Archive for the ‘Organic Foods’ Category

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Winter: A time to dream of my spring garden

In Backyard Gardening,Minnesota,Organic,Organic Foods,Organic Gardening on February 17, 2015 by organicconversion Tagged: , , , , ,

dandelions in the yard

It’s winter here in Minnesota. It’s cold and hard to believe Spring is ever going to get here, but I know it will & hopefully this year we can garden for real and grow some of our own food. Last year my seed babies all died 😦 It was because we were in a hurry up and wait moving situation waiting to get into our new house and they got left in the little recycle containers too long and then traveled in the back of the truck in the open wind for more than an hour which pretty much did the one’s that survived in. It was very sad.

The pic is from our yard when we moved in – a dandelion haven!

We have our spot for the new garden all picked out. We still have a ton of seeds from last year. I’ll probably get some more of a few things, but the big thing will be breaking the ground and getting it ready to plant. Right now it’s Minnesota prairie & last year it was horse pasture.

Last year all the garden’s around here got wiped out by late Spring and flooding. Even the farmer’s didn’t do that well unless they put in a late crop of winter wheat.

Still, I’m hoping to learn a ton about organic gardening and actually get some crops this year!

 

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Nutrition for Busy People (Modified Juice Fasting)

In Juicing,Natural Foods,Nutrition,Organic,Organic Foods,Raw foods on January 24, 2014 by organicconversion Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

HA HA ON ME! Kale and Turnip Greens = Not the same thing!kale

I was watching a juicing Youtuber and she suggested using the juicing time to learn as much as you can about nutrition while you are focused on this part of your life…I liked that idea so I’m going to keep finding various blogs, YouTube videos and NetFlix documentaries and watch something each day to support the juicing and to just add to what I know about nutrition.

Later today I’m watching the follow up film to Forks Over Knives: Fire Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue…

Made more red juice and green juice this morning. Ha ha on me, I went to the grocery store last night to get celery and saw some really nice Kale…I got it out this morning and discovered I’d grabbed turnip greens on accident…I don’t think I’ve ever tried turnip greens 🙂 I juiced them up…turnip greens are sort of bitter like a lot of greens so I needed some extra lemon to mask it. Still, the green juice is drinkable this morning and I tried something new.

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Juicing Rollarcoaster (30 days in)

In Juicing,Natural Foods,Nutrition,Organic,Organic Foods,Raw foods on January 24, 2014 by organicconversion Tagged: , , , , , ,

watermelon apple strawberry juiceWhen you aren’t stuffing feelings with food, they come out. Sometimes I’m not surprised at what comes out, but sometimes I really am.

At first when I started juicing…it was like a roller coaster of emotions. One day I was depressed or tried, then angry…then furious…eventually there were nicer emotions like peace and feeling happy and more hopeful…what all that showed me was something I sort of knew but didn’t “get” at the time and that’s that I’d been not really “feeling” any feelings at all for awhile.

So, a month into juicing and there is no roller coaster anymore, but in general I’m more aware of my feelings and express them instead of keeping them frozen. Other people would say I’ve had more of a “temper” and I’m not as nice…I say I simply made a decision that I’m tired of being walked all over and if I can’t change that much at home I can definitely start with no longer making nice and putting up with crap from strangers! I never really thought about it before, but like a lot of women, I was taught to “make nice” and to “be polite” and to “keep the peace”…I see now how often and at what price some of that came to getting my own needs met. I’m still generally nice, but no longer at the price of ME and what I need.

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60 days Juicing (Plus Food) Results

In Budget Organic Food,Natural Foods,Nutrition,Organic,Organic Foods,Raw foods on January 24, 2014 by organicconversion Tagged: , , , ,

strawberry grape juiceJuicing (plus food) for the last 60 days gave me the gift of feeling and being in control of eating instead of being out-of control and feeling powerless over it. It was a launch pad to better nutrition and now I’m tracking vitamins and minerals and focusing on food quality not just calories. Juicing helped me retrain myself to like fruits and vegetables. Juicing helped me conquer my icecream, chocolate, fast food, junk food and nutrition-less food addictions. Juicing helped me stop craving white sugar! That is pretty powerful stuff.

It’s been great for my skin and my rosacea is better than I’ve seen it in several years. Whole areas of my face have completely cleared that had only been growing and staying constant for several years now (it’s a progressive disease). Cleared! Completely and without any expensive and dangerous prescription drugs or creams.

I’ve had tons of energy to get stuff done and to fuel exercise and swimming.

I have to be honest though, the clearing was sometimes brutal in the beginning and even now, whenever my weight drops a little, there is more to clear out of my system. What does that mean? It means in the first two weeks I had all kinds of symptoms popping up. Physically, I had headaches, light sensitivity in my eyes, aches and pains in random spots that seemed to travel and had no cause, trouble sleeping, transient tiredness and fatigue and my rosacea on my face flared up really bad and was so inflamed it was hard to cover with make-up. Emotionally it was a roller coaster. A lot of negative emotions started coming up for me that I needed to deal with. Depression, anxiety and anger hung around a lot right then. Anger is the only one still popping up lately when I exercise.

It did get better though! Each time I felt bad for a few days and my body stabilized again I felt better than I had before all that. For pretty much the entire 60 days it has been like that. The more my body clears both emotions and releases whatever old chemicals or bad stuff it was trying to hide in the fat, the better I feel after the clearing is done. Not just better, but better as in a deep sense of well-being that I can’t remember the last time I felt.

As I’ve been focused on improving the nutrition in my food & juice my cravings have become less. About 45 days in my appetite finally stopped being intermittently crazy. Looking back I can really see now how the drive for more and more food (that I called being hungry) was actually not a call from my body for food the way I fed it, but a call for nutrition.

I looked at old entries for nutrition within my calorie range and saw vitamins and minerals where my intake that day might have been a 6 or a 14 when it should have been 100-250. This week’s adventure has been getting my nutrition within my recommendations and still within my calorie range. The scale and I are arguing right now about these changes to my food, I’m not used to nuts and seeds and I kind of wonder if my body isn’t hoarding nutrients a little bit, in case they go away again.

One thing I only just figured out is that all I need to add to feel “full” is fiber. My fiber was chronically low, even before juicing. Like really low, a 4 or a 7 when it should be 25-35. Note to anyone adding fiber though, start s-l-o-w! My body wasn’t used to anywhere near the lowest of normal fiber so–tummy aches!

I’m not hungry! It is so crazy, but the more I meet the nutritional needs of my body with whole foods (not talking about supplements) the less hungry I feel. It is strange to not only not feel hungry, but to not need as much food to feel full. Now my issue has been how to eat all that food to get the vitamins and minerals! I have to remind myself to spread it out since real food sure goes a long way further to filling you up that the high calorie foods that made up most of my eating before.

So, 60 days later…no pain, no fatigue or unexplained tiredness (just natural tiredness at the end of the day), no anxiety (which was a big part of be deciding to juice in the first place because it was a new symptom I’d never had before in my life and really bothered me), no depression. Still dealing with emotional flare-ups, pretty much whenever the scale goes down. No out of control cravings. Lots of energy. Feeling good, sleeping good. Many good days where exercise and healthy eating is feeling normal, still bad days where it is too easy not to exercise or eat well, to let life get in the way.

I’m going to keep juicing beyond 60 days. I’m not going to do a juice fast right now, but I hope to do one at some point.carrot celery collard greens ginger green apple kale lemon lime parsley   watermelon apple strawberry juice

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Learning to Eat Real Foods

In Nutrition,Organic,Organic Foods,Raw foods,Reading Ingredients and Labels,Reading Nutrition Labels on January 24, 2014 by organicconversion Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

red appleRight now I’m still juicing + food daily, but I’m working on actually tracking and meeting my daily nutrition goals for fiber, vitamins and minerals.

It’s been interesting to review and learn new things about what foods have which vitamins and minerals this week (lots of web research). I’ve had to find some new foods and things I haven’t eaten regularly at the grocery store this week. I’ve even had two trips to the health food store for things my grocery doesn’t carry.

I started with what I was normally eating anyway and looked at where my nutrition was…now I’m figuring out what needs to be added or changed to meet my nutrition needs and not just be within my calorie range.

This week I’ve been working on how to incorporate the nuts & seeds I need and stay within my calorie range…and…getting my body used to eating them!

You can get a good visual of where you are low, not just on a random day, but across the whole week using a free food tracking tool like the one at Sparkpeople.com that I use.

My first go around, here was my list of things that were really low & a few things you can eat with those vitamins and minerals!

Iron=Red meat, spinach
Copper= Cashews, pumpkin seeds, tahini, sunflower seeds
Magnesium=Spinach
Selenium= Brazil nuts, tuna, sunflower seeds
Potassium= White beans, spinach, potatoes in skin, acorn squash, salmon
Phosphorus=sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, squash seeds

For me, it seems like if several things are low on my plan that day, I add a cup of spinach to my plan and all those numbers shoot up to where they are supposed to be (Iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium etc). One Brazil nut has 33 calories, but it also has your entire day of selenium in one nut. Cashews have a lot of calories (320 in .5 cup) so a little goes a long way for nuts & seeds and you have to measure. Cashews also have a ton of copper which I haven’t been getting anywhere else before adding them.

On Spark nutrition entries people are lazy and only put the standard food label values in…that label doesn’t list all the vitamins and minerals in a food. You have to check and either look it up and create your own entry or “favorite” the ones you find that do include it. Nuts and seeds are a good example why that is bad. They have a lot of calories and high fat so people avoid them. They have carbs+protein+(good) fat (a whole food). When you look up the actual nutrition nuts and seeds have a variety of minerals and vitamins in them…naturally vs. fortified foods like milk or cereal where it is only “healthy” because they’ve added powdered vitamin to it.

When I was very little (4 and 5 years old) we lived with my grandparents. When I look back now I can see so many things that were part of a healthy lifestyle that we did, that were lost when we didn’t live with them anymore. I remember my grandma juicing and making homemade orange juice and V8 like veggie juices, carrot juice…I also remember nightly walks after dinner with the cat following us and things like the exercise bike with the speedometer I used to like to ride and the floor exercises my grandma taught me back then. As I’m rediscovering, reviewing, re-learning and learning totally new things about food, exercise and being healthy things like that come back to me.

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Organic Psyllium Husk from India review

In Natural Foods,Organic,Organic Foods,Organic Product Reviews,Raw foods on September 11, 2013 by organicconversion Tagged: , ,

Image“100% certified organic fiber. Heart healthy. USDA organic. Excellent source of natural dietary fiber. About psyllium. Psyllium fiber is a convenient way to maintain gastrointestinal health. Derived from the seeds of the herb plantago ovata, this bulk-forming dietary fiber naturally promotes healthy elimination and regularity while supporting the gastrointestinal system. Why organic psyllium. Psyllium is one of India’s key export crops, providing approximately 85% of the world’s supply. While conventional psyllium husk products offer high fiber, most of these crops are grown on conventional industrialized fertilizers, and post-harvest chemical treatments. Organic India psyllium is certified organic. No synthetic pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, or chemical treatments are used at any time.” – Google product description

I like this product, I found it at the local natural foods store and I add it to my morning protein smoothies to bulk up my daily fiber. It is best to drink it right away before the fiber bulks up (which takes a few minutes in the cup). It will make you feel full longer. I like knowing that it is organic because these are the husks which is where pesticides would be heaviest in conventionally grown foods.

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Famous frozen banana non-dairy dessert recipe

In Healthy Organic Recipes,Organic Foods,Raw foods on September 11, 2013 by organicconversion Tagged: , ,

This is not my recipe, but one that can be found all over the Internet right now! Endless variations! You can add strawberries, chocolate, nuts…whatever you want!

Frozen organic banana dessert (Like icecream, but better for you!)

Freeze one organic banana per serving in a plastic bag without the peel. I cut mine into pieces before freezing.

Place frozen banana pieces in blender or food processor and blend until it has smooth icecream-like consistency.

Eat up! Healthy and tasty!

choco-banana

If you like the banana taste then this is a great use for overripe bananas. If not, freeze yellow bananas with no brown spots for a milder taste.

Add one or two teaspoons of unsweetened cocoa powder and make it chocolate banana dessert! Yum! Unsweet cocoa powder is a great source of the mineral copper in our diet.