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Are Fats Healthy?

Healthy Fats to the Rescue!

 

Our culture has victimized fats as the culprit to all of our health woes. But guess what? That was a scam.

 

Here is a quick history on what really happened:

 

1960’s : Sugar companies paid off three Harvard researchers to twist their study results about sugar’s effect on heart disease. (Read about it here.)

Their claim: Saturated fat is the reason for heart disease.

 

The true results: Sugar is one of the main links to heart disease (and other illnesses).

 

Modern times: Sugar-loving companies, like Coca-Cola (read about it here), are downplaying the link between our ill-health // obesity levels and sugar.

Here’s the problem. Our bodies were designed to handle limited amounts of sugar and high amounts of healthy fat. The sugar issue is another article for another day. A day coming very soon.

 

Fats are key to hormone balance, brain health, digestive function, cardiovascular function, memory retention, liver processing, and the list continues. They build our brains and our cells. They support our joints. Fats are needed oh so much.

 

Living without enough fats can lead to obesity (ironically), low energy, hormonal imbalances, emotional instability, degenerative issues, weakness, anemia, skin issues, and this list continues, as well.

 

If you recall nothing else from this article, make sure you hear that HEALTHY FATS ARE GOOD AND NECESSARY.

 

But which fats are the ones to eat and the ones to avoid? I’m glad you asked.

We have been told for a long time to avoid saturated fats (the ones that are solid at room temperature… think S- saturated // solid). Truly, we need these fats. The human body was designed to consume them (in their most pure state). After all, a large portion of breast milk from a healthy mother comprises saturated fat.

 

Fats to Include regularly in the diet:

Grass-Fed // Pasture-Raised Meats & Eggs
Wild-Caught Fish & Cold-Pressed Fish Oils
Grass-Fed Butter & Ghee
Coconut
AvocadoAvocado.MoreThanFood.AtlantaBlogger
Raw Nuts // Seeds
Extra Virgin Olive Oil **

 

Fats to Avoid:

Vegetable and Legume Oils (canola, soy, peanut, corn)
Trans Fats (hydrogenated oils) in processed foods and fast food
Genetically Modified Fats (GMO’s)

 

** Be sure to use EVOO in its raw form like in salad dressings versus cooking. Olive oil has a lower smoke point, which means if it is heated at too high of a temperature, the fats will go rancid.

 

Healthy fats are an essential part of a healthy body. Include them at every meal, and have no fear — fat doesn’t make you fat … too much sugar does. So enjoy a healthy dose of healthy fat 🙂

 

If you have any questions, let me know. I am happy to talk with you about all things fat!

Fair Trade Chocolate Pudding.More Than Food

Chocolate + Slavery

Chocolate. Oh the sweetest of decadent treats. Hot chocolate // chocolate chip cookies // chocolate almond butter smoothies. What’s not oh-so-sweet about chocolate, though, is the amount of slavery involved in harvesting the cocoa beans to make it. This slavery thing is very real, friends.

//

In college, I was an Anthropology major and focused my studies on human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking in the United States. As we discussed the definition of slavery for an entire semester, I learned more about the issues of labor trafficking on an international level, and chocolate hung out at the of the “goods most harvested by slaves” list. A majority of the world’s cocoa beans are grown in West Africa and Latin America, and day in and day out, many folks are enduring inappropriate and abusive situations to ensure that we all get to enjoy a savory bite of chocolatey dessert. I remember one story someone told me about a child they saw interviewed who picked cocoa beans for a living. The reporter asked this little boy about his role on the farm, and he said he had never even tasted a chocolate bar and didn’t even know why he was picking the beans. He also made comments about the abuse he endured. Slavery is very real today.

On that day in my class called “Is This Slavery?”, I committed to stop consuming any chocolate made by the hands of slaves. I decided it was not worth the risk of what someone else had to experience for me to enjoy a dessert for 5 minutes.

I share this information not as a guilt-trip by any means- and please hear me when I say that. I share about the reality of slavery with you because I want you to be an educated consumer and know where your food is made. Whether it is chocolate, veggies, fruits, coffee, tea, or meats- know the source of your food.

//

The Good News:

Not every cocoa farm maintains unethical practices. In fact, many companies are striving for better working environments for their employees (as well as improved protection of the land) and are banning child slavery. How do you know which companies to trust? We must do research, friends. Gratefully, there are people out there who are doing this type of investigating for us (thank goodness for them!). Look for Fair Trade labels — they are certifications that ensure ethical practices for both people and the Earth.

 

Check out the Food Empowerment Project for more information, as well as approved list of companies who do not embrace slavery practices. Let’s change the world, friends. One chocolate bite at a time.

 

Other places to look for info:

Make Chocolate Fair

Slave Free Chocolate 

Fortune Magazine 

Print Recipe
Fair Trade Chocolate Pudding
Paleo, Keto, Vegan, and FAIR 🙂
Instructions
  1. Scoop out the avocado, and toss it in a blender/food processor with banana, cacao, and sea salt. Blend. Taste the pudding, and if necessary, add a bit of honey to sweeten.
  2. Optional: Top with coconut cream and Fair Trade cacao nibs, and enjoy!
Guacamole and Sweet Potato Chips

The Purpose of Life & Guacamole

Happy Monday, friends! What a beautiful weekend it was outside- I mean, who expects 75° weather in the middle of January? Hey, I’ll take it! I did take full advantage of the sunshine and headed to north Georgia for some hiking (and Vitamin D!). As I sat on top of the mountain and overlooked the vastness of the state below me, two thoughts came to mind:

  • I am one piece to this massive and historic puzzle, and my role was created intentionally to serve a specific purpose to the world. Every Monday at our office, each staff member comes with a word and quote that drive the direction of her or his week. I chose the word purpose with this quote: “Purpose is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s needs.” (Frederick Buechner). My purpose is to love and serve people well, and I am beyond grateful I get to do that in my job every day. My purpose is to make a change in my corner of the world, knowing that others are making similar impacts in their corners, as well. If we all work in our spheres, we would see goodness everywhere we turn.

 

  • Peace comes with stillness. Atop the mountain, there was silence. It was pretty uncanny actually. As I let my eyes wander over the below cities, hills, and trees, it seemed like life had stopped momentarily. But we all know it was zooming quickly under us, as has become the norm in most of our lives. Are we running so fast we are actually missing life? My yoga instructor Angela always says, “Before there is movement there is stillness,” and this quiet space is pivotal for a full life. My heart calmed sitting on top of those rocks; God knows all things about this world, so we can be still and find comfort in knowing that all will be all right.

What brings you joy and into a posture of stillness? Comment below to help give ideas to others!

 

Speaking of comfort, let’s talk guacamole. This food certainly brings my heart comfort and joy 🙂 Make this super simple and delicious recipe for a healthy dish (be warned: you may not want to share). Enjoy!

Print Recipe
The Best Homemade Guac + Sweet Potato Chips
Avoiding the corn chips? Use homemade sweet potato chips as the perfect scooper into your homemade, fresh guac! You'll never want to go back 🙂
Servings
Hungry Person or 2 People Willing to Share
Servings
Hungry Person or 2 People Willing to Share
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven for 375°.
  2. Slice sweet potatoes horizontally into ~2 cm slices (they will be thin circles). Coat each side with coconut oil, and lay on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle any of the suggested spices at the top over the "chips". Bake for ~30-35 min (flip them halfway after ~15 min).
  3. While the potatoes are baking, saute chopped onion in butter/coconut oil until caramelized (i.e. a bit golden brown). Set aside.
  4. Cut avocado in half, and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Add lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper, and using a fork, mix all ingredients together until smooth.
  5. Spoon the guac into a bowl, and enjoy with your sweet potato chips!
Winter Squash Soup.MoreThanFood

New Year’s Resolutions + Winter Squash Soup

With the start of this 2017 year, I have been reflecting on this ever-popular idea of New Year’s Resolutions. We tend to speed so fast at the year’s starting line on January 1st toward better health, financial stability, or renewed relationships (all of which are incredible things). Our momentum is 100%-all-in to create change. We can for sure do this. Then, a couple of months into the race, we often times lose a bit of speed, and some of us even stop racing. We let go of the resolution— the commitment to ourselves— to do something differently.

What makes us lose steam? Often, it is one or both of two things: challenge and value (or lack thereof). Change is hard— I get it. We are creatures of habit, as the adage goes. Here’s the thing, though. If something is not working well, not lifting us up or helping lift up others, change is necessary. Are you living a daily lifestyle that creates the best version of you? If yes, keep going, friend! If not, it is time to start reflecting on where change will be a positive thing in your life.

“If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done.” 

Value is required to make our priorities. We focus our attention, money, and time on the individuals and things that ultimately bring value to our lives. I classify people, obligations, material things, etc. by their levels of AV (a.k.a Added Value). Is this relationship an AV one, or does it cause more pain? Does this activity I have been doing for the past year have AV, or do I feel uneasy about going each week? AV is a method of deciphering priorities. This idea of AV is not just for you and I personally, but we can use it to measure how much value we add to the world.

So when it comes to resolutions, think about the AV things you want in your life. Write them down, and next to them, scribble down the steps it will take to get there. One foot in front of the other, my friends. And eventually this effort will lead to habit, which morphs into lifestyle. You are changing your life one decision at a time.

To help you on your journey, fill your soul (and tummy!) with comfort and warmth. This Squash Soup is just the ticket to a successful goal-setting evening!

Print Recipe
Winter Squash Soup
Crockpot recipe are the best! All you do is aadd everything to a pot, go about your day, and when you come back, you will have a full meal for days!
Course Just Veggin'
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 4-8 Hours, depending on crockpot time
Servings
Big Crockpot Full!
Course Just Veggin'
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 4-8 Hours, depending on crockpot time
Servings
Big Crockpot Full!
Instructions
  1. Peel the skin off the butternut and acorn squashes.
  2. Chop the carrots, sweet potato, and onion.
  3. Toss all ingredients together (except pumpkin seeds) in a crockpot. Simmer on high for 4-5 hours or low 6-8 hours.
  4. When you are ready to enjoy, put as much soup as you want to eat in a blender, and puree. Top with pumpkin seeds, and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

*If you want a thicker, chunkier chili, use 1 cup of broth. With a thinner soup, use 2 cups of broth.

Veggie Stir-Fry

Asian Detox Stir-Fry, the Best Cleanse Food!

Happy New Year, friends! How were your celebrations? Mine were so wonderful- my sweet friend got married at a winery in Dahlonega, and it was the most beautiful wedding. I just love weddings.

Now that the year is starting anew, it’s time for a detox. My mom has always said, “If not now, when?” So now it is. Once or twice a year, I will do the Standard Process 21-Day detox to reset my body. This detox is truly amazing because it cleans the body at a cellular level, and the basis is all whole foods. We love those whole foods over here at MTF!

Speaking of Whole Foods, we have some exciting news to share! More Than Food is collaborating with Whole Foods Atlanta for some amazing events and social media fun this year! Once a week during the month of January, MTF will take over the @wholefoodsatl Instagram with a new recipe created especially for Whole Foods Atlanta (so be sure to follow them for updates). It’s pretty much a dream come true- I mean, who wouldn’t want to work alongside WF? I am the most excited!

Because this week begins the detox, I wanted to create a meal that is cleanse-appropriate and nourishing. Plus, it was raining and cold outside this weekend, so my body screamed, “comfort food!” Stir-fry dishes are always warm, super flavorful, and practically foolproof (and truly just so easy to whip up), so Asian food for the win.

I hope you enjoy this savory meal on your couch in your PJ’s wrapped in a blanket with a great movie and your best friend (or your dog, which is essentially the same thing, right?).

 

Disclosure: I have a partnership with Whole Foods Market and was compensated for my work, but all words and opinions are my own.
Print Recipe
All-Veggie Stir-Fry
This dish is made of all veggies and flavor. It's a great vegan dish if you are seeking one 🙂
Course Just Veggin'
Cuisine Asian
Prep Time 10-15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Course Just Veggin'
Cuisine Asian
Prep Time 10-15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Rice the cauliflower --> Chop into small pieces. In two batches, toss cauliflower in a food processor to grind it into "rice". **
  2. Chop all of the other veggies into small pieces.
  3. Saute the onion in 1/2 tbs of coconut oil in a large pan until they turn slightly brown.
  4. Add 1/2 the cauliflower and veggies to the pan with coconut aminos, other 1/2 tbs of coconut oil, and spices. Slowly add the remaining cauliflower to dish as the other veggies cook down a bit (we don't want the pan to overflow!). If you are using the honey, stir into veggies at the end.
  5. Enjoy when warm 🙂
Recipe Notes

**If you want to skip this step, simply grab a container of the WF 365 Brand of Riced Cauliflower, and the hard part is already done for you!

Peaceful House

#WhyIYoga

I am going to be honest- I tried yoga so many times and never got into it. In college I even took a semester of yoga where we practiced and studied the art from the original Tibetan yogis (my instructor was super legit and actually practiced with them). Becca – one of my besties—tried to get me to practice (knowing my inclination toward stress). Emily—another one of my besties—invited me to yoga with her on the reg, as it was her get-away and sanctuary. I just couldn’t be persuaded (albeit their- and my own – best efforts).

 

Why I didn’t yoga –> The practice slowed me down too much. I had to be still, focus on breath, and let go of all the things happening in my brain and in my world. That was way too hard. Give me an overly heavy weight to thrust over my head, no problem. Give me a to-do list to accomplish in 12 hours that really takes 18 hours to complete, I got that. Tell me to run to the other side of the state for a charity, that’s a breeze (well, sort of…). But gently ask me to sit still and concentrate on my breaths- to- movements, now that is asking a lot.

My brain would not quiet, which shed some light on the reality of my attitude and life at the time. I was all about going, going, going (probably faster than the Energizer Bunny himself), when what I needed was to pause, stop, and sit. I remember a client came back into the office after a long hiatus, and he looked great. Super rested, toned, and alert. What was he doing to get to this level of health? “I slowed down,” he said. “When I stopped trying to do so much, my body started feeling better. I got stronger. So now I focus on staying calm and listening to my body.”

Impressive. That’s what I wanted, and I knew at the surface he was 100% right. But the deepest part of my busy core fought that notion.

 

#WhyIYoga

Why I chose to yoga –> Fast forward a couple of years. Becca moved to Atlanta and started teaching at a local studio. “Just come try it with me!” Well, it’s active, and I like anything active, so I’ll try it.”

Friends, I was hooked. Something about that class proved to me yoga was more than just sitting in a still focus. It required core, strength, and stability. So I continued to go, and ironically (although God is far from ironic with His timing) that is when my idea of a calmer life started to become my reality (because this crazy overly busy lifestyle thing is absolutely not sustainable, especially if I plan to be around this life until I am 95 🙂 )

 

#WhyIYoga –> This is the motto at my studio. For me, yoga helped increase my core strength, which has stepped up my boxing game and has also sent me leaps and bounds ahead in my voice lessons. My vocal coach said, “Yoga has strengthened your core so much that you are hitting notes you’ve never hit!” Great, I’ll take that. Yoga has also been good for my mind. It strengthens the patience I must carry for my own body.

Everyone’s reason for yoga-ing is different. Some of us need energy, while others need calm. Still others appreciate strength, and some love the stretch. At the end of the day, though, we all yoga because it brings us back to our bodies, our cores.

 

Try yoga. It can be whatever you need it to be for you. It is an amazing practice. Bend a little, and trust the process.

How to De-Seed a Pomegranate

How to De-Seed a Pomegranate

Let’s talk pomegranates. They are: a) delicious b) packed with nutrients (who knew those little nuggets could be made of so many good things– Vitamins K, C, B | Folate | Phosphorus | etc.) and c) indicative that fall/winter are on their way!

Here’s the thing with them, though. These seeds are stubborn. Oh, and they can stain everything. May I persuade you to see there is another way to ensure a stain-free method to the goodness at the other end?? Because there is a way to enjoy the seeds practically hassle-free! Just following these steps. I promise- they’re worth the reward when you have a massive bowl-full of tiny red edible rubies.


You’ll need these things:

– Cutting board (darker the better, so the red color from the seeds is more easily hidden)
– Sharp knife
– Bowl of water (big enough to fit both of your hands and a pomegranate)
– A pomegranate

Step 1. Cut the pomegranate into 4 pieces.
Step 2. Dunk the pomegranate into the water, seed-side facing down.
Step 3. Under water, pick out the seeds, and let them fall to the bottom of the bowl.
Step 4. Once all seeds are extracted, pour out the water from the bowl (use your hand as a guard to keep the seeds from falling out).

And you’re done! It is as easy as that. No red-dye mess. No time-consuming and labor-intensive work. Just ease. And a delicious reminder of the chilly air and holidays approaching. Enjoy, friends!

Beets More Than Food

How to Make Beets (They’re Easy!)

Beets. They are just oh so important! Why do I love them (and therefore why should you)?

  1. DETOX~ Beets are nutritionally powerful in their detox abilities. They help thin the bile from the gallbladder to move toxins through and out of the body. If you have tan-colored stool, you need to eat some beets because the tan color means your bile is too thick.
  2. NUTRIENTS~ Beets are packed with essential nutrients like Vitamin C and B, Manganese, Potassium, and Fiber.
  3. CARDIO~ Beets support blood pressure levels and the cardiovascular systemBeet Salad More Than Food
  4. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY~ Phytonutrients in beets help decrease inflammation throughout the body, which takes pressure off the joints, organs, and all affected areas.
  5. PREP~ Beets are super easy to prepare (see below!).
  6. TASTE~ Beets have an earthy and sweet taste that goes well on a salad, as a side with a white fish or poultry, or as a stand-alone topped with some lime and balsamic vinegar.

Also, beet leaves have an incredible amount of nutrients (if not more than the beets themselves), so don’t let those go to waste! Toss them in a smoothie or salad for some superfood support.

WARNING: if you eat beets for the first time ever or in a while, your poop will be dark/red. Don’t be alarmed 🙂

 

To prepare beets:

  1. Buy organic beets (red or yellow/orange).
  2. Wash.
  3. Slice off top and bottom of beet.
  4. Chop/Cube like you do a potato.

 

Option 1: 

  • Boil about 2 inches of water in a big pot.
  • Place steamer in pot.
  • Steam beets for about 15-20 min, until soft.

 

Option 2: 

  • Place beets on a baking sheet (no foil) with coconut oil + spices (salt, pepper, or rosemary)
  • Stir up every 10 min or so.
  • Bake for 30-35 min, or until soft.

 

Option 3:

  • Spiralize beets raw for a salad or side dish OR
  • Chop raw beets, and place in a food processor to make finely chopped or minced for a salad or side dish

 

 

Enjoy beets a few times a week for added health benefits! Happy nomming!

More_Than_Food.RawFood.Atlanta

What Are 3 Tips for Easy Grocery Shopping?

Friends. Do you ever make it to the store and feel utterly overwhelmed by the plethora of options and/or people? Or do you simply avoid the shopping chore altogether for this very reason? (Although, I must say I am quite the opposite, and I thoroughly enjoy my shopping trips. It’s like therapy for me — my sister thinks I am slightly crazy, too.)

If you are someone who dreads the store’s challenges, have no more fear, my friend. Shopping for food can be a breeze if you have a plan. So let’s make a plan, shall we? Follow these three guidelines to ensure easier and more pleasant shopping experiences.

Steps for Shopping Ease

  1. Come with a prepared list.

Make a list of the meals and the ingredients you plan to enjoy that week. Just focus on the next 7 days. Choose 2 breakfast options, 1-2 lunch options, and 2-3 dinner options. Mix and match; make leftovers; utilize some of the same ingredients for Tuesday’s lunch as you do for Thursday’s dinner. Plan your recipes, and write down what you’ll need. Then, head to the store on a mission, pen and paper in hand (trying desperately to bring back the art of writing things down). Walk in the doors, take a breath, and conquer your task in just about 30 minutes (if that!).

  1. Shop the perimeter of the store. 

The healthiest foods are located on the walls of the grocery store. The veggies, fruits, meats, raw cheeses, fish. All of the foods that will give life to your body. The aisles, on the other hand, are packed with foods that are bagged, packaged, and canned. Many of these choices need to have longer shelf-lives, so companies add ingredients to them to extend the food’s Use-By dates. Unfortunately, many of these preservative ingredients do their jobs all too well and preserve the foods all too well, meaning that the food gets preserved all too well in our guts, which is not the healthiest for our bodies. Instead, it is best to fill our bodies with life-giving foods, so stick with the outskirts of the shops as much as possible.

  1. Eat before you arrive. 

This step is a must. Truly, if I walk around a store filled with food when I am hangry, things get worse because I want all the food. Also, as we walk through the store with an empty stomach, we tend to grab for the foods we crave in the moment (and when our blood sugar crashes a bit, we mostly just want the sugary things. Dang sugar). So have a snack of protein and/or healthy fat before heading to the grocery store, so you stick with your list 🙂

Options for snacks: nuts, fruit, seeds, raw cheese, whole milk/plain grass-fed yogurt, pasture-raised meat slices