Years ago, I started adding a very delicious vanilla whey protein to my smoothies that I got from GNC. I was religious about using this one brand, and when they suddenly discontinued it, I became outraged! I called every GNC in town searching high and low for it. It was the best tasting whey protein on the market and I didn’t want to go on a hunt for another kind. Well… long story short, I got to the botttom of why they discontinued it – the health department found rat droppings in samples of the protein at the manufacturing plant! WHAT. I’d been drinking rat droppings for all those years? @#$%&%&*^%^$$!
Needless to say, I have never looked at protein powders the same again. I research the heck out of them before I ever consider putting them in my body.
The key to finding a high quality protein powder is figuring out the right questions to ask…. Is it organic and free of pesticides? Is it GMO free? How is it processed? Does the processing retain it’s nutritional quality, vitamins and minerals? Does it contain artificial or refined sugars? Do they have heavy metals?
Yes…I said heavy metals. Consumer Reports conducted an eye-opening investigation that revealed that several popular highly processed protein powders like Myoplex, Muscle Milk, Designer Whey and GNC brand all contained arsenic, cadmium, and lead. Yikes.
These are all the things that make my life complete or that I’m wishing to magically appear under my tree this holiday season…Between the 40 or so items on this list, I hope you can find something healthy to give your loved one or selfishly ask for yourself this holiday season.
I’ve included all the online shopping links and prices to date, to make the craziness of buying presents a little easier… Happy shopping!
- Hurom Juicer ($358) - Juice is medicine, plain and simple. This may be the most powerful and rewarding gift you could give yourself or a loved one. Drinking green juice will awaken you to health, vitality and wellness. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without juice and will certainty thank the person who bought you the juicer until the end of days. Hurom is the best home juicer on the market. It’s quiet, easy to clean and is a slow juicer, preserving nutrients and enzymes much longer than centrifuge juicers. The pulp comes out almost completely dry and will save you money down the road in produce cost making this juicer worth every penny of the investment.
- MOMA Colorful Rings Cutting Board ($25) - The MOMA Store is a great place to find a whimsical inexpensive kitchen gifts – especially this colorful round cutting board that I recently got a friend.
- The Green Pan (Starting at $79.00) - This pan is a must for any healthy kitchen. It is non stick but isn’t coated with toxic teflon and can help you reduce the amount of oil you use in your cooking dramatically – I stir fry things almost dry using only a 1/2 teaspoon of oil or vegetable broth without anything sticking. It’s completely safe and eco-friendly. I have both the Wok and Crepe Pan.
- Lemon Juicer ($27) - Teaching someone about detoxing first thing in the morning will be a lot more fun if you give them this gift. I love this lemon juicer because it is stainless steel, isn’t made of plastic or painted with potential harmful chemicals that can leach into your water or food. Hot Water with Lemon in the morning will be an easy ritual with this!
- Glass Straws ($31.50 for set) - This gift will be perfect for your favorite eco-friendly smoothie drinking friend or family member. The more plastics you can eliminate in someone’s life the better! These ones have a wide hole for easy slurping thick green smoothies.
- Clear Bowl for Kitchen Aid Mixer ($69) - I’ve been eyeing this bowl for a while now – Why all Kitchen Aid Stand Mixers don’t come with this – I just can’t understand. This bowl makes a nice gift upgrade for someone who already owns a stand mixer and uses it a lot.
- Bodum Storage Jars (Starting at $8) - Storing your juice, Hari Shakes or other green smoothies is easy thanks to air tight Bodum Jars. Having these jars are a real luxury, making it a perfect gift. I discovered these jars long ago when I received a wedding gift from my cousin in Louisiana. She filled each jar with the dry ingredients to a cookie recipe. I personally like to fill these jars with homemade trail mix or organic butterscotch and cinnamon candies from Yummy Earth and wrap the outside with a ribbon.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of finally connecting with one of my favorite food heroes – Birke Baehr. We’d been talking for months over the blog and Facebook – but finally we had the chance to meet over dinner at one of my favorite restaurants – Halcyon. Not only did we have a fantastic meal together (and a lot of laughs about me not willing to take his $5 dollar bet to eat pig ears), but we also had an incredible opportunity to give a keynote address to some young adults who are helping their communities fight the epidemic of obesity at the Southern Obesity Conference.
Hope you enjoy the candidness of our talk…You can bet, Birke and I will be teaming up again…
If this is the first time you are learning about Birke – you’ve got to check out his TED Talk and his new book “Birke On the Farm” – especially if you have kids. What an amazing young man he is!
Thanksgiving is by far one of my favorite holidays – there is something so special about the sense of community, thankfulness, family tradition, and overall togetherness it brings each year.
It’s also a perfect day to teach and influence your family to eat less processed food and make better choices at the grocery store. I know it’s tricky messing with handed down time honored traditions but using canned mushroom soup that is full of GMOs and MSG to make grandmother’s green bean casserole recipe just has to stop.
42% of us will be obese by 2030, our children are expected to have a shorter life span than us and 41% of us are going to inevitably get cancer. This doesn’t have to happen. We can alter this trajectory if we spread as much information about the chemicals in food as possible – specifically the chemicals that can be directly linked to obesity and cancer and that are slowly poisoning us and making us suffer as a society.
This is why I think it is absolutely critical to detail out the ingredients in popular holiday meal products that are on sale and lining conventional grocery stores all over the country right now.
Let’s talk turkey…. choosing a conventional turkey is a bad idea because it’s pumped full of preservatives, natural flavors and antibiotics.
A couple of months ago I was quoted saying that if California’s Proposition 37 didn’t pass – I’d get sick to my stomach. Well, that’s exactly what happened as I watched the returns come in on Tuesday Night. I went to bed numb and admittedly sad knowing it was going to require much more work to change the food system in this country.