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Archive for the ‘Sustainable Practices’ Category


Plants are friggin’ sexy. They have refined themselves through countless and fast life cycles to maximize their attractiveness to humans. Edible plants keep us sexy by helping us stay healthy, lean, youthful, energetic and glowy. Let me tell you a bit more.

Most of us don’t realize this, but plants that are exposed to more bugs (via fewer pesticides) actually have a stronger plant immunity. So yes, organic is usually better (there are some exceptions, and that’s another blog post, Darlin’.) Much like in the animal kingdom where the predator preys on the young and the weak, bugs prefer to eat weaker plants. They usually leave the stronger plants alone because strong plants produce their own pesticides & insecticides that repel creepy crawly pests. Essentially, the more bug exposure plants experience, the stronger the plants become because they are defending themselves by creating more of these endogenous* bug repellants. Gee, doesn’t that sound like a handy skill to have in during mosquito season?

The stress from pest exposure helps the strong plants become “super-duper” plants because they develop more endogenous phytochemicals**, while the creepy crawlies munch out on wimpier plants. This strong plant immunity results in tough anti-cancer, anti-aging, anti-disease compounds within the plant that are just waiting to join you and help you in defending your body against modern diseases, like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other unappealing diseases. *THANK YOU, PLANTS!* This all promotes a sexier, stronger you!

Get your sexy on! First, start with colors. Eating a rainbow of colors will supply you with a better variety of nutrients. Try a new plant or fruit each week. Edible plants provide you with the hot-ticket phytonutrients that people pay a wallop of cash to buy in the form of supplements. You might already be familiar with a few of them: lycopene, zeaxanthin, lutein, carotenes, and so on. FYI: Supplements can never replace real food. You get waaaay more from whole foods than from the sum of its manufactured parts!

Do us both a favor: save the money you would spend on supplements by purchasing and eating more plants. At the end of the day, you will still have money left over, and have me over for dinner for telling you this money-saving, health-saving tip! Plants are pretty sexy, don’t you think?

What are your favorite plants to eat? Which ones are repulsive to you? Please post your answer in the comments below. I want to hear from YOU, oh sexy plant eater!

Do you think this post is helpful? Please rate it, “like” it, and share it with others! And thanks for reading. Love ya!

Hugs and plant kisses,

Frances

Definitions:

* Endogenous: produced from within

**Phytochemical:  These are protective, disease-preventing, non-nutritive plant substances that are vital for preventing diseases.

Phyto = plant

+ Phytonutrients: essential nutrients that protect and promote life, found in plants.

 

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Eat foods that closely resemble their form and color when plucked from the dirt, tree, or vine. Think: how did my body evolve to eat food? (this is not a subtle plug for raw food diets, so don’t get excited!) The more processing your  food has undergone, the fewer nutrients are left to help keep your immunity strong. What’s more? Processing often introduces novel proteins & other foods (those that are new and unusual and therefore not known to your body), which increases your exposure to harmful substances. These chemicals are linked to modern chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, arthritis, obesity, malabsorption, food intolerances, digestive disturbances and more. Bleh! That is definitely not sexy!

For all y’all vegetarians out there, take a look at your fake meats, fake cheeses, fake milks, protein supplements. The ingredients are usually NO BUENO, friends. (Full disclosure: I was a vegetarian for 13 years and developed severe food intolerances largely in thanks to those highly processed fake vegetarian foods.)

 

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I’m very excited because I have finally finished a cooking video for you. I had a lot to learn about shooting, editing, and producing. This video is in honor of colorectal cancer awareness month and my goal is to share with you foods and herbs that prevent or fight cancer. This is so exciting because we have our health in our hands. Nature provides us with a powerful pharmacopeia of medicines that rival anything modern medicine can provide. Don’t you think?

My goal in this video is to teach you a simple recipe using powerful anti-cancer foods. Please view, comment, share and enjoy.

Thanks for your support, my friend!

With love,

Frances

Enjoy!

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March is ringing in with two very FABULOUS topics: NUTRITION AWARENESS MONTH  and COLORECTAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. These topics are surprisingly related, and it is my intention to help reveal the connections between nutrition and cancer. My girlfriend, Chelle, was diagnosed about three months ago with colorectal cancer, stage III. She is  30 years old. Her nurses are shocked at her story because she has this terrible disease at such a young age. Most people diagnosed with colon cancer are at least 50 or older. Nonetheless, Chelle is strong and spirited, and the nurses who help oversee her chemo love and adore her as though she were their own family member. I join these nurses in being deeply concerned for Chelle – and for others with cancer – and in praying for her full recovery.

This month, let’s explore together some of the many foods and lifestyle factors that prevent cancer. Your feedback is important, so please share your comments and ask your questions! Also, a quick update on the anti-cancer nutrition interview – for personal reasons, Gretchen is no longer available for the interview and I am working on creating the replacement.  I need a little time to work this out. Thank you for your patience and understanding! I guess this is part of my learning curve in creating interviews with experts. My intention is to continue interviewing experts on specific topics of interest to you. Please comment on the topics you are interested in learning so that I can work on delivering valuable subject matters for you! =-)

I want you to view the following video on foods that starve cancer. I’ve watched it several times and it continues to reveal new information each time. Minute 12:01 he discusses what foods to eat. Minute 12:54 shows food list of cancer fighting foods.

Eat to starve cancer

With Love,

Frances

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Have you noticed the “Certified Humane” label on egg cartons and meat products lately? While sorting through a large assortment of eggs the other day, I became curious as to what exactly this label means. As one might expect, the “Certified Humane” product is just what one might hope it would be – emphasizing compassionate and respectful animal treatment. The story is inspiring and I know that you will appreciate what you see in this video that captures the essence of Certified Humane.
Why should you care about how your animals are treated? I think that most of us are aware now that factory farmed animals are exposed to a life of endless cruelty, which includes (and is not limited to) living in extremely confining conditions that are crowded with other animals. This often leads to rather unsanitary conditions, promoting contagious illnesses within the farms. This results in using an arsenal of antibiotics. (FYI: You may not realize that most of the antibiotics you ingest are not from your doctor, but rather, they are from your meat and dairy. This is also true of the artificial hormones you unintentionally consume – they are largely sourced from the animals you eat.)
Since factory farms are designed to promote profit, animals and birds are confined to nearly suffocating cages, which are so small they are unable to engage in natural activities. For example, chickens cannot stretch their wings or claw at the ground. The conditions created under these conditions are deemed as extremely stressful – physically and emotionally. This is not good for you, the consumer of meat, as animals under stress are releasing stress hormones, which you will then consume.
If you have not already learned of the very dismal and unmistakably upsetting conditions animals face in factory farming, please educate yourself. When I learned of the practices in factory farms thirteen years ago, I gave up meat. That’s how terrible I felt about it.
The good news is that consumers have voted with their dollars to show that they give a damn about the conditions that animals face before slaughter. And now, food producers are voluntarily improving their standards to provide quality of life to their animals. Here are some of the standards that Certified Humane requires of their certified farms:
  • That the producer meets our standards and applies them to animals from birth through slaughter.
  • Animals have ample space, shelter and gentle handling to limit stress.
  • Ample fresh water and a healthy diet of quality feed, without added antibiotics or hormones.
  • Cages, crates and tie stalls are among the forbidden practices, and animals must be free to do what comes naturally. For example, chickens are able to flap their wings and dust bathe, and pigs have the space to move around and root.
Please support this conscious movement for humane and compassionate food production. The food will cost you a little more and this is worth it. Not only does it improve the lives for the livestock at each farm, but it also improves working conditions for farm workers. And of course, the end product is healthier for you because these animals are less likely to be exposed to higher doses of hormones (to fatten animals or increase their yield) or high doses of antibiotics (less stress = healthier animals = fewer drugs required).
Food & Water Watch is a great resource for staying informed on this movement as well.
How do you feel about this issue? Please leave your comments below.
Thanks for reading and for sharing with others!
With love,
Frances

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You wouldn’t knowingly put a nasty chemical onto your tongue because you don’t want your body to absorb it, right? Then why are you putting it onto your skin? At least if you swallow a poison, it has the benefits of your digestive track to help filter it out before it enters your blood stream. But when you put something onto your skin – your body’s largest organ – it absorbs into your blood stream very quickly. Unlike when you eat a toxin, when you put it onto your skin, you don’t get to pass the toxins out through your urine or bowels. Sure, some of the toxins you can sweat out, but when you are generously lathering lotions over your entire body every day, you’re building up quite the supply of chemicals, many of which your body doesn’t recognize as good. In fact, many commonly used ingredients, including organic products, in our beauty products are considered hazardous (read these myths about beauty products). If you want to know how your products rate, you can look them up at Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep website.

Using vegetable oils on our skin is a simple, effective, affordable solution. The first benefit is that it’s less expensive. For an 8-oz bottle of high-quality, low-toxin lotion, I have to shell out anywhere from $10-$20 (maybe more). For a 17-oz bottle of grapeseed oil from the cooking oil aisle atTrader Joe’s, it’s around 5 bucks. For a large, 32-oz bottle of organic canola oil from my local co-op, it’s around $8. What’s more? I can cook with it, moisturize my body, use it for removing my eye makeup, and even get kinky with it. Interested? Keep reading.

Compelling reasons to use your kitchen oils as your body lotion:

  1. It’s healthier. Much, much healthier. Over the years, we’ve all heard the frightening warnings about chemicals found in our soaps, shampoos, makeup and lotion. The solution, we’re told, is to avoid the bad stuff by buying more expensive less-bad products. But even the top-end lotions cannot make the perfect product – inevitably, something odd ends up in there, like beeswax, cellulose, methylglucose sidtearate, glucosides, alcohols, and parfums. Okay, for the record, a beekeeper with beautiful skin did once tell me that come harvest-time, she anoints all of her skin with honey because it is the secret to a lovely complexion. But beeswax is not the same as honey. Plus, conventional beekeepers spray their hives with antibiotics and anti-microbials that are found in nearly every conventional bee honey available on the market. Gross. I’ll pass on conventional bee products, for now, in my skin products.
  2. Can’t stop thinking of it as a salad dressing? Using cooking oil is the same stuff you use in your food, obviously, but don’t let your imagination limit you! You can use it any way your heart desires. Pour it into an old lotion container and perfume it with your favorite essential oils. In the winter time, I use citrusy fragrances to make me feel bright and perky. In the summertime, I like lavender, rose, and vanilla. Sometimes I make blends, like bergamot, ginger, ylang ylang and vanilla. Make it a fragrance playground!
  3. Use it after the shower over you body, just as you would your lotion. I like to massage it into my skin and over my muscles – it feels like a nourishing act of kindness and compassion. You can also apply it as is recommended in Ayurveda: apply it 30 minutes or so before showering, and then wash it off. The heat from the shower opens your pores, allowing the oil to penetrate your skin more deeply. You won’t need to reapply after showering, and you can enjoy feeling deeply moisturized without feeling greasy.  If you want to learn more about choosing the right oil for your body type and using Ayurvedic massage, check out this video.
  4. You can also keep a bottle by the bed for intimate moments with your mate – it also makes as a sexy lube for both him and her.
  5. Another added bonus is that you absorb fatty acids from your oil, which contributes to your overall health. By using canola or safflower oil, you’re absorbing omega-3’s without having to actually eat additional fat. I’ve used almond, grapeseed, sesame, organic canola, and organic coconut oil (only when it’s really hot in the summertime because it is cooling). I only choose food grade cooking oils. I never buy them anymore from the beauty supply section, as they are usually manipulated with additives and preservatives. I don’t want preservatives on my body any more than I want them in my body.

Establish a code for yourself that if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin. Some exceptions exist, like for shampoo, makeup, face lotions, and sunscreens. But you don’t need to make this exception when it comes to your skin moisturizer. You will not only preserve your health’s integrity, you will also save yourself some pretty pennies.

I’d love to see your comments and suggestions. And if you like this post, please email this article to friends and share it on your social media sites. Thanks for your support, amigos!

Love,

Frances

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Our right to good and healthy food choices is threatened by intense global demand for food and the increasing shortage of meeting this demand. But that’s not what scary to me. I’m upset and frightened that the companies who brought us some of our most toxic chemicals – hard-core pesticides, PCBs and Agent Orange – are now in control of our food through biotechnology. Dow, DuPont, Monsanto, and others are major players in our food system, oil our politician’s pockets, and help keep us in the dark on whether our food is contaminated with GMOs. Unlike in the European Union, in the US we are not afforded the right to choose clearly labeled foods about whether it is from GMOs. (You can bet that most food – including “natural” and even some “organic” foods are contaminated by GMOs.)  And we continue to be threatened as local and federal rulings throw the 1-2 punches at American consumers and our rights to make choices about exactly what we are consuming.

Don’t believe me? Read up on the latest news about Judge Fiedler who ruled that you do not have the right to choose your own foods. WTF? Yea, you read it right. Click on this link. Scroll to paragraph 2 of page 3 and the ruling on pg. 4. It states that one does “not have the fundamental rights to produce and consume foods of  . . . choice.” This ruling is the response to a case questioning whether farmers have rights to consume their raw milk from their own cows. If the farmer does not have the right to his own food choices, why would any average citizen have those rights? Just weeks after this ruling, Judge Fiedler resigned and went to work for Monsanto.

Have you read about Monsanto ruthless suing-sprees against small farmers and seed cleaners? Read this brief article, as it outlines the actions of Monsanto against small food producers and farmer support. Perhaps what’s most frightening is the revolving door between Monsanto and politicians. From Secretary Tom Vilsack, to FDA Commissioner Michael Taylor (also a VP at Monsanto), to Ag Trade reps and the Supreme Court powers, Obama is lining the halls with Monsanto’s faces. This means that Monsanto big wigs are writing the rules and regulations for our food, drug, and farming practices.

Jail time for growing veggies. Did you hear about Julie Bass of Oak Park, Michigan? City officials threatened her with 93 days of jail if she didn’t remove her front yard vegetable garden, even though there wasn’t a law stating it as criminal to grow a front yard veggie patch.

We are a hungry nation. According to the latest data, 19% of Americans are food insecure, which means that they do not know where their next meal is coming from. That’s more than 1 in every 6. Statistically speaking, this means that someone in your neighborhood, office, and church are going hungry. The stats for kids are worse: more than 1 in every 5 children is going hungry. How many kids are in your child’s class? Divide that number by 5 and you will have a conservative number for how many of your child’s schoolmates are going hungry. According to this report, US is now second in the world, only to Mexico, for food insecurity among children. Sesame Street recently took up this issue, in an effort to raise awareness about food needs among kids and their families.

How did we end up here? Rather, how can we prevent things from getting scarier and protect our rights to food sovereignty?  National Food Day is part of the revolution to support healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane, dignified manner. We all need to be concerned about the plummeting welfare of our current food systems.

The Goals of National Food Day:

  1. Support sustainable farms
  2. Reduce diet related diseases by access to quality foods
  3. Decrease food deserts by expanding access to food, thereby improving food security
  4.  Reform factory farms to support humane conditions for farm animals, farm employees, and the environment
  5. Promote health through increased access to nutritious and whole foods
  6. Curb junk-food marketing to children
  7. Reduce financial subsidies to giant agri-businesses

Take the Power Back!

What you can do today and every day:

  1. Buy local whenever possible. You can join a local CSA (community supported agriculture), local food co-operative, or visit your farmer’s markets.
  2. Grow something, anything! Start with herbs or a salad mixture. Lettuce and kale are easy to grow at this time of year. Grow more if you can. You can join in on a cooperative space for growing. You can also replace some of your ornamental greenery (like shrubs) with food-producing plants (like berry bushes or grapes). Not only is it beautiful to grow edibles, it is greatly satisfying.
  3. Cook. Prioritize it in your schedule. Budget your time for it. Commission help from your kids. Cook cooperatively with neighbors or friends. Do whatever it takes. Don’t know how to cook? Take a class. Buy a cookbook. Watch a You Tube instructional video. Buy Mark Bittman’s book “How to Cook Everything.” It’s not hard, but it does take practice, patience, and a sense of adventure.
  4. Inform yourself and inspire yourself. Here  are a few great documentaries to put at the top of your movie night list:
  1. Urban Roots
  2. Food, Inc
  3. Ingredients
  4. Fresh
  5. The Future of Food
  6. Here is a guide to more excellent documentary recommendations. 

Important actions for us, the consumers, to explore:

  1. Right now: Watch this Sesame Street video on childhood hunger.
  2. What would it take for you to cook at least one meal per day for your family?
  3. Why do you think that buying local is important? Can you aim to eat 20% of your foods from local sources within the year?
  4. What simple steps can you take to consume better foods today, at your very next meal?
  5. Get some perspective about the demands on our food systems. Let it inspire you to start growing some of your own foods. Watch this video from the Center for Food Integrity.
  6. Speak out about your right to choose healthier foods and know if what you are buying is GMO.

Please support the movement. Visit the FoodDay.org website to learn more and sign the petition in favor of the mission. And on behalf of all eaters today and in the future, THANK YOU.

 Did you like this post? Please tweet it, Facebook it, email it, and ‘like it’ on this page. I appreciate your support. Share your questions and thoughts below. Your insights and questions help us all to grow.

 

To our food rights and choices,

Frances

 

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