REAL FOOD CHALLENGE # 14 : DUMP THAT AGAVE

Agave is touted as this healthy and low glycemic sweetener, but in reality it is almost pure fructose. What does this mean? It means instead of your body using it for energy, your body metabolizes it in the liver. 

This is why fructose is being labeled as a major contributor to the rising incidence of type 2 diabetes and non alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Which brings me to this weeks Real Food Challenge! Drop that Agave! I am challenging you to stop using Agave and buying agave sweetened snacks and trade it up for a healthier sweetener like honey, coconut sugar or maple syrup. 
Don't forget though, sugar is still sugar no matter what kind you consume and it's best in moderation- regardless of the type.

I made a quick video for you explaining why you want to toss that Agave, I hope you will share it with everyone you know!

 


I need your help. Will you post about your participation on social media? Tag me (@realfoodology) and use the hashtag #RealFoodC
 

REAL FOOD CHALLENGE #13 LEARN YOUR COOKING OILS!

Welcome back to another week!

This week I am challenging you to learn what cooking oils to use when and to toss out that canola and vegetable oil for healthier oils!

Not all oils are created equally and each has a distinct place in the kitchen. Every oil has a set Smoke Point, meaning if it reaches a certain temperature the oil will oxidize (turn rancid) and turn carcinogenic, or cancer causing.

This is why you should only cook with certain oils that have higher smoke points. Keep this in mind when using oils in the kitchen.

For baking: Coconut, Avocado, ghee, butter or Palm. (be careful to only buy sustainably sourced palm).

For Sautéing: Avocado, Coconut or Sesame

For Dressings/Dippings: Olive, Flax, Walnut, Avocado or toasted sesame. 

For frying: Coconut, Ghee, Avocado or Sesame

**Be careful with refined oils, some refined oils are refined using chemical solvents, so do your research only buy quality refined oils. 

Olive Oil has a low smoke point, so you only want to use Olive Oil in cold dishes such as salads and pasta salad.

Coconut Oil is the best oil to cook with because of it's high smoke point, it is able to withstand much higher temperatures. Coconut oil also has powerful health benefits. It is particularly rich in a fatty acid called Lauric Acid which can improve cholesterol and help kill bacteria and other pathogens. It can also boost your energy (your body uses the medium chain triglycerides as energy) and metabolism and increase feelings of fullness. 

 

Avocado oil is more than 50% monounsaturated oil, making it especially good for your heart. It's also a great option for high heat for when you don't want a strong flavor like you get with coconut, Avocado oil has a very neutral taste. Make sure your avocado oil is cold pressed and naturally refined, this brings it's smoke point higher. As with everything else, you want to make sure you get a quality oil. I prefer Chosen Foods Avocado Oil. 

 

Butter (& Ghee) is back on the table! Butter has been demonized for a long time because of it's saturated fat content. Turns out, all the studies we did on saturated fats were done using hydrogenated coconut oil, aka trans fats. We know trans fats are awful for us, but naturally occurring saturated fats such as those found in butter & coconut oil are actually really good for the heart. Ironically enough, margarine, which has been a popular substitute for butter is made with hydrogenated (trans fat) oil and should be avoided at all costs. Butter is rich in Vitamin A, E & K. It is also high in Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and Butyrate. CLA has shown to lower body fat and butyrate fights inflammation, improves gut health, and in studies it has been shown to make rats resistant to becoming obese. You know those popular bulletproof coffees? Yeah, there's valid reason behind that butter in the coffee craze. 

Canola Oil on the other hand is a rancid, highly processed industrialized oil that you I recommend you toss from your pantry immediately. I also don't recommend corn oil (it is most likely GMO meaning it's a pesticide), soybean oil (again, GMO) or cottonseed oil. 

I have a quick video below explaining why we should never consume canola oil- hint, it's a rancid oil that we have to bleach & deodorize just to make it edible. 

REAL FOOD CHALLENGE #12

Did you know most conventional sunscreen does not offer enough UVA protection (our brands are banned in Europe) and they contain carcinogenic ingredients?!

Don't stress, I've got you covered. (literally)

This weeks Real Food Challenge is to swap out your chemical sunscreen for an even more effective, mineral based sunscreen.

 

The science is there, chemical sunscreens are not only not as effective, but contain harmful ingredients. You can read more about it here: EWG Sunscreen Report: https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/executive-summary/

As mentioned in my video below, here is my favorite, Raw Elements Sunscreen: 
http://raw-elementsusa.myshopify.com/

EWG, Whats Wrong With High SPF: https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/whats-wrong-with-high-spf/

EWG Best Sunscreens:
https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/best-sunscreens/best-beach-sport-sunscreens/

For more information I made a short, funny video just for you that gives you all the information you need about choosing the best sunscreen.

REAL FOOD CHALLENGE #11 BONE BROTH & COLLAGEN

I am really fascinated by the contents of this weeks challenge. I was inspired to do this particular challenge this week by what I have been learning in one of my classes.
Humans have been consuming collagen & mineral rich bone broth since the stone age. But more recently, thanks to the industrialization of our food, we have moved away from it and stocks have been replaced with artificial ingredients, MSG & a bunch of cheap fillers.
Experts believe that as a result of missing out on these nutrient rich broths, we are seeing a rise in digestive disorders and inflammation of the gut. This could be in part due to the inflammation reducing healing sugars in collagen called proteoglycans. There was also a study that came out recently discovering that acid reflux may not be due to acid, but actually inflammation of the gut. 
Mineral rich bone broth is brimming with nutrients and minerals that leach out of the bone & into the broth. It also contains collagen, which not only contains the healing sugars I mentioned above, but it helps to repair and restore our very own collagen in our body. Collagen is what keeps our skin firm and supple. It also helps keep our joints and ligaments lubricated.

This weeks RealFoodChallenge is to start incorporating bone broth and/or collagen in your diet. 

I need your help. Will you post about your participation on social media? Tag me (@realfoodology) and use the hashtag #RealFoodC

For more information I made a short, funny video just for you that gives you all the information you need about collagen and bone broth! I hope you will watch and participate along this week.

 

 

REAL FOOD CHALLENGE #10 GO ORGANIC

Did you know 93% of Americans are testing positively for Glyphosate in their urine? And did you know the World Health Organization recently declared Glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen? Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide on our food right now. This is my main reason for going Organic.

And it's why this week I am challenging you go eat organic as much as you can. Hopefully after this week you will continue to do so.

There are some links I want to share with you about going organic and why it's important. 

30 Year Rodale Institute Study proves Organic farming is more sustainable long term.  You can see the study here

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PESTICIDES IN OUR FOOD

THE ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUPS KEY ISSUES WITH GMO FOODS

GMO Crops Mean More Herbicide, Not Less

NAS Report on GMOs: What the Experts Actually Said

An Interview with the Food and Ag Journalist that the Biotech Industry Fears

I also made 2 videos just for you. I hope you will watch them and share with all your friends!

REAL FOOD CHALLENGE #9 DUMP THE PLASTIC

This week's challenge is to dump out all the plastic in your house and replace it with Glass or Stainless steel.

and yes, I am talking about water bottles too.

 

The chemicals in plastic leech into our food and water, especially when heat is applied. This is a huge concern because these chemicals have been linked to cancer, endocrine disruptions, infertility, neurological damage, and prostate cancer (and more). When you heat plastic in the microwave or when a water bottle is sitting in your car for hours, it is especially a concern because heat causes the plastic to break down, resulting in the chemicals seeping out into the food or water. This is why water bottles are particularly concerning, because even though they might be in a cooler in that gas station now, they most likely sat on a hot truck for a few days in transit before getting to that gas station or grocery store.

Even The Mayo Clinic advises against plastic. You can read about that here. Also be wary of plastics that state BPA FREE. They have only been replaced by similarly concerning chemicals. You can read more about that here. 

My favorite water bottles are glass and stainless steel. I use  HYDRO FLASK & KLEAN KANTEEN

As for food storage I recommend Pyrex. Amazon has a great starter set for cheap here. 

Please take a few minutes to watch the video I made just for you about plastic and why you want to make the switch. 

As always, please don't forget to use the hashtag #RealFoodC & tag me (@realfoodology) so I can see all your posts and you can encourage others to get on board with you!

REAL FOOD CHALLENGE #8 DUMP THE MILK

Did you know we are the only species to drink milk after infancy? Let alone the milk of another species!
Despite what the heavily funded dairy industry wants you to think, milk actually does not "do the body good"

Which brings me to this weeks RealFoodChallenge! Dump that cows milk for a non-dairy milk alternative. Please don't forget to post your swaps on social media and tag me (@realfoodology) and use the hashtag #RealFoodC 

I don't want to give too much away, so please watch the video that I made just for you to find out what experts are saying about Milk

My Favorite non-dairy alternatives:

MALK

NEW BARN

SO DELICIOUS

REAL FOOD CHALLENGE #7 SWITCH TO PASTURE RAISED EGGS

This week's Real Food Challenge is very important to me. Not only is it for the health of it (wink), but it involves the lives of animals too.

This weeks challenge is to switch from conventional, factory farmed eggs to Pasture-raised, organic eggs.

 

Factory farmed eggs come from hens who are stacked on top of each other, living in their own filth, with little to sometimes no access to the outdoors. It is basically slavery for these poor animals. And yes this goes for your "Cage Free" and "Free Range" eggs too. 

I talk all about this in my 3 series blog posts about eggs here and I also have a quick video down below that I made just for you!

I hope you will watch and join me on this weeks challenge! Please don't forget to post your pasture-raised eggs on social media with the hashtag #RealFoodC and Tag me in it so I can see (@Realfoodology)

REAL FOOD CHALLENGE #6: SAY BYE TO FARMED SALMON

It is no surprise we are in a major health crisis in this country right now. A major part of the problem is our industrialized food system- we aren't eating real food anymore.

This is the issue with farmed salmon. They are not living in conditions conducive to their life in the wild and as a result, these industrialized salmon farms are not producing healthy fish for our consumption.

This weeks Real Food Challenge is to ditch the farmed salmon for fresh, wild-caught salmon (or any fish for that matter, as long as it is wild caught).

There are 4 major reasons you wan't to be avoiding farmed salmon:

1. Antibiotics (and hormones)

2. GMO's (meaning pesticide and herbicide exposure)

3. PCB's (watch the video below to learn about these cancer causing agents)

4. PINK DYE- watch the video below to learn more about this. 

Please take the time to watch this video I made just for you. I talk about why you want to avoid farmed salmon and give you the best alternatives and how to find them!

Don't forget to post about your participation in the Real Food Challenge with the hashtag #RealFoodC and Tag me @Realfoodology in it!

 

 

REAL FOOD CHALLENGE #5

This weeks Real Food Challenge is something I feel very passionate about. In fact, the very first video I ever made was about this very subject.

This weeks challenge is for women only (sorry men, not to single you out but you have to have a period to participate in this one!) and is to throw out your conventional tampons and replace them with 100% cotton, organic tampons. Or the Diva Cup if that’s more your style!

I know, you’re probably going okay what? Why? And I thought this was a food challenge? My challenges are not going to be solely about food, Real Food is just more implying that it’s the RealFoodology challenge. Healthy living is so much more than just food. It’s also what you put on your body (and in your mind)!

The reason I want you to dump the conventional tampons can be easily broken down into 3 simple reasons

1.     Conventional tampons use cotton that has been sprayed with Glyphosate. Cotton is the #1 dirtiest crop in America, meaning is it sprayed with more pesticides than any other crop we have. The World Health Organization declared Glyphosate as a most probable human carcinogen last year and the state of CA has plans to label it as a human carcinogen. The vagina walls are very thin and vascular (meaning there are a ton of blood vessels down there), so all of these pesticides get absorbed straight into your bloodstream

2.     Conventional tampons are bleached. For some reason unbeknownst to me, they bleach tampons to get them that pristine white. But WHY? They stay white for about 30 seconds, lets be real….

And then yep, that bleach gets absorbed!

3.     Conventional tampons contain little to no cotton & the fibers they use put you at risk for TSS. Yep you read that right. Most don’t contain any cotton (or very little) and are a mixture of rayon and other synthetic fibers. These synthetic fibers put you at risk for developing Toxic Shock Syndrome because they attract the bacteria that can lead to it. Don’t believe me? Read this story http://www.vice.com/read/meet-the-model-who-lost-her-leg-to-toxic-shock-syndrome-611 about the model who lost her leg to TSS and is on a mission to get the word out.

 This information is not meant to scare you, but to empower you!

For more info on this I have a whole video about why organic tampons are the way to go! Please share this with all of your girlfriends, daughters, wives, friends. Anyone who gets the monthly visitor!

 

I want to encourage you to share your participation online. Encourage your girlfriends to participate with you so we can get the word out. I know talking about periods and tampons is taboo but we need to change that stigma around periods. As women we have been taught to feel ashamed of our periods & hide them as though they're some unforgivable act but WHY? We literally give life to this planet with the whole mechanism surrounding our periods. If men had periods you know that sh*t would be plastered everywhere- they'd paint the town red!

If you share it online please don’t forget to use the Hashtag RealFoodC & if you post on Instagram tag me @Realfoodology so I can see it.

If you are concerned about the cost, I find my Organic NatraCare Tampons on Thrive Market for just $3.95/box. You can sign up for it here. It’s like Amazon for organic food, beauty products and pretty much anything organic and natural your heart so desires.

REAL FOOD CHALLENGE #4 LOVE YOUR GUTS

Gut health is quickly becoming the most important hot topic in the health world right now and for good reason- 70-80% of your immune system is in your gut. Studies are also revealing that our gut is directly linked to brain health and it is now referred to as our second brain. Your gut health can even determine your body weight- yes your weight!!!

This week the challenge is to LOVE YOUR GUTS by incorporating some sort of fermented food, drink or supplement in your life.

Whether it be sauerkraut, kimchi or your favorite Kombucha (BOOCH) flavor- maybe you have been wanting to try kombucha but haven't yet- now's your time! Or buy a probiotic and start taking one daily! 

I made a 2 part video series with my wonderful friend Melanie Foreman all about Gut Health. Watch below for more information on Gut Health!
 

REAL FOOD CHALLENGE #3

This weeks Real Food Challenge is not pertaining to food, but is equally as important to your health!

This week the challenge is to dump your anti-perspirant deodorant for a non-toxic alternative.

 

Watch the quick video down below to discover why you will want to switch to a more natural deodorant and to discover my favorite alternatives!!

REAL FOOD CHALLENGE #2

This weeks challenge is to toss out your Canola Oil (or vegetable oil) and replace it with heart healthy Coconut or Avocado oil! 
 

Canola Oil does not belong in a healthy diet and I explain it all here in my quick video. 

You never have to follow recipes too closely, feel free to always sub oils when they name a specific oil. For example when it calls for canola oil simply swap it out for Coconut or Avocado Oil, depending on the recipe you are making! Both are pretty versatile oils which is why I recommend them the most and can be used in almost anything but here is a little help when deciding between oils:

 

HIGH HEAT (BAKING/PAN FRYING):

Coconut Oil or Avocado Oil

COLD FOOD (SALADS/COLD PASTA SALADS):

Olive Oil

For those who do not like the strong flavor of coconut oil I highly recommend the Refined Coconut Oil from Nutiva. It can be found here. I wouldn't recommend refined coconut oil from any other brand because most use chemicals in the refining process, but Nutiva does not. 

Here's an easy cheat sheet to help you!

Also! If you are interested in these cooking oil sprays or avocado oil from Chosen Foods, you will receive a discount on their site by using the code REALFOODOLOGY. I am obsessed with these sprays, because the ingredients are just simply oil. There are no propellants or preservatives added, just simply oil.