Eat Well, Avoid Toxins, Be Happy!
June 2013
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This month instead of talking about toxins in your products, I am talking about things to avoid in your FOOD.  I've provided a link to a downloadable wallet size card that you can carry with you as you make food and product choices.  Or just eat unprocessed foods and make your own products or purchase safe ones (such as Ava Anderson).

In addition to offering a favorite food recipe, I am also providing some homemade recipes for cleaning products.  I hope you enjoy both kinds!

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Did you enjoy our blog last time we travelled?  We will be starting it up again at Wendy and Matt's Trips.
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Health and Wellness: Worth the Effort

Can you give up sugar for one day? One week? One month?   Would you consider trying it? Read more below about avoiding toxins, including sugar.
(c)  2013 Auberrry Shortcake Design

Avoid Toxins!

Toxins in food come in many different varieties.   They include, in my opinion, foods such as sugar and salt that should only be consumed in limited quantities.  I also believe that they inlcude artificial flavorings for which the actual ingredients do not need to be listed on food labels.  Then, there are the chemicals that are identified on the labels and that are included for a variety of reasons, including flavor, preservation, and who knows what else.
Sugar is highly processed.  Our bodies are not designed to digest it, so it goes directly into our bloodstream kicking off an insulin reaction and generally causing bodily harm. It's not just diabetes and weight gain that sugar puts us at risk for, it is heart disease, potentially Alzheimer's, and potentially cancer, just to name a few.   It hides in many processed foods where you do not expect it such as spaghetti sauce, crackers, and peanut butter. 

Artificial sweeteners may also be fraught with problems.   Far better to solve a sweet craving with fruit, sweet vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes, or to replace coffee with sugar or sweetener with green tea with honey.  My sister Rachel, suggests sticking with the coffee, but skipping the sugar. 
More about this on my blog.

There is increasing evidence that excessive salt causes health problems.   Like sugar, salt hides in many foods.  While, unlike sugar, we do need some salt in our diet, the amount of salt in processed foods and restaurant foods, likely causes most of us to highly exceed the recommended daily allowance. 
The recommended daily allowance for salt is 1,500-2,300 mg (which is about 1/2 to 1 tsp)  This includes all salt in your diet, not just the table salt you add.   The nutrition labels are based on 2,300 mg, so if you fit into one of the categories of people who should only consume 1,500 mg, you should multiply the percent of sodium on a label by 1.5 to get the percent of salt in one serving for you.  According to the Mayo clinic, if you are  51 or older, African American,  or have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease, you should consume 1,500 mg of sodium per day. 
The FDA does have labeling requirements regarding sodium, but I feel like they don't necessarily mean what I would think they mean.  Here is what they say:
  • Salt/Sodium-Free → Less than 5 mg of sodium per serving
  • Very Low Sodium → 35 mg of sodium or less per serving
  • Low Sodium → 140 mg of sodium or less per serving
  • Reduced Sodium → At least 25% less sodium than in the original product
  • Light in Sodium or Lightly Salted → At least 50% less sodium than the regular product
  • No-Salt-Added or Unsalted → No salt is added during processing, but not necessarily sodium-free. Check the Nutrition Facts Label to be sure.


My very wise friend, Susan Joan, says that if you avoid sugar and minimize salt, then you really don't have to worry about toxins in your food, because you won't be buying processed food.  My equally wise friend Holly says the list of things not to buy is so long and complicated, it's just easier to buy whole, unprocessed food.  I agree with both of them ABSOLUTELY.

In case you are not there yet, I have attached a walled sized handout that you can take with you shopping.  It identifies some key items to avoid in food and products.

Did you know?

The labels on your fresh fruit or produce tell you whether they are organic, conventional or GMO
  • Five digits starting with a 9 = Organic
  • Five digits starting with an 8 = GMO (genetically modified)
  • Four digits starting with a 3 or a 4 = Conventional

Be Happy! 

Dr. Andrew Weill is pretty awesome and I had the great good luck to hear him speak at the Integrative Nutrition Conference in early May.   I am passing on his advice.   It's easy!
  • Take a deep breath and empty all the air out.
  • Breathe in through your nose to the count of four
  • Hold your breath to the count of seven
  • Purse your lips, place your tongue on the roof of your mouth directly behind our teeth, and breath out loudly to the count of eight (you will make a sound). 
Do this four times in a row in the morning when you wake up and then four times in the evening before you go to sleep.

If you do it for 30 days and are feeling fabulous, then you can do it eight times in a row!   Don't do it more than eight times at once, but you can do it more frequently during the course of the day.

Try it!
(c) 2013 Auberry Shortcake Design

Eat Well and Clean Naturally!

This month, I'm all about eating alkalizing foods and cleaning naturally.

Eat well!

Our bodies naturally seek a pH balance.  If our diet is overly acidic then our bodies will seek a balance by leeching alkaline from our bones, thus weakening them.   Naturally strong bones prevent fractures.   Our diets tend to be heavily acidic  Foods like meats are acidic as are many fruits.   Many vegetables (especially raw) are alkaline.   Avocados are alkaline as are lemons and limes.   Slices of lemon, lime or cucumber in your water are a great source of alkalinity.   I invented my chopped salad because I didn't feel like cutting up the lettuce. I keep making it because it's highly alkaline, delicious and popular!

My Fabulous Alkaline Chopped Salad
  • Diced cucumbers
  • Diced purple onions
  • Diced avocado
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Diced celery
  • Olives
  • Diced red pepper
  • Diced any other vegetables you like

  • Olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
You can do 3:1 on the oil and vinegar, though I like it tart and do 1:1.     Use a healthy sized dollop of the mustard and then adjust to taste.   I use Trader Joe's Dijon mustard.

I took a class recently on how to slice and dice vegetables.   The best tip was to hold the hand that does not have the knife in it like a bear claw (holding the veggies with the tips of your fingers) and the knife should not go higher than your first knuckle.  Cut safely!

(c) 2013 Auberrry Shortcake Design

Clean Naturally

Indoor air pollution is a serious and under-discussed issue.   Household dust and mold can be a huge problem in terms of allergens and asthma. Getting rid of dust and mold is a significant step towards reducing indoor air pollution and improving the quality of your environment.  However, when I researched the ingredients in most common household cleaners, I was shocked to see that the toxins contained in many of them are also quite harmful to our health (even the ones with pretty labels and words like "natural" or "green" in their name).

I find that what works for me best is a balance of non-toxic products that I buy and those that I make.  I use the Ava Anderson Non-Toxic line which is fabulous! (check out these products at Wendy's Ava Anderson NonToxic site).

While there are strong opinions on the Internet (very strong) about precise recipes for the perfect cleaner, I find that exact proportions do not seem to matter.  Here are some of the homemade cleaning items I use:

For hard surfaces
  • Baking soda
  • Hot water
  • Vinegar
Note that order matters.   The baking soda and vinegar will react, bubble, and expand.  

For mirrors and glass
  • Vinegar
I added the peel of one orange to the container of vinegar and let it sit for two weeks.  It smells better than straight vinegar, but I think more orange is required - I will try it again with two or three oranges.

There are those who use vinegar for everything!

Dish soap
  • Liquid castille soap
  • A little bit of water
  • Essential oils if you want.
This works great!   It is less dense than regular dish soap. 

I pour about 1/2 a cup of Borax into the toilet, scrub, and then let it sit, ideally overnight.  There is some disagreement about whether Borax is totally non-toxic.  I feel like in the toilet it is a safer and better choice than items generally available on the market, but am researching other options.

Hardwood floors
Our floors are old and definitely need work.  I know that, depending on the finish, you may need to be careful.  So consider the kind of floors that you have first.
I use:
  • Water
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
Mix together, use a damp mop or towel and clean, then dry.  Be aware that the floor is slippery after cleaning (which causes Pepper to slip and slide). For spot cleaning, a little vinegar in water will often do the trick. 

In case you were wondering....
The beautiful flower pictures in this edition are taken by my incredibly talented and amazing niece, Aubrey, and the flowers are from my fabulous sister Rachel's garden.
To learn more about how to eat healthy, avoid toxins and be happy, go to:
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A little about me and why I am doing this.

I am passionate about working with people to help them achieve their goals through making healthier nutrition and wellness choices.   My particular interest is in working with people who are seeking to make health and wellness choices to help to prevent cancer or its recurrence.   I believe that through healthy food choices, avoiding toxins, and taking steps to reduce stress and be happier, it is easier to achieve life goals and to stay healthier.   Because of my passion, I am a holistic health coach, a distributor of Ava Anderson Non Toxic Products, and a one-on-one provider for Heart Math.
Copyright © 2013 Break Through Consulting, All rights reserved.
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