Thursday, April 25, 2013

Almond Milk Manifesto

An article I spotted on Food Babe’s Facebook page got me thinking. (Fair warning: you will see me reference Food Babe a lot – she is my idol and absolute fave blogger. Plus she lives here in Charlotte!)

http://www.cornucopia.org/2013/03/gut-wrenching-tell-fda-to-ban-carrageenan-common-food-ingredient-linked-to-intestinal-inflammation-bloating-irritable-bowel-syndrome-colitis-cancer-and-more/

So do I understand correctly? My organic almond milk might have a known carcinogen lurking inside?! WTF! I have been pretty smug lately for recently switching over to organic almond milk. The latte froth is to die for. Plus the more I learn about cow’s milk and the US dairy industry in general, the more disgustoballs it all seems. I’m lightly toying with the idea of giving up dairy for a while to see if it helps my skin, but just not mentally ready to make the leap. I hear that Whitewash is a fascinating read – I’ll let you know.

Anyways, almond milk seemed like a good baby step. When Dylan turns one, maybe I’ll start her on almond milk instead of cow juice – more research to come on that one. So upon further inspection of my Whole Foods 365 brand – I am safe on the carrageenan. Excellent. Here is a shopping guide for products sans carrageenan. However, what are the other ingredients up in this mug? Lets check a few:
  
photo

  • Tricalcium Phosphate: A safe mineral additive which adds calcium to my sexy latte.
  • Potassium Citrate: Stabilizing food additive which adds potassium.
  • Natural Flavors: Ummmm SHADESTER alert!!! This could be literally anything. It could be wombat sweat. Come on Whole Foods!!
  • Gellan Gum: Produced from algae fermentation, and used as a thickening agent – has a similar affect to carrageenan (silky mouth feel) with less safety concerns
  • Sunflower Lecithin: A fatty substance from sunflower seeds as an emulsifier – gives a creamy texture. Generally quite safe and non-GMO. (Unlike Soy Lecithin)
  • Xanthan Gum: Food additive which adds a gel-like quality – derived from fermented corn. Seems pretty safe unless you are hyper-allergic.
So not terrible I guess…more additives than I might hope for, but still better than hormoney udder juice. Through this research, I found a few recipes for how to make your own almond milk, which seems like the best answer. Here and here are a couple good methods, but it simply seems to involved soaking, grinding, straining. Plus you get to use something called a nut milk bag. Bahahaha.

Share your thoughts – do you have a favorite almond milk? Do you prefer soy milk, other dairy alternatives?

Nashville: The Vegas of the South



As a self-described “girl about town”, I love all things food, wine, and travel related. My happiest moments include nights in a new city, a heavy glass of cab on a Sunday night, or a nice steak, always medium rare. I mean, let’s get real here, who doesn’t love a little boozy meat fest? I am a die hard carnivore through and through but can just as easily get down with some tofu goodness. I will never say no to a new dish or a new cocktail. Food and drink(s) truly are the spice of life. 

With that being said, I love documenting my travels.  My last trip took me to the lovely city of Nashville, TN.  Although I could go on and on about this city, I'll narrow it down to the five most amazeballs things about the Vegas of the South. 

1) Live Music

If you love live music, not just country music, then you NEED to pack up and head south (or north, east, or west...I don't know where ya'll live!  See what I did there? Already talking like a local).  Bars open and bands start playing at 11:00am.  What could be more heavenly than a mimosa and a hot Luke Bryan lookalike?  I stumbled upon the best live band I've ever seen at The Second Fiddle on the famous Broadway in downtown Nash.  SmokeNGuns literally rocked my world!  If you go to town and do not see them play, you are missing out on the true Nashville experience.  They played everything from Diamond Rio to TLC to Journey.  If you happen to come on a weekend that they do not play, which is rare, you can't go wrong with any live band in town.  I was in awe at the talent of the local artists.  If you'd like to play Where's Waldo...try to find me in the picture!




Hint: I'm surrounded by three hot cowboys!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

PB2: A Revolution in Peanut Butter

My life has changed FOREVER.

My addiction to peanut butter is quite scary.  I've been known to beat, batter, and bruise anyone who comes within 10 feet of me and my PB.  Always stay away from a girl on a PB rampage.

However, peanut butter is notorious for being a calorie bomb.  A few (or 10) mindless spoonfuls later and you've dumped 500+ calories into your belly.  No Bueno.

Enter in PB2.  Peanut Butter with 45 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, and 5 grams of protein per serving.  As a reference, the normal stuff has an average of 200 calories and 16 grams of fat per serving.  Is this real life?!  My mind is blown.

                           
                         

   
What's their secret?  The makers of PB2 first roast the peanuts and then they are pressed, removing 85% of the fat and the oils.  This creates a peanut butter "powder".  Just add water, and you've got low fat, low calorie PB.  Amazeballs.

The best part is that the makers of this product use no GMO's, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, dyes, or chemicals!  They are also huge advocates of supporting local farmers.  Can it get any better than this?  Check out this and other products at www.bellplantation.com

I personally found it at my local Whole Foods.  You can purchase it through their website or search for local retailers on their site as well.

For all you addicts out there like me, you're welcome!

Cheers.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

The 80/20 Rule


Here at OB we’re all about balance.  We’ve spent the last couple of years transitioning into a more natural and organic lifestyle, and we are loving it! However, we’re human, and they don’t make organic red bull!  A philosophy I’ve always tried to stick to when it comes to health and fitness is the “80/20 rule”.  If 80% of what you eat is wholesome, organic, and/or nutrient rich, then go to town on the other 20%!  I’ve put together a little list of my 20%.  What's yours?

The 4 things that ain’t goin’ anywhere:

1)      RED BULL:  As stated before, Hell is going to freeze over before I give up that 8oz. bottle of pure heaven.  We’ve had a love affair for ohhhh…6 or 7 years now, and I see no end in sight.  Is it loaded with chems? Yep.  Do I give a damn? Not for a second.
                                 
                                       

2)      SUAVE DRY SHAMPOO:  I’ve switched most of my bathroom products over to their natural counterparts, but this is one I’m just not willing to get rid of.  Lauren and I douse our hair with bleach on a monthly basis, so it’s not exactly in our best interest to wash our hair daily.  This is a MAGICAL product.  Flip your hair upside down, spray the roots, and boom! A salon blowout in seconds.  Thanks to SDS I can go a good 4 or 5 days without a wash.  Dirty, huh?!
               
                                                    

3)      TACO BELL:  I know…it’s the worst of the worst. Grade F meat.  It’s also the love of my life.  I’m not a drunk TB eater.  I’m a 10:55am, waiting in the parking lot because they don’t open until 11am, kind of TB eater.  Nachos Bell Grande gives me all sorts of crazy emotions I’m not sure how to handle.  However, I have had to tell TB lately that we may need to take things a little slower and probably not see each other 5 days a week anymore.  But we can be friends with benefits, right?!     
                                       

4)      SOUR PATCH KIDS:  These little guys have rocked my world for as long as I can remember.  You know it is love when you eat something until the entire first layer of your tongue is gone. 
                                         
                                          
                                                   


These are just a few of the vices that I'm not willing to part with.  Vices are good!! They keep you sane.  On that note, I'm going to broil my free range chicken, roast some organic sweet potatoes,  and then I'm going to consume one...or 5 RBV's.  (Red Bull Vodka, silly!)  It is Sunday Funday after all!


Cheers.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

NurturMe: Dried Organic Baby Food


While Facebook stalking The Baby Grocery Store…I saw a post that made my eyes bug out (in a good way).


 
How fascinating is that? This product fits SO many of my needs: Convenient, organic baby food with max nutrient retention!

If you look at the organic baby food jars at the store, they typically contain one ingredient like “organic mangoes.” Obviously that is heads-and-shoulders above regular baby food, which contains preservatives, GMOs, and the like. However, how do you explain an organic baby food jar with a shelf life of a year or more?

Many brands of organic baby food are heat-treated to create a sterile environment in the jar or pouch, so that bacteria cannot survive. This is not ideal because this heating process blanches out all the yummy nutrients that your little angel babe wants in his belly!

NurturMe seems to answer all these concerns. Even more awesome, you can mix the powders with big-kid food to sneak in nutrients. Amazeballs, right?


As of today, I’m making all of Dylan’s baby food at home. However, if I got into a pinch and ran out, I would love to have some of these on hand.

I just ordered the bananas, carrots and quinoa. Baby quinoa…gah! Dying.  Order on diapers.com, and use promo code NMSUPERFOOD to get 15% off. I'll report back after test-driving.