How to spray a cleaner cooking oil

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There are a number of different spray cooking oils on the market today that are convenient because they allow you to spread a fine mist of oil in your pans and they make greasing things like muffin tins a snap.

This is why I wanted to let you know about some great spray bottles from Misto. How do they work? The cap doubles as a hand pump that you operate to increase the air pressure in the bottle before spraying. The bottles come in aluminum, stainless, or glass, shown in the picture.

Why do I like these bottles?

* They eliminate waste – No more throwing aerosol cans in landfills since they can be used over and over again.

* They use a natural propellant – If you notice on the cans of most spray oils, they contain something simply listed as ‘propellant.’ If you look at the Material Safety Data Sheet for Pam Cooking Spray, you’ll see that it’s actually made up of isobutane, propane, and butane. I wouldn’t want to spray that on vegetables that I’m grilling (for example). With the Misto bottles, the propellant is air.

* They’re versatile – They’re not limited to oil. They can be used for vinegar, clear salad dressings, thin marinades, or anything else you might want to apply by spraying. And you have control over the quality of oil or other ingredients you use.

* They promote exercise – I’ve mentioned in the past that anything that gets you using your muscles in the kitchen, like chopping, grating, peeling, etc., is a good thing. Here’s just one more way to get a bit of a workout in the kitchen . : )

They can be found on sites like Amazon or at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  They range from $10-$20.

Why I’m taking my diet back to the drawing board

Probably one of the most frustrating things for people is the confusion over dietary recommendations.   For example, first you’re told not to eat eggs, and then you’re given the green light to eat them (btw, still today, there are ongoing debates in science about this).  When we were told that eating fat would make us fat, guess what.  I stopped eating fat and gained weight, like everyone else!   Despite the confusion, we’re learning more and more everyday about nutrition, especially how individualized it can be.  And I’ve finally come to realize and accept that the right answer for you is not necessarily the right answer for me.

food test

This is why I recently began offering food sensitivity testing to my clients, so that they could quickly uncover foods to which their bodies are intolerant.  Unlike food allergies which are an IgE/histamine response that happens immediately, can often be severe, and identifies foods that must be avoided permanently, the food intolerance test measures a delayed, inflammatory reaction to each substance tested.  For many people, certain foods they’re eating may be inhibiting weight loss or causing other symptoms such as:

-          Abnormal cravings/bingeing

-          Migraines

-          Stomach pain/bloating

-          Heartburn

-          Diarrhea

-          Irritability and nervousness

-          Hyperactivity/ADD

-          Skin disorders

Imagine how surprised I was when I found out that my body had a severe reaction to carrots, oats, oregano, and goji berries.  I also had moderate reactions to stevia, turmeric, pumpkin, and red and green leaf lettuce!  And I had mild reactions to thirty-eight foods and medicinal herbs, many of which I eat all the time, including spinach, coconut, cacao, celery, ginger, sweet potato, and chlorella.  Needless to say, I was bummed out but I think my mother is more freaked out than I am.  When I told her I was removing all of these foods from my diet, her reaction was, “What are you going to eat??”

There’s actually well over one hundred foods that my body was OK with, including beets, avocados, lemons (yay!), quinoa and other gluten-free grains (I only reacted mildly to gluten and whey), meats and seafood, nuts/seeds and herbs/spices.  So now, I’m doing the experiment.  For me, I’m interested in finding out if it will alleviate my sciatica that flares up pretty frequently.  Does it mean that I have to avoid all of these foods forever?  No, but at least initially to heal whatever may be going on from them, and then there’s a way to introduce them back without a reaction.

If you’re frustrated about why you can’t lose weight, or suspect that something in your diet is initiating symptoms and you can’t put your finger on what it is, and you want more information about the test, contact me for a brief session and I can explain it in more detail.  Rather than spend weeks, months, or forever experimenting, you’ll have a good idea of where to begin in about one week.   I’m  also offering it with DNA testing to help you optimize your detoxification pathway.  Because with greater awareness, you can make better choices…

A ‘no excuses’ approach to eating healthy while traveling

dallas foodI’m in Dallas for the rest of the week at the Institute for Functional Medicine’s annual conference.  This year’s conference is all about energy.  We’ll be hearing about mitochondria – the little organelles in our cells that make energy and the food that keeps our cells healthy enough to make energy.   We’ll listen to talks about brain, heart, and gut health, tissue repair and athletic performance.  EMF radiation and how it impacts us, to the therapeutic, healing energies of compassion, intention, and connection.    I’m sure my brain will be full when I get home!

Of course, for me, having the ability to keep up with all this will take energy too and so when I travel for something this intense, I make sure I arrive prepared with some foods that I know will get my mornings going on the right foot and keep my energy up throughout the day.

More and more, I’m packing food when I travel and eating out less and I prefer it this way.   It saves me time and money, and it gives me greater control over what I’m eating.   It also helps me handle and recover from a trip more quickly and reduce my chances of getting sick.  Even this morning, on my early flight, my breakfast was leftover chickpea salad that I threw together last night for dinner.  “Chickpea salad for breakfast?” you may be wondering.  Yes, it worked for me!

As I was unpacking here at the hotel, I laughed because it seemed like I had more food than clothing in my suitcase.  And as I piled it on the desk, I decided I would share with you what I brought so that you could see that it is possible to travel and eat healthy.  I carried a couple of the items myself, but the rest were stowed away with the cargo.

In the picture above, there’s whole oats, hemp seeds and a protein/green powder mix in recycled glass jars, almond milk, wild Alaskan salmon, walnuts, avocados, green apples, lemons, cucumbers, and some teas.   For the most part, it’s a relatively simple combination of foods.  I’ll be eating some meals out too, but there’s plenty of great options here to begin my day and to keep me full, keep my brain working, and keep me energized.

Here’s the thing.  There will always be an excuse to start eating healthy ‘tomorrow’.  There will be that vacation, or wedding, or birthday dinner, or barbecue, or conference.   Yet, it is possible to eat healthy and enjoy life.  It doesn’t have to be a one or the other, and I’d like to suggest that life will be more enjoyable when eating in a way that works for your body, mind, and spirit, becomes your way of life.

The single most important thing you can do for your health

Author Michael Pollan just published a new book entitled Cooked that was inspired by some burning questions he had, such as, “What’s one of the most important things we can do as a family to improve our health and well-being?”  Or, “What can we as individuals do to transform our food system?” [That is becoming ever more industrialized, is eliminating our self-sufficiency, and is having a strong, negative impact on our health].   His answer, as the title of his book suggests, is to get into the kitchen and cook.

This may sound like taking a step back today because many of us have created lifestyles that accommodate processed and pre-packaged foods and have replaced cooking time or food preparation with other activities.  Yet based on what we’re witnessing with our health, this has not necessarily been a step forward.

Even deeper than what this is doing to our health, Michael Pollan has this to say about living on processed food diets:

“This is a problem–for the health of our bodies, our families, our communities, and our land, but also for our sense of how our eating connects us to the world.  Our growing distance from any direct, physical engagement with the processes by which the raw stuff of nature gets transformed into a cooked meal is changing our understanding of what food is.  Indeed, the idea that food has any connection to nature or human work or imagination is hard to credit when it arrives in a neat package, fully formed.  Food becomes just another commodity, an abstraction.   And as soon as that happens, we become easy prey for corporations selling synthetic versions of the real thing–what I call edible foodlike substances.  We end up trying to nourish ourselves on images.”

What’s so interesting is that we have actually acquired palettes for less natural versions of food–in part because of their addictive nature.  To recover from these addictions while returning to the simplicity of real food would actually be a step forward in the right direction.   And so, in order to reverse this trend for our health but also the health of future generations, and the health or our planet, here are three simple steps:

Embrace cooking – Today, we so often see cooking as a chore or even a bother that is getting in the way of doing other things.  What if cooking became one of those ‘other things’ that was just as important as anything else?  Where in your schedule can you make the time for cooking?  Is it a few hours on the weekend?  Can you enlist help?  Then plan it in your schedule and think of ways to make it fun.

Cook with ‘raw’ materials - Sometimes we get busy and dinner means heating up a jar of pasta sauce and a box of pasta, but the more you can start with the really raw materials and create something, the more control you’ll have over what you’re putting into your body. Even if more basic cooking means sautéing some fresh vegetables and adding them to your pasta, it’s progress.

Visit your local farmers - This is the perfect time of year to visit a farm stand or farmer’s market and get to know your local farmers.  It’s not necessarily about eating organic. I’d rather eat local than buy something organic that‘s been grown thousands of miles away.  One farm I like to visit is not certified organic but uses organic practices and when necessary, uses integrated pest management.  And by not paying the high price of becoming certified, they pass the savings on to us.

The Food Revolution Summit

foodrevolution-summit-2013-banner-180x250If you watched the documentary Escape Fire a few weeks ago, then you found out that in the United States, we’re spending over $2.7 trillion/year on healthcare, yet in terms of life expectancy our country ranks 50th. Even more sobering is that regardless of life expectancy, the quality of life for many people starts to decline well before their life is over. Yet it doesn’t have to be this way.

It makes so little sense to me that the bulk of our time, money, energy, and other resources is spent trying to fix sickness. Imagine if we could take all that money, manpower, time, and creativity and devote it instead to other things, like creating a world more beautiful than we’ve even imagined yet. Imagine how our creativity would soar if as a population, we were healthier and happier! This is something I think about all the time; it’s my vision. Call me a dreamer : )

If there is one thing I’m very passionate about, it’s our food supply and eating a diet that’s as clean as possible is one of the most effective ways to to gain and maintain health. Yet for many people, they’re simply unaware of where their food comes from, what’s actually in it, or exactly how it’s impacting their health.

That’s why I wanted to let you know about an upcoming event called the Food Revolution Summit. From April 27-May 5, bestselling author John Robbins is personally interviewing 24 of the world’s top experts in movements for healthy, sustainable, humanely-raised food.

These are some of the most educated, brilliant and inspiring voices in the world today. And you can get it all online, from anywhere in the world, for no charge. You can check out some of the speakers here.

When you register, you’ll have the opportunity to listen in on each interview and if you can’t make the time, you’ll be given access to the recording for 24 hours. This is a great opportunity to get a wealth of information about the real issues we face today with our food supply and going forward, you’ll be better equipped to make informed choices for you and your family to improve the quality of your lives, increase your longevity, and save the life of our planet for generations to come.

I hope you’ll take the opportunity to listen in.