Week 3 of the Friday Five! I have a lot to tell you about today, so I will get right down to it.
Happy Friday, kids!
I’ve been wanting to chat about my friend, Sherri’s fancy pants since I revamped my blog. I used to think only Lululemon’s yoga pants were flattering and could handle my wear and tear well, but now I am saving (SO MUCH) and loving supporting a friend’s side business. They are high wasted, and she gets in a lot of really fun patterns! I may even start showing fancy pants of the month on here. The one thing is, she does not have a website but I told her that I really wanted to post about the pants on my blog. If you are local, just come to one of her classes at Sol Yoga Studio, Sherri is always ready to show her merchandise. If you are not local, she can send pictures of what she has and ship! I get no kick backs for promoting, I just really love her pants and I rarely will buy elsewhere now! Everything is $55.00 and under .. you can get capris or long leggings, and everything is flattering and fun! Email Sherri (or me and I can forward it) if you want to see her stash 🙂 firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Time Blocking
How did I ever live without this?
Here is another find from my girl, Lauryn’s snapchat. It is on Amazon, and it is called a time blocking cube. I will be honest, I am the queen of distraction. I finally realized that I think I crave it. Once I begin a task and deep down think I want to get a text or a call or an email and just go from task to task until finally nothing gets done, or everything gets halfway finished. It is awful. There is VERY little time in the day to do my busy work (like blogging, working on my nutrition program, cleaning, etc). Jaxon’s naps are hit or miss these days, and on the days he will nap it is almost like I PANIC and think “OMG, what can I do and how much can I get done in these next 1-2 hours.” Then there is the dog who takes that opportunity to come bite my butt to play fetch or something so I have to plan my time wisely to make sure everyone is happy.
One of my biggest downfalls is I take on too much and spread myself thin … as stupid as it may seem, this little cube has empowered me to really focus on one thing at a time. My husband said: “why can’t you just use your phone” … and the reason is that my phone is my BIGGEST distraction. I can put it away and write down tasks in order of importance and give myself a certain amount of time to do them. Clean to the floors, 15 minutes (if I go over I will add), work on my blog, 30-60 minutes, respond to emails, 15 minutes, play fetch with the dog, 15 minutes, meditate, 10 minutes …. it helps me to stay focused and not get off task. It also puts into perspective how long things take …. I often over estimate so I won’t even start something because I don’t think I have time to finish it. It’s a problem, this has helped!
So any of my friends who have issues with attention and focus, I highly recommend it! Just because I am a yoga teacher doesn’t mean I have this area of my life together. My practice has helped me so much with being more present, but I am still so easily distracted when I have time to myself.
3. My Tea Obsession
I cannot get enough of these teas. Mike said to me the other day: “ummm, you drink so much tea.”
It’s a sickness. (By the way “Hawthorn with Hibiscus” & “Belly Comfort” are also amazing but I recently ran out). The thing I love about Traditional Medicinals is they are all organic with no shady ingredients. Lots of tea companies add things like “natural flavors” which can essential mean hidden MSG. They use pharmacopoeial grade herbs – that’s a marker of very high quality that almost no other tea company claims. Also, they try to source their herbs from their native habitats because herbs that are “at home” tend to have the right balance of active compounds. Traditional Medicinal’s herbs go through a minimum of nine rounds of rigorous testing before they make it to your tea bag. From their microscopist and lab analysts who test each herb’s identity, strength and purity to the cupping team who ensure the tea tastes right, they’re all a bit obsessive about quality (from someone who is obsessive about this stuff, I gotta say I like it).
This type of quality control is VERY important to me. I order meat, eggs and milk from a certain farm that has the HIGHEST standards and quality, and it took me so long to research before choosing an essential oil company to use for my family. Traditional Medicinals also have a kids line of teas that I have not seen in stores, but want to order for my littles! Which one is your favorite?
I LOVE me some ghee. Ghee is butter that has been boiled down to remove the water and milk solids, leaving only the rich butterfat. It’s used in traditional Indian cuisine and is a healing food that’s even healthier for you than grass-fed butter! Obviously you want to choose a high quality version made from organic, (grass-fed) pasture-raised cows.
What are the health benefits of cooking with Ghee?
- It’s resistant to high heat: You can cook and fry with ghee and it will not break down into free radicals like processed cooking oils do.
- It’s easier on the gut: If you have a milk or dairy intolerance, ghee is the fat for you. Milk solids and impurities have been removed from the butter making it easier on your digestion. Many people with casein or lactose allergies can tolerate ghee and clarified butters just fine!
- Ghee’s Health benefits rival those of coconut oil! Ghee is rich in medium chain fatty acids which are directly absorbed in the liver and burnt as energy. Athletes have been known to use it for a consistent energy source.
- High in CLA: Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is an essential fatty acid (meaning our bodies don’t make it we must get from diet), that helps the body increase metabolism, aids in weight loss, boosts the immune system, lowers cholesterol, fights cancer, heart disease, high triglycerides, asthma, allergies, inflammation and insulin resistance! A few years back CLA got recognized as a weight loss wonder and many people started taking a CLA supplements (because, you know, animal fats were known to be”bad”)..but supplementing is not the way to go. The BEST way to get CLA in your diet, and actually have it do its job is from grass-fed dairy and beef! And Ghee is one of the BEST sources!
- The digestive benefits are endless: Ghee stimulates the production of stomach acid, increases the absorption of other nutrients, and is very supportive for acid reflux, and other digestive complaints. It is also rich in butyric acid, a short chain fatty acid that beneficial bacteria in the gut converts fiber into. This acid is used for energy and intestinal wall support. If your body is healthy, it will make it’s own form of “ghee” but you will greatly benefit from just consuming it!
How to Use it:
- You can fry your spices in ghee and use it medicinally. Many herbs and spices have healing properties (like ghee) and adding them together before you prepare dishes will boost the health benefits!
- Simply use it to sauté, fry, or bake dishes in place of other cooking fats! This is a very under appreciated, incredibly versatile fat that may go over better than coconut oil or tallow with guests. It has a subtle nutty flavor (not as strong as coconut oil) that can be used for a variety of dishes! It makes a great rub for roast chicken when mixed with herbs and seasoning, and also is great on top of fish!
How to Make it/ Where to Buy:
Making is is pretty easy, and CHEAP. There are several tutorials online, and it consists of 20-25 minutes of work (most of that is just waiting) for lots of rich, nutrient-dense ghee! “An Organic Mama” has a simple stovetop tutorial to follow, and “The Coconut Mama” also has a tutorial on how to make it in the oven!
If making it intimidates you, you can buy it at any Indian Food or Health Food Specialty store (remember you want grass-fed and organic to get the CLA and other health benefits, which may be hard to find), or on Amazon. We like Purity Farms (may not be 100%b grass-fed) and Pure Indian Foods (is 100% grass-fed) brands.
A few tips for storage:
- Store your ghee at room temperature in a container with a good lid in the dark (do not refrigerate, moisture to get in with the shifting temps and cause oxidation, ruining the batch)
- Ghee will last 2-3 months if stored properly
- You CAN keep UNOPENED, strongly sealed ghee in the fridge if you buy/make in bulk for up to a year. After opening for use, store at room temp as suggested above.
5. The 2017 EWG Dirty Dozen List
EWG’s 2017 Dirty Dozen List is out. Here’s the deal … I try my best to buy the following produce organic, but my main priority for budget purposes is to purchase anything that came from an animal organic and raised on their natural diet in a healthy environment (the farm I mentioned above is FANTASTIC). We eat out and all (so it is hard to avoid conventional meats all the time), but when I cook, this is my standard. I use lemon essential oil in water or a wash made from vinegar and water to clean my produce, and from my research that helps … but some is just so dirty that you should avoid altogether if it isn’t affordable and in season.
There are stark differences in the number and amount of pesticides on various types of produce. EWG’s annual Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™ lists the Dirty Dozen™ fruits and vegetables with the most pesticide residues, and the Clean Fifteen™, for which few, if any, residues were detected.
When buying organic produce is not an option, use the Shopper’s Guide to choose foods lower in pesticide residues. With the Shopper’s Guide, you can have the health benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables while limiting your exposure to pesticides.
- More than 98 percent of samples of strawberries, spinach, peaches, nectarines, cherries and apples tested positive for residue of at least one pesticide.
- A single sample of strawberries showed 20 different pesticides.
- Spinach samples had, on average, twice as much pesticide residue by weight than any other crop.
The Dirty Dozen:
- Sweet Bell Peppers
The Clean Fifteen:
The Clean 15 list includes produce that is least likely to be contaminated by pesticides. I usually buy conventional on these products. For example, at Whole Foods an organic onion is $1.89/pound where a conventional onion is .88cents per pound. I ALWAYS have to remind the checkout person, because I’ve been charged organic when I am choosing cleaner conventional items. It is a little bit but it adds up! Lately, I’ve been shopping for produce at a locally owned produce store called Lee’s Produce, and once the weather warms up I will go to Maple Acre’s Farm more often for my veggies and fruit.
- Avocados and sweet corn were the cleanest: only 1 percent of samples showed any detectable pesticides.
- More than 80 percent of pineapples, papayas, asparagus, onions and cabbage had no pesticide residues.
- No single fruit sample from the Clean Fifteen tested positive for more than four types of pesticides.
- Multiple pesticide residues are extremely rare on Clean Fifteen vegetables. Only 5 percent of Clean Fifteen vegetable samples had two or more pesticides.
- Sweet corn
- Frozen Sweet Peas
Phew … there you go! It was a lot of info this week but hopefully you learned something fun! It’s been so cold here, I guess we are back to red wine weather. Talk to you guys soon!