were peeling off. I knew from times before NOT to just peel them off myself because it damages your nails. So I didn’t. But they were peeling up from the bottom and my hair was getting caught in them in the shower or when I was putting it up. It was awful. So I get home from Mexico and then have them taken off and I thought it couldn’t have done too much damage they haven’t even been on here two weeks. Boy was I wrong. My nails were brittle and thin.
It took 3 months for them to get hard and healthy again.
Another thing that freaks me out is the UV rays from the nail lamp they use to harden your nails. It can’t be good for your hands or your nails. I read about a 21 year old girl who had nail melanoma and was told that the nail lamps and like tanning beds for your hands. So that of course scared me to death. You can wear special gloves to cover your hands or sunscreen on your hands if you still want to get them. (We will talk about sunscreen another day too.)
With all that being said gel manicures are fairly new and there isn’t a ton of research in this area so we really don’t know the long term health effects.
And of course the polish is toxic so that freaks me out too. (We will cover that topic another day too).
Not to mention it is time consuming and pricey. I had to come to terms with the fact that my nails would be plain and boring but getting them done isn’t for me.
But speaking of nails, you can tell a lot about your health by looking at your fingernails. CRAZY thing when I originally did a sugar detox several years ago when my diet was horrible I took a before and after pic of my nails and it was crazy how they cleared up in just ten days.
It was thoughtful. And smelled good. But I couldn’t slather it on my body every day knowing that it was toxic and full of chemicals that would seep into my skin and go directly in my bloodstream.
Ever thought about hormone or birth control patches? How do they work? They are put on your skin and the active ingredients are absorbed into your body.
FYI your skin is your largest organ. That didn’t really mean much to me in anatomy class in college. When I was learning the systems of the body I was just making flash cards and memorizing for a test, it definitely wasn’t applied to real life.
I used to buy skincare products and perfumes based solely on their smell and their price. If it was on sale, it was for me. Little did I know, these products penetrate your skin and can cause serious health issues. Does the term “Endocrine Disruptor” mean anything to you? It didn’t to me either. Endocrine Disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with your hormones.
According to the NIH, Endocrine Disruptors work in 3 different ways: 1.) mimic naturally occurring hormones in the body 2.) bind to a receptor in a cell and block the hormone from binding so the normal signal fails to occur and the body doesn’t respond properly 3.) Interfere or block the way natural hormones or receptors are made or controlled.
They can cause developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune issues including developmental disorders, infertility, birth defects, cancerous tumors and who knows what else.
Common sources of endocrine disrupting chemicals include: pesticides, cosmetics, plasticizers (like BPA), metal food cans, plastic bottles, flame retardants, food, and toys.
To say our government is behind on regulations such as personal care products would be an understatement. This is a huge bee in my bonnet so I will try not to stay on this soapbox for too long — well for today, anyway. 🙂
The FDA has no authority to require companies to test cosmetic products for safety. Yea, read that sentence again. So no one is overseeing what harmful effects these products might have on our health. Beauty products in the US are not reviewed, approved or checked for safety and accuracy of ingredients before they hit the market.
Other places such as Canada and Europe are far ahead of us. They have banned more than 1,300 ingredients where the US has banned 11.
A few years ago I heard that the European government demanded that OPI change their nail polish ingredients in order to be sold and used in their country. So of course they did. Do you think they changed the ingredients in the OPI colors sold in America? No. Because they aren’t mandated to. They aren’t even overseen or watched, much less mandated.
Luckily the Environmental Working Group is on our side. They have a “skin deep” database with thousands of products they have tested for toxicity. They are ranked from 0-10, with 10 being the most harmful to your health. Once you use the site (or download the app) you will become obsessed and start researching everything you put on your body. The lower the number the better, and I try hard to find products that are 0, 1 or 2.
A few years ago I looked up my shaving cream and it was a 9. We will just say that I now use bar soap and haven’t bought shaving cream in years.
https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ — It will change your life. You can also download the app and scan barcodes of different products.
This is a screenshot of the lotion I got for Christmas. It is a 6 –yikes!
Where did “8 cups of water a day” even come from? Not sure.. probably the same unscientific place that said not to eat too many eggs because of their cholesterol content.
My rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water daily. That means if you weigh 200 pounds you need 100 ounces of water each day. 200/2=100. There are 16.9 oz in a bottle of water, so that would be around 6 bottles in a day. It sounds like a lot but hydration is so important and most of us are not drinking enough. Lots of times we mistake thirst for hunger. We really just need more water but instead we think we are hungry so we eat.
Don’t forget that we are 60% water. The brain and heart are 73% water.
Do I need to remind you of the benefits? Staying hydrated can help with weight loss, it’s good for your skin and can reduce wrinkles, it’s good for your brain, helps your muscles and joints work better, prevents headaches, helps relieve constipation and tons more. Bottom line is water is essential and probably more important than you realize.
If you definitely don’t drink half of your body weight in water daily you could be dehydrated. Or if you sweat a lot and are not replenishing that water. Signs of dehydration can include: headache, tired, dizzy/light-headed, dry mouth, lips and eyes, dry skin, not peeing or having very dark colored pee.
To tell if you are hydrated check your urine color. It should be light yellow and you should be emptying your bladder 5-8 times a day.
Try not to add toxic, chemical filled artificial sweeteners to your water. When I was in college I couldn’t drink water unless it was flavored with strawberry limeade powder. I seriously had a permanent red ring around my mouth from drinking water bottles filled with red liquid.
It was sugar free with no calories so I thought it was a win-win. I paid no attention to the ingredients back then.
A much more natural way to add flavor to your water would just be by lemon or lime slices or even cucumber, mint and berries. You don’t have to have a fancy water infuser, just cut up some fruits and veggies and throw them in a pitcher of water and keep in the fridge.
If you are really bad and drinking water you might need some reminders. Set an alarm on your computer or phone to go off every hour to remind you to drink. Fill a big bottle in the morning and keep it on your desk, in your car or wherever you are and make yourself down it before your morning snack or before lunch. Do the same thing in the afternoons before you go home for the day.
I know it is easier said than done. I had a hard time switching over from Crystal Light, Diet Cherry Pepsi and Diet Sunkist to just water. It was pretty brutal and fruit infused water made me gag. But just remember all of the health benefits and try to choke it down, it will get better I promise!
When I used to look at labels I scanned only for the calorie content, amount of fiber, and aim for the lowest amount of fat possible. I was so wrong. The most important part of that label is the ingredient list. My rule of thumb that I teach all my clients is to choose items with 5 ingredients or less and know what those ingredients are. If the ingredient list is long and you don’t know how to pronounce some of the words, it is probably not a good choice for daily consumption.
This is easy to do when you stick to whole foods. For example, you don’t have to read a label on a banana to know there is only one ingredient — a banana. Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store and try to avoid the center aisles as much as you can.
These heavily processed “veggie” chips that look healthy from the front of the bag. The chips are colorful and it even says “snack healthy, be healthy!” — why would you not add that to your cart? Check out the ingredient list — this is anything but a vegetable. There are over 20 ingredients. Check out the bag of carrots. One ingredient. Carrots with hummus would be a much healthier and cheaper snack.
I was talking with a friend the other night and she was saying how she had recently read about purpose and that she needed to define hers. It made me start thinking about my purpose. What do I do that really feeds my soul? That gives me energy, wakes me up in the morning and keeps me up at night? I thought about my hobbies — I don’t really cook that much (luckily I have a significant other that is practically a chef), I don’t garden, I exercise but there’s nothing I’m totally passionate about like hiking or biking or crossfit, I don’t love to clean or organize, I love to travel but that’s not something I can do daily, I like to take pictures but I wouldn’t consider photography a passion, I don’t have pets — well anyways I guess you get the point. And she said “Your passion is your health. You need to use it to help others”. I’ve been wanting to share my journey and educate others for a while, and now is the time.
The other day an older lady at work came in my office talking about a situation in her life and she said I have some advice for you — “If you have a dream, follow it out and don’t let it die. Don’t sit on your front porch when you are old like me and say ‘I wish I would have done that’”.
Don’t get me wrong I have a wonderful life and am blessed beyond measure. But I felt like I was lacking something. That something that helps the world be a better place because I am in it.
So that’s why I’m here! I am looking forward to learning and growing with you. Warning — I am crazy and I know it…but the good kind of crazy, I think. 🙂