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Cornmeal, the Comfort Food That is Good for You

By |February 17th, 2017|

Cornmeal is a delicious gluten free grain that has been around for centuries. So many recipes from grits and polenta to porridge and tortillas. A common breakfast in Louisiana always includes a dish of grits.

Which Olive Oil to Buy? The Olive Oil Fraud!

By |February 18th, 2015|

Do you know about the ‘Olive Oil Fraud’? Many of us want to use ‘extra virgin olive oil’ for all the wonderful health benefits and taste, but when you go to the trouble of seeking it out and spending the extra money, there is a high chance that it is not virgin at all!

It is one of the many that are part of the ‘Olive Oil Fraud’. A high percentage of the olive oils are not at all what they say on the label. Just because they say it is ‘Extra-virgin olive oil’ or even ‘Certified’ does not mean that it actually is. All olive oils are not created equal.

Italy’s extra virgin olive oil fraud scandal!

The anti-fraud police squad in Turin, Italy are examining seven well-known olive oil brands (Carapelli, Bertolli, Santa Sabina, Coricelli, Sasso, Primadonna and Antica Badia) to find out if they are selling an inferior virgin olive oil as “extra virgin” olive oil. To learn more, watch this video:

60 Minutes’ Looks at Olive Oil Adulteration in Italy.

Extra Virgin Suicide slide show by Nicholas Blechman explains well what happens on the NY Times

In America, more than $700 million a year is spent on olive oil, but unfortunately, it is not really olive oil because of olive oil fraud. Most of the olive oils on the market are cut with cheap vegetable oils.

The results from the Consumer Report’s found that only 9 of the 23 olive oils from Italy, Spain and California tested, and passed as being extra virgin olive oil even though all of them claimed so on the label. AND: “More than half tasted fermented or stale.”

International standards for extra virgin olive oil are mostly unenforced. Although the term ‘extra virgin’ is generally understood to denote the highest quality of olive oil, industry representatives report that the current standards are easily met by producers and allow olive oil marketed as ‘extra virgin’ to represent a wide range of qualities. This lack of enforcement has resulted in a long history of fraudulent practices (adulteration and mislabelling) in the olive oil sector.”  – United States International Trade Commission

A study at the UC Davis Olive Center found that 69% of the imported EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) sold in California supermarkets did not qualify as extra virgin. Tests indicate that imported EVOO often fails international and USDA standards.

A bottle labeled EVOO may not be olive oil and instead be a seed oil which is made to smell and look like olive oil by adding a few drops of chlorophyll and beta-carotene making it part of the olive oil fraud.

‘Olive Oil Fraud’ oils that failed to meet EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) standards:

  • Bertolli
  • Carapelli
  • Colavita
  • Star
  • Filippo Berio
  • Mazzola
  • Mezzetta
  • Newman’s Own
  • Safeway
  • Whole Foods

Which Olive Oils Passed the EVOO Standards?

These olive oils have met the extra-virgin standards; this list of brands is from the research above.

  • Bariani Olive Oil is Stone Crushed, Cold Pressed, Decanted, and Unfiltered California Extra Virgin Olive Oil and they are committed to producing an authentic extra virgin olive oil which is raw. Weston Price recommends this oil.
  • Corto Olive – can sometimes be purchased at Costco.
  • Cobram Estate  – Australia’s most awarded extra virgin olive oil
  • California Olive Ranch
  • Kirkland Organic –  Amazon says: “Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil certified organic by the USDA. Made from the first cold pressing.” Comments on Amazon: of the 478 people who gave stars, […]

How Do You Heal? – Poll

By |October 29th, 2014|

What Healing Approaches and Techniques to  Add For Complete Health

At Real Food For Life, we tend to emphasize nutrition and food.  Also, we know there are many other important factors in achieving health.  Both Diana and myself have researched and practiced personal development and meditation techniques for 30 plus years.  We understand the necessity for a holistic approach.

We want to give YOU a chance to express what you feel is important.

What have YOU found that has made a big difference?

What would YOU like to hear more about?

We know it is challenging to separate these factors, so just pick out the top 2 or 3 that speak out to you at first glance and check the box.  You will see the results immediately afterward you vote.   You can vote as often as you wish.

– %POLL-ANSWER-RESULT-PERCENTAGES%

How I Failed at Becoming an Alcoholic

By |February 13th, 2014|

alcohol

At the age of 24 I moved to Nelson, BC to attend the Kootenay School of Art.  I knew no one in the town or even at the art school yet.  Being a student I had to live in economical housing.  I had a room in a rooming house without a kitchen or living room and had to share a bathroom with a number of others. There was a hot plate and fridge in my small room, not much fun for the already cook I was.  It truly was a depressing situation to find myself in.

In those days living in Nelson, I liked dry red wine so I would buy a bottle and drink it all alone in my room getting inebriated every night.  I thought I might as well become an alcoholic; as it was in the family to be one.

Family of Alcoholics 

Having graduated in Social Work I learned that my father, grandparents and uncles were not simply beer lovers they were alcoholics.  The definition that I grew up with did not fit them as they did not fall or shout or even have the shakes if they did not have their alcohol for a couple of days.  My father would say ‘I just like the taste of beer.’ Even my mother’s father and grandfather were alcoholics so I come from a long line of them.

Big Problem 

Soon my bladder and kidneys began to react and I was in so much pain that I had to stop after only two weeks of drinking wine nightly and could not resume my activity to become an alcoholic.  I failed at becoming an alcoholic.

Still I was able to have the occasional glass of wine at parties and dinners without any problem that I could see.

Later… 

When I became very ill with Fibromyalgia and Severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome I did not drink alcohol ever; I found it increased being weak.

As I began to get better I was at a birthday party in a Japanese restaurant with a group of friends. I remember how much I liked sake when I was in Japan so I ordered one and then another and then another. After three servings of Sake one of the people at the table ordered a bottle of sake so I had three more.  I did not feel anything, which was interesting because when I was younger my friends would always joke about what a cheap drunk I was; after one or two glasses of wine I would be telling jokes and be very funny.

After six servings of sake I was not at all inebriated. No funny Diana, telling jokes. When I went to the washroom and looked in the mirror; I saw a very red face.  That was the only sign I had at that moment from the alcohol.  If only that was the only side effect.  What happened after that is memorable enough to put me off drinking forever.  I had a hangover for six months!

Do I ever drink alcohol now? 

No and I am not at all interested in having even one sip.  I know how it makes my body feel and value vibrant health more.  I do not miss it at all. No self control required.  That glass of expensive red wine does not look appealing to me not even for one sip. I can be silly and fun without it and be naturally high. No need for a substance to to that.  Best of all I am left full of vibrant energy after parties.

In our […]

What is it that YOU are Craving?

By |February 4th, 2014|

Do you find that you are having a craving that is creating an unhealthy way of eating?

Do you go through withdrawal if you can’t get your chocolate or carb fix?
Do you have difficulty limiting your portion size when it comes to certain foods?

Tell us your top three cravings in the comments section at the bottom of the Free Health Webinar on Cravings page.

I was a sugar addict and can happily say WAS. Happy not to be one any more. Chocolate was another big one for me that I craved daily, now I do not. I truly learned how to move out of those unhealthy cravings.

You will also learn how to deal with the foods you crave or addictions and balance your body.

To register for the Free Webinar,  fill in your name and email below.

 






 

We respect your email privacy

 

 

Warm Winter Crunchy Salad

By |January 31st, 2014|

 warm winter crunchy salad

In the winter salads are not as appealing; we gravitate towards warm foods. Still some raw foods filled with enzymes and nutrients are good for us.  I tend to stay away from the leafy vegetables during this time.

 Ingredients:

1 Celery stock
1 small Beet
1 Carrot
Handful Arugula
1/2 cup Cabbage
1 – 2 Tbsp Red onion (Optional)
2 Tbsp Walnuts, soaked

 Directions:

 Chop celery and walnuts.

  1. Grate beet and carrot.
  2. Finely  Slice cabbage.
  3. Mix all ingredients together.
  4. Serve with Warm Tahini Salad Dressing.
  5. Enjoy.

2 servings

Types of Cabbage

By |January 30th, 2014|

 040811_1819_CabbagetheB1.jpg

Green Cabbage: the most common variety; is pale green in colour with tightly compacted leaves. 

red cabbageRed Cabbage: this dark purple red cabbage is similar in taste to the green cabbage but with coarser leaves. Red cabbage has almost 3,000 times more anthocyanins (an antioxidant) as green cabbage

Bok Choy: A Chinese cabbage with dark green leaves and white stems. Has the highest beta carotene and vitamin A content. (see right)Bok choy stems are white and watery-crisp, while the leaves are deep green and very tender. The flavor of bok choy reminds us of baby spinach or swiss chard, and we love it in stir-fries, brothy soups, and steamed mixed vegetable dishes.

savoy cabbageSavoy Cabbage: is round and green-yellow in colour, with crinkled leaves and is less compact than the green cabbage. Their flavor is mild and earthy, and the leaves are tender even when raw. Good  sliced thinly in soups and stir-fries. When you buy it should be crisp – not wilted!

nappa cabbage chinese 450Napa  Cabbage:  also called Chinese or celery cabbage.  Napa cabbage doesn’t look like head cabbages. It has long light green leaves that flower off of thick, white stalks.  It has a lovely mild flavor with a peppery kick that is delicious in salads or stir-frys.

brussel sproutsBrussel Sprouts:  They don’t just look like tiny cabbages, they are! . If you find them sold on the stalk,  know that they will keep for several weeks if chilled.

5 Healthy Alternative Recipes for 5 Unhealthy Foods

By |January 23rd, 2014|

bacon 2

There are so many unhealthy foods  offered to us as consumers .
I picked out 10 of the most unhealthy  examples in 2 recent posts:  5 Top Foods to Eliminate From Your Diet in 2014   and 5 More Foods to Avoid

Here are 5 super healthy alternative recipes so you do not go hungry or deprived!

1.     Instead of Oreo Cookies or a Snickers bar here is an easy homemade chocolate bar

Cherry Pecan Dark Chocolate Bar

This is a totally decadent chocolate that everyone loves. 

Ingredients:

4 squares (approx 112 gm) unsweetened chocolate*
3 Tbsp organic virgin coconut oil
2 Tbsp unpasteurized honey
1/4 teaspoon liquid stevia
1/4 cup pecans, roasted and chopped
1/4 cup dried unsweetened cherries chopped in half’s

Directions:

  1. Dry roast pecans in a toaster oven or in frying pan (stir frequently so they do not burn).
  2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or very carefully in saucepan.
  3. Oil with coconut oil a small pan of approximately 8 inches square.**
  4. Sprinkle evenly the cherries and pecans in the pan.
  5. When chocolate is melted; remove from heat.
  6. Mix in coconut oil and stevia.
  7. Then mix in honey.
  8. Pour melted chocolate mixture over the cherries and pecans.
  9. Let cool in refrigerator or freezer.
  10. Once set, cut into squares.
  11. Store in covered container in refrigerator or freezer, if desired.

This recipe is just one of the many recipes in the Healthy Chocolate Project .  This video course teaches you n how to make an assortment of amazingly delicious chocolates that uses only small quantities of healthy sugars and healthy oils.

 

2. Replace store bought salad dressings that are full of unhealthy fats, salts, sugars, artificial flavors and colours.

We eat salads to be healthy. The problem is, the salad dressing can make the salad into an unhealthy meal. 

Make a big jar of this easy-to-make,  low calorie dressing. It’s alkalizing and healthy.

salad dressing ingredients, lemon olive oil

Light Lemon Oil Salad Dressing

This is a base recipe that you can make up different each time with a variety of herbs.
I use this a lot in my online cooking classes.
What makes this light is the addition of water.                           

Ingredients:

1 cup cold pressed olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 – 1 tsp. salt
Few drops of liquid Stevia

Optional:

1 – 3 tsp. basil
1/2 – 1 tsp. marjoram
1/4 tsp. rosemary
or
 2 tbsp. fresh mint (or 2 tsp. dried) for a mint dressing

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients into a blender; blend till smooth.  
  2. Put in a jar with a lid and refrigerate till using.

3. Eliminate that Bacon and Bacon Bits with all its fat and additives.

Get that salty crunch from healthy seeds.

Seed Topping for Salad, Rice or Vegetables

This is a quick way to add some extra flavour to your grain or steamed vegetables or just for a snack.
Pumpkin seeds are the only seeds that is alkaline forming. 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds*
1  – 2 tsp. tamari or soy sauce or Braggs

Directions:

1.    Dry roast seeds in frying pan.
2.    Stir constantly until golden brown.
2.    Remove from heat.
3.    Add tamari or soy sauce or Braggs.
4.    Sprinkle on top of rice or vegetables.

 *You can use sunflower seeds instead […]

How To Do Self Oil Massage

By |January 16th, 2014|

Oil massage is balancing and soothing to the nervous system and the whole body.

The skin is the largest organ of the body and is capable of producing the most hormones. When gently massaged, the skin produces calming hormones (just the opposite to the “flight or fight” hormonal changes associated with stress).

The effects are subtle but cumulative. This massage is an ayurvedic massage used for thousands of years.

 The Oil:    Use cold-pressed sesame oil, available from your health food store.  Ideally, it should be “cured” before using (see instructions below).  The oil should be warmed before each use.  If the oil is kept in a small plastic bottle, placing the bottle in hot water can easily warm it. IF you can’t get sesame oil, you can use cold pressed olive oil or ghee but it should still be warm.

The Technique:    Use the open flat  part of your hand (not your fingertips) to massage your entire body.

In general, use circular motions over rounded areas (joints, head) and straight strokes over straight areas (neck, long bones).  Apply moderate pressure over most of your body and light pressure over your abdomen and heart.

self massage

The Order:

1.     Start with your head.  Pour a small amount of oil on your hands and massage it into your scalp.  With the flat part of your hands, use circular strokes to cover your whole head.  Spend most time on the head.

APPLY A SMALL AMOUNT OF OIL AS YOU MOVE FROM ONE PART OF YOUR BODY TO THE NEXT.

2.     Face and outer ears, more gently than the head
3.     Front and back of neck and upper spine
4.     Arms, more vigorously.  Remember,  a circular motion on shoulders and elbows, back-and-forth strokes on upper and fore arms.

5.     Chest and stomach, gentle circles over your heart and abdomen
6.     Back and spine
7.     Legs, more vigorously
8.     Bottoms of feet.  As with your head, you can spend more time on this important area.

The Duration:    For maximum benefits the oil should be left on the skin for 20 minutes and on the scalp for one hour. This can be inconvenient and messy though, so often people don’t massage their scalp or hair.  Every bit helps. If you can’t do a full massage daily perhaps you can do one occasionally.

The Follow-up:   Follow your oil massage with a warm bath or shower, using a mild soap.

Simplified Version: Oil just the FOREHEAD, the CHEST around the heart area and the BOTTOMS of the FEET.

Continue to use the  flat of your hands with circular motions.

Sesame Oil is Good For MORE Than Massage:

Read all about the health benefits of sesame seeds in your body and also in your kitchen.

We use  it to help improve digestion in our Online Health Classes and to help Detoxification.

 

23 Hot Health Tips for the Cold Winter

By |January 16th, 2014|

woman funning

Winter brings the cold and snow. This  can be stressful for us on many levels.  We may notice an increase in things like dryness, body pains, lethargy, coughs, flues and even depression.

Have you noticed that in the winter your body craves more food? This is natural since the body is trying to nourish itself against these stresses.  We can also  be less physically active.  Combining too much food with less physical activity is a  recipe for poor health and weight gain.

Check out the following 23 ways we can remedy the cold and dryness of winter  to maintain good health and avoid weight gain.

 23 Hot Winter Health Tips

1.  Drink 6 – 10 cups of warming liquids such as hot water and herbal teas to prevent dehydration.

 2. Eat freshly prepared warm food to enhance circulation and increase warmth in your body.

3. Keep warm, wear warm natural fiber clothes (soft wool is excellent if you are not allergic to it).

4. Increase your fiber intake to keep bowels clean.

5. Add these strengthening warming vegetables to your meals: Avocados, Beets, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots, Pumpkins, Winter Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Cabbage, Onions, and Mung Beans.

6. Get enough sleep. We need 7-8 hours of sleep per night. When we are not getting enough sleep, our body becomes vulnerable to illness. It is fuel!

7. Eat bitter greens like radicchio, arugula, endive, and cabbage for balancing in this season.

8. Avoid tomatoes, cucumbers and leafy lettuce (these are cooling summer foods).

9. Give yourself a daily sesame oil massage to moisten the skin in this dry season and to calm the nervous system. It is rich in fatty acids to help repair dry skin making it soft and smooth.

1o. Every day go for a 20 to 60 minute walk out in the fresh air even when it is cold to connect with the earth and air.

11. Drink warming herbal teas with spices like ginger, cinnamon and cardamom tea.

12. Avoid refined sugar which weakens the immune system.

13. Use healthy sweeteners (in limited quantities) like Manuka Honey which will strengthen the immune system, Molasses full of iron and other minerals and coconut sugar with its low glycemic index.

14.  Read books, listen to music, meditate or whatever is restful for you.  Good rest is vital to balance.

15. Eat nuts and seeds (in limited quantities) like Almonds, Cashews, Brazil Nuts, Walnuts, Hazel nuts, Flax Seeds and Sesame seeds will provide necessary vitamins, natural oils and provide required nutrients to keep the body warm.

16. Use spices like Fennel, Cumin, Coriander, Ginger, Anise, Cinnamon, Black pepper, Turmeric, Mustard seeds and Cardamom to help the digestion and help eliminate gas.

18. Get some direct sunlight as much as possible. There is less sun  in winter but your body craves it.

19.  Cut out mucous forming foods like Dairy, Eggs and Wheat especially if you are prone to colds and flues.

20. Eat gluten free grains like Quinoa, Barley, Buckwheat, and Millet; they are full of nutrients and not clogging to a sensitive winter digestive system.

21.  Eliminate refined oils and […]

Is Sugar the New Tobacco?

By |January 9th, 2014|

 pretty cupcakes

‘Sugar is the new tobacco,’ said Simon Capewell, professor of clinical epidemiology at the University of Liverpool.

Being an ex-sugar addict this news caught my attention right away and love what is happening in Great Britain. I am proud of them.

‘Action on Sugar’  has formed a campaign to tackle obesity and diabetes in the UK.  They are putting pressure on the government and industry to reduce the sugar content of food and drinks by up to 30%.   The idea is to halt the obesity epidemic and reduce chronic disease in a practical way that will work and cost very little.

“The science says that sugar is dangerous exclusive of its calories,  just like alcohol, the alcohol of childhood”. says chair of Action Againt Sugar Professor Graham MacGregor.

Marketing ploys to cut calories is not working. Industry must lower sugar content of processed foods, UK doctors are saying.  Action on Sugar says asking firms to make voluntary changes has failed.  Political attempts such as New York’s fat tax on non-diet soft drink often fail because of powerful  resistance from the food industry.

What they plan to do is educate people about ‘hidden sugars’ and get manufacturers to reduce the ingredient over time. The goal is an eventual sugar reduction of 20% to 30% in three to five years. Done slowly like this consumers will not notice the difference in taste.

 “Added sugar has no nutritional value whatsoever and causes no feeling of satiety.  Aside from being a major cause of obesity, there is increasing evidence that added sugar increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and fatty liver.” says Dr Aseem Malhotra, cardiologist and science director of Action on Sugar.

 Action on Sugar has a goal to tackle the obesity epidemic both in the UK and worldwide.

“the cost of obesity to the NHS is approximately £1 billion a year, with an additional £2.3 to £2.6 billion per year to the economy as a whole. If the current trend is not halted, by 2010 the cost to the economy alone could be £3.6 billion a year, and by 2050 it could be £45 billion a year, according to experts.”  Medical Research Council

Some of the big sugar culprits are:

  • Coca Cola or Pepsi – 1 can has 9 teaspoons of sugar.
  • Flavoured water – Glaceau Vitamin Water has four teaspoons of sugar in a 500ml bottle. 
  • Sports drinks – 32 ounce Gatorade has 14 teaspoons of sugar. 
  • Yogurts – even zero-fat yoghurts can contain five teaspoons of sugar.
  • Ketchup – 3 tsp of ketchup has 1 tsp of sugar.
  • Ready meals – Sharwood’s sweet and sour chicken with rice 6 teaspoons.
  • Heinz tomato soup has 4 teaspoons
  • Mars bar has 8 teaspoons of sugar
  • 2 Slices White Bread contains 6 teaspoons of sugar

Studies link Sugar to Obesity and Diabetes
A Harvard medical school study showed that the sugar in one can a day is enough to add four kilos or ten pounds of body fat a year. Drinking more than one can a day increases the chance of obesity by sixty percent.

woman eating donutHow much sugar do we consume?

  • The average British person consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day. 
  • The average American consumes 22.2 teaspoons of added sugar each day.
  • The average Canadian consumes 26 teaspoons of sugar per day! 

This latest news from Britain makes me wonder why we are not doing what they are here in North America.  Being overweight and obese is even bigger over here. 

10 Super Sneaky Weight Loss Tips

By |November 4th, 2013|

Many of us would love to lose those few extra pounds.

The problem is that restricting what we are eating sounds difficult, and we aren’t sure we’ll be able to stick with it or even want to stick with it.

These tips are sneaky because you don’t have to actually restrict anything! You just add foods or change the way you eat. Pick out one or two that work with your lifestyle and have fun!

1. Eat a handful of raw, soaked nuts and seeds 20 minutes before meals.

  • Twenty minutes is the time it takes for your body to tell your brain that it has received nutrition.
  • Your brain then decides you do not need to eat so much more.
  • Nuts contain protein and good slimming fats.

2. Eat half a Grapefruit before each meal.

  • Remember the trendy 80’s diet involving gorging on grapefruit to lose tons of weight? It was highly restrictive.
  • But, you can lose up to a pound a week by eating half a grapefruit before sensible meals!
  • Or eat whatever you usually do and lose 3.6 pounds in 12 weeks. (Research at the Nutrition and Medical Research Centre at Scripps Clinic)

3. Smelling food can trick your brain into thinking you’ve eaten.

  • A study found those who inhaled peppermint scent every 2 hours ate 2,700 calories LESS per week than normal.
  • That’s a fat loss of more than half a pound a week!

4. Brush your teeth.

  • When you feel like you want to indulge in something not healthy, try brushing your teeth with mint-flavored toothpaste.
  • You typically won’t feel like eating when there is a minty flavor in their mouth and toothpaste makes most foods taste bad.

5. Do not eat while watching TV.

  • It increases your calories by 40 percent more than usual.

6. Spice up your food.

  • Adding hot spices to your meals can reduce hunger. (Study in the British Journal of Nutrition)
  • Capsaicin (found in chilies) triggers your brain to release feel-good endorphins. (Scientists at the State University of New York at Buffalo)

7. Eat with chopsticks. For some of you, this will be a major way to lose weight because you will not be able to eat your food at all!

  • When eating with chopsticks, more attention is required in picking up food from the plate. The bite size and portions are smaller.
  • It takes more time helping you to slow down and enjoy.
  • May help you realize you’re full sooner and then you’ll wind up eating less!

8. Take 10 minutes to eat a treat.

  • This habit could totally reduce your cravings!
  • Take out one serving of your favorite treat.
  • Allow a minute to smell it, look at it and think about it.
  • Now take one small bite, chewing slowly, focus on the texture and taste, and then swallow.
  • Before the next bite, ask yourself if you really want more.
  • Repeat this sequence with your treat 20 times. This should take about 10 minutes.
  • “Many of our participants …. didn’t enjoy the treat as much as they thought they would, or they were content after just a couple of bites and were better able to stop eating when they were satisfied.” – Lesley Lutes, PhD, at department of psychology at East Carolina University.

9. Get enough sleep and rest.

  • People gain weight when not getting enough sleep.
  • Even just a few nights of sleep deprivation can lead to immediate weight gain. (Research University of Pennsylvania)

10. Focus on Nutrients, Not Calorie Counting

  • Eat lots of whole foods and vegetables and make sure you have healthy meals and snacks with smart carbs, protein, and fat.
  • Filling up with high-nutrient foods […]