Archive | Health

Unjunk Your Junk Food

We all like candy here and there.  Some more than others, especially our little ones.  We often use it for bribery, because it’s the easier, softer way.  Next time you go to reach for the sweet treat to satisfy you or your household companion, pause and try to think that what you’re really grabbing for is a dangerous additives.  Did you know that there is something called the “scary seven”, which are the dangerous additives placed in many candies.  They are:
              1. High-fructose corn syrup
                        2. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
                                3. Partially hydrogenated oils (trans fat)
        4. Artificial sweeteners
5. Artificial colors
 6. Artificial Flavors
                                   7. Preservatives (sodium, sulphur dioxide)

There is no safe limit of trans fats.  They can cause heart disease, cancer and diabetes.  Consuming high-fructose corn syrup can lead to heart disease, increased belly fat, obesity, and insulin resistance.
Research shows that most artificial colors have been linked to hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Candy that can be consumed without a lot of damaging particles are:
Dove chocolate
Hershey’s sugar-free snacks
Snickers mini
York peppermint patties

If you’re a chocolate lover, go dark.  The darker the chocolate the better.  This is all in moderation, of course.

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Filed under: Food, Health

Infused Water

Have you ever wondered why people put lemon, cucumber or any other random garnish in their water? There are actually health benefits to adding fruits, herbs and vegetables to your aqua. I am definitely one of those random people. I love naturally flavored water. The following are three examples of easy-to-grab things from the store, to put in your water;

   Lemon: Putting a slice of lemon into a glass of water isn’t just an old restaurant trick. This habit offers your body key nutrients and disease fighting benefits. Lemon strengthens veins and fights high blood pressure, stimulates liver function and helps flush out poisons from your body. Also, lemon is high in potassium.

Drink a glass of water, with lemon, at room temperature, in the morning to clear you digestive track for the day.
Cucumber: Putting cucumber in your water will give you anti-inflammatory and cancer-fighting benefits. Cucumbers contain three lignans (estrogen-like compounds), which have been proven to fight breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers. Also, cucumber provides vitamin C and potassium.

      Mint: Adding mint to your water brings nutrition and digestive health. Drinking water with mint, has been a long-standing remedy for digestive problems. Modern research has confirmed that this natural diuretic can help stop colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. Mint water is rich in vitamin A, C and B12, with traces of iron, potassium, selenium and zinc.

There you have it!
Start adding your fruits, veggies and herbs to your water, and I can almost guarantee you will start to feeling better.

Trader Joe’s has a great herb plant right now, that is perfect for a small indoor herb garden.

Buy Persian cucumbers (the small ones), if you have a choice. They always have the best flavored skin, and you want to keep the skin on because that is where all the nutrients are.

Costco offers the best bag of lemons in town. Their large and have lots of flavor. Farmers Market is also a good source.


Adding cucumber with your mint or lemon, is very refreshing.

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Filed under: Food, Health

Bars, Yay or Nay?

I was talking to my girlfriend the other day, and she mentioned that she really needs to start getting her 3 year old to eat better.  “He only wants to eat corn dogs”, she says to me.  I told her to start giving him a Power Crunch or Kind bar, for a snack, he will think it’s a sweet treat, but really it is quite good for him.  So this starts the controversy, are bars good for you or not?After a pretty thorough research, I have come up with Power Crunch bars and Kind bars, being two of the better ones out there.
Power Crunch Bars
Power Crunch bars have 13 grams of protein.  It’s the best balanced bar.  It has way less fat and sugar than other bars.  It’s amazing how much fat they pack into protein bars.  Some have more than 10 grams of saturated fat in one bar, and upwards of 25 grams of sugar.  Power Crunch taste great (wafer cookie-like with peanut butter and chocolate), and only have 5 grams of sugar in each bar.  Also low in carbohydrates.  One bar has 195 calories, which is great!
Our favorite Power Crunch bar is Peanut Butter Fudge

Kind Bars
This is the one bar I can actually pronounce every single ingredient.  The Kind bar has 150 calories, and they have a good source of fiber and protein.  They have no refined sugar, they are gluten free, wheat free, non-Gmo, and free of sulphur dioxide (poisonous gas often found in food).
Our favorite Kind bar is Almond & Coconut

Bars can be found at Trader Joe’s.


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Filed under: Food, Health

Plantify Your Home

My husband and I decided to detoxify our home.  After reading nonstop, about all of the possible dangerous chemicals in our home, we decided to go buy plants for starters. 
If you can believe it, indoor air is often more polluted than outdoor air.  Between cleaning products, aerosols, air fresheners, paints, carpet and disinfectants, they all cause harm.  Children and adults spend 90% of their time indoors, which means improving indoor quality should be top priority.  A great way to combat this problem is to cleanse your air with indoor plants. 
All plants convert carbon dioxide to oxygen and some actually remove chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde from the air.
The following is a list of plants that are known to function as efficient air detoxifiers and remove toxins from the air, as well as producing essential oxygen.  By the way all of these plants are low maintenance and high efficiency.

Peace Lily
Chinese Evergreen
Snake Plant
Spider Plant
Aloe Vera
English Ivy
Boston Fern

If you live in Santa Barbara we recommend:
 7 Day Nursery: 3301 State Street
We bought Dracaena, Boston Fern and Snake Plants.

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Filed under: Health, Home, Local


Living in Santa Barbara you can get berries year round. Whether they are cranberries, strawberries, blueberries or blackberries you can always count on the farmers market for having berries. My husband and I began to buy so many, because they always looked so good, that I had to put them to use other than just eating them plain. We came up with a rather tasty and healthy cupcake/muffin recipe.


Berry Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups mixed fresh berries

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar (Trader Joes organic)

1 tbsp. baking powder

4 tbsp. olive oil

2 lightly beaten eggs

For the topping (optional): mixed berry jam (Farmers Market)

Preheat oven to 350F. Place 12 baking cups in muffin pan. In a food processor, puree 1 1/2 cups of the berries until smooth. In a small bowl, lightly crush the reserved berries with a fork. In a medium bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and baking powder. In a large bowl, beat oil and eggs. Add the pureed berries and mix well. Stir in the flour mixture until combined. Fold in crushed berries.

Spoon batter into the baking cups. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Add topping if desired.

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Filed under: Food, Health

Guilt Free Cookies

We all like a good cookie, what we don’t like are the exuberant amount of calories within the cookie.  Here you have it, a cookie with no sugar and only 60 calories. Julian Bakery cookies.  Gluten free, no digestible carbs, no starch, no sugar, not sweetened with maltitol, xylitol or sorbitol.  Made with heart healthy fiber, good for digestion and helps satisfy hunger cravings
1 Cookie
60 Calorie
0g Sugars
4.5g Total fat
2g Protein
4% Iron

Julian Bakery Cookies can be purchased at Whole Foods and Lazy Acres.  For all of our Omaha peeps, Hy-Vee Market carries them.

Go indulge guilt free!

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Filed under: Food, Health


Cleaning happens to be one of my favorite things to do.  I’m probably one of the rare few who can say that, but, regardless we have to clean.  Next time you go to the grocery store be careful of the cleaning products you pick out.  The chemicals found in today’s products can be very harmful to you and your family.  Choosing Mrs. Meyer’s will save you future harm to your bodies.  Mrs. Meyer’s products are not tested on animals, nor are their products made with animal-derived ingredients.  Products are made from coconut, palm, soy, corn or olive.  Products do not contain ammonia, chlorine, glycol solvents, parabens, phthalates or formaldehyde.  Packaging is recyclable and they use 25% post consumer plastic in their bottles.
Mrs. Meyer’s has the following scents: Lavender, Lemon, Verbena, Basil, Geranium
You can purchase the products from Whole Foods, Lazy Acres, Tri-County and World Market.
PS I LOVE the basil scent.

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Filed under: Health, Home

Earth Day

The Beginning of Earth Day

Earth day founder Gaylord Nelson supposedly started the day after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara.  As a result, on the 22nd of April, 20 million Americans took to the streets and parks to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. 
Come out and join us for some environmentally good, clean fun!
Alameda Park, Santa Barbara
Saturday 11AM-7PM Sunday 11AM-6PM

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Filed under: Health, Inspiring, Local

Certified: The Only Way To Buy!!!

Easter is fast approaching, time to hit the Farmers Market.  Stay local and eat local is what we are doing this Easter!  If you are in Santa Barbara make sure you shop the Farmers Market for all of your fresh fruits, veggies and meats.  There are 130 grower members and every single one is certified.

Santa Barbara Farmer Markets
Tuesday: 4-7:30 Downtown State Street
Friday: 8-11:15 Montecito Coast Village Road
Saturday: 8:30-1 Santa Barbara and Cota Street

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Filed under: Food, Health, Local


Translation; avocado

I was recently on a business trip, working 12 hour days, when my husband called and said “Do you want to go to Cabo next week”, I promptly said yes! This is when I decided my next posting would be about avocados.  We will be eating a lot of them in Mexico.
Avocados have amazing health benefits.  They are high in beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol.  One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Avocados are great for prostate prevention, oral cancer defense, breast cancer defense, eye health and much more.
There is more to an avocado than guacamole.  Its oil is actually patented as a treatment for some forms of dermatitis and arthritis.  It’s rich in vitamin D and E.  Avocado soothes the skin.  Treat yourself to an avocado facial.

Avocado Facial
Remove your makeup and wash your face with warm water and soap
Mash some avocado and mix it with a little milk or oatmeal
Apply mixture to your face
Leave on for 10 min.
Rinse off with lots of water

Too many of us think only of avocados in the traditional Mexican sense of guacamole.  But among the Mayan the avocado is considered to be a food which keeps the joints of the body moving freely and the skin young and supple.


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Filed under: Beauty, Food, Health