Wednesday, November 11th, 2009
Whew! This week marks my 9th week being pregnant!!!! I’m in the final stretch of the first trimester and my body is visibly changing with this little life growing inside me. I’ve been sick as a dog (all-day-morning-sickness) but happy as hell about it. However, there were many days over the past 2 weeks that I didn’t want any food… not Raw, not even cooked vegan… not bread… nothing! And, this coming from a woman who used to eat even with an upset tummy. However, even though I didn’t want to eat the past couple of weeks, I forced myself to eat. I had to. I was able to manage some fresh fruit, as well as a green smoothie here and there, but most of it was cooked vegan.
But, something has changed. Even though I’m still feeling nauseous (Monday and Tuesday were particularly bad), I have been wanting Raw food! I’ll still have some lentils sometimes (quinoa, beans, etc) for extra protein and such, but my body wants lots of fresh, organic Raw foods. I’m not in the mood for Raw pastas or things like that (although a piece of my Raw lasagna does sound yummy! I just don’t feel like making it. If only I could wiggle my nose and blink my eyes and magically my husband could make it!). I am craving big salads, fresh fruit, fresh veggies and dip, green juices, green smoothies… things like that. In fact, the other day, I made my famous Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce recipe and loved it up with organic Romaine hearts, carrots, and celery for three days in a row. YUM! (I also had it as a sauce on my organic cooked veggie burger —>>> DOUBLE YUM!)
I’m eagerly anticipating my CSA box on Saturday. This week in the my organic CSA, I selected:
Red Bell Peppers
Apples (3 kinds)
Feijoa (never had this!)
I’m going to be in Raw food heaven!!!!
Tuesday, November 10th, 2009
I was watching Dr. Oz the other day and he did an episode on the dangerous germs lurking in the grocery store. For obvious reasons, I was all eyes and ears when it came to the produce department. Would you believe they showed a woman (on hidden camera) actually climbing on the produce with her dirty shoes? And, many people licking their fingers to open plastic bags and then touching the produce with their germy fingers?
Here is what it says on Dr. Oz’s website regarding this episode:
THE PRODUCE SECTION
Dirty little secret: When you grab an apple for lunch, your hands may be the 20th pair to touch it. That’s right, veggies and fruits are picked, sorted, thrown on a truck, taken off a truck, sorted again, boxed, and unboxed all before they reach the display case where they’re fondled by other customers before they meet you. Experts say, all in all, 20 people will touch a tomato before you slice it up for your salad. And that’s in addition to all the animal waste that can mingle with produce on the long journey from farm to table.
Quick fix: Carefully wash all fruits and vegetables before eating, even if you don’t plan on eating the skin. When you peel or cut vegetables and fruits, the bacteria from the exterior can travel inside. Keep any prepped veggies, such as sliced tomatoes, at 41 degrees or cooler until you eat or cook them.
After seeing that episode, and with the swine and seasonal flus going around, I started thinking about all of the hands that could have the flu bug on them, or other germs, that are touching the produce I buy. From people licking their fingers to open the plastic bags or touching their faces and then picking through the produce bins… it’s scary. (I’ve even seen women leave the bathroom without washing their hands at Whole Foods!!!) Unfortunately, washing the produce doesn’t dispel my fears because I’m not completely confident that my vinegar wash (or any other wash I use) is eliminating 100% of the germs.
As a pregnant woman, this alarms me, especially during the flu season. For starters, I’m not going near the vaccines (see blog post with videos here). So, I’m taking other necessary precautions to avoid the flus and stay healthy. One of which is how I handle buying my organic produce (more things I’m doing to stay healthy toward the end of this post).
Here is my plan…
Currently, I get a weekly allotment of fresh organic produce from our local CSA. This is the best choice of keeping my produce from too many hands because it touches the farmers and that’s it. Since I’m part of the CSA, I don’t have to think about other farmer market customers touching my produce at the market because our food is set aside for pickup every Saturday (see why I love our CSA so much here). But… the limitation with a CSA is that, even though I pick out what I want every week, my farmer doesn’t grow everything I need and want. Therefore, I usually go to Whole Foods for produce I can’t get from our local CSA.
However, after seeing the Dr. Oz show, I’m second guessing that and I’ve up with a great plan! There is a local organic delivery company (they deliver nationwide, too!) called Boxed Greens. They get mostly locally grown, organic produce from farmers and when I place an order, it’s shipped straight to my door. Whoo-hoo! This is my answer to limiting the number of hands that touch my produce. In this scenario, the only people touching it are the farmers and the workers at Boxed Greens… meaning no grocery store employees and no 10-20 consumers picking through the items looking for their favorite.
Upon inquiry with Boxed Greens, the owner (whom I’ve known for years and trust) assured me that the workers wash their hands AND wear gloves when handling the produce. Plus, because most of it is locally grown and it’s not stored for extended periods of time (like at most grocery stores), I’m getting more nutrition in my food — it’s Super Qi! See my blog post about Super Qi food.
Boxed Greens produce does indeed cost more than what I would pay at Whole Foods, and it’s a heck of a lot more than the CSA (that’s a perk about the CSA though – GREAT DEALS on produce!), but I’m worth it! My baby’s health is worth it! If necessary, I’m willing to make sacrifices in other areas of my life so that I can feed my family only the best. Do I need the coolest car on the block? Hell no! I want the greatest food for my body! And… did I mention that Boxed Greens gets a number of organic fruits and veggies that I can’t get at Whole Foods.
But, that’s not the only thing I’m doing to limit my exposure to germs and the seasonal/swine flus. After scouring the Internet for information on pregnant women and the seasonal / swine flus, I came have a list of things to do (I came up with most of these from Mothering.com’s forum):
- Wash hands for 30 seconds with soap OFTEN (avoiding anti-bacterial gels). A good trick is to hum the “Happy Birthday” song three times while hand washing.
- PLENTY OF REST!
- Don’t touch face
- Get Vitamin D!!! (I get mine from the sun, 15-25 minutes daily or every other day)
- Gargle with warm salt water twice a day
- Take warm salt water and dip a q-tip into it and swab the inside of nostrils daily (or use a neti pot)
- Eat fresh, organic, raw garlic
- Drink warm liquids
- Consume plenty of vitamin C-rich foods
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid crowded places (I even returned my opening night tickets to New Moon!)
And, speaking of being pregnant… my aforementioned plan of ordering produce has another awesome benefit. As most of you know, I have all-day-long-morning-sickness (which I love in a bittersweet way), and the last thing I want to do is leave the house. So, having my produce delivered is awesome! I also imagine that once I have the baby, having my produce delivered will be extremely beneficial, too! This will save me time and energy. :)
Monday, August 24th, 2009
Here are great articles that I hope you take the time to check out.
Time Magazine: Getting Real About the High Price of Food – I’m excited because the word is getting out more and more about healthier eating… local, organic, more plant based foods, treating animals better, etc. Apparently, this article is the cover of Time magazine – YAY! We had Food, Inc. (see my post about Food, Inc) over the summer and now this.
White House Farmers’ Market – How cool that Obama is talking about having a farmers’ market outside the White House. I love shopping at my farmers’ market and I’m a part of a CSA that I LOVE. Everyone should have access to locally grown organic veggies. Everyone.
Relaxing for Health (and fertility!!!), It’s Good For You – I really enjoyed reading this article. Relaxation is so important… for boosting the immune system, helping digestion, and, yes, fertility! I’m all over that. In fact, I’ve recently purchased a few cds on meditation and visualization for pregnancy, infertility, etc. They’re WONDERFUL! I play them in the background when I’m getting ready for the day, when I’m juicing, and when I’m falling asleep at night.
*UPDATE: I’m adding this article that I found today:
The Anti-Cancer Diet - Whoohoo! Go Plants! I especially like the part about eating more RAW and ORGANIC! I’m saving the link to this article, because it sure pumped me up and encouraged my lifestyle.
Here are some of the things I had today. Yummy, fresh, all organic, and full of vitality.
1 quart green juice (plant blood!) with a dash of wheat germ oil (high in Vitamin E, an important vitamin for fertility). I like to make a LOT, like 10-15 cups worth. I store it in glass mason jars, filled to the tippy top, in my refrigerator. It only lasts us about 2 days maximum because between my husband and myself, we drink it all up.
2 cups grapes
These were from the CSA and they were awesome… fresh, crisp, sweet, and damn refreshing.
6 cups Raspberry Green Smoothie (1.5 cups filtered water, 3 cups raspberries, 6 leaves curly purple kale, 3 bananas) – I didn’t drink this all at once. It’s loaded with nutrients and lots of fiber. Mmmmmm…
Coconut Yogurt with 2 tablespoons hemp seeds (the yogurt is not Raw)
3 cups Creamy Juicy Greens
This is where I take a couple cups of the fresh green juice that I have and blend it with avocado in my Vita-mix blender. This is great because: 1) some nutrients need fat to be assimilated, 2) if the green juice is too green or spicy, then the avocado mellows it out a bit, 3) it’s totally satisfying and filling, and 4) the creamy factor is out of of this world! When I juice my greens using my Green Star (read about my 2 favorite juicers here).
Guacamole and Salsa
I love this combination as an easy and delicious salad. Avocados are so good for you, and tomatoes have nutrients in them that need fat (like from the avocados) to help your body assimilate them.
For those of you in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, if you’re not a part of the CSA, you’re truly missing out on the most amazing, fresh, organic produce ever.
The CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) I wrote about previously is better than I ever imagined. I’m absolutely thrilled (and so very proud!) to be a part of this within my community. When I was a regular shopper at the farmer’s market, I thought I “got” how cool it was to buy my weekly produce from a certified organic, local farmer. But, I had no idea my experience was going to be taken to new heights once I was a part of Doug’s CSA. My connection to my food is that much stronger and, frankly, it moves me. Every bite is special because I know it was grown close to my home, it’s carbon footprint is minimal, it’s loaded with nutrition because it’s locally grown and just picked, and I helped finance the farmer (way cool!). I’ve had an important part in helping this farmer grow.
On top of all that, the price is awesome (and remember… it’s ORGANIC!)! And, get this… he even offers a payment plan for those of you who are super excited about this opportunity but don’t have the upfront cash. Not only that, but Doug’s CSA is year round! Do you realize how lucky we are to have a year round CSA? This is not common in other parts of the country.
Before I joined the CSA, I actually didn’t think I’d ever be a part of a CSA because most are operated with the program giving you a box of produce that you don’t select yourself. For me, I thought that might be a waste in some instances because I wasn’t sure I’d end up using all of the produce. I’m quite particular about my weekly shopping list. However, Doug’s CSA is different! Each week he emails the members an excel spreadsheet that serves as our shopping list. I select what I want, it tallies the total, and I email it back to him. Voila! Easy Peasy!
Pick up is on Saturday, when the normal farmer’s market is going on. Because I’m a member of the CSA, I’m treated as a VIP. My food is already paid for and set aside (unless I want to get extra goodies not included in my list), so I don’t have to wait in line. I simply pick it up. It’s an efficient system.
I could go on and on about how happy I am to be a part of this very cool program… but, you don’t have to take my word for it. Here are a couple of testimonials from other super happy customers.
“I’ve been buying produce from Lewis’ Hen House for over a year now and was very excited when I heard they were starting a CSA, and that the pick-up location is very conveniently the market I was already going to every week! The produce is always the best quality – certified organic, fresh, and delicious. Very reasonably priced, too. The really great thing about this CSA is you get to pick exactly what you want each week! No getting strange veges you don’t really want or you don’t know what to do with! I’m really happy I decided to join.”
“Being a part of a local CSA is a great way to give back to the community, support local farming, and enjoy the freshest seasonal produce available. The produce I buy from Lewis’ Hen House is incredibly fresh and you can really taste and feel the difference. It is an honor to know the people who grow the food that nourishes your family!”
UPDATE! The CSA is no longer, sadly. They have a new program, called a Discount Club and you can view the details here.
Today was a HRAV (High Raw, All Vegan) day and here is what I had… (all organic)
I love how easy bananas are for a light and quick morning breakfast. I know it’s not going to “stick” with me all morning, but it gets me going and is light on my digestion.
2 mugs ginger tea
I met mom at Starbucks to play cards and brought my own organic ginger tea (and my own mug from home, it’s a Starbucks mug).
1/2 cup Holiday Chia Pudding
This stuff is so dang good!!! I LOVE the texture with the coconut in it. And the flavor – dynamite!
Veggie Bowl with Buckwheat Noodles
This is my High Raw dish. It consisted of buckwheat noodles that I lightly sauteed with a tablespoon of sesame oil for only a few minutes to warm them up. Then, I put them in a bowl and added a bunch of fresh raw produce – red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, carrot, handful of chopped cabbage (all the produce was from Doug, my favorite local organic farmer… I’m so excited because his CSA starts next week!!!)
1/4 cup sauerkraut (raw, unpasteurized)
3 cups Fresh Plant Blood
Pineapple, strawberries, and 1 tablespoon wheat grass powder
This is not Raw, but it is “living” and it’s wonderful for my digestion. I love miso soup. The only brand I’ll use is South River Miso. It’s top of the line!
1/2 avocado with a pinch of Himalayan crystal salt
I love avocado and they contain lots of fiber as well as B-vitamins
This was made with my favorite protein powders (Hemp & Rice). I blended it with water, strawberries, banana, and raspberries
More Holiday Chia Pudding
If I get hungry later, I’ll probably have a Vega bar or some more veggies.
The following blog post is for people living in the Phoenix area. As many of you know, I love visiting the Road Runner’s Farmer Market because my favorite farmer, Doug (that’s Doug in the picture), is there selling his super fresh, delicious, certified organic produce. (Read about my experience with Doug’s food here.)
Doug emailed me this week tossing around the idea of possibly starting an organic CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). I was stoked at the thought of this. Well… he asked me to try and gauge whether people I know locally would be interested in this. Here is what he had to say:
I would like to establish an “Organic CSA” in the Phoenix area. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Essentially, it’s like a subscription club where customers sign up for a set period of time (3, 6, 9, 12 months), pay a set amount of money and then receive a set amount of fresh vegetables on a regular basis from the farmer. The subscribers would be partners in the produce grown on the farm. They would share in the success and or failure on the farm. They would then receive whatever produce was in season from the farm. The farmer then uses this income to sustain or expand his farm and provide an income for him. I would like to find out if you and your subscribers would be interested in something like this, if it existed. I’m just in the investigative stage, but if you could get an idea of interest, I would really appreciate it. If there seems to be interest, I can start working out the details.
UPDATE! The CSA that was started is no longer, sadly. However, they do offer a Discount Club and the details are here.