Plastic vs. Glass Containers

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Would it raise a red flag if your doctor told you to not eat anything out of a plastic container? For me it definitely did when my naturopath said that to me! One of the lifestyle changes that I made early on in my process of going green was getting rid of the plastic containers in my kitchen.

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Plastics can be made up of hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, sulfur, chlorine, and nitrogen. Then there are additives put in it to make it softer, more durable, able to be heated repeatedly, etc. A couple common types of plastics are Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Polystyrene, Polycarbonate and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). These are plastics that may contain phthalates and Bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA and phthalates are known hormonal toxins, and may be developmental, organ system, and reproductive toxins. These are chemicals that we wouldn’t want to put on our bodies, so we should not be ok with ingesting them.

In my pursuit to get healthy, I got rid of every plastic container (cups, plates, food storage, ice cube trays, straws, etc.) in my kitchen. It is one baby step that is doable and not overwhelming. All these little steps toward better health add up! I use the Pyrex brand of glass containers for mixing bowls, baking dishes. I also have a set of Best Choice glass containers. With both sets there are plastic lids (BPA free) which should not be left on when heating food. I am currently looking for glass containers that do not have plastic lids. I love using the glass versus the plastic because glass doesn’t stain, hold in odors, or leach anything. Glass containers are more expensive to purchase. The one drawback for my family is that we will have to buy containers more often due to them breaking when dropped. Using the glass gives me more peace of mind with my family. I don’t want them to be eating or drinking chemicals from the container their food is stored in.

Thank you so much for reading! What is your favorite brand of glass container? Comment below. Remember to follow my blog for updates on new posts.

 

*I am not a scientist or chemist, so this post is purely my opinion based on internet research I have done. *

Thrive Market

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Due to my health struggles and how difficult it has been to live a normal life, I was on a hunt to find a place to buy natural/organic foods for my family online. I kept seeing other green living bloggers post about this online market called “Thrive Market” and decided to check it out! I think I have been a member for about 6 months now and love shopping through them.

To shop you create a profile and start a 30 day trial, then at the end of the trial period you start a membership which costs about $60 a year. One of the really cool things about Thrive Market is that when you pay for your membership, you are also sponsoring a low-income family so they have access to healthy foods! I have looked at other healthy/organic stores for the products i like to buy through Thrive, and you really are getting a good deal.

A feature that I really like about Thrive is that you can shop according to diet restrictions. Each product has multiple “values” which could include gluten-free, vegan, made in the USA, supports charity, and many many more. It makes it easier to find what you are looking for.

Some of the things I buy from Thrive Market:

One Degree Organic Foods- Organic Sprouted Brown Rice Cocoa Crisps

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We eat this cereal as a dessert most of the time. It is very sweet and chocolatey, so it makes the perfect sweet treat here and there. These cocoa crisps are organic, non-gmo, gluten-free, and vegan. Our whole family can eat them. The only negative is that for my house full of guys, the 10 oz. box doesn’t last long haha. But that isn’t that big of a problem.

Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil

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We used to use a lot of olive oil, but I was reading about smoke points (I’ll write about this in a different blog post) and wanted something with a higher smoke point. We tried out this avocado oil and love it! It is 100% avocado oil, and comes in a dark glass bottle.

Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels 

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One thing that I struggle with is finding things that fit with the restricted diet that I stick to. These chocolate morsels were a great find for me because they are gluten, dairy, soy, and nut free (and free of a few more common allergens). We are a house full of cookie monsters, so this makes it possible for us all to eat chocolate chip cookies!

Primal Kitchens Chipotle Lime Mayo w/ Avocado Oil

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This is one of our absolute favorite products to order! It is seriously so yummy! It has a good kick and great flavor. We use it on sandwiches, sweet potato hash, and also use it as a dipping sauce for meats. This product is also another great find that fits with my restricted diet. It is gluten, dairy, soy, and sugar free. It is also organic and uses cage free eggs. This mayo is added to my cart with every order haha.

Simple Mills Almond Flour Crackers

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This is the number one cracker in my book! Simple Mills has three flavors that are dairy free: Sundried Tomato & Basil, Sea Salt, and Rosemary & Sea Salt. They also have a Farmhouse Cheddar flavor which is rBST free. They are all gluten and soy free as well as organic and non-gmo. These crackers are also toddler approved! Echo’s favorite is the Farmhouse Cheddar flavor, but he likes them all.

I also want to add that their customer service has been very helpful. Recently one of my sauces broke during transit, and I contacted them on how to replace it. Because they are an environmentally conscious company, they won’t just send out replacement products (which I thought was really cool). As a customer, it would be easy to freak out and say no I want my product. But as someone who is environmentally conscious I admire that they stick to their guns and just give you store credit so that you can purchase it with your next box of products.

No matter what your diet, definitely check out Thrive Market! What was your Thrive Market experience? Comment below 🙂 like this post and follow the blog.

Honey! Honey! Honey!

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Today I’m writing all about that sweet gooey golden goodness that we all have in our kitchen, and the little buzzing friends that make it. I never realized just how much bees do for our environment! In past years, I heard that bees were dying and that it would have a great impact on us, but never truly understood why. Well, I was researching about honey and found out a lot about bees.

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Bees are vital to sooooo many crops around the world and plants that we grow in our yards. Apples, Avocadoes, Oranges, Pumpkins, Onions, Almonds, coffee, cotton, alfalfa, etc (Fox News). Bees are helpful to “30% of the world’s food crops and 90% of wild plants [that] grow” (The Ecology Center). These little creatures do so much more than I ever thought that they did. They help pollinate your food, AND they help pollinate most of the beautiful things in your yard and neighborhood. They also help livestock by pollinating the wild plants that they eat (New AG) Crazy!

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In researching why bees are dying, it seemed that there is no one reason why this is happening. The main culprits look to be neonicotinoid pesticides/ insecticides, Colony Collapse Disorder, parasites and mites, and changes in habitat. Neonicotinoids are agricultural insecticides that resemble nicotine; they are water-soluble and can be absorbed into plants and the soil (which the bees are exposed to). “Although these low level exposures do not normally kill bees directly, they may impact some bees’ ability to foraging for nectar, learn and remember where flowers are located, and possibly impair their ability to find their way home to nest or hive” (Texas A&M). Colony Collapse Disorder is when the majority of worker bees disappear, but the queen, food, and nurse bees are left. This is said to reduce the bee hive population by 30% every winter (EPA). Parasites and mites are apparently becoming more and more of a problem. Some mites can drain body fluids and weaken the immune system of the bees, they also leave bees vulnerable to viruses through an open wound they leave (Reveal News). However, if you treat your hives the miticides can build up in your beeswax. Lastly, habitat change of farming, lack of wildflowers, and drought are all affecting the lives and health of bee hives (Reveal News).

Now about the golden goodness that these little guys produce! Honey is such a great natural sweetener. According to organicfacts.net, honey is 69% glucose and fructose which makes it easily digested into usable energy by our bodies. They also say that honey is naturally full of vitamins and minerals such as: Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, and much much more. Another great benefit is that it is full of antioxidants and it also has antibacterial properties (Organic Facts).

When I have heard about honey and what is healthiest for you, I have heard “organic raw” is healthiest. So I decided to research what that meant. Organic honey means that the hives are not contaminated with pesticides and insecticides, also that these buzzing little guys have not been treated with antibiotics (Organic Facts). I thought that if you had a hive and your yard was pesticide and insecticide free, that your honey would be organic. I was totally wrong. The plants within about a 4 mile radius of the hive are all accessible to the bees. So all those plants would have to be untreated to be able to say honey is organic (Scientific American). Raw honey means that you haven’t filtered or heated it. There is an initial filtering to extract the honey from the comb but that is it.

I want to say congratulations to my in-laws for getting a second place ribbon at the Washington State Fair for their honey! 🙂 They have hives in their backyard and create such a great environment for the bees. Their plants are never treated with pesticides or insecticides. I cannot say their honey is organic because the bees could pollinate plants off of their property, but their honey is raw. They do not heat their honey at all, and is minimally filtered. This honey tastes AMAZING! It tastes different than any honey I have bought at a store, and I would honestly describe it as “more wild”. It is thick and has a rich honey flavor. I would definitely recommend for anyone to support local bee keepers and look for organic raw wildflower honey. So so yummy!

What is your favorite honey? Comment and share your favorite. Don’t forget to subscribe to the blog with your email to receive updates! Like and share 🙂

 

 

Homemade Bread

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My family has been searching for a less expensive bread option that is still gluten free and dairy free. Loaves of gluten and dairy free bread can be $8-10 a loaf, so we definitely wanted to limit that expense. We love our breakfast sandwiches and toast though so I had to try something different. Today, i tried making homemade bread for the first time! It was a success! Here is the a link to the recipe I followed (I personally love to follow recipes, not wing it in the kitchen).

Soft Gluten Free Sandwich Bread Recipe

What are your favorite things to bake? Thanks for reading!

Diet Treatment

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Since 2008 I have been struggling with some health issues. Sleep has been sparse, digestive issues, constant nausea, and fatigue have been present, and I have had a long struggle with Overactive Bladder. I have gotten to the point where I don’t really leave the house due to the Overactive Bladder. I have seen a urologist a couple times since 2008, but none of the treatment ever really made a difference. I started seeing the urologist again in August 2015, and 7 medications and many appointments later nothing has improved. I also felt very pressured to do Botox treatment, which I personally didn’t feel comfortable with (no judgement if you decided to do Botox treatment).  Two and a half weeks ago I took the plunge to see a Naturopath. After talking with him, I felt so confident that he could help me get better using natural methods.  I am 2 weeks into my strict diet treatment and a week into my supplement treatment.

Eating healthy is one of the most important things for your health. Although, healthy is completely different for each person. My list of healthy foods is different than someone who does not struggle with OAB. The first thing that my Doctor wanted me to do was change my diet completely! So now i am Gluten, most dairy, alcohol, caffeine, and acidic food free! Although the list is long of what I cannot eat, I have been enjoying experimenting with different recipes and ingredients that are healthy for me to eat.

My hubby has been posting all his favorites of my meal experiments on Instagram. So I decided to share some of what I have been making with you all!

Bagel and Scrambled Eggs

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I am a huge breakfast fan! So this plate is an Udi’s Gluten Free/Dairy Free Bagel with Daiya Cream Cheese Spread. Then there is 2 eggs (scrambled) with organic chicken sausage (diced) and Daiya Cheddar Cheese. This is the Gluten free, Dairy free version of what I previously ate every morning. However, when buying the bagels you would get 4 in a pack and they were more than double the cost of regular bagels. I have since, given up my bagels and am trying other options for breakfast!

Spinach and Sausage Omelet with Diced Sweet Potatoes

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Omelet:

-2 eggs, scrambled

-organic chicken sausage, diced

-handful of organic spinach, sliced into strips

-Daiya Cheddar Cheese

Sweet Potatoes:

-1/2 large sweet potato, diced

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1/2 teaspoon black pepper

-1/4 teaspoon paprika

Basil Sweet Potato Scramble

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-2 eggs, scrambled

-1/2 large sweet potato, diced

-1/2 organic chicken sausage, diced

-handful of organic spinach, cut into strips

-1/4 teaspoon salt

-1/4 teaspoon black pepper

-1/2 teaspoon fresh Basil

-pinch of Daiya Cheddar Cheese

Breakfast Sandwich

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I made the breakfast sandwiches from “Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple”. I messed up on them but they still turned out yummy! There was a small mixup on my part when cooking the sausage, so I had to improvise and mix the sausage in the scrambled eggs. In the original recipe there would actually be a sausage patty and eggs separate. I’ll read more carefully next time haha! But I strongly encourage you pick up a copy of Danielle Walker’s cookbooks or visit againstallgrain.com to get some amazing recipes!

Even though changing your diet may seem scary, it is so worth it to jump in and do it! I can honestly say that I feel a lot better with some of my health issues. YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

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