Month: February 2015
Are All Organics Created Equal?
My younger brother is a professional motorcycle rider. He has traveled for the past 15 years, temporarily staying with families of the racing community while pursuing his passion.
I was about 17 when he came home after spending a month in Texas with a generous family who housed him while he trained. This family apparently subsisted entirely on organic products.
He came home with a burning desire to eat “all organic”. We HAD to eat organic to be healthy. He preached it’s benefits up and down and how much better he felt eating “all organic”.
Us + Organic food = healthy. Right?
I remember my family pressing him for clarification on WHAT he ate specifically that was so healthy.
ORGANIC …raisin bran
You can imagine the hilarity that ensued after my mother bought box after box of organic Raisin Bran for this child. It was all my brother ate when we were around. We teased him then and continue to give him servings of all-organic grief today about his short-lived organic Raisin Bran kick.
This story perfectly paints the struggle of the everyday American trying to be healthy.
The way I see it,
You might be one of two people:
Organi-curious– You want to eat healthy. You know eating organic food is good for you but you can’t figure out if those organic ice cream cones are worth the $9.99 or if they are truly going to give you god-like abs.
Organi-phobe– You think organic food is too expensive and you have decided against “wasting” your money on a label. An apple is an apple is an apple, right?
I am confronted with this confusion often as a Health Coach. Here is my take on these two confused individuals.
Let’s set the stage:
The Organi-curious individual says to me, “You eat all organic, right?”
Ah. Yes. Well, Sometimes. Short answer, YES.
The world of organic food isn’t black and white, yes or no. There is a big confusing, fuzzy gray area that people find themselves lost in when walking through the grocery store. It raises the question,
“Do I have to buy everything organic?”
Organic means better for you but that doesn’t necessarily mean good for you in and of itself. Remember: cocaine and heroin are technically organic.
Wow extreme example. Disclaimer: I do not endorse the use of cocaine and/or heroin, no matter HOW organic they are.
The organi-phobe might say, “I just can’t eat like that. It’s too expensive!”
This is a good one. I hear this excuse from friends, family members and clients alike.
YES, it is an excuse.
Hear me out.
You have to buy food anyway, right? I mean, you gotta eat.
You have a choice between chemically laden products that could potentially increase your risk of health complications, or a product that is free of pesticides, herbicides and other man made chemicals*.
*I should mention that I am referring to PRODUCE here. Fruits and vegetables that don’t come in a package or box.
If you want to choose organic cereal, cake, candy and soda for your family, you will certainly pay out the ass for those products. Yes, the ingredients used to make these products are “cleaner”, but organic sugar is still sugar. Lets be real, people. *
Sometimes, the cleaner, organic option IS MORE expensive than it’s pesticide filled counterpart.
So how do you make the most educated choice that is also easy on your wallet?
Ah, I’m glad you asked.
My (not so) secret shopping weapon:
This is the list of produce ranked by pesticide residue data. The dirty dozen (plus) is the list of produce you should always buy organic. The clean fifteen is the list of produce that tested the least amount of pesticide residue, therefore you do NOT have to buy them organic.
Here is what I recommend:
- Become familiar with the list! Recognize the products your family consumes the most and purchase accordingly.
- Choose produce from both lists each week to stretch your dollar
- Focus your attention on organic produce and meats vs. organic processed packaged foods and SAVE
- Befriend your local farmer! Buying seasonal and local produce can make ALL the difference in taste and quality. Plus, you are able to ask the farmer himself about the growing process on his farm.
Now! I want to hear from YOU!
Do you use the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen List when you shop?
Did this post provide some clarity for you regarding organic shopping?
Leave me a comment below and tell me all about it! I’d love to hear from you!
If you are still confused and need some more help reading labels, decoding health claims and navigating the grocery store, shoot me a message over at Sam@nourishingnomswithsam.com with your Name, Email and tell me whats on your mind!
I get it.
You don’t want Valentine’s Day to end.
You want to keep the sweet chocolate embrace going beyond the 14th of February…
…or you just want to keep the loving going.
Either way, a healthy, decadent dessert is an excellent way to kill these two birds with one stone.
You get your chocolate fix while your loved one gets a nourishing, love-filled pudding because chocolate. That’s the reason. It speaks for itself.
My friends, I give you… THE EASIEST DESSERT IN THE WORLD
Plus A VIDEO to show you how freakin’ EASY this dessert is.
5 Minute Chocolate Raspberry Pudding
Recipe by Samantha Rispoli
2 ripe avocados
1-1.5 cup frozen raspberries
1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (or liquid sweetener of your choice)
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used raw cacao powder)
Super Fancy Garnish:
shaved dark chocolate
1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth.
2. Spoon into super sexy glasses or bowls and garnish with Super Fancy Garnishes.
3. Enjoy the chocolate goodness with someone you love and get the good feeling juices flowing!
4. Eat it. See? Told you it was easy, the fourth step is eat the damn thing. Wait, are you still reading this?
How are you keeping the love going beyond Valentines Day?
Every year, Al and I find ourselves saying the same thing.
“We don’t go big for Valentines Day”
and yet, every year, we exchange love notes, prepare a special dinner or make eachother healthy treats.
It is so very nice to enjoy a special day with your best friend. It never hurts to be reminded that you are loved.
Today I offer you two recipes that can be made at the same time. I blend my own coconut butter, so I used one bag and split the batch in half to make two flavors. BOOM.
Mint for him, Orange for me.
These babies are dairy free and low sugar.
If you are looking at this recipe and you’re NOT interested in making your own chocolate, I would suggest melting chocolate chips and using that instead.
Lily’s or Enjoy life are brands I have used before.
For those of you who know me, you know sugar and I don’t get along.
For this recipe, I set out to make it completely sugar free. Unfortunately, the intense dark chocolate really needs a powerful sweet flavor to balance it out. I knew stevia alone wouldn’t cut it, so I reached for my maple syrup. PERFECT touch.
I encourage you to use silicone molds for these candies. They make it a hell of a lot easier to remove the candy once they are hardened.
Enjoy this recipe and have a nourishing Valentines Day!
Cream Filled Chocolates
Recipe by Samantha Rispoli
½ cup coconut butter
½ small ripe avocado
2 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 tsp liquid stevia
salt to taste
½ cup coconut butter
½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
½ tsp liquid stevia
¼ tsp salt
recipe adapted from Wellness Mama’s recipe here
1 cup cocoa butter
½ cup raw cacao powder*
½ cup dark cocoa powder*
1 tsp liquid stevia
2 Tbsp organic maple syrup
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp vanilla bean powder**
*Could combine these to 1 cup cocoa powder. I prefer a darker chocolate, so I used ½ cup dark cocoa
**Could use vanilla extract
THE MINT FILLING
To begin, I blended 1 bag of shredded coconut to make coconut butter. Alternatively, you could melt 1 cup of coconut butter and divide into two bowls.
- For the mint, add ½ avocado, peppermint, stevia and salt to coconut butter and mix until combined. Green color will be uniform. Taste and adjust sweet to your liking.
- Place bowl in the fridge to firm up, 15 minutes.
THE ORANGE FILLING
- In a separate bowl, combine remaining ½ cup coconut butter with orange juice, zest, stevia and salt.
- Place bowl in fridge to firm up, 15 minutes.
- Melt cocoa butter in a bowl over simmering water (double boiler) until melted.
- Whisk in cocoa powder, stevia, maple syrup, vanilla and salt. Taste and sweeten to your liking.
- Pour liquid chocolate into molds until half full.
- Place molds in the freezer to harden.
- When chocolate is firm, remove from the freezer and remove coconut fillings from fridge. Using ½ teaspoon scoops, spoon filling into molds. Repeat until all molds are filled.
- Cover molds with remaining chocolate and return to freezer until firm, about 10 minutes.
Enjoy with your sweetie!
I feel the sick coming.
Well, to be honest, I felt it yesterday.
It began with a dull thump in my left ear.
I went to bed early in hopes some sleep would kick my symptoms.
Woke up this morning and felt like I had been punched in the head repeatedly during the night. I took this feeling as a sign that I needed to slow down and take it easy today.
I needed a life time out.
When I am in the beginning stages of feeling sick, I follow a simple protocol I like to call
KICK THE SICK
- Call the chiropractor— First thing in the morning, I make a phone call to the spinal Gods. Once I am adjusted and aligned, my body can start healing properly. Just by adjusting my neck, I felt my head clear up and my throat feel better.
- Drink some bone broth— If you aren’t doing bone broth, you need to be. Not just for sick days, but for all days. Here is a simple recipe to try from Wellness Mama
- Sip on some Ginger Elixir— This stuff is anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, soothing and delicious. This is my secret weapon for punching sick symptoms in the face. Recipe below.
- Self care is a MUST— Epsom salt bath to loosen muscles and relax, naps to recharge, breathing exercises and meditations with some crystals if you wanna get fancy. Take it easy on your body and allow it time to heal.
- Supplements— More of a preventative method, but I make sure I am taking my probiotic, Vitamin D, zinc and magnesium during the winter months when the sick is floating around.
6 cups filtered water
1 inch ginger knob, peeled and sliced into coins
1 lemon, sliced into rings
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
- Bring water to a boil and add ingredients.
- Stir to combine and reduce heat.
- Simmer the ingredients for 10 minutes.
- Strain tea into a jar and enjoy warm!