Fridge Refresher – Clean in 4 Easy Steps!

How often we forget the feeling of freshness and inspiration a clean fridge brings. Take advantage of a rainy day where the first impulse is to curl up on the couch and waste a bunch of time on Facebook. In a short period of time, you can transform the fridge from a dingy graveyard for rotting vegetables to one where the white interior and the splash of colors from all your fresh produce invigorates you.

It seems like an arduous task, but we assure you that it can be completed in about 30 minutes. In the spirit of walking you through this, we’re about to get up-close and personal with this nutritionist’s fridge.

Step 1: Determine the ‘when’
When do we think the best time to do this mini-project is? Well, if we’re on top of our game before a trip, this is when we use up all our produce (or freeze it) and get dirty cleaning the fridge out. It’s always nice to come back home, pick up some groceries, and fit everything neatly into your fridge. *Contented sigh*. Otherwise, wait until you have returned from your travels or are running empty on groceries. Rainy days help with staying inside and focused.

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Our ‘before’ photo. We agree, it’s a bit horrifying and very motivating. Let’s get on to the good stuff!

Step 2: Throw it out!
Remove all items from the fridge and take a look at each one for the expiration date. Old deli meat? Hard-boiled eggs from last week? The little bit of mayo left in an expiring bottle? Bin it. If you can’t remember when you opened the salsa jar or hummus dip, it’s best to throw it away.

Keep food safety in mind. This whole project should take about 20-30 minutes; it may be helpful to have a cooler handy for your perishable items, especially for raw chicken and meat.

Step 3: Interior Wipe-down
This is where one can get a bit obsessive over little rust marks and ensuring every little crevice looks the way it did when the refrigerator came off the assembly line. Set a timer for 20 minutes and get busy with a bit of dishwasher soap, hot water, and elbow grease.

Energizing dance music doesn’t hurt.  20150702_130030

Step 4: Exterior Overhaul
Take down carry-out menus, out-dated mementos or announcements, and thank you notes. Then give the outside surfaces and door handles a nice wipe-down. Pop on a few magnets and keep your favorite items on the fridge.

Congratulations! Wipe your brow, do a little dance, and bask in the glory of your clean fridge. You deserve it.

clean fridge obw

Strawberry Summer Salad

strawberry summer salad
 
We find having an idea and two (or more) minds coming together can create such delicious synergy. Our shared goal was to create a summer salad to enjoy on the back patio; what turned out was even better than expected. A friend brought over some strawberries, avocado oil and vinegars; we paired them with salad mix, nuts & seeds, and spices to create a masterpiece. Enjoy this strawberry summer salad along with some good conversation!

Serves 2
Ingredients
4 cups salad mix
1/4 almonds (sprouted)
1 cup strawberries (sliced)
1 cup carrots (chopped)
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp avocado oil
Salt & pepper
Optional: add chicken and/or pumpkin seeds for additional protein sources

Instructions
Wash salad mix and rinse all vegetables. Soak almonds in water for a couple of hours if you want them sprouted, otherwise use them dry. Chop carrots, slice strawberries. Mix white wine, balsamic vinegars with avocado oil and drizzle over salad. Use a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
 

Singing the Sugar Blues

sugar blues

Sugar. It’s a common ingredient added into countless food items – from cereal and condiments to baby food and supposed ‘health foods’. According to the USDA, the average American is consuming close to their own body weight in pounds of sugar each year. This is not because of purchasing and eating the bags of sugar found in the grocery store baking aisle; it’s partially because sugar has many different names which makes it easier to be ‘hidden’ in various products created by the industrial food machines. It’s also because…

Sugar is a drug. Like nicotine, cocaine, or heroin, it is addictive and even considered poisonous by many health experts. Look up the definition of the word ‘drug’ and you’ll see sugar fits. It is a nutrient-less substance – so not only does it add extra calories, but it’s actually responsible for depleting the body of certain vitamins and minerals needed to break down and essentially ‘detox’ the sugar.

Added sugars are typically found in processed or prepared foods – sugar-sweetened beverages (which doesn’t just include sodas or juice, but some non-dairy milks!), breakfast pastries, dairy desserts, candy- to name a few. Naturally occurring sugar, such as that found in fruit, is not included as an ‘added sugar’.

Recommendations for added sugar consumption vary widely. The Institute of Medicine reports that added sugars should not exceed 25% of total calories consumed. World Health Organization takes a more conservative approach and recommends less than 10%.

Studies have shown that people who consume higher amounts of added sugar, especially sugar-sweetened beverages, tend to gain weight and have a higher risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, unfavorable lipid levels (i.e. cholesterol, triglycerides), hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Blood sugar equilibrium is one of the most important keys to health.

Getting rid of sugar in your diet takes more than passing on dessert. It involves a multifaceted approach to being a ‘sugar detective’ and becoming creative in how we can healthfully live without it.

Are you ready to take the One Bite Wellness ’25 Sugar Detox Challenge’? Join us in revitalizing life and health by breaking the bonds that make us slaves to sugar. We will explore hidden sources of sugar, re-creating healthier home and work environments, understanding & combating cravings, and learning how to have delicious meals.

Recipe: DIY Almond Milk

Have you read the ingredients label for almond milk? Eek! It’s not just almonds and water, kids. Take a look at this common, unsweetened version:

Ingredients: almond milk (filtered water, almonds), calcium carbonate, sea salt, potassium citrate, carrageenan, sunflower lecithin, natural flavor, vitamin A palmitate, vitamin d2 and d-alpha-tocopherol (natural vitamin e).

Pshaw. Who needs all those additives? Here’s how to make your own. It’s easy, I swear.

Yields: half-gallon of almond milk

Ingredients & Equipment
1 cup raw, organic almonds
8 cups of water
1/2 tsp. sea salt
Strainer & cheesecloth
Blender
Optional: pure vanilla extract and/or natural sweeteners like stevia and maple syrup

Instructions

1. Soak almonds in 2 cups of water and salt for at least 3 hours or overnight.
2. Toss in a blender with 8 cups of water and run on high for about a minute, until it’s creamy and frothy.


3. Pour 1 cup of almond mixture through double cheesecloth-lined strainer and then use cheesecloth to squeeze into a large bowl. Repeat until all almond mixture has been transferred to bowl.

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Note: keep the almond ‘pulp’ and use it to make gluten-free almond flour or for smoothies. It would be a shame to throw this out.
4. Optional: for sweetened milk, put liquid back in the blender and add preferred sweetener (above).
5. Pour liquid from bowl into large jug or containers.

Lasts about 6 days in the fridge. Product will naturally separate; just shake it before serving.

Mean Girl? Respect Yourself.

“You’re ugly, your thighs are fat, these people are all better than you (and probably hate you), and you’re a complete loser”

Have you said these words to another person recently? Most people could never imagine saying any of this to a stranger, much less someone we love. But….have you said this to yourself?

Blam! In working with clients, this question around negative self-talk usually hits a nerve. Stunned and with tears forming in the corners of their eyes, they will admit how hard they are on themselves for not following their (idea of a perfect) diet, having a pinterest-pretty life, and for their bodies betraying them by not adhering to what they “should” look like. Ow.

Part of the work here is not about nutrition at all. It’s about helping people see themselves, first as they really are, in that moment, and helping to change their mindset on the way to advancing to a more whole life. What does this involve? It involves treating yourself kindly and learning to be your own best friend. It involves respecting yourself and your body – in self-talk, with exercise & sleep, and how you feed it.

Life is hectic and we often push ourselves and our needs to the wayside. So now, more than ever, is the time to remind yourself to give your body the respect it deserves. A healthy self-indulgence does not mean you are selfish. You are worthy of nourishing yourself with proper nutrition, body movement, and time for self-reflection and quietude. Here is your challenge: incorporate some of these ideas into your life today.

1. Create a nourishing morning routine. If you find that most mornings are a rush -to find the shirt you were going to wear only to find it’s in the laundry, grabbing an energy bar for lunch, and feeling your heart race as you realize you’ll be late for work- realize there’s another way. Make time to eat a healthy breakfast, do some exercise or read quietly over some hot tea before you start the rest of the day.

2. Don’t over-commit. Sure, 6 nights of social gatherings a week sounds fun, but consider how depleted you may feel without having much time to yourself. Particularly if you’re an introvert you may find that you may need more downtime than the more party-til-dawn extrovert types. Honor your needs and act accordingly. Sometimes a hot bath and a book is where it’s at.

3. No one defines your boundaries but you. The flip side of this: unless you set boundaries, others are bound to walk all over you. Be clear about what you want and don’t want – in a career, relationship, or life experience. Listening to others tell you what you ‘should’ do will often only muddy the water.

4. Find something that excites you. If you’re not passionate about your job, is there a hobby that gets your creative juices flowing? Explore salsa dancing, stand-up paddleboarding, crochet, vegan cooking, or painting as avenues that make you smile and fill your heart with joy.

5. If you do nothing else, learn to say no. We cannot stress how importance this is, especially to those who have more people-pleasing, co-dependent tendencies. Strong, respected people get clear and kindly decline activities that don’t suit them.

6. Accept that you are ‘slightly irregular’. We all are! There is a quirkiness to each of us that differentiates us from other people creates curiosity about us. Part of your job is to accept yourself- perceived weirdness and all. Own your unique sense of humor, mannerisms, and weltanschauung as a strength.

7. Celebrate your daily accomplishments. We’d like to move mountains, finish writing books, move head financially at break-neck speed, and have mastered the art of French cooking. But guess what? Today you did contributed at work, walked the dog, paid the bills, made your friend laugh, and prepared dinner. These activities deserve some accolades. Secret note: appreciating your progress will only encourage more progress.

8. Respect yourself and others enough to apologize. If you did harm to someone, apologize without qualifying it or being passive aggressive. Bonus: do this for yourself for when you mess up and then move on. The ability to forgive is the mark of a great human.

9. Write a love note. You’ve likely done it for others; now it’s time to catalog some of those qualities you adore about yourself. Keep them handy for days when you’re feeling less-than-stellar.

10. Fill your pitcher first. Undoubtedly this seems hardest for moms (who are used to putting their little ones before their own needs) but it’s difficult for most of us. An empty pitcher is a sign that something is awry; resentment is soon to follow. When you refill your pitcher -with nourishing food and relationships, fun activities, and self-care- you are better able to ‘pour out’ your time, energy, and care into others’ glasses.

Dangers of Dairy

Most have see the “got milk?” campaign and heard the claim “milk does a body good”; the product is promoted for its benefits mainly related to the importance of calcium in the human body. The USDA pyramid calls for everyone over the age of 8 to have 3 cups of dairy per day. What does that translate to in terms of various milk products? From the ChooseMyPlate.gov website it could be “1 cup of milk, yogurt, or soymilk (soy beverage), 1 ½ ounces of natural cheese, or 2 ounces of processed cheese.” Yes, this counts:

photo source:  abcnews.go.com

photo source: abcnews.go.com

That’s ludicous enough, but here’s another fun fact: the US Department of Agriculture has both the duty of supporting agriculture as well as promoting the dietary guidelines telling Americans what to eat. Conflict of interest much? Quite a few nutrition experts we’ve learned from- including Dr. Hyman, Dr. Marion Nestle, and Dr. Walter Willet- suggest that the USDA’s recommendations mainly reflect politics, not science, and that dairy may be nature’s perfect food…

…for a calf.

As for humans, it may be worth exercising caution. Here’s why:

1. Not everyone tolerates lactose well. Many people who experience negative reactions to milk may not be allergic to it (though an intolerance to dairy is possibly) but they may have lactose intolerance, meaning that they aren’t able to digest the milk sugar found in the milk. These undigested sugars often end up causing gas, cramping, bloating, and diarrhea. Unfortunately certain ethnic groups such as Asians, Native Americans, and Africans have a higher rate of lactose intolerance than their Caucasian counterparts.

2. Bone Health? The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, including more than 75,000 women who were followed for 12 years, found that there was not any protective benefit of increased milk consumption on fracture risk. Surprisingly, the increased intake of calcium from dairy sources was associated with a higher risk. You can decrease your risk for osteoporosis by exercising and increasing calcium intake from plant foods such as leafy green vegetables, beans, tahini as well as calcium-fortified products.

3. Contaminants. Synthetic hormones, such as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBST), are commonly used in dairy cows to increase milk production. This commonly leads to mastitis or inflammation of the cow’s mammary glands and the treatment involves antibiotics. Traces of hormones, antibiotics, blood, pus, and other dirty items can end up in milk – which is, in part, why it’s pasteurized or even Ultra High Temperature (UHT) pasteurized (this also helps keep it shelf-stable longer). All to keep you safe, right? Some argue that pasteurization kills the bad and good bacteria as well as denaturing proteins.  Also, cows are often fed GMO corn and soy products. These are all items for consideration.

4. Even without the addition of synthetic hormones, there are still anabolic hormones contained in milk and these are designed to take a just-born calf at about 85lbs and grow it into a 1000+ cow. What do you think it’s doing to humans?

5. Extra calories. In a time where we are experiencing an epidemic of overweight and obesity, do we really need more calories from beverages or cheese? With the former, consider that water and tea, even coffee, are much lower calorie alternatives.

6. Other connections. Over the years, we’ve seen that dairy can affect individuals in a variety of ways – sinus & ear infections, skin issues such as acne, as well as diarrhea and/or constipation. It’s important to pay attention to your individual results.

Milk and dairy products are not inherently evil but they also aren’t necessary for a healthy diet. Eat plenty of nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fruit (and fortified foods, if desired). They can help you reach your vitamin and mineral requirements without the potentially adverse effects of dairy.

If you desire to consume milk or dairy products, consider buying the highest-quality sources; other alternatives are using non-dairy milk, or going without.

Sources:

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/dairy.html
http://www.dairymoos.com/how-much-do-cows-weight/
http://www.nationaldairycouncil.org/SiteCollectionDocuments/LI%20and%20Minorites_FINALIZED.pdf

Recipe: DIY Electrolyte Replacement Drink

photo source: uk.thebar.com

photo source: uk.thebar.com

Prep time: < 5 minutes

Ingredients
1 orange
2 lemons
8 cups pure, filtered water
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (Celtic or Himalayan)
2-3 tablespoons raw honey
16 drops trace mineral (i.e. Concentrace), optional

Instructions
Blend peeled orange and lemons along with all other ingredients, adding sea salt and/or trace minerals to taste. Keeps in fridge for about a week. Use: sip during workouts or long days in hot weather.