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Beauty Care 101

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Beauty Care 101

“If you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin.” Did you know that your skin is the largest organ of your body? Your skin absorbs at least 60% of what you slather on it and is absorbed right into your bloodstream. Store shelves are filled with toxic products which includes beauty products. Even many “healthy” people don’t realize what they are putting on their skin. Up to 95% diseases are preventable (NIH) and they are preventable through lifestyle. What you put in your mouth (cigarettes, gum/mints, alcohol, Rx & OTC drugs, artificial ingredients) and what you put on your skin is directly related to either sickness or health. Many people do not bother to read the ingredients on non-edible products and don’t realize they are putting carcinogens right on their skin. Wellness and healthy living is not exclusive to just one thing.

IN THE
IN THE

Wellness is many holistic things: drinking pure, filtered water (not from a plastic bottle), fitness, eating organic food, supporting local organic farmers, massage, chiropractic care, sustainability, making sure our purchases care for the earth, acupuncture and using non-toxic skin care products.  When buying beauty products i.e. shampoo, conditioner, face cleanser, lotion, cosmetics, toothpaste, mouthwash, lip balms/chapstick, baby products, body butter, perfumes, deodorants, tampons, be sure to read the labels carefully. Ingredients to watch out for and to avoid at all cost:

  • Benzoyl Peroxide
  • FD&C Color and Pigments
  • DEA (Diethanolamine)
  • MEA (Monoethanolamine)
  • TEA (Triethanolamine)
  • Parabens (Methyl, Butyl, Ethyl, Propyl)
  • Propylene Glycol (PG)
  • Butylene Glycol
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES)
  • Dioxin
  • Polyethylene Glycol (PEG)
  • Triclosan

Personal products also include tampons and pads. Conventional brands (Tampax, Kotex, Playtex, o.b.) that use toxic ingredients in their tampons include dyes, bleached GMO cotton, synthetic materials such as rayon, polypropylene, plastic. Our friends at Veeda tell us more “pads often contain blends of chlorine-bleached pulp that include dioxin, a substance not only linked to TSS, but also to cancer, endometriosis, immune system depression, infertility and hormone disruption. Dioxin is a carcinogen that settles in fat cells and builds up over time.

Many forget that they are literally what they put in their body!

The average woman uses 12 personal care products a day exposing herself to 168 chemicals such as formaldehyde, phthalates, parabens, that have been linked to cancer, birth defects, hormone disruption.

Here are some Sarah Stanley Approved brands that are good for your health, the planet, and won’t contribute to disease.

Pads/Tampons

OrganycVeedaSeventh Generation

Face Care

Balanced GuruThe Orange Owl

Lips

Eco Lips

Deodorant

Primal Pit Paste (great for men too!)

Shampoo/conditioner

Desert Essence

Toothpaste

Revitin (great for everyone!)

Soap/body wash

Flagstaff Soap Company

----- Cover photo credit: Liga_Eglite

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Make It A Meatless Summer

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Make It A Meatless Summer

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  Summertime is a great time to explore more meatless meals, especially with the abundance of fruits and vegetables in the Farmer’s Market! Over the past few months, I have written several blogs about the many reasons to cutback on eating meat and adopting a plant-based lifestyle.

  1. HEALTH. Meat, especially red and processed meat increases the risk of cancer. A new report on the cancer guidelines suggests cutting back on meat. Eating more whole, plant-based foods not only decreases your risk of chronic diseases like cancer, but it also can increase the amount of fiber and phytochemicals in your diet (My blog on Cancer).
  2. COST. I took a grocery store tour several months ago and decided that I could feed about 60+ people quinoa and lentils for $18.48 vs. a 3.5 pound bag (about 6-9 breasts) of organic chicken at $20- $21. Swapping expensive meat with economical plant-based proteins can help save money and/or increase spending on organic fruits and vegetables! Farmers markets or CSAs are great ways to support your local communities and take advantage of great prices on fresh food! (my blog on myths about protein).
  3. ENVIRONMENT. Livestock and animal products are not sustainable; at least at the rates Americans (and other “developed” countries) eat them. Not only do meat and animal products contribute to green house gases, larger farms have also created astronomical environmental impacts, such as dead zones in the oceans and rivers from manure runoffs. (My blog on stewardship).
  4. INCREASE FOOD PRODUCTION FOR HUMANS TO EAT. Lowering the production of meat and dairy, Round River Farmers in Minnesota discovered that the region of Western Lake Superior would be able to produce enough food to feed the entire community. A Standard American Diet (SAD) would require over 500,000 acres of land and would only produce enough food for 83% of the region. Conversely, a diet lower in meat and dairy would require about 375,000 acres of land and would feed 100% of the region! Shifting towards a plant-based diet would decrease the supply and demand of animal products. means less land needed to grow feed for animals and less land needed to house animals in Factory Farms or land for grazing. Instead of using the land for soy, corn, and animals, the land could be used to grow enough organic fruits and vegetables to meet dietary recommendations for Americans...... because currently, we fail at that. (My blog from the Healthy Lives Conference).

Learning about healthier meatless options and exploring new recipes can be an exciting adventure! Reframe your perspective--- think about it as adding flavor and health to your life!! 

Great plant-based sources of protein: beans (chickpeas, black beans, soybeans, edamame, kidney beans, mung beans…..), lentils, split peas, tofu, nuts, seeds (chia, hemp), quinoa, nutritional yeast, and tempeh!

Here are some meatless-meal ideas to get you started:

1. Swap the Burger for a bean burger or a Portobello mushroom.

Portobello Mushroom and Cashew Cheese Burger

Italian Bean Balls

Black Bean Quinoa Burger

Spicy BBQ Chickpea Burgers

Quarter Pounder Beet Burger

2. Grill  fruits and veggies rather than meat.

Grilled Veggie Kabobs

3. If you don’t have celiac disease, try some homemade seitan!

Seitan ribs

Seitan Negimaki

4. Try a quinoa salad!

Quinoa salad with black bean and mango

Grilled Asparagus and chili orange quinoa spring rolls

Curried Coconut Quinoa

5. Almond or pistachio crusted tofu instead of fish

My pistachio crusted tofu recipe

6. Tempeh instead of chicken

Sweet and Sour Tempeh

 7.  Bean or Lentils for a fiber and protein packed meal

Lentil Tacos

BBQ Chili (my brothers love this one over baked sweet potato fries!)

Lemon dill bean salad

Spicy Lentil Sloppy Joes

Chickpea “tuna” Salad

8. Zucchini "pasta" salad with a peanut sauce

Zucchini noodles with a peanut sauce

9. Sarah and I also dig these Mung Bean and Black Bean pastas. 23-25 grams of protein per serving!

mung beans
mung beans

Super tasty with a peanut sauce, tomato sauce, homemade pesto, cashew "blue cheese" dressing, or homemade salad dressing!

10. Check out my Pinterest Boards or the Meatless Monday Pinterest Board for more Meatless Summer ideas! 

kAD
kAD

In good health,

Kristina

To learn more about plant-based living, find me on Twitter and Facebook!

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A Gluten-Free Refresher Course

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A Gluten-Free Refresher Course

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By now you've probably seen the Jimmy Kimmel gluten-free video clip. Many people who are eating gluten free don't have any idea why they are! So I thought it would be good to write a gluten free refresher course and also answer some frequent gluten questions. #1) What is gluten?

Gluten is the protein found in certain types of grains such as wheat, couscous, barley, rye, spelt, durum, bulgur, Gluten is what holds the bread, muffins, pastries together.

#2) Who should not consume gluten?

This is a really important question and probably why there is so much confusion over gluten free! The people that must stay away from gluten are those with Celiac Disease, gluten allergy and gluten intolerance. Those with Celiac Disease are the most crucial group to not consume gluten as even cross-contamination can trigger adverse health responses.

#3) What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that primarily affects the digestive system with secondary symptoms such as depression, brain fog, reflux and in some extreme cases, vomiting. (Note: this is why healing the gut is so important as it affects much of our health - our gut is called the second brain for a reason.)

#4) Is gluten bad?

To answer this simply, no, gluten is not inherently "bad". It is "bad" for those with Celiac Disease, gluten allergy, gluten intolerant. What's "bad" is the processed products that are generally contain gluten. These ingredients include white refined flour, sugar, artificial dyes, preservatives, man-made fats.

#5) Should I go gluten free?

This can be a tricky question to answer as most people asking this aren't one of the three groups of people above (Celiac, allergy, intolerant). As seen in the Jimmy Kimmel gluten free interview, no one had any idea why they were gluten free let alone what gluten was! This is where I always ask people (again, after ruling out the three groups of people that can't have gluten) why they want to go gluten free. Generally, people have seen a celebrity crediting their gluten free ways as a method to lose weight. Or a talk show host talking about the latest diet trend i.e. gluten free and weight loss. What people need to remember is that our food system (for more on this topics, check out Food Babe and Robyn O'Brien) is not what it used to be. When I counsel and consult people if they should go "gluten free" or not is to get back to the basics. That means to eat real, organic foods in their natural state. Breaking news: it might not be the gluten making you sick but the other ingredients (BHT, artificial dyes, GMO ingredients, artificial sweeteners, sugars that are.

#6) Are gluten free products better?

Another great question! There is a major difference between gluten free products and gluten free foods. The latter are naturally gluten free in their original state. Naturally gluten free, organic foods (i.e. quinoa, Hemp Hearts, chia seeds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, coconut oil, kale, spinach, etc), are always going to be optimal for your health, the planet, the environment. The concern with many gluten free products is that some contain less than desirable ingredients that are more harmful than helpful! I looked at a package of gluten free pretzels recently and the ingredient list was quite alarming (palm oil, soy lecithin, GMO corn to name a few). Yes, it might have been "gluten free" but the ingredients that made up the pretzels is not magic for a healthy body. Since most people who are looking into going gluten free are generally looking to lose weight or maintain their weight the best thing they can do is to eat a nutrient-dense organic food lifestyle. Check out this post for what real, organic foods are and how you can incorporate them into your lifestyle! If you are looking to go gluten free, choose naturally gluten free, organic, real foods. A "diet" (as in the foods you eat) that is heavy in gluten free processed products will still cause health problems. Remember, a gluten free label doesn't always mean a healthy product.

Note: There are many reasons to why a person has trouble digesting gluten, losing weight, gaining weight and the answer is not always a straight shot to simply go "gluten free". It can certainly help, but shouldn't stop there. By seeking professional advice, healing the gut, healing from emotional trauma/abuse (a frequent cause of autoimmune diseases), the questions turn into answers and ultimately, health. But a friendly reminder that it is a process and not an overnight quick fix.

#7) If I go gluten free, will I lose weight?

As alluded to in the above question, going gluten free is not a quick solution to a long-term problem. Going gluten free might help in losing weight, but if the overall lifestyle of a person isn't changed, gluten free alone isn't the magic potion. (Sorry!) People who tend to eat gluten free and lose weight is because they no longer eat the same products they once were.

#8) What do I do now? Where do I go from here?

Remember the basics of gluten free eating: eat naturally gluten free, organic, real foods. Heal the gut by taking quality probiotics. Make digestive health a top priority (limit or cut out sugar all together, take probiotics and digestive enzymes). Talk with other people in the gluten free community. And remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Cheers!

Learn more about living gluten free! Visit http://udisglutenfree.com/community 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi's Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.