August 28, 2009

Eco Food Friday: Larabar All Natural Fruit and Nut Bars

Larabar Fruit & Nut Food Bars come in 15 different flavors made from the simplest ingredients. I recently discovered these all natural bars when a friend brought them on a backpacking trip. Most of the bars have only two or three ingredients, like simply dates and cashews. For example, cashew cookie:

Cashew Cookie -- two ingredients, one incredible flavor! The unprocessed, creamy cashews are rich in iron, zinc and B Vitamins. The chewy dates have more potassium than bananas. Together they form a bar rich in fiber with 2 grams of heart-healthy Omega-6 fatty acids and 15 essential vitamins and minerals. So much sustaining nourishment in such a simple recipe. Raw natural food for health. For life. For fun. Uncooked, unprocessed, no added sugar, non-GMO, gluten free, dairy free, soy free, vegan, kosher. Sugars and carbs are naturally occurring in fruit. Good source of fiber. All fat comes from nuts only and provides 2 g of Omega 6 fatty acids. Cholesterol and sodium free. 1 1/2 Servings of fruit based on the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

These simple bars are delicious and convenient. Of course, a better option would be to simply eat organic cashews and dates together as whole foods (Larabars are not organic), but sometimes the convenience of a bar can't be beat.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 25, 2009

Artificial Aspartame Should be Banned According to the Cancer Prevention Coalition

aspartame in soda.jpg
Do you consume any products containing Nutrasweet, Equal, or Canderel? If so, stop immediately as these artificial sweeteners contain aspartame. Aspartame has long been controversial, but the Cancer Prevention Coalition is calling on the FDA to immediately ban this substance because it causes cancer in laboratory rats. World Wire writes:

Under the explicit provisions of the 1958 Delaney Law, which requires an automatic ban on carcinogenic food additives, the Coalition is calling on Dr. Margaret Hamburg, the newly appointed Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and public health advocate, to promptly ban the continued use of aspartame...Aspartame is the second most widely used artificial sweetener in the world. It is found in more than 6,000 products including carbonated and powdered soft drinks, hot chocolate, chewing gum, candy, desserts, yogurt, and tabletop sweeteners, as well as some pharmaceutical products like vitamins and sugar-free cough drops. More than 200 million people worldwide consume it...In 2005, based on highly sensitive and life-long feeding tests in groups of about 200 rats and at doses less than usual human dietary levels, the prestigious Italian Ramazzini Foundation confirmed that aspartame is unequivocally carcinogenic. A high incidence of cancers was induced in multiple organs of the lab rats fed the sweetener, including lymph glands, brain and kidney.
Artificial sweeteners have also been found to be polluting our water supply.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 24, 2009

Vegetarian Cookbook: Vegan Lunch Box Around the World

I am really excited about Jennifer McCann's new book Vegan Lunch Box Around the World: 125 Easy, International Lunches Kids and Grown-Ups Will Love! I've long been a fan of Jennifer's first book Vegan Lunch Box, and now my family has more recipes to try!

Vegan Lunch Box Around the World offers a delicious array of meat-free, egg-free, and dairy-free lunches that will take you on an adventure across the globe. The book includes balanced international and regional American menus with 100 recipes from Ratatouille to Moroccan Tagine, New England Chowder to a Japanese Bento Box. With quick and easy recipes, fruit and veggie ideas for even the pickiest eaters, and an allergen-free index, Vegan Lunch Box Around the World is essential for every family raising healthy kids--and for anyone who packs a lunch.
Of course, the recipes aren't limited to lunches, and this cookbook is super user-friendly. The layout is aesthetically pleasing, and each recipe includes allergen information. The color photographs are beautiful, and I like how Jennifer includes regional American recipes as part of the international flare, making this vegan cookbook truly universal for any nationality.  From mango noodles to caramelized squash and apples, your child will be the envy of the whole school with these lunch box goodies. 
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 17, 2009

All Natural Herbal Fusion Stimulation Beverage Fever

Ever need a "pick-me-up", but you know another cup of coffee would not be good for you? Fever Stimulation beverage may be the answer. It is made from herbal infusions and is all natural.

Fever is a 100% all-natural, non-carbonated stimulation beverage that offers numerous health benefits and enhances body wellness. Made with the most premium herbal aphrodisiacs, Fever is rich in antioxidants and acts as a detoxifying beverage, while providing an overall feeling of euphoria and pleasure. Fever also balances the Central Nervous System and enhances Libido. Fever is a functional beverage focused on "Making Healthy Sexy!" through a combination of delicious flavors and a scientifically blended mix of herbs designed to stimulate the body.

I have tried the pineapple coconut flavor of Fever, and I find it very sweet. One bottle contains 10% of your total carbohydrates from the 31 grams of sugar. Perhaps another flavor would be more appealing to me.
The following herbs are featured in Fever: damiana Leaf, guarana, caffeine from green tea, clavo huasca, panax ginseng, horny goat weed, suma, maca, and catuaba. Many of these herbs come from the Amazon rainforest.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 12, 2009

GoPicnic Ready-to-Eat Meals Feature Some Organic Products

gopicnic.jpg Sometimes you just need convenience, and GoPicnic fits the bill. These ready-to-eat meals use natural ingredients, many of which are organic. They do not require refrigeration or preparation, and there are even Kosher, gluten-free, vegetarian, and Halal options. GoPicnic meals are easy to take on trips and grab when you have no time to prepare a meal or snack to go; however, there is certainly a lot of packaging involved. The greener option is to make sure you have time to pack whole foods, but in a pinch, GoPicnic offers a natural, convenient solution.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 4, 2009

Organic Center and Nature's Path Refute FSA Study Finding Organic Food Not Healthier

A very controversial study was released last week claiming organic food is not healthier than its conventional counterpart. Dr Alan Dangou, who led the study for the Food Standards Agency (FSA) found, according to the Guardian:
Most studies were based on the hypothesis that eating organic food is beneficial to health. Looking at all of the studies published in the last 50 years, we have concluded that there's no good evidence that consumption of organic food is beneficial to health based on the nutrient content.
Many organic producers and consumer groups refute the study's findings and claim its methodology was flawed. The Organic Center writes:
In their written report, the London team downplayed positive findings in favor of organic food. In several instances, their analysis showed that organic foods tend to be more nutrient dense than conventional foods. Plus, their study omitted measures of some important nutrients, including total antioxidant capacity. It also lacked quality controls contained in a competing study released in 2008 by The Organic Center (TOC). Last, the FSA-funded team also used data from very old studies assessing nutrient levels in plant varieties that are no longer on the market.
The study also does not consider how organically-grown produce benefits the environment.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 28, 2009

Class Action Lawsuit Against Denny's Restaurant Claims Dangerous Levels of Salt

Denny's.jpg A New Jersey man and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a non-profit, have filed a class action lawsuit against Denny's Restaurant for serving meals that are "dangerously high in salt, putting the chain's customers at greater risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke". The lawsuit asks Denny's to disclose sodium amounts on the menu and place warnings next to food items containing high levels of salt. According to the Environment News Service:
A full meal at Denny's consisting of a bowl of clam chowder, a Spicy Buffalo Chicken Melt, and a side of seasoned fries contains 6,700 mg of sodium - more sodium than what 70 percent of Americans should consume in four and a half days.

From company headquarters in Spartanburg, South Carolina Denny's issued a statement Thursday calling the lawsuit filed by CSPI "frivolous and without merit," and saying the company "will fight it aggressively in court."

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 21, 2009

Coke Zero Banned to "Preserve the Health Venezuelans"

coke-zero.jpg Coke Zero is Coca-Cola's zero calorie soda, but Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is not convinced it is safe to drink. Venezuela has banned Coke Zero. Health minister Jesus Mantilla stated, "The product should be withdrawn from circulation to preserve the health of Venezuelans." Reuters further explains:
Despite Chavez's anti-capitalist policies and rhetoric against consumerism, oil-exporting Venezuela remains one of Latin America's most Americanized cultures, with U.S. fast-food chains, shopping malls and baseball all highly popular. Mantilla did not say what health risks Coke Zero, which contains artificial sweeteners, posed to the population.
It is suspected the ban may really be related to labor issues and nationalization, rather than health concerns.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 16, 2009

OSU Study: 2 Natural Oils Promote Healthy Weight Loss

safflower oil.jpg Researchers at the Ohio State University have found that two natural oils "can spark healthy weight loss and lower body fat -- and the oils even worked in obese postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes." Natural News reports that Safflower Oil and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) decrease body fat and reduce blood sugar levels.
Despite the fact there was no dieting or exercising, the study found that CLA supplementation significantly decreased the women's BMI and total body fat. Usually these effects became evident in the last eight weeks of each 16 week period. On average their total body fat decreased by 3.2 percent, reducing the weight of excess fat tissue between 2.3 pounds and 3.5 pounds.

While the safflower oil didn't change total body fat readings, in some ways this all vegetable "good fat" was the biggest star of the research. It reduced the weight of trunk fat tissue by between 2.6 pounds and 4.2 pounds -- an average of more than six percent. What's more, safflower oil increased lean tissue, or muscle, by about two to three pounds.

To add to the good news, safflower oil was found to reduce fasting blood sugar levels in these diabetic women between 11 and 19 points.

Modest amounts of "high-quality dietary fats" appear to be important for postmenopausal women's diets, according to this new study.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 10, 2009

Kick the Bottled Water Habit With a Wellness H2.0 Filtration Reusable Water Bottle

H2.0 bottle.png One of the biggest scams sold to the American public is believing that bottled water is better for your health than the tap water in your home. Even though tap water is safe to drink, many people still prefer a little extra filtration, especially if you live in an area practicing toilet to tap water recycling. Enter the Wellness® H2.O Bottle:
The Wellness H2.O Bottle is a reusable water bottle that provides better-than-bottled water on the go, preventing up to 1,100 plastic bottles of plastic waste with each cartridge. Made of non-BPA leaching #4 low density polyethylene (LDPE), the bottle contains a 2 micron carbon block filter which removes a wide spectrum of contaminants including Chlorine, toxic byproducts, volatile organics, and heavy metals such as Lead. Wellness Enterprises' patented enhancement technology is also included, adding rare Japanese minerals to the water which increase its hydrating ability, add antioxidants, and naturally increase alkalinity. The ultimate environment product. Eliminates 1100+ plastic bottles, reduces carbon emissions and conserves natural resources Saves you up to $1000 in bottled water purchases per year Only bottle to produce nourishing, better-than-bottled-quality, "enhanced" water without the cost or waste associated with bottled water.
Although I am not a fan of plastic water bottles, reusable or not, the filtration system is replaceable, and who couldn't use a little extra Japanese minerals?
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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