Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Plastic is EVERYWHERE! Look around. I’ve know this for a while but this behind the scenes experience made me realize how much it is everywhere even when we don’t see it.

While out the other day I stopped to get my favorite fast food (organic) coffee. While sitting at the drive up window I watched as the employees got ready for the day. As I watched, an employee took out a thick plastic bag, probably the size of a 9x12 bake pan , filled with a thick orange substance. She put it in a big metal dispenser out came the orange substance into a big PLASTIC cup full of a customers nutritious morning orange juice. So, not only is the orange juice stored and transported in a thick plastic bag it is then put in a plastic cup for our consumption. This is just a small view of how plastic is everywhere. Plastic is used because it is lightweight, easily moldable, performs many jobs, to name a few. But plastic is very toxic. I know we need plastics but I believe we should be educated about its affects on us so we can make educated consumer choices.

What made me write about plastics and why is it such a big deal to me you ask?? It is this. Endocrine disruptors. The basics of what they are, what they do to us and the environment is as follows:

What is an endocrine disruptor?

An endocrine disruptor is a manmade chemical that when absorbed into the body mimics or blocks hormones. This reaction disrupts the body’s normal functions.

Chemicals that are known human endocrine disruptors :

  • Bisphenol-A: A synthetic substance used to make polycarbonated plastics found in food and drink containers, the lining of tin cans, toys, baby bottles, plastic wraps only to name a few. This Chemical leaches out into food and water.

  • Phthalates: Synthetic substance added to plastics to make them softer, more flexible and resiliant. This substance is found in IV tubing, vinyl flooring, glues, inks, detergents, plastic bags, children’s toys, shower curtains, soaps, shampoos, perfumes, hair spray, nail polish.

  • Parabens: Compounds used as preservatives in many, many cosmetic, food and pharmaceutical products.

  • PBDE’s (polybrominated diphenyl ethers): Found in flame retardent furniture, mattresses, carpets, curtains, just to name a few. This substance is stored in animal fats and thus found in dairy products, meat, fish and human breast milk. It has been banned in several countries. It has also been found in house dust.

  • PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyls): A highly toxic synthetic chemical compound found in lubricating oils in pipelines, mixed with adhesives, paper, inks, paints and dyes. PCB’s have been banned since 1976 in new products but they are highly stable compounds and degrade very slowly so these chemicals still exist.

  • Dioxin: Dioxin is a general name applied to a group of hundreds of chemicals that are highly persistent in the environment. The most toxic Dioxin compound is TCDD. Dioxin is formed as a by-product of many industrial processes involving clorine, such as pulp and paper bleaching, pesticide manufacturing and wast incineration. Small molecules are diffused into the air and land in soil, where they are eaten by soil microbes. From there they pass into the food chain of meat, fish, dairy products and breast milk. We absorb 90% of the dioxin in our bodies through food sources... I don’t think I’ve ever seen this on a food label, have you???? UGGHH!!

The good news is that levels have been decreasing since the 1990’s with environmental measures but it is still the most prevalent toxic chemical in our environment.

Heavy metals: Mercury and lead, cadmium and arsenic are used widely.

  • Diethylstilbesterol (DES drug): A drug used in the 60’s and 70’s given to women to help avoid miscarriages.

  • DDT and some other pesticides: toxic to the nervous system and reproductive system.

Exposure to endocrine disruptors happens often through direct contact with the chemicals or through ingestion of contaminated water, food or air.

Endocrine disruptors can leach out of plastics. These disruptors accumulate in fat.

Many plant and animal species are showing signs of ill health due to exposure to these chemicals. For example, fish in the Great Lakes, which are contaminated with PCBs have reproductive problems as well as swollen thyroid glands. Fish eating birds are showing similar dysfunctions.

Scientists think that the declining alligator population in Lake Apopka, Florida is connected to a large pesticide spill several years earlier and the alligators have been found to have these endocrine disruptors in their bodies and eggs.

So you say “So, fish and birds aren’t the same as humans, right?”

Wrong. All vertebrates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, including humans) similar during the embryonic development. Scientists can therefore use evidence acquired on other species regarding endocrine disruptors on humans.

There is also direct endocrine disruption evidence in humans. DES, a synthetic estrogen from the 1960’s and 70’s used to prevent miscarriages has been known to create high rates of vaginal cancers as well as birth defects of the uterus and ovaries and immune system suppression in teenage daughters of women who used this drug.

Children are of greater risk from affects of these disruptors because of the development of vital organs during childhood years. They are more vulnerable to this exposure.

The majority of chemicals on the market do not even go through the simplest testing for toxicity before allowed for sale and use. So you can’t trust the higher ups to help us on this one. And we all know plastics are made from petrochemicals (crude oil). But that’s a whole other story for another time.

This information is to say the least daunting. As I researched and wrote I cringed and wanted to throw everything in my house away and go live in a cave and grow my own food. But that is just not realistic or fun. So what can we realistically do about all of this?

Here are 10 things to start:

1. Get educated and then educate your family and friends. Even if they don’t want to hear it it may be in the back of their minds and eventually may think about it.

2. Buy organic when possible.

3. Baits and traps are good for pests. Also, keep your home clean to prevent roach infestations.

4. Campaign for non toxic alternatives when you can.

5. Eat fish from lakes rivers or bays and check with your state to see if they are contaminated.

6. Avoid plastic containers, ESPECIALLY heating food in them.

7. Avoid storing fatty foods in plastic containers or plastic wrap. Use glass instead.

8. Do not give young children soft plastic teethers or toys, since both leach potential endocrine disrupting chemicals.

9. Read the labels on soaps, shampoos, nail polish, hairspray especially using it on children.

10. Use reusable cloth bags for the supermarket. I like these anyways....easier to carry, they don’t cut into my hands and I can fit more into them.

This may all be daunting to you. I know it is to me. Plastics can’t be avoided completely but I think we can limit our use by making better choices. These choices aren’t always convenient but aren’t we and our families worth the trouble?

By the way, my organic coffee came to me in a styrofoam cup. I poured it to a ceramic coffee cup when I got home.


Natural Resources Defense Council,, retrieved 11/23/09, retrieved 11/24/09, retrieved 11/24/09

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Breakfast Club

Ok, when your parents say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day we really should listen to them. A recent study of 93 Latino children with a family history of type 2 diabetes revealed that skipping breakfast added more abdominal fat to those children who skipped eating breakfast regardless of what the total body fat or the daily calorie intake of the children was. As a note deep abdominal fat is a risk factor for insulin resistance and diabetes..... Breakfast doesn’t have to be difficult or too involved. We all know how hard it is to get out of the house in the morning. Yogurt topped with fruit or whole wheat toast with peanut butter would be a good start. Also, smoothies are fun...try this one

Pretty in Pink Smoothie

2 bananas

around 3/4 cup of raspberries

2/3 cup cranberry juice

add in some ground flax seed if you like

Nutrients in this smoothie (without the flaxseed) are beta-carotene, biotin, folic acid, vitamins b1, b3, b6 and c; calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulphur.

Who knew you could get all that in one quick whip of a blender!

Source: Diabetes Forecast, November 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

  • Oatmeal/Chocolate Chip/Coconut Cookies

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Sucanet sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups white/whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, add the milk and vanilla.
  • Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the sugar mixture until well blended.
  • Stir in the oats, chocolate chips. walnuts and coconut until evenly distributed.
  • Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.Bake 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven.
  • Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chicken BB Q Sandwiches (adapted from Rachel Ray


  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 bottle Mexican beer (Corona)
  • 4 pieces, 6 ounces each boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for pan
  • 1 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 2 tablespoons grill seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning, by McCormick)
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown paste
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 soft bulkie rolls


    Bring liquids to a simmer in a small to medium skillet and slide in the chicken breast meat. Gently poach the chicken 10 minutes, turning once about after 5 minutes.

    While chicken poaches, heat a second medium skillet over medium low heat. To hot skillet, add extra-virgin olive oil and garlic and onion and gently saute until chicken is ready to come out of poaching liquids. Combine the next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl and reserve.

    When the chicken has cooked through, add 2 ladles of the cooking liquid to the bowl, combining with the sauces, spices, brown sugar and tomato paste. Once the liquids and seasonings are combined, remove chicken, slice it, and transfer to the medium bowl. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken and combine with the liquids. Add the shredded chicken to the onions and garlic and combine well. Simmer together 5 to 10 minutes, using extra cooking liquids to make your chicken as saucy as you like.

    Fill bulkie roll and enjoy.

Friday, August 14, 2009


I have 5 weeks to get up to running 3 . 1 miles... I'm up to 2 straight. Do you think I can do it? I have to do it. I already signed up. :) I figure I always have the choice to walk some of it. We always have choices. I admire those who have already conquered what I'm trying to do.. It's not easy. It takes persistence, mental training as well as physical training. You have no idea how many times I give myself pep talks during my workouts. I think of all those who are in wheelchairs who would love the opportunity to feel the burn in their legs, I think about how all I have to do is make it to the next telephone poll then the next corner and so on. I'll try again tomorrow with a new route.... then on Sunday I'm going to check out the route for September 27th and see what that entails. Have a great day. Working on staying Forevafit.

Running form

I'm signed up for the Jack Kerouac 5K September 27, 2009 ( and need all the help I can get to reach my goal of making it to the end. I found a great video on proper running techniques. If you're interested click on the link below to watch.

Click on the link here:

Running for my life! :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


If you're looking fo
r an alternative to Koolaid for your kids try
"Splash". It tastes great....and has only Truvia and evaporated cane juice for sweeteners. Just a note that each packet is two servings....tricky... I measured it out and there is a tablespoon in each packet. So 1/2 tablespoon per serving. It's available at Whole Foods.

Monday, August 10, 2009


I’ve been looking for a great blueberry muffin recipe and I think I’ve found it with this one. It’s an easy recipe and they came out moist and sweet.
Part of my childrens memories of christmas are that of the smell of burnt cookies (laugh out loud). My oven at the time was old and the temperature was not always accurate. So I feel I need to make it up to them by delivering the best baked goods and this one definitely delivers!!!


1 3/4 cup white wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 egg
1 cup organic yogurt
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
about 1/2 tablespoon ground flax seed
Optional brown sugar to sprinkle on top
Vegetable spray, for the muffin tins or use foil cup cake holders


Preheat oven to 380 degrees F.
Mix in mixer egg, oil, yogurt. Add baking soda, baking powder, flour and flax seed.
Fold in Blueberries. Spoon into individual muffin tins. Sprinkle with tops with brown sugar.

Bake for about 20-25 min.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dont stop!!!

Going two days without working out is enough to cause the size of fat cells to increase by 25 percent, according to research at the University of Missouri at Columbia. So try and do something 30 minutes a day!


Saturday, July 18, 2009

Milk Comparison

Whole milk (1 cup) 
150 kal 
8 grams of fat
(5 grams of saturated fat

Fat Free Milk (1 cup)
90 kcal
less than 1 gram of fat
(less than 1 gram saturated fat

Friday, July 17, 2009

I say to myself everyday "How much do I want it"!
Stained Glass Sun....Foreva doing something!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I will Run that 5k!

It's getting easier to run the intervals....moving up to 10 min intervals tomorrow!

Did you know that you get more dehydrated running on a treadmill than you do running outside? You have the breeze/air outside to cool your body down and not so on a treadmill so make sure you're re-hydrating yourself!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Can't run to save my life but I think I want to try!

I am definitely not a runner. I have run in the past such as running as a kid while playing or running from the cops as a teenager (lol) and running as a mother to catch up with my kids, but never long distance. Whenever I see a person jogging or running I envision them as very powerful in mind and body. I believe it takes a lot of mental and physical strength to run. Very possibly more mental strength than physical strength. So I'm going to gather up my strength and focus on getting myself first to a mile then three then maybe 5. We'll see, one step at a time.
My plan to start is interval running. I will walk for 5 minutes and run for 5 minutes for an hour for this week (3x). In between I will row and strength train. To run, it is necessary for your whole body to be strong, not just your legs. You use your core as well as your arms to run, so here I go, off and running! Wish me luck! (although luck has nothing to do with it. Persistence is the key). Comments welcome!

By the way, you can't run on empty so fuel up!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Friday, June 5, 2009

Acai Energy Smoothie

2 packs original Acai
1 organic banana
8 oz organic plain rice milk or apple juice
4 oz organic mixed berries (frozen are fine)

Mix in blender and enjoy! Flax seed can be added for an extra bonus or liquid vitamins to ensure your getting your daily dose.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Blueberry Energy Muffins

These muffins are sweetened with bananas only! Great tasting and easy to enjoy at breakfast or as a low calorie snack.

1 cup mashed banana
2 egg whites
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup refined coconut oil
2 cups wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup frozen blueberries, left to thaw in a strainer

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 18 standard-sized muffin cups with paper liners.
In a large bowl, combine banana, egg whites, water and oil. Add the flour and mix. Gently fold in blueberries. Immediately spoon batter into muffin cups.
Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove muffins from tins and cool on a wire rack.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 98 calories, 4g fat, 13g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 3g protein.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Incorporating natural sweeteners instead of white sugar

To incorporate a liquid sweetener such as honey or agave nectar into your recipe instead of white sugar, use about 3/4 of the recipe's original sweetener quantity.

source: Clean eating, July/August 2009

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Fair Trade day is May 9th, 2009 (click to go to

“Getting money is not all a man’s business; to cultivate kindness is a valuable part of business life”. Samuel Jackson

What is “Fair Trade”?

I started thinking and wondering what “Fair Trade” was when I started shopping at Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe’s. There I saw many items that were labeled “Fair Trade”. I was looking for a good organic coffee and came across Dean’s Bean’s coffee.
I have to say that this is the best coffee I’ve ever had. It tastes just as good as its awesome aroma and this, in my book, is hard to find when it comes to coffee. Dean’s Bean’s coffee is organic and fair trade and this started my quest for the definition of fair trade. This is some what I found:

Fair trade means “an equitable and fair partnership between consumers in North America and producers in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean”.

The Fair Trade’s principles include the following;

• Producers receive a fair price, a living wage. Farmer groups are guaranteed minimum floor price and an additional premium for organic products.
• Forced labor and forced child labor are not allowed
• Buyers and producers trade under direct and long term relationships eliminating the middleman and empowering farmers to develop business to compete in the global marketplace.
• Producers have access to financial technical assistance
• Sustainable production techniques are encouraged. Environmentally sustainable farming methods are favored which protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems.
• Working conditions are healthy and safe.
• Equal opportunities are provided for all

Fair trade helps farmers provide for their families basic needs and invest in community development such as scholarship programs, quality improvement trainings and organic certification.
In the USA, Transfair USA places the “Fair Trade Certified” label on fair trade products. Fair trades certification insures that the workers are paid fair wages, are free from abusive labor practices and use environmentally sustainable methods.

Fair Trade focuses on a wide variety of goods but most notably, handcrafts, coffee, cocoa, sugar, tea, bananas, honey, cotton, wine, chocolate and flowers.

I now choose differently when there is a choice between the same type of product and one is fair trade and one isn’t. I personally feel that there is more to business than just getting money as Samuel Jackson so eloquently phrased it. I don’t always feel I have the opportunity to “give back” to the world so buying fair trade products is one of the ways I do… Let’s play fair ;)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Organic: What does that really mean?

Organic: What does that really mean?

Eating healthy is very important to me. So when it comes to shopping for food I try to choose high quality whole foods. This includes organic food. Organic food is a bit pricier than conventional grown or raised food so should I really spend the extra money?

Well, here is some information for any of you, like me, who just wants to know what I’m buying and what organic really means.

  • “100% organic” food must carry the green and white “USDA organic seal”. These are usually whole foods such as fruits and vegetables.
  • “Organic” foods must contain 95% of organic ingredients and the rest of the ingredients come from a list of allowable ingredients. “Organic” foods also carry the green and white USDA seal.. These foods are often whole frozen or canned foods.
  • “Made with organic ingredients” are at least 70% organic. These foods can not carry the USDA seal. These foods may be any type of processed or packaged food.

In 2002 the US Department of Agriculture implemented standards for American farmers and manufacturers and to be organic foods must be:

  1. Grown or produced with out chemical pesticides or fertilizers.
  2. Livestock with out the use of antibiotics or growth hormones
  3. Can not be genetically modified, irradiated or cloned.
  4. Livestock must be raised with outdoor access and fed organic feed.

Before a product can be labeled “organic” an inspector visits the farm or manufacturer where the food is produced to make sure they meet the guidelines.

There are federal laws in place that will fine manufacturers and farmers up to $10,000.00 for each violation of selling or labeling food that is not organic or food that is contaminated with non organic compounds.

Some farmers may practice organic standards and guidelines but choose to avoid the red tape of getting certified.

Is organic food better for you? Researchers at the University of California at Davis have found higher nutrients in organic kiwi, corn, tomatoes and strawberries grown side by side with conventional.

I buy organic whenever possible especially when it comes to the “Dirty Dozen”. These foods, according the Environmental Working Group, have the highest level of pesticides when bought conventional. These foods are the following (in order from highest pesticide level to lowest): Peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, kale, lettuce, grapes (imported), carrots, and pears. I also buy organic meats because I think they taste better.

So the choice is yours. It’s good to have choices and it’s also good to get educated on what you put into and on your body. Stay healthy and happy!

Sources: Cooking Light April 2009

Healthy Potato Salad on Foodista

Friday, April 3, 2009

"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."Howard Thurman

Monday, March 30, 2009

Focus + Focus = Success

Exercise Ball Workout

What will an exercise ball do for you?

Exercising with an exercise ball will :

1. Improve joint flexibility
2. Increase strength and balance
3. Improve posture and coordination
4. Keep you from getting bored with your regular exercise program

What can you do with the ball?

1. Stretches and warm ups
2. Ab and core exercises
3. Upper body exercises
4. Lower body exercises

Examples of exercises:

Upper body:

Ball push ups (my favorite)
chest press
seated bicep curls
inclined bicep curls
tricep curls

Abs and core:

Crunches (seated, lower ab lean, oblique crunch)
Sun and moons

Lower body:

Hamstring curls

These are just some of the exercises you can do with an exercise ball. There are so many variations, you can even make up your fun is that! I use the ball as an exercise bench and do seated shoulder presses, bicep curls and tricep exercises with weights and bands. Most balls come with instructions and you can also buy videos at

An exercise ball is a great tool to have at home to change up your exercise routine. Remember, your muscles get bored too and when they do they don't make any progress.

Remember always stay focused on your form (a mirror helps with this) and always breath during exercising.....exhale on exertion.

As always consult with a physician before starting any exercise program.....Good luck!!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Next Blog will focus on one of the workout modes from the previous post. Any preferences?


Ok, so it's cold and I find it hard to go out and walk. I know I should be more motivated to go out but I'm just not. So how do we exercise to keep up a good mood and health? All we need is one or more of the following:

  • Exercise ball
  • Exercise bands
  • Jump rope
  • T.V. (cable w/ demand or fit tv)
  • DVD player
  • dumbbell weights (3-5 lb for beginner) 8-12 lb for intermediate

You can workout just every part of your body with an exercise ball. The ball comes with an instructional pamphlet that will show you what exercises you can do or if you want videos you can look online. has many instructional videos.

Exercise bands also work out pretty much all parts of your body. Same thing, they come with instructions.

A jump rope is a cheap easy way to do cardio! I guess if you live in an apartment of have very limited space it might be a bit of a challenge but I say where there's a will there's a way. Just move that furniture over!

I have Comcast cable and they have great programs on Demand and on Fit Tv that you can turn on pretty much anytime and get some sort of exercise class right in your own living room. I plan on doing yoga tonight!

Use your dvd player. has great exercise dvd's. You can actually watch some of the video before you purchase it. I have a friend who loves the "Firm" dvd's. My next purchase will be the kettlebell dvd. Kettlebells are also a fantastic exercise.

Dumbells are a traditional way to strength train, build new bone and muscle and build up your immune system. They can be purchased in any sporting goods store. I found some at "Play it again sports". This is a used sporting goods store. Good stuff cheap!

And last but not least is the old fashion hoola hoop! Yeah it works great on your abs and beats boring crunches.

With all of these options there really is no excuse not to exercise even when you have little money and little time.

Just put on your workout clothes and remind yourself how much better your going to feel when you finish your workout and get moving! And believe me you will not regret it.

Let me know if you need anything!

Monday, January 12, 2009


It's staying light later! Yay! This excites me! At 4:45 p.m. today it was still light out and it was like someone gave me a gift. I hate the winter. It makes me want to curl up and hibernate and make (and eat) cookies. Not good! I have gone as far as setting my bedroom lamp on a timer so it goes off when I wake up so it seems like the sun just came up. Even though it won't be up for another hour and a half!
So, I have self-diagnosed myself with SAD. I've decided that the next investment I make won't be in the stock market, it will be in buying a light box. They sell ones that sit on your end table or desk and they simulate daylight. Well worth the $80-90. It beats the price of flying to sunny Florida.

The actual symptoms of SAD are:

  • Depression
  • Hopelessness
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of energy
  • Social withdrawal
  • Oversleeping
  • Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods in carbohydrates, i.e. cookies
  • Weight gain (from the cookies)
  • Difficulty concentrating and processing information

Causes can be:

  • An increase in melatonin, a sleep related hormone that has been related to depression.
  • A decrease in serotonin, a natural brain chemical, which is caused by a decrease in sunlight.
  • A disruption in your circadian rhythm which is a physiological process that helps regulate the body's internal clock.

Risk factors:

  • Northern locations
  • Family history (potential genetic component)

If you have severe symptoms please see a physician. Light therapy, medications, and psychotherapy are possible treatments. But remember that spring is JUST AROUND THE CORNER. I know because it's lighter later and they're starting to sell the gardening products in the stores!!!!! :) When you think that March is only a month and a half away it doesn't sound so bad. I'm starting to plan my garden and this is better therapy than any drug can offer!! Get out in the sun for 15 minutes and get your vitamin D. Have a great day!

Adapted from, retrieved January 12, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Eating Together As A Family Creates Better Eating Habits Later In Life
ScienceDaily (Sep. 4, 2007) — Eating together as a family during adolescence is associated with lasting positive effects on dietary quality in young adulthood, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota.