Be Real My Friends

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Gluten Free? So what!!

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Ok…I’m about to go on a tangent…

A “Gluten free” label DOES NOT mean OK, Gluten free DOES NOT mean safe to consume, Gluten Free DOES NOT mean healthy.

Is there a place for a gluten free diet? Absolutely!! If you have Celiac’s, gluten is the equivalent of sugar to a diabetic. It can and will cause permanent and possibly, irreversible damage. If you have a gluten sensitivity, absolutely! Avoid it, to avoid inflammation in your gut, in your skin, in your organs, wherever the symptoms present. We want to avoid inflammation within our bodies, and if you know the source than by all means follow through on avoidance (This is obviously a little more involved, if you are cutting items out of your diet, ensure that it is with the guidance of someone who has training in how to support your nutritional needs.) That being said a gluten free product does not guarantee a healthy product.

Companies know how to market their product. They spend billions on it. Gluten free is one of the hot catch phrases right now and it’s getting lots of media attention so you can bet if a product is “gluten free” it will be getting that tag slapped on it, and if it can be reformulated to be made gluten free it will be. Is it nice to be able to have a brownie once and awhile? Sure! But I would hazard a guess, from the evidence I have seen and people I have talked to, that many assume that if it is a gluten free brownie this somehow makes it “healthier”. It’s still a brownie. And, these are still Cocoa Pebbles. Now – it may be obvious to some, that cocoa pebbles  are not really a “healthy” choice, but there are some people that willingly trust the marketing companies, and looking at the nutrition label vs the ingredient list, they think that this is a healthier choice then say, oatmeal.  Cocoa pebbles are still loaded with an unhealthy amount of sugar, and no real vitamins and minerals except for those with which it has been “enriched” (another word to look out for, but I’ll save that tangent for another day!). It’s not “food” – it’s a “food-product”. Be aware of labels and catch phrases. Don’t get suckered in to thinking something is healthier because of a what is on the package or the store where it is purchased (cough cough Whole Foods cough cough).

Off my soapbox now! Enjoy your Sunday breakfast! My kids are eating Vector I’m sure – not a healthy choice necessarily – the difference is – I’m aware of it. My choices aren’t always the best, but the key is I am making a conscious and knowledgeable choice. I have to deal with the outcome, don’t let others control the choices you make (not even me!). Become knowledgeable, so that every decision you make, is made consciously and with an awareness on what the outcomes may be. Eat your Cocoa Pebbles if you choose to, not because marketing told you it was a good choice.

Don’t Quit!

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Love this!! I think I may print off multiple copies and post them around. In front of my spin bike, on the wall of the exercise room at my work, I’d love to even see this on an exercise mat!

Just remember to keep going!! Every time your lungs breath deeper, every time your biceps curl more weight, every time you power out one more squat or crunch, every time you walk for another five minutes, you are getting stronger and you are further then where you started! Don’t quit, because that truly is something to be proud of!

Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches

Some of you may have already seen the “Real Beauty Sketches” in Dove’s new campaign. If you haven’t yet here is the link so you can take a look.

http://realbeautysketches.dove.ca/

I thought it was really well done. Is it a marketing campaign? Of course! But, that doesn’t take away from the message. How often do we beat ourselves up for the imperfections that often only we can see? If you had to describe yourself, would you be as kind and loving to yourself as you would a stranger?

This ad has received mixed reviews, but I think most women and even men may be able to find a little bit of themselves in this. Regardless, it’s definitely providing food for thought and opening conversation.

As tragedy unfolds…

Today’s tragedy in Boston breaks my heart. A day that so many trained and planned for. A day where strangers came out to rally and cheer on people they didn’t even know! To offer encouragement and support. One of the most amazing things about running in an event like this is the comradory, support and love between runners, organizers and spectators. This was a day filled with promise and happiness for so many.

And someone tried to take that all away today.

I don’t understand…and I don’t want to. I want to offer prayer, support and love to all those who are affected by this tragedy. I want to honour the greatness of those who started this morning, with an ambitious goal, those who stepped out the door to cheer on the runners and to those who have spent the last year organizing this event. To the emergency personnel who responded, and to those who stepped up and stepped into the role of first-aiders as the confusion unfolded. Your efforts will never be forgotten by those who you comforted and helped.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

Planning for the season(s)!

I’ve posted a few times about how important it is to plan for your meals. Over the past few years my family – ok – my husband and I (the kids get dragged along for the ride as they cannot yet get themselves to the grocery store!) have become more and more aware of the foods that we are choosing to eat.

As I’ve gotten further into my nutritional studies it would seem that our choices have gotten smaller and smaller. But really – were all the “foods” we were consuming before, and admittedly, sometimes still do, truly “food”. Absolutely not. There have been times that I had to close one of my text books because all the information out there, really can be overwhelming. I think there were even times my children were tempted to hide my books! So how does this affect our food choices especially in relation to the “seasons”?

Where we live in Southern Ontario, depending on the season, can really limit in many ways our access to fresh fruits and vegetables. But, we have advantages that those who have lived in this area for generations before us didn’t necessarily have. If they could survive on what the earth provided, it leads me to question, why can’t my family? I have been greatly inspired by “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver. I will touch more on this book and the idea of becoming a “locavore” in some future posts. If you are looking to start somewhere, or gather ideas, this is definitely a great read.

So – “Seasonal Planning” what exactly does that mean? Well, the first step is becoming aware of the what is available (in your geographical) area each season. This is a great web site here to learn about what is seasonally available where you live. For us it means opening the calendar and marking that in June we will be planning on going strawberry picking and prepping to freeze and make jam, enough to hopefully last us until next June, or at least well through the winter. I canned my own salsa last year, so this year I will be planting those ingredients that I will be using lots of in that recipe. Romas, jalapenos, garlic, onion, bell peppers and cilantro. We will be hitting the blueberry patches at the end of July and ensuring we make time for cherry picking in June. I love beets, so I will be planting those several times throughout the summer as to ensure an ongoing supply. I know plucked from my own garden I can feel free to eat them with the skin on and enjoy them in all their sweet goodness. I am also hoping to try garlic this year. One of the things I am most looking forward to very soon is fresh, local asparagus. I can’t wait to cook some on the BBQ or in the oven. I hope to be able to stock up well on this fine vegetable as it’s season really is so short. What it stands for to me though – is the beginning. It is the beginning of the season of fresh fruits and vegetables. A season that can pass all too quickly sometimes. Soon our raspberry canes will be sprouting, and it will be interesting to see how much garden space they will be taking over this year. It’s always interesting to see if any tomato plants grow themselves from last years seeds, left behind in the garden. Each year I learn something new, I look forward to sharing with you what lessons I learn this season.