Four years ago I took the Take Back the Tap! pledge sponsored by Food & Water Watch to give up bottled water and, instead, drink tap water. (Research shows that most bottled water is actually municipal tap water anyway!) And when you figure in the costs of company water-rights, bottling, labeling, and marketing pre-packaged water, you pay up to 10,000 times more money for bottled water than water from your own tap! And where does that plastic go? The EPA says that in 2011, the US alone generated 32 million tons of plastic waste, and only 8% of that waste was recovered for recycling. Can you imagine what the global statistics might be?
Within 6 months, I extended my pledge to no plastic bottles at all. And I was surprised how easy that first year was! I have several reusable bottles on hand (such as BPA-free Nalgene, glass and stainless steel) that I fill and chill before I leave the house. If I forget my water and stop for a portable beverage, I only buy a drink if I have an option available in a glass bottle.
When I first head about a drink made out of soaked beets, I just couldn’t wrap my taste buds around the whole concept. When offered a glass, I literally puckered-up like I was about to sip poison, but I was pleasantly surprised! It tasted earthy, a bit salty, a hint of sour, yet a titch of sweetness and a light effervescence that I wasn’t expecting. I liked it!
The history of beet kvass is that the Ukrainians and Russians have been drinking it for over a thousand years–czars and peasants alike. An electrolyte drink, this lactose-fermented beverage could be called the traditional, real-food version of Gatorade since it provides great hydrating balance.
What if the key to you losing weight, clearing up your digestive woes, having more energy, lifting your brain fog, and managing chronic health conditions was in your control?
Well, it actually is! And it’s pretty simple. It’s about changing habits to “clean” up your plate!
You eat to nourish and fuel yourself, right? Most of us in the US have been following the recommended Standard American Diet (SAD) for the past 30 or more years by eating low-fat foods, whole grains, and avoiding cholesterol. And food manufacturers have made it so easy for us! We conveniently stop by the grocery store and pick up frozen, boxed or canned foods to take home and pop in the microwave. Or even easier, drive-thru your favorite fast food restaurant and someone’s already cooked for you. Dinner is served!
Dietary advice followed? Check!
Food is accessible, plentiful and available? Check! Check! Check!
So why then are Americans’ rates of diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, cancers, auto-immune disease and other chronic health conditions skyrocketing?
A new client of mine is making BIG changes to her diet and lifestyle in the New Year. We’ve been doing some prep work to get her ready – looking at outdated dietary advice and beginning a pantry clean-out for starters. She checked in with me this week and wrote:
“It’s hard not to feel like everything you are doing is wrong and it’s like starting over. I’m surprised by how immersed I am in my habits and it’s eye-opening how to change it.”
My response to her was:
“You aren’t alone in feeling like you’ve been doing everything ‘wrong’. You’ve been doing what you’ve been educated to do…like the rest of us have. And there is nothing ‘wrong’ with starting over. In fact, there is everything RIGHT with starting over, in leaving behind old habits that weren’t serving you and developing new habits that will bring you to where you want to be.”
I love the feeling of a fresh, new start! Whether at the beginning of a new year, a new week, or a new day, you can do a reboot and make small changes that will impact you immensely. Whatever ‘was’ before, you can literally make the experience different starting today. In fact, starting this very minute.
The old Welsh proverb “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is grounded in current research.
Nutritionally, apples are low in calories, providing only 50 calories per 100 grams. An average apple is about 90 calories, rich in dietary fiber (~ 4 grams of soluble fiber per apple), and contains fair amounts of Vitamin C and beta-carotene, two powerful antioxidants. Apples are a good source of B-Complex vitamins and contain minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium and boron.
For your health, here are 10 reasons why you should be reaching for an apple every day:
My students used to ask, “If you were going to be stranded on a deserted island, what two foods would you bring?”
My standard answer used to be bread and cheese. But several years ago I started toying with the idea of giving up bread in my diet…Crazy idea, huh?
Bread is everywhere in our American diet! It’s in some form at e-v-e-r-y meal and given freely at restaurants to tide us over while waiting for the plates to come. A handful of crackers, a piece of toast or half a bagel is an easy snack to grab between meals. In fact, toast slathered in peanut butter or topped with a fried egg was my grab-and-go breakfast most morning as I rushed out the door to teach.
How do you go without toast in the morning? And how do you eat a sandwich without bread? Will I be able to keep from uncontrollably stuffing delicious, crusty artisan bread in my mouth during monthly book club meetings if I’m depriving myself day to day? What will I use to sop up that delicious pasta sauce/gravy/broth without a warm loaf of sourdough or French bread? No Chonga bagel, banana bread or scone with morning coffee? These questions vexed me as I thought about the challenge I was delivering myself.