Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Want to live BPA free? Try using whole foods!

"Biphenyl A [BPA] is a xenoestrogen, a known endocrine disrupter, meaning it disturbs the hormonal messaging in our bodies. Synthetic xenoestrogen are linked to breast cancer and uterine cancer in women, decreased testosterone levels in men, and are particularly devastating to babies and young children. BPA has even been linked to insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes."

BPA is found in plastics, it can leach from the plastic into our food and drinks and into the body causing much havoc. There was a study done on the effects of BPA in mice. After four days of exposure to BPA the mice were resistant to insulin due to it’s effects on estrogen in the body. This can cause real problems. Diabetes and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome are linked to insulin resistance.

"Studies show canned foods are a predominant source of daily BPA exposure in our lives. Food and drink cans are lined with a BPA-containing plastic. Beverages appear to contain less BPA residues, while canned pasta and soups contain the highest levels. EWG found that the worst foods tested put pregnant women and formula-fed infants within an unacceptable margin of safety to levels that cause harmful effects in laboratory animals. Typical exposures are within a 10 to 100-fold range of the effects that cause harm in a laboratory setting."

All the more reason to create your own meals from whole, fresh foods rather than a can. Canned and other pre-processed foods may seem to be more convenient at the time but in the long run it is detrimental to our health.

Take pride in creating and preparing your meals from scratch. Get the whole family involved. Children especially love to help out in the kitchen. Set them up with a bunch of green beans and those little hands will have them ready to steam in no time!!

Some tips on preparing whole foods quickly:

* Planning your menu ahead of time will prevent a "brain freeze" as you gaze into the fridge wondering what to prepare.

* Take steps to prepare. Prep veggies ahead of time. Boil a big batch of rice or soup to use a couple of days in a row. Soak beans saves cooking time.

*Prepare in bulk. Take a day and make up a few meals to freeze (or just keep in the fridge for up to 3 days) and use through out the week.

* "Haste Makes Waste" (as my geometry teacher used to always say!) Breathe and take your time, rushing will only cause accidents.

* Steaming goes a long way! Steaming veggies is quick, easy, simple and tasty.

* Go Raw! A salad is a lot quicker than a pot of soup or a casserole. Stock up on your favorite add on and a yummy dressing and Wham! Dinner is served!

*If your really in a pinch for time, make a smoothly. Your body will sing as you step out the door after downing a healthy and fresh smoothie (ahh, go ahead try a green one!!)

* Eat you fruit! Have a big basket of fruit stocked for when hunger strikes! Grab a quick snack and then take your time and prepare something wholesome!


Steamed Green Beans with Red Skin Potatoes

You can not get any simpler than this folks! I think the most iconic canned veggie is the green bean. But it really doesn't take long to cook!

You'll need:

A pound of green beans washed and prepped

about 5 small red skinned potatoes, diced

a teaspoon of seasalt

a dash of cayene pepper

some coconut oil

Boil red skin potatoes in plenty of water until fairly soft (not mushy).

In a steamer steam the green beans until bright green and crisp (again not mushy).

Combine in a bowl and add salt, pepper and coconut oil as desired!! That's it!

serve immediately with a salad of freah greens and some quinoa (a very quick cooking grain!)

I hope you like this simple recipe and tips on staying healthy and BPA free! All the best to you and yours!

Herbal Eranah

P.S. Click HERE for an easy to use chart about plastics and BPA.

Sources: EWG's report on canned food, Environmental Health Perspectives report on BPA induced hyperinsulinemia

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It's all so new!


Herbal Eranah here,

I am so excited to share all of the knowledege that I have collected for the last 12-13 years in my own journey through vegetarian and vegan living. (note: I won't use the word diet unless in a quotaion, we aren't in the business of dieing here!) Weekly, perhaps bi-weekly I will be posting info, recipes, photos, interviews, videos and other goodies that we can use as we explore the world of healthy living. This blog is not just for vegans, it is for anyone who wants to learn more about preparing delicious meals using whole and complete foods, herbs and healthy living. This blog is also not only about foods but about a way of life that is sustainable, attainable, vibrant and healing!

Mission Statement
Whole foods Vegan 101 is a resource center for those who wish to reach high levels of health and wellbeing through simple and natural living. We offer recipes, tips and solutions for a healthy vegan lifestyle. The basis of WFV101 is whole, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and grains with an emphasis on raw and living foods.

Why raw and living foods?
These are plant based foods that have not been cooked or otherwise processed..."how nature intended!"

Why whole foods?
Eating foods in their whole and complete state allows us to utilize the best nutrition for healing and maintaining health. Eating meals that include a variety of whole foods enables us to stear clear of artificial preservatives, flavorings, other non-foods as well as animal products that can be damaging to the body.

Why care?

Recently more and more people are being diagnosed with chronic diseases that can be either prevented, improved or cured by positive lifestyle changes, eating fruits and vegetables and stearing clear of junk. We deserve to give our bodies af ighting chance at life and take care of the "temples" that house our essence! ; P

This blog and the information within it is intended for educational use only. I do not diagnose or treat illnesses. I am offering this information so you, the reader, can make educated decisions about your own health.

My Story

At 15 I decided I didn't want to eat meat. It was a simple way for me to make a difference in the world albeit a small one! The decision felt very natural to me. My first attempts at cooking were pretty interesting (meaning lots of lentils!) At that time my eating habits were not healthy at all. I drank a lot of soda and coffee, no water. I ate plenty of sugary foods, processed cheeses and other junk. I think I survived my first year of college on all foods that included chocolate chips as the main ingredient. I was constantly sick with the flu or colds plus seasonal allergies were starting to develop. Meanwhile, I knew that a healthy vegan meal plan was my ultimate goal, but it seemed like such a daunting commitment. How can I give up chesse and chocolate? Then I started working at a vegan restaurant, which gave me the experience and expertise of a vegan gourmet!In the last seven years being vegan, I have learned and healed so much. I am doing well and I rarely get colds, flu and my spring time itchies are virtually non-existant. My skin is clear and glowy and best of all I am happy! Thats my story what's yours?