WTF WEDNESDAY 2: GMO…you earn a big thumbs DOWN.

“The food you eat can either be the safest & most powerful medicine, or the slowest form of poison”

-Ann Wigmore

Okay, so unless you live under a rock you may have noticed that the buzzword of the moment is GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM (GMO) and it just so happened that all of this coincided with my course “eco-nutrition” in school, which has focuses on the food industry and touches on things like GMO.

This is meant to be strictly from a nutritional standpoint and attempting to give an easier explanation for what is going on… and a little bit of a personal rant.

A significant amount of the food industry has unfortunately become so sketchy most of it happens behind closed doors and is hushed so the public will never hear about it…. Not sure about you but to me that sounds way more like a mafia than an industry that should be concerning themselves with informing the public and looking out for our best interests (JUST SAYING).

Now, first things first… let’s explain what exactly a genetically modified food is.

(As usual I’m a visual learner and LOVE a good flow chart and am all about informative videos… so let’s kick things off with a few)

gmo flow chart

click the image to get a more zoomed in version…unless you have superhuman eyesight in which case.. congratulations.

The definition as per the Australian Department of the Environment and Heritage in 2001 is “The manipulation of an organism’s genetic make-up in order to create or enhance desirable characteristics from the same or another species”.  Essentially this means that scientists can pick and choose genes from different plants and animals and use them to render them resistant to bugs, weather… the zombie apocalypse… pretty much everything they want it to do they can.  Now to the regular person this sounds pretty swell! Don’t we want plants and crops that are nice and sturdy so that they withstand weather and whatever else? … Well.

Problem A) by genetically altering this plant it’s taking it away from its natural function.  Plants and animals aren’t supposed! To be resistant to everything, it’s just the way the world works & contrary to popular belief these days… that matters.

Problem B) genetic modification started behind closed doors and was performed very secretively in laboratories… and the kicker is they were done WITHOUT HUMAN TESTING.  When these modifications were made there was no attention paid to how the alterations would impact the humans that would be consuming the food or whether we would even be able to process them at all.  Essentially it became a giant experiment and all of us were the lab rats.  Some of the combinations will literally boggle your mind (i.e. (from the documentary “Genetic Roulette”) They combined spider genes with goat genes… so that they could milk a goat and get the spider web protein so they could make better bullet proof vests.  YOU LITERALLY CAN’T MAKE THIS UP IT’S SO INSANE).  It’s a 100% genetic free for all and it’s like a contest to see who can come up with the strangest combinations it’s ridiculous.

lab rat


SIDE NOTE: Genetic modification should not be confused with natural plant breeding… as in combining a plant gene with another plant gene… (ENTER: GRAPPLE…grape/apple).  This is actually a safe practice and has been done since forever.

Problem C) the most major concern to companies producing this “food” that is supposed to nourish humans and make us healthier… is not the food’s nutritional content at all.  In fact how the food tastes and whether it’s nutritious isn’t even on the RADAR of the food industry.  The only thing that matters is yield (how much they can produce) and profit.

Scrooge_McDuck_Coin_Swimming-300x237

Now, with every controversy there are of course the people who decide to fight the opposite way and say there’s actually no problem with GMO and it’s in fact a good thing but has simply been put in the wrong hands and is being used incorrectly.  This (in my opinion) is totally wrong and consistent with the holistic approach that I try to support and exemplify, the world functions best with balance and harmony and maintaining a natural environment as best we can… so genetically altering the fundamental components of something whether that is an animal or a plant is totally unnatural.  Just because it CAN be done with science… doesn’t mean it SHOULD be done.

A phenomenal report regarding all of the gmo myths and facts!:

GMO_Myths_and_Truths

GMO_Myths_and_Truths_image_150px(Source)

(It is over 100 pages so it’s not a sit and read in 5 minutes but I STRONGLY encourage everyone to read it)  It’s time we take matters into our own hands… if the people who claim to be looking out for our best health interests aren’t doing their jobs then let’s do ours.  We deserve REAL WHOLESOME FOOD… not food-like products.  Be an informed buyer, purchase locally and support your local farmers and community, understand what is happening to your food and make your own decision!

This is MY PERSONAL opinion on this subject… I’m not here to force an opinion upon you; it’s up to you to inform yourself!

Some EXCELLENT resources

-Documentaries:

Food Inc.

Food Matters

Genetic Roulette (specifically about GMO food)

-Iphone App (may be on androids too not 100% sure): Buycott – you can scan items in the grocery store and it will tell you where that product is made (by what company) and whether or not that company supports GMO use or not. BE INFORMED.

-Book: The End Of Food: How the food industry is destroying our food supply – and what you can do about it (Thomas F. Pawlick)

These are just a few… there are TONS of resources out there.  It is our right to know what is going into and being done with the food we’re feeding ourselves and our families.  GET IN THE KNOW!

wtf wednesday human spirit

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MEAL PREP MONDAY!!

“What do you call a fake noodle? An IMPASTA”

Happy Monday everyone!! 🙂 Hope that your weekend was excellent and you had plenty of rest and relaxation!! 🙂

… As you can tell by the picture posted above… I’ve entered a period of spaghetti craving.  It’s one of those things that is a staple in my home and once I went gluten free I simply had to sit and watch my entire family enjoy spaghetti while I pouted.  NO MORE I SAY.  This week (again… I’ll give credit to my newly gluten free mom on this one) we made brown rice spaghetti with a killer sauce.  Yes, I agree with you – person shaking your head at the screen saying “Hollie… this is not the healthiest option for me to be having everyday this week” I’m aware. HOWEVER…. I think everyone’s allowed to have indulgences every once in a while! Spaghetti just happens to be mine. 🙂

With that being said… let’s get on to this gluten free spaghetti recipe that will BLOW YOUR SOCKS FROM HERE TO KINGDOM COME. (that’s reaaaaaaallly far for those of you that don’t know where that is… in fact I’m pretty unsure of the address too actually…)

spaghetti

GLUTEN FREE SPAGHETTI!

-Cook brown rice spaghetti according to package!

(easy enough first step?)

Side note: you could totally use spaghetti squash instead of a pasta too!! Makes it a lot lighter and much more manageable to eat for the whole week!! 🙂  – Also it’s the MOST fun vegetable ever created…so there’s that…

Sauce!

Credit: http://www.laurenslatest.com/gluten-free-spaghetti-with-simple-meat-sauce/

1 lb. ground beef (organic if possible 🙂 )
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium to small sized onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups diced carrot
3-15 oz. diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 cup cold water
1 tablespoon basil
1/2 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon brown sugar (Optional)
2 small bay leaves or 1 large
salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

-Brown the ground beef in a skillet until evenly cooked

-Remove meat, drain skillet and add onions, garlic and carrots and sautee in olive oil until tender

-Re-add the meat with cans of tomatos, tomato paste, water and spices

-Reduce temperature to medium and cook covered for 1-4 hours stirring occasionally

WOAH… I know you looked at the 1-4 hours and went uhhhh ya no chance.. Honestly you don’t HAVE to let it cook that long… but as much time as you have to spare… trust me the longer it simmers the better it tastes.  All the flavours just party in the pan and it just turns into such a rich deep tomato sauce… pretty delicious. Now I want spaghetti all over again.

WELL LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, this is my meal prep monday for the week! 🙂 Hope everyone has a splendid week and I’ll be back next monday to GRACE YOU WITH MY ELECTRONIC PRESENCE again 🙂

Take home message:

thrive in life

Happy monday 🙂

TERRIFIC TUESDAY (MPM & WORK IT WEDNSDAY COMBO!)

multitasking

HEY EVERYBODY!

Welcome welcome to terrific tuesday.  This is what happens when Meal Prep Monday and Work It Wednesday join forces to bring you the most exceptional amount of fun it will blow your brains.

As stated in yesterday’s post… I totally spaced and forgot that every grocery store on planet earth as we know it would be closed on monday for the holiday… SO I decided to share what I made for this week with all of you today AS WELL as tell you all about the horribly wonderful Arms workout I have to share with everyone 🙂 (Just as a side note – I really dislike arms workouts. Anything really that incorporates my wimpy upper body I dislike because of my irrational competitiveness with myself) HOWEVER that said… Upper body strength is just as important as lower body so I motor through it and just want to share it so everyone else with wimpy upper bodies can suffer with me 🙂 SHARE THE MISERY & GET STRONGER 🙂

Back to Meal Prep Monday – I forgot it was a holiday so I’m doing it on tuesday instead edition !!!

This week the city has decided to convert into an oven and I’m very much getting tired of the bipolar weather. But since I didn’t want anything super heavy this week I decided to do an AMAZING chicken salad lettuce wrap and (full credit to my converted gluten free mom for this one) a vegetable pesto chicken pasta 🙂

UNREAL chicken salad lettuce wrap

2 Organic Chicken Breast Cutlets (I just cooked mine in a skillet with a bit of olive oil-put some s&p and dried parsley on them)

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

-1 Celery Stalk chopped

-2 Tablespoons red onion diced

1/3 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt (none of that reduced fat nonsense)

1/3 Cup Sour Cream

(This is the part of the recipe where I can’t handle the amount of time to measure out every spice…so I perform the very scientific art of guesstimation)

-Add a sprinkle/dash/any other inconspicuous measurement name you can think of

-Celery Salt

-Onion Powder

-Garlic Powder

Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Cumin

-Tarragon

-Dried Parsley

Add a couple spoonfuls into some romaine lettuce and top with a little tomato, salt and pepper 🙂 

Pesto Chicken Pasta with cherry tomatoes

-Vegetable Pasta (could use brown rice too) cooked according to package

3 Chicken Breasts (Cooked in a skillet or in the oven or grilled…think that’s all the options covered)

Handful of Cherry Tomatoes Sliced in half

(FOR THE PESTO)

2 Cups Fresh Basil 

1/2 Cup Fresh Parmesan Reggiano Cheese

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

-1/3 Cup Pine Nuts

3 Medium Cloves of Garlic, minced

(Add the basil and pine nuts & pulse in a food processor, slowly add in olive oil until it’s the consistency you want, add in the cheese and pulse until combined)

Add the cooked & sliced chicken to a pan with cherry tomatoes and cooked pasta, stir in the pesto until it coats everything nicely 🙂 It’s a SUPER light pasta and perfect for summer 🙂

photo (35)

NOW LADIES AND GENTLEMEN THE MOMENT YOU’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR (Insert royal introduction music played by those giant trumpets)

ARMS DAY WORKOUT

arms day

For the workout we did 3 sets, 8-10 reps each

We started with this thing Derek (previously stated trainer boyfriend) calls 21’sBicep curls with the straight bar bell – 7 reps bottom half, 7 reps top half, 7 reps full range

-Close Grip Bench Press

Preacher Curls

Dumbbell Skull crushers (doesn’t that sound fun….)

Hammer Curls

-Reverse Tricep Extension

Reverse Bicep Curls

Dips

DONE! 🙂 

TAKE HOME MESSAGE 🙂 :

yoda….Just kidding that makes no sense

world suck

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK EVERYONE 🙂

HAPPY MAY 2-4 WEEKEND! :) (MPM delayed until tomorrow)

“Patience is bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet”

-Aristotle

HI EVERYONE! …. Sorry I’ve been MIA for a week…. Work has been insane and I’m just nearing the end of my holistic nutrition schooling which means I have a trillion things to do all the time.  Don’t get me wrong I love being busy and it makes me feel like my week is SO much more productive but unfortunately this week my meal prep monday got sacrificed…

I don’t claim to be perfect and I’m not always able to get everything done in a week… HOWEVER, I will try my best not to miss another post because (I hope anyways) that everyone is here looking for tips and help from someone who will actually practice what they preach so I will do my absolute best to consistently do meal prep monday posts and at least one other one during the week 🙂

NOW that said…. (refer back to “not perfect” quote) I completely forgot that this monday was a holiday and that every single grocery store in the city would be closed… so… this week’s meal prep monday will be posted tomorrow ASAP … and to add on to that as a bonus for missing last week I’ll also be adding in a spectacular workout to top it off as a TERRIFIC TUESDAY! 🙂

AGAIN! I apologize for missing last week and will do my best to make up for it this week with a couple posts 🙂

crying

Hope everyone is LOVING their long weekend and is enjoying it with family and friends! 🙂

MEAL PREP MONDAY…. on tuesday…

“One of the advantages of being disorganized is that one is always having surprising discoveries”

-Winnie the Pooh 😉 (bear version of Yoda)

SO! …. Clearly I could not get my act together in time to do a meal prep monday post… on monday.  However, never fret this is me just exemplifying that sometimes… your plans don’t always go how you want them to and you just have to roll with it! So we’re doing meal prep monday tuesday edition 🙂

perseverance

This week I was feeling particularly in a “springy” mood… And a little bit felt like pretending I lived somewhere that actually gets warm weather.  So naturally I lived vicariously through my food and created a southwestern quinoa salad !! AND! Bought mangos..again just one of those times I walked in the grocery store and got excited about a fruit… Can’t control it.

photo (33)

SOUTHWESTERN QUINOA SALAD

Ingredients

-1 cup quinoa cooked according to package

-1 Tomato, diced

-1 Red bell pepper, diced

-1/2 Cup of corn (I used frozen and just dumped some in when the quinoa was hot (I left it out so it was partially thawed) and it turned out fine)

-1 Can black beans, drained

Dressing Ingredients

-1/2 Cup greek yogurt

-1 Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped (Can use 1/2 pepper if you don’t like spice too much)

-1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro

-1 Clove garlic, minced

-Juice from 1 lime

-Pinch of sea salt

(Mix all of that together in a bowl and BOOM DRESSING)

Directions

Cook the quinoa according to the package, add all the chopped vegetables to it once you’re done and mix so everything’s combined… then add the dressing !!

I topped mine with a bit of salsa before eating… SO yummy and adds that little extra kick which I enjoy but that’s optional

photo (34)tebowDONE! Yesss.

This recipe was SO quick (I did it all in 30 minutes) and it’s really delicious which is a bonus.

Hope everyone had a splendid monday and is having an equally excellent Tuesday 🙂

Take Home Message For The Week

aim high

🙂 Happy Tuesday!

Work it Wednesday- Beach Day Workout!!

“You are successful the moment you start moving towards a worthwhile goal”

Charles Carlson

Happy Wednesday!! SURPRISE! Back to multiple posts a week?! (insert hallelujah chorus)

squirrel

So… I’m all about the holistic lifestyle and living healthy, it’s just how I choose to exist.  I enjoy the fact that I gain knowledge in this field (specifically the nutrition side) everyday… HOWEVER. I am no expert on exercise… I’m not a trainer and my idea of planning a workout is going to a pre-planned class (refer back to my method for idiot-proof baking… this is like idiot-proof exercise) DON’T GET ME WRONG… I think classes are phenomenal and it’s a great and fun way to get active! I’m just referring to that whole other part of the gym where they have all that intimidating equipment.

Now… I’m fortunate enough to have a boyfriend who IS actually a certified trainer… so he manages to coax me into working out with him once a week. The day which I have now lovingly renamed “Terrible Tuesday”. (Unfortunately I usually work right after said terrible tuesday workout so I don’t have time to make the post that day… so we’re sticking with work it wednesday).  Since these workouts are generally pretty fantastic and not everyone is lucky enough to get workouts planned out for them I figured I would SHARE with the world 🙂

SO. This week he excitedly told me we would be doing “Beach Day Workout” which included arms and abs.  I’m not a huge fan of arms day because my upper body is probably the weakest part of me and I’m a VERY competitive individual so I find I get pretty frustrated during these workouts… BUT… they must be done.

So, without further ado… Here is….

BEACH DAY WORKOUT!

(With fun pictures so you know how to do each one 🙂 )

(I did 3 sets, of 8 reps each… just my personal strength level but everyone’s different)

-Preacher Curls with EZ bar  

ez bar preacher curls

-Reverse Tricep Pulldown

tricep pulldownpulldown handle

(Couldn’t find a better image… it’s essentially this except you’re pulling it down instead of pushing…so flip the hands around and use the above attachment-so one arm at a time)

-Standing Hammer Curls

hammer-curls

Assisted Dips

assisted dips(This is actually a sketch of what I look like when doing them…weird)

-Reverse Bicep Curl

reverse bicep curls(I did these with a straight bar and standing… but this works too)

Triangle Tricep Extensions

tricepsextensions1tricep extension handle(Use this attachment 🙂 )

-Hanging Leg Raises

hanging leg lifts(My gym has a jungle gym type apparatus hanging out in the middle… so if you have one too.. USE THAT- if not you could go old school and use monkey bars at a playground or something!)

-Ab Roller (Only 2 sets)

ab rollers(If this isn’t readily available at your gym… try asking a personal trainer if they have any available to borrow for your workout – if not you could replace this with plank, v-sits… you could put in any ab exercise you enjoy… this particular one isn’t that enjoyable BUT it’s very effective and really works your ab muscles hard)

-Obliques

For this we used the machine at the gym, but if you don’t have one you could do bicycle crunches… or usually when I do obliques on my own I stand and hold a plate and essentially tip to one side (it’s like a sideways crunch while holding the plate)

BOOM! There you are friends 🙂 Hope everyone is having an excellent week and the rest of it is wonderful! Happy exercising!! 🙂

exercise motivation

Meal Prep Monday!!

“Accept that some days you will be the pigeon…and some days you will be the statue”

Happy Monday!! 🙂 Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and are rested up for an excellent week! It’s shaping up to be a great one with the weather finally starting to resemble spring!

Last week there was an exceptional amount of stress and busyness that resulted in a bit of a burnout at the end of the week…. which is a pretty common occurrence these days since everyone now tries to cram as much as possible into as little time possible.  Rest and relaxation is a lot more important than people give it credit for and it absolutely needs to be included into the week! (Even if you have to schedule it in) – for example my relaxation was sitting in an epsom salt bath, drinking magnesium listening to the Spice Girls. Let’s not judge one another’s stress management techniques.

Funny-MEME---Spice-Girls

Now due to this past stressful week … There was a serious decision made that required a panel of very heavily trained individuals that assisted in making it…there was pie charts and laser pointers as well as a very detailed power point presentation. The results are in…. CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES THIS WEEK!! (Sad to say it’s a cheater recipe…. BUT STILL! Chocolate chip cookies will be had!!) – Side note: baking is not my (Hollie’s) forte… I wish I could say I can bake the pants off of a 6 layer cake and 4 dozen cookies…. however this is not true.  This is a result of some mild ADD tendencies and some random adding of  ingredients and thinking it will magically turn out perfectly (usually how most of my cooking goes). TURNS OUT this doesn’t work so great with baking…. so as a result… pre-mixed mixes aka idiot proof baking is what I’m allllll about. One day there will be a full on gluten free baking experience… there may or may not be video… but until then we will be sticking with the mix.

raisin cookies(Celebrate the little accomplishments)

Now this week (aside from cookies) I pre-made a whole bunch of overnight oats, a ginger vegetable stirfry with brown rice as well as hardboiled some eggs and bought KIWI! (for whatever reason as soon as I walked in the grocery store I got really excited about having kiwi… simple minds)

This week’s Overnight Oats:

(I split it up into 3 containers because I usually do weight training at least 3 days a week so it’s a good easy way to get the protein and carbs in post-workout! – especially when it’s premade)

-1/3 Cup Gluten Free Rolled Oats

-1 Teaspoon Coconut Sugar

-Palmful (that’s a scientific measurement) of pumpkin seeds

-Teaspoon Chia Seeds

-Tablespoon Ground Hemp

-Tablespoon All Natural Peanut Butter

-Scoop protein powder (I used a vanilla one because of the peanut butter situation… they pair well together)

-Splash of vanilla

-Sprinkle of cinnamon

-Cover it all with almond milk

I premixed all the dry ingredients and then will just add the almond milk and vanilla the night before and just throw it in the fridge overnight – wait no don’t throw it… place it gently in the fridge. (Just imagined myself throwing overnight oats into the fridge…pretty ridiculous mental image)

(This is one of those times where I open the cupboard and throw random things in until my ADD tendencies are satisfied with the randomness of the creation) – THAT SAID – it actually tastes amaaaazing. Great success.

Ginger Vegetable Stirfry!

(Recipe adapted from “Gluten Free Checklist… this miracle where they magically send me emails of gluten free recipes everyday…it’s a blessing dressed up as an email)

Ingredients

-2 cloves garlic, minced

-2 teaspoons fresh ginger root, chopped

-2 Tablespoon Coconut Oil (divided)

-Head of broccoli cut into florets

-1/2 Red onion, chopped

-1 Cup edamame beans, shelled

-1 Sweet bell pepper, sliced

-2 Tablespoons gluten free soy sauce

-2 1/2 Tablespoons water

-1 Tablespoon corn starch

-Brown rice, cooked according to package for how much you want to make… I make enough for 4 servings which lasts most of the week however I find if I make more than that it dries out and tastes weird by the end of the week so I find it’s better to make one batch at the beginning and a second smaller one a little later in the week

Directions

-Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in skillet over medium heat, toss in garlic until browned, add onion until translucent, add the rest of the vegetables and cook for a few minutes (stir them frequently so you don’t burn them-cook them until they’re tender but not mushy-this is not a meal prep monday baby food edition)

-Stir in the chopped ginger

-Stir together water, soy sauce, cornstarch and other tablespoon of coconut oil (pre-melt it.. which should take like 0.5 seconds because it melts so quick), until cornstarch is dissolved

-Pour the sauce like mixture over the vegetables and toss to coat 🙂

YAY!

COOKIE TIME

-Now as stated before I did use a cheater mix… BUT I really love Bob’s Red Mill products so I was pretty convinced they were going to turn out delicious and they did!!

bobs mill

SIDE NOTE: On the package it says you should use 1/2 cup margarine…. please no… no no no. Just melt 1/2 cup butter… WAY better and BONUS POINTS for butter actually being a food… unlike margarine.

Mine made…. 11 cookies I believe! Perfect for a nice treat during the week 🙂

SNACKS: Hardboiled eggs (as per usual), KIWIS (YAY KIWI), Organic Rice Cake & peanut butter sandwiches, Raw Cashews

Well, if that’s meal prep Monday WE JUST HAD IT ladies and gentlemen.

photo (31)

Weekly Take Home Message:

maroon 5

HAPPY PREPPING !! Have a wonderful week 🙂