Three Easy Steps to Step Up Your Health

 

1. Buy Dried Beans and Soak Them

You may not know it but beans aren't grown in a can! I learned a few years ago the health benefits of buying dried beans and cooking them myself, and now I can't imagine any other way. Not only are dried bulk beans more sustainable (less processing and packaging), they are way cheaper and taste SO much better than the canned counterpart. Just soak them overnight, boil them for 25 minutes and add spices of your liking!

  • Beans are excellent sources of fiber, folate, plant protein, plant iron, vitamin B1, and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and copper.
  • The sodium content of canned beans can be 100x more than dried.
  • Canned beans may also contain other chemicals or preservatives for increased shelf life. 
  • Soaking dried beans in water overnight speeds up the cooking process and increases digestibility by breaking down sugars known to cause bloating and gas.
  • Soaking also reduces phytic acid, a compound which reduces the bioavailability of many of the beans nutrients, AKA it is a barrier to your body actually absorbing the nutrients.

So next time you're at the store, bring your jar and stock up on your favorite beans! You do need to plan ahead so if you think you want taco night or chickpea "tuna" this week, remember to soak your beans in a bowl the night before! I promise once you start it becomes habit. 

*Pro-Tip - This applies for rice as well! Soak your rice overnight for health benefit and faster cook time!

2. Ditch The Dairy

If you're still consuming dairy, even just as creamer in your coffee or the occasional ice cream splurge, it's time to migrate away from that ish. (I PROMISE YOU CAN STILL HAVE N'ICE CREAM)

  • Female dairy cows need to breast feed their young in order to produce milk (like humans), which means they are constantly impregnated at unnatural rates by artificial insemination on a machine that the industry refers to as the rape rack.
  • In addition to the natural hormones (estrogen and progesterone) that a pregnant mother produces, milk contains high levels of synthetic hormones known as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) which are commonly used in dairy production to increase levels of milk. 
    • Dairy cows are "designed" to produce 10X more milk than normal, over 100 gallons per day by machine, with the use of rBGH.
    • An increased exposure to these hormones increases the risk of cancer and can disrupt the human endocrine system, especially in woman and developing young females.
  • The whole "Got Milk" campaign was a lie. High levels of acidity in milk actually cause your body to LEACH calcium from your bones, resulting in calcium deficiency instead of abundance! #proteinpropaganda at it's finest.
    • Let me break it down for ya. Dairy acidifies the body's PH. Calcium is a neutralizer and the biggest calcium store in our bodies is in our bones. So, we drink milk, PH acidifies, our bones release our existing calcium to balance our PH and then we pee it out! Dairy Industry 1, Calcium 0.
    • Numerous studies show that countries with the lowest dairy consumption have the lowest cases of osteoporosis, and vice versa.
  • Mastitis is a very common infection affecting cow udders due to the abusive milking conditions so antibiotics are widely used.
  • Ditch the dairy, goodbye antibiotic resistance!!
*Watch "What The Health" if you haven't already!

Rounding into 2018 there are no more excuses! There are 10 kinds of nut milks on the market and if you have a decent blender you can make your own at home! My favorite is cashew milk and you can check out my recipe here.

3. Choose Whole Over Processed

Not only are buying whole foods better for your body, it's also better for the planet! Processed foods not only requires the key ingredients, but also the water and fuel used to create plastic packaging and machinery, resources for workers and shipping, and so on. Here are some examples of ways to choose the whole version over the processed.

  • Potatoes VS Potato Chips
    • Make crispy potatoes at home! Just slice your favorite potato, spice it up with some coconut oil and pop it in the oven. It's that easy, super delicious and nutritious without all the vegetable oils, salts, and packaging.
  • Bulk Corn Kernels
    • You think popcorn is addicting now? Wait until you pour those organic kernels in your kitchen pot with a couple spoonfuls of coconut oil and watch those babies pop. Add some of your favorite spices (even some coconut sugar and pink salt for homemade kettle corn!) mix it up and voila! Save yourself from the chemical junk and the microwave waves.
  • Fresh Bakery Bread Over Bagged
    • I may be biased because I am from NY, the home of the bagel, and I now live in San Francisco, the mecca of Sour Dough bread, but regardless, fresh bread is better.
    • Fresh bread is baked with few, local ingredients and does not contain any preservatives! Buy a big loaf, slice it up and freeze it so you always have yummy fresh bread on hand. 
    • Typical store bought bread can contain upwards of 10 ingredients, most are chemical fillers and preservatives that contain no nutritional value whatsoever. When was your bread made??? If it never goes bad, that may not be a good thing.
      • Ingredients in Pepperidge Farm 100% Whole Wheat Bread: WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, WATER, SUGAR, WHEAT GLUTEN, SOYBEAN OIL, YEAST, MOLASSES, OAT FIBER, SALT, MONOGLYCERIDES, BUTTER* (MILK), CALCIUM PROPIONATE AND SORBIC ACID TO EXTEND FRESHNESS, SODIUM STEAROYL LACTYLATE, SOY LECITHIN, WHEY*, CITRIC ACID.
        *ADDS A TRIVIAL AMOUNT OF CHOLESTEROL. 
      • The local bread I buy:  Flour, water, & salt.
    • Local bakery bread will be more expensive but usually the loaves are GIANT and last me about two weeks stored in the freezer, for both my boyfriend and I. So no it's not a $2 loaf it's more like $10 but if you're reading this on a $300+ device... what's your health worth?
  • You Get The Idea - Choose WHOLE over Processed!

That's where I will leave you for now! Take it one step at a time. A good place to start is to practice shopping the bulk isle; stock up on some beans, nuts, rice, and popcorn. The next time you're craving a packaged item, see what it would take for you to make your own version. If you have questions I'd love to hear them, and

If you need more inspiration, I'd love to share my FREE mini audio series:

 
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