Check out our founders first write up in the brand new food section of the Naples Herald! Subscribe to this digital paper for the latest in local eats and treats. With a passion for incorporating health and wellness into the foods we eat, this is the best resource to new recipes, local findings and more!
By Ari Sexner
I have found it difficult sometimes to explain the health benefits of using a cold-press juicer over a centrifugal juicer without any hard evidence. Truth be told, eating two pounds of produce raw and fresh from the farm would be the best way, but definitely not the easiest or most practical. Nutrients start to break down immediately, like a countdown that starts right when the produce is harvested. The biggest factor in juicing, however, is between centrifugal and cold-press, how much of a difference does this make in the nutritional content?
To answer the question above, we decided to use a certified lab to test three produce varieties that are major staples in the juicing industry. We chose one vitamin in each produce variety to test, picking the vitamin that the vegetable is a major source of. For the equipment, we used a typical centrifugal commercial juicer and compared the same product on a cold press juicer. To keep everything as consistent as possible we juiced all the test samples with the same batch of produce at the same time. Although there are many variables that could affect the results, we did the tests identically, with the only difference being the extraction process with the different juicers.
Produce Varieties and Nutrients
We tested for the following:
Carrot Juice – Vitamin A
Beet Juice – Vitamin B9 (Folate)
Kale – Vitamin C
For the juice equipment, we used:
Cold-Press – Goodnature Countertop CT7 with Robot Coupe Blixer 6v for grinding
Centrifugal – Nutrifaster N450
Carrots are a great source of many vitamins but are highest in Vitamin A. Here are the results, the vitamin content for Vitamin A in the cold press juice was 15% higher, with 10,000 IU/100g vs 8,500 IU/100g:
Beets are extremely high in Vitamin B9-Folate. Folic acid and vitamin folate are almost identical in nature, the main difference is folate is naturally forming and water soluble where folic acid is synthetic. For this test, Cold press came in 16.2% higher with 31 mcg/100g vs 26 mcg/100g:
Kale is loaded with lots of different vitamins and minerals, it was between Vitamin A or Vitamin C, since we already tested Vitamin A with the carrots we decided to go with Vitamin C. The test results came back 13.1% higher in the cold press, with 23 mg/100 vs 20 mcg/100g:
When I come across a recipe that makes my tastebuds excited before making it, I think it’s something I should be sharing with the world! I have a new found love for indian foods and exotic spices.. but I also have food irritabilities with a lot of the synthetic spices that food joints tend to sneak into their dishes. MSG, natural flavoring, spice, food coloring and the list just goes on.. As we become more aware of these toxic chemicals I think the more careful we all become when it comes to choosing what we consume. When you become aligned with what your body needs to thrive and be sustainable, you are able to navigate through the world of artificial and “plastic foods” and truly enjoy the beauty of a whole food diet.
So how do I get my indian food fix? I think I just solved that problem! This is a BEAUTIFUL dish that is full of vibrant colors and bold flavors – I included some of my own spin but you can find the original recipe here!
This recipe is dairy free, vegan and of course organic!
For the Rice Bowl:
- 1/2 cup wild rice, plus 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Half of a large sweet potato, 1 tablespoon oil, and salt and pepper, to taste
- Half a 15-ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 6 baby dill pickles (or 3 large ones)
- Half a package of tempeh
- A couple handfuls of arugula
- 1 large sheet of roasted nori
- A sprinkle of black sesame seeds
For the Tahini Sauce:
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon non gmo soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha
- Make the rice by combining 1/2 cup of wild rice with 1 1/2 cups of water and the coconut oil. Bring to a boil then reduce to low heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Slice the sweet potato into thin fries. Cut approximately 1/4-inch rounds and then slicing those into thin strips. Toss fries with oil, salt, and pepper then bake on a baking sheet for 15-20 minutes, rotating and flipping halfway through.
- Slice the tempeh into long strips. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add approximately 1 tablespoon of oil. Place the strips of tempeh into the pan, they will sizzle if it is hot enough. Fry the strips for approximately 2 minutes per side, until they are golden brown. If desired, splash some soy sauce over the tempeh right before you take it off the heat. Set aside.
- Slice the dill pickled lengthways in half. Fold the sheet of nori into quarters then slice into thin strips with a sharp knife.
- Make the sauce by combining all ingredients and whisking to a smooth consistency.
- Plate and serve! Place rice, arugula, sweet potatoes, black beans, pickles, and tempeh in a bowl. Sprinkle with nori and black sesame seeds.
Chai Tea is one of those teas that not only gives you the extra boost but it relaxes the body in a way that is regenerative and restoring. Chef Tricia Otto nailed it with this combination. Black tea as a base, peppercorns, cardamom, fennel, coriander, clove, and cinnamon. Chai tea is a spicy, pungent drink made from some of the world’s most medicinally active herbs. High in antioxidants, Anti – Inflammatories and great for digestion when consumed after meals.
A true nostalgic, seasonal blend that is made with 100% organic ingredients. Each of our gift baskets is garnished with a 4 oz tea jar of bulk Chai Tea Bliss. Steep in 8oz of warm milk (dairy free if you like) or 8oz warm water for 4-5 minutes. Heres to healthy sipping this holiday season.
Rice Pudding is probably one of my FAVORITE desserts/breakfast/snacks/ (insert any other meal of the day) to eat! Growing up in a South American household this was a true staple to my family. The warm smell of cinnamon and the creamy rich texture just had my mouth melting. Since my journey of a “dairy free” lifestyle, the thought of Rice pudding pretty much went out the window. That is, of course, until I stumbled upon this recipe that I am delighted to share with you! Just in time for the holiday season, making it even better. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. – With Joy and Love, Hannah
Vegan Rice Pudding
- 1½ cups rice (sushi rice, jasmine, basmati are really good in pudding)
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 2 vanilla bean, seeded and scraped
- 5 cups Almond Milk, vanilla or unsweetened ( I make my own to skip out on the Carrageen)
- 13.5 oz of Coconut Cream
- pinch of sea salt
- Start by rinsing the rice with water. Add rice to a medium saucepan. Add maple syrup, vanilla beans and pod, sea salt, and 1 cup of almond milk.
- Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the milk is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Gradually add 5 more cups of almond milk, about ½ cup at a time. Let the milk absorb before adding more.
- Add in the Coconut Cream
- After 25 minutes, the rice pudding will be thick and creamy.
- Stir in chopped pecans and raisins and take off heat.
- Let cool, remove vanilla bean and spoon into a pretty glass. Garnish with fresh berries. Enjoy!
Author: Brianne @ Cupcakes & Kale Chips, adapted from Farro Salad with Pomegranate, Goat Cheese and Walnuts from Carrie’s Experimental Kitchen
Recipe type: Side Dish, Dinner
- 2 c butternut squash, in approx. ½ in. cubes
- 1 T olive oil
- ½ t kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 c uncooked quinoa
- 2 c vegetable stock/broth
- 1 Pomegranate, seeds only
- 2 T balsamic vinegar
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 t chopped fresh sage
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Optional: ¼ to ½ c crumbled goat cheese
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil or cooking spray.
- Toss the squash with the olive oil and salt, and spread in a single layer on the baking sheet.
- Roast for about 20 minutes, or until tender, tossing after 10 minutes.
- While the squash is roasting, prepare the quinoa according to the package directions, substituting stock/broth for water
- In a bowl, combine the squash, quinoa, and remaining ingredients.
- If desired, serve with goat cheese sprinkled on top.
It amazes me by the amount of food we consume.. and waste each year. With all of the food insecurities in this world, you would think the last thing our species would consider doing is throwing good, whole food away.
For the past decade or so, many organizations and companies that are in favor of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, pushed that such would be at the forefront of ending hunger on a global scale. One of their biggest reasons they use is that traditional conventional farming cannot yield what GMO farm factories produce.
Today, that excuse is no longer valid thanks to the new methods of organic farming the green community has created. Forward Thinking created a solar-powered floating farm that uses aquaponics to grow 20 tons of vegetables. Organic farmers living in the city figured a way to do vertical farming so that organic food can be grown in urban areas. Finally, Japan has created the world’s largest indoor farm, one that produces over 100 times more food than conventional farms.
With such advancements in organic farming, organic food should be at the forefront of ending world hunger. However, there is one issue that is preventing that and it is the disposal of six billion pounds of food. The reason is because said food is “ugly.”
Check out this video and think twice before throwing that ugly potato away!
For as long as I can remember I have heard the words “balance is key”. But I never truly understood the value of that mantra until I became, well, unbalanced. Work, Friends, School, Family.. how can one person, with one brain, handle all of these relationships? Oh, yea and I have to be in there somewhere. The occasional yoga class, or meditation session will only get you so far. Truly finding the balance and the connection with ourselves is what pushes us to be more in tuned with what is happening NOW.. and not so much worry about what will happen five minutes, a day or a week from NOW. Being in the present is a lesson to be learned and I personally think we never stop learning about. Check out these steps to help you regain mental stability, physical balance, and all together complete clarity.
Written By: Jovanka Ciares
Let’s face it, we all slip up now and then. We all struggle to keep balance between work, life, and health – it’s as if we have to choose between an enjoyable life and a healthy one.
Maybe it’s negative thinking, maybe it’s overeating or an addiction to sugar, maybe you travel all the time for work, or maybe you’re just dying for a good night’s sleep — we all have at least one area of our health that we’d like to improve. Whatever it is, it sits perpetually on your mental to-do list, just slightly out of reach.
You hope and wish and dream of having a different body, more energy, or a happier life. But, the actions you take don’t always line up with those dreams. You try and you fail. And then you feel frustrated and deflated (again).
There’s an obvious disconnect…but what is it?
As a health expert and co-creator of the #MindBodyMethod, I’ve helped thousands of private clients identify this exact disconnect in their lives:
You have all the information that you need to make permanent change, but you also have core subconscious beliefs that are holding you back.
Every time we think a thought, feel an emotion, or take an action, we activate certain neural pathways in the brain. Every time we think that thought, or feel that emotion or take that action again it makes the neural pathway stronger and thicker and deeper. Eventually weak pathways can go from being like a thin piece of string to a sixteen lane highway that is deeply embedded in the neural network of our brain.
For example, when you learn to drive a car, it’s a very conscious effort at first. You’re checking all the mirrors, breaking too hard, trying to remember all of the rules as you navigate around town. But, after a few months, the pattern becomes so embedded in the brain that driving becomes subconscious. In other words, it becomes automatic. It becomes a program that runs in the background while we talk to people who are in the car with us or even daydream or sing along with the radio.
This is the same process that turns a few late night binging sessions into an eating disorder, or a number of stressful days at work into a nail biting habit, or a traumatic event gone unchecked that balloons into full-fledged insomnia, and the list goes on and on.
These programs running silently in the background are the source of the choices we make that create our lives.
The good news is that our subconscious habits and beliefs can be observed when we deepen our awareness. A key component of the #MindBodyMethod for lasting change is based on the fact that when we relax deeply and feel safe we can transform our subconscious minds to work for us, rather than against us.
In order to solve the disconnect between what you want for yourself and the actions you take to create your life, you need healthy subconscious programming and it can’t come from knowledge alone.
You need more than information to make lasting change in your life.
For example, most people think reading a book about their problem will solve the issue, but 9 times out of 10 simply acquiring new knowledge is like taking a handful of seeds, (knowledge), throwing them on top of a field full of weeds, (bad habits), and somehow hoping the seeds will take root.
The trick is to complement conscious knowledge with subconscious programming to create changes that stick — for the long haul.
Let me explain.
Let’s say you want to grow a beautiful garden. What do you do first?
1. Remove the weeds to make space to plant your seeds
2. Plant new seeds by choosing the seeds you want to plant and place them in the right position in your garden
3. Water these new seeds constantly so that your seeds grow and flourish into beautiful flowers or plants.
Well, it’s the exact same process for the human body and mind to experience growth and what it needs to flourish.
1. Remove the weeds by becoming aware of the bad stuff that’s in your head and remove it so you give space for new thoughts and habits to be formed
2. Plant new seeds by choosing which thoughts and habits you want to nurture, and allow your mind to absorb these
3. Water the seeds by constantly reinforcing these new thoughts and habits so that they become a reality in your life, allowing you to experience flourishing health.
By getting to the root (your core beliefs that determine your thoughts and actions) you can undo the negative programming that has led you to struggle in the past and by carefully weeding out the bad thoughts and cultivating positive, supportive thoughts, we build the neural networks of brain in alignment with our goals.
Dr. Mercola writes up some pretty interesting articles. Some that I just feel the need to share with you. With todays health food craze, which I am excited to say is getting better and better, there are a lot of fads being thrown around and a tribute as being healthy options. Well, it appears that it doesn’t just come down to choosing the right type of food, but choosing foods that are produced in ethical and healthy ways.
Watch Out for These “Healthy” Foods
By Dr. Mercola
Vegetables and fruits are among the healthiest foods you can eat, but they’re also foods that are commonly contaminated with pesticides.
According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 75 percent of the U.S. population has detectable levels of organophosphate pesticides in their urine, and unless you’re a farmer, your diet is one of the most likely routes of exposure.1
Eating organic is one of the best ways to lower your overall pesticide burden. In one recent study, those who “often or always” ate organic had about 65 percent lower levels of pesticide residues compared to those who ate the least amount of organic produce.2
Eating an all-organic diet is the ideal – but it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Not everyone has access to organic foods or the resources necessary to buy them (organic foods aren’t always more expensive than conventionally grown foods, but they tend to cost about 20 percent to 100 percent more3).
If you can’t go all organic, picking and choosing carefully, and opting for organic versions of heavily contaminated foods and conventional versions of “cleaner” food items, is the next best strategy.
Why It’s Important to Minimize Your Pesticide Exposure
The U.S. uses about 1.1 billion pounds of pesticides each year,4 and it’s not uncommon for your apple or strawberries to contain two different pesticides, or more.
While in the U.S. tolerance levels are set that determine upper allowable limits for individual pesticides, there is no legal limit on the number of different pesticides allowed on food.
The effects of these chemical cocktails are unknown, but concern is warranted, especially since adults and children alike are exposed to low doses for a lifetime. Nick Mole of the Pesticide Action Network U.K. (PAN U.K.) told The Telegraph:5
“Around 60 percent of fruit and vegetables contain pesticide residue … Eating an apple isn’t going to kill you … obviously, but it’s the long-term effects of low doses that we don’t know about.
Foods with traces of more than one pesticide are potentially the biggest concern, says Mole, who suggests anyone considering switching to organic should prioritize these.”
The CHAMACOS Study is among those showing that very small amounts of pesticides may be harmful, in this case to kids’ brains. It followed hundreds of pregnant women living in Salinas Valley, California, an agricultural mecca that has had up to a half-million pounds of organophosphates sprayed in the region per year.
The children were followed through age 12 to assess what impact the pesticides had on their development.6 It turns out the impact was quite dramatic, and mothers’ exposure to organophosphates during pregnancy was associated with:7
- Shorter duration of pregnancy
- Poorer neonatal reflexes
- Lower IQ and poorer cognitive functioning in children
- Increased risk of attention problems in children
Brenda Eskenazi, chief investigator of the CHAMACOS study, also noted that the effects of combined chemical exposures need further attention:8
“The other thing we don’t know about is the combined effect of exposures …Throughout the course of a day, people may eat several different types of produce, each of which may bear traces of one or more pesticides.
They encounter other types of chemicals as well — from antibacterials in soaps, to plasticizers in foodware, to flame retardants in the furniture … By day’s end, you’ve got a combination of chemicals and an unknown level of risk.”
Pesticide Contamination: The Worst Offenders and Least Contaminated
The “worst” list below is based on data compiled by the U.K.’s Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (Prif).9 It shows the foods that most commonly contain more than one pesticide residue in the U.K..
- Lemons and limes
- Pre-packed salads
- Spring greens
The “best” list, below shows foods that are least likely to contain more than one pesticide residue. These are among the safest to purchase conventionally grown in the U.K.:
- Swede (rutabaga)
- Sweet potato
Four More Foods You Should Try to Buy Organic
The Prif data also revealed four other foods that are often contaminated:
Nearly two-thirds of non-organic bread tested by Prif between 2000 and 2013 contained at least one pesticide residue, including glyphosate. That alone is reason to look for organic versions of these grain products (although, ideally, you’re not eating much of them anyway).
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and may be at least partially to blame for rising rates of numerous chronic diseases in Westernized societies, according to research published in Entropy.10
Authored by Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Anthony Samsel, a retired science consultant, the report argues that glyphosate residues “enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease.”
In a study published in 2013, researchers also concluded that glyphosate is a xenoestrogen that is functionally similar to estradiol, the most potent human estrogen, and concentrations in the parts-per-trillion range had carcinogenic effects.11
In early 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is the research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO), also determined glyphosate to be a “probable carcinogen” (Class 2A), based on “limited evidence” showing that the popular weed killer can cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and lung cancer in humans, along with “convincing evidence” it can also cause cancer in animals.
How much glyphosate is in your food? In the U.S., no one knows because the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not test for it.
Which Foods Are Most Contaminated in the U.S.?
The worst offenders above are based on U.K. data, which is somewhat different from data collected in the U.S. Animal products, like meats, butter, milk, and eggs, are actually the most important to buy organic no matter where you live, since animal products tend to bioaccumulate toxins from their pesticide-laced feed, concentrating them to far higher concentrations than are typically present in vegetables.
Unlike conventional fruits and vegetables, where peeling and washing can sometimes reduce the amounts of these toxins, the pesticides and drugs that these animals get exposed to during their lives can become incorporated into their very tissues, especially their fat. So if you’re on a budget, choose organic animal foods first.
Consumer Reports analyzed 12 years of data from the USDA’s Pesticide Data Program to determine the risk categories (from very low to very high) for different types of produce. Because children are especially vulnerable to the effects of environmental chemicals, including pesticides, they based the risk assessment on a 3.5-year-old child.
They recommended buying organic for any produce that came back in the medium or higher risk categories, which left the following foods as examples of those you should always try to buy organic.
Peaches Carrots Strawberries Green Beans Sweet Bell Peppers Hot Peppers Tangerines Nectarines Cranberries Sweet Potatoes
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) also ranks fruits and vegetables for their “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” lists, which combine six different measures of contamination to come up with a composite score for each type of produce. The results are as follows:12
EWG’s 2015 Dirty Dozen (Buy These Organic)
- Sweet bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Snap peas (imported)
Bonus: Hot Peppers and Kale/Collard greens
EWG’s 2015 Clean 15 (OK to Buy These Conventional)
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas (frozen)
- Sweet potatoes
A Bonus to Eating Organic: More Nutritious Foods
It’s not only a lack of pesticides that makes organic foods preferable. They also have on average 48 percent lower levels of cadmium, a toxic metal and a known carcinogen — a clear bonus, if you ask me.13 They also will be free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and tend to be healthier overall.
One key nutritional difference between conventional and organics is their antioxidant content. According to research published in the British Journal of Nutrition, organic fruits and vegetables can contain anywhere from 18 to 69 percent moreantioxidants than conventionally grown varieties.14
Study co-author Charles Benbrook notes that one reason you’re advised to eat more fruits and vegetables is in fact to get more antioxidants into your diet. “And if organic produce provides more of them, we think that’s a big deal,” he says.15 I couldn’t agree more.
Keep in mind, also, that some locally grown foods may be grown according to organic standards (or close to them) without receiving the organic certification (a process that can be cost prohibitive for some small farms). Shopping for produce locally is the best way to get fresh, nutrient-rich foods, and the added bonus is you can ask the farmer directly how the food is grown (with or without the use of synthetic pesticides, for instance).
In order to be certified organic, a food must be grown without the use of most synthetic pesticides. However, certain natural pesticides, and a few synthetic ones, are allowed, even in organic farming.
Alternatively, you can try growing some of your own produce using organic methods right in your own backyard. And finally, if you know you have been exposed to pesticides, the lactic acid bacteria formed during the fermentation of kimchi may help your body break down pesticides. So including fermented foods like kimchi in your diet may also be a wise ongoing strategy to help detox the pesticides that do enter your body.