You know that feeling when you think you are one of the luckiest girls in the world? Well that’s exactly how I felt during our stay at the Four Seasons Tented Camp.
I wasn’t sure what to think of the specially themed dinners that were planned out in our personalized itinerary. I really had no idea what to expect…but the manager Vikas and Chef Pisan assured us that our dinners would be spectacular, which I found out later to be exactly that. Amazingly spectacular!
After drinks and personalized vegetarian appetizers at the Burma Bar…we were escorted by a ranger through the exotic bamboo jungle by torch into the elephant camp where we were immediately greeted by our elephants Yuki and Pet… feeding them a dinner of sugarcane before the ranger lead us to our dinner. Spending time with our elephants at night was very intimate and just the beginning of many extraordinary touches to come…
Hope you enjoy viewing some of my eats over the past week. I will be doing this more because so many of you have asked. If you have any questions, you know what to do
From left to right – A finished Hari Shake, arugula salad with sprouts, TruRoots Sprouted Lentils, avocado, blueberries and tahini dressing, kale/cucumber juice from Luna’s Living Kitchen (LLK), skinny witch from LLK, chocolate chia pudding from LLK, cantaloupe and banana before taking a class at Yoga Shala, Oatmeal made with one date, water and topped with walnuts and almond butter, Alter Eco quinoa chocolate bar, steamed veggies from 5 Church – a new restaurant in Charlotte that uses local/organic produce, coleslaw salad with kale and chickpeas, secret for now (recipe coming soon!), making almond milk.
Hope everyone had a fantastic Memorial Day weekend! It’s officially the start of the summer travel season, so I thought it would be appropriate to share the list of my favorite travel food, including the food I recently took with me on my trip to Asia.
A lot of the items below you can find at Healthy Home Market, Earth Fare and/or Whole Foods. I’ve provided links to where you can find these items on the internet too, which is my preferred method to buy things so I am not always hunting around for the items I love at multiple stores.
Please note – this list assumes I won’t have a kitchen while traveling and won’t be cooking. If I were going to stay somewhere with a kitchen, this list would include more cooking essentials and I definitely wouldn’t be using so many ziplocs!
Chia Seeds Packs - Perfect to top oatmeal, yogurt, or drink in coconut water for sustained energy.
Almond Butter Packs - I like to eat this directly with one banana, apple, stuffed into a date, or on top of Suzie’s Thin Crisps
Suzie’s Thin Crisps - This is my travel cracker of choice – doesn’t crumble and has a nice crunch. They are made of easily digestible spelt flour and flax seed.
Navitas Naturals Power Snack - Amazing superfoods snack that I highly recommend with no refined or added sugars. All the flavors are delicious, especially the Cacao Goji. I took these on my scuba diving trip every day because they wouldn’t melt and were perfect for instant energy.
Country Choice Quick Oats - I made pre-made ziploc packs of organic oatmeal and ate them almost every morning in Borneo. It’s the perfect breakfast when your options are limited.
Dates - I love snacking on dates, but these are also one of the ingredients I have to use in my oatmeal. I add one chopped date to oatmeal before I add hot water. The date slowly dissolves into the oats, naturally sweetening it, once the water is added. I prefer this method of sweetener over other liquid or crystal versions, because dates have antioxidants and fiber.
Prunes - I know I’m not 70 years old, but I love prunes. They are chewy, sweet, fill you up and keep you regular on vacation (I know a lot of people who mention this problem all the time!)
Figs - My candy of choice. I could eat one stuffed with a walnut every single day!
Raw Walnuts - For figs, other homemade packs of trail mix, and to top off oatmeal.
Today I posted an article my cousin sent me on my Facebook wall. She had just read my post about Cornucopia Institute’s recent investigation dubbed the “Organic Watergate” (rightly so) and the harmful ingredient carrageenan that is allowed in organic foods. The article I posted was entitled 38 Non-Organic Ingredients Found in USDA Organic Foods. Although dated 2007, I found the reasons for allowing these ingredients to be fascinating. A majority of the foods were allowed because no other substitute from an organic supplier was widely available or for economic reasons. Majority of the foods were allowed only after companies submitted specific petitions to the USDA to include them.
Because the article was outdated a bit, I thought it would be prudent to easily make available the whole list of ingredients that are currently legally allowed in organic food. While most of the agriculture and non-synthetic substances are not harmful to your body – some of them along with synthetic ingredients do alter your body’s alkalinity, making you more acidic. This matters, because an alkaline body avoids disease, repair cells, and removes free radicals/toxins more effectively.
I could spend days discussing each ingredient, but one synthetic ingredient that jumped out at me is cellulose – otherwise known as wood pulp. The amount of cellulose food companies can put in your food is not regulated by the FDA. Cellulose is used as filler to processed foods because it doesn’t contain calories or fat content and is cheap. Some common products that contain it are frozen waffles, shredded cheese, and salad dressings. Your body simply cannot use this ingredient at all nutritionally and lacks the enzymes to digest it. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t want to eat things that my system can’t process. I can’t believe companies are allowed to sell food we can’t even digest as humans!
This list hopefully serves as a reminder why it is so incredibly important to avoid overly processed foods even when they are certified organic and to check every single label on everything you buy. The products I share and support on my shop and the ones I use on a daily basis rarely if ever contain any of the below ingredients. And for the record I will ALWAYS choose an organic product vs. a conventional one.
I obtained this list from the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations ECFR and is current as of May 22, 2012. Please feel free to share it how ever you like.
I really wish I wasn’t writing this post right now. The information I am about to share with you will likely make you pretty angry and it should. Do you consume any of these brands in the picture below (Silk, Starbucks, So Delicious, Horizon, Zico, Blue Diamond, Pacific, Carnation and Tempt)? My guess is that you probably do.
A few days ago, the Cornucopia Institute released a Video by it’s co-founder and Senior Farm Analyst, Mark Kastel and a full PDF Report that shares some very startling practices between the USDA and the NOSA “National Organic Standards Board”- the agency that regulates organic food. This report explains the details behind several allegations of corporate corruption that has allowed several agribusinesses to use chemicals in organic products without sufficient regulatory oversight.
One of the findings has to do with a carcinogenic ingredient all these products have in common, a substance derived from red algae called carrageenan. Carrageenan can be found in most milk substitute products, infant formula, cottage cheese and some flavored coconut waters regardless if the product is certified organic by the USDA. I know so many people who get soy lattes from Starbucks to avoid having to consume conventional milk products, so I thought it would be pertinent to include them here on the list below, since they and many other coffee shops use soy milk that contains carrageenan.
I’ve had my doubts about carrageenan for a long time – it started last year when my cousin from Ohio sent me a Facebook message asking about whether or not it was ok to feed store bought almond milk that contained this additive to her toddler aged son. Since I didn’t have all the facts, I erred on the side of caution and suggested she make her own almond milk from scratch only.