“Revealing the Future of Our Food” event

It is finally here! World Food Day is tomorrow! We’ve all been working very hard getting events organized across the nation. Join in! Find an event going on in your area: http://organicconsumers.org/monsanto/index.cfm

“Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner”*

*Or not.  How about “Veggie Dinner?”  Anyway, I did it!  I did it!  I met my Bahamas weight goal!  Yippee!  And out of the 7 adults (13 of us in all) that participated, only 3 of us made it!  So, not only was I able to earn back my own $50, but my husbands (he was short by 3 tiny lbs!) and even got a little bonus on top of that.  I am pretty proud of myself!

We had a wonderful time with the extended family at Atlantis in Paradise Island, Bahamas.  There were 5 little cousins ranging in age from 7 years to 20 months old.  It was great to get away from it all for a little bit and gain some perspective on things.

One thing I have realized is that the genetically modified foods (GMOs) issue can push me over the edge.  Which it should, don’t get me wrong: we should all be rising up against our bought off government that doesn’t care if it is poisoning us all creating diseases and death.  But, it’s difficult to live life in that angry state for very long.

Today is a big day; I am hosting a screening of “FRESH, the movie” and a planning meeting for World Food Day at my home.  We will most likely be planning our rallying activities to raise awareness and take back control of our food supply.  Today I will definitely be wearing my “Millions Against Monsanto” t-shirt.  I want to join forces with my fellow anti-GMO activists and really make a difference, but I also need to remember to keep a cool head, because living in an angry mindset can also wear down a person’s immune system and cause illness just as easy as improper eating.

My new friend, Janet put together this very helpful list of Daily Activities that we can all do to make a difference, one person at a time.  Do whatever you can to get involved, no matter how smallRemember our organic/conventional fruits and veggies are what is in danger here:

Daily Anti-GMO Actions

  1. Vote with your dollars!  Make it a priority to buy non-GMO items at grocery stores and restaurants.
  1. Speak to grocery store managers to request that they stock more non-GMO items.  Store managers will likely be uninformed about GMOs, and this is your chance to educate them about the dangers of genetically modified foods.   Once they become aware and informed, they’ll be able to share the information with fellow managers and workers and with other shoppers.  When we take the time to help educate just one person, that information spreads out in a ripple effect!
  1. When you’re eating out, ask servers and managers if they have non-GMO items available.  Again, this is your chance to educate others and help spread the word about GMOs!
  1. Contact corporate offices of grocery stores and restaurants to ask about their GMO policies.  Let them know that you won’t purchase items that contain GMO ingredients.
  1. Contact corporate offices of companies that produce food, and ask if their products contain GMOs.  Let them know that you won’t buy their products if they use GMO ingredients.  This is especially important with regard to organic dairy products.  Write to the companies and let them know that if they include GMO alfalfa in their supply chain, then you won’t buy their products.  As consumers, we really have all the power to stop GMO alfalfa!  If companies know that consumers won’t buy their products, then they’ll find sources for organic alfalfa.  And it’s the same with other food products, as well.  If we make it clear that we won’t buy products that contain GMO ingredients, the companies will listen.  This is another action that needs to be done continuously.  Contacting a company just once won’t be enough!  
  1. As much as you possibly can, buy organic.  When we buy organic products, we’re supporting organic agriculture, and we’re choosing foods that are healthier for our families and us.
  1. Write letters to the editor of the local newspaper.
  1. Plant a garden, and buy seeds only from companies that have taken the

“Safe Seed Pledge,” which insures that their seeds are GMO-free.  Even if you don’t have a lot of space, you can plant a small garden or a container garden.  When you grow your own organic vegetables, you know they’re safe, fresh, delicious, and nutritious!

  1. Stay informed and up to date on correct information about GMOs.  Jeffrey Smith, the leading expert on GMOs, has two excellent websites: The Institute for Responsible Technology (www.responsibletechnology.org) and Seeds of Deception (www.seedsofdeception.com).
  1. Other excellent websites for GMO information are The Center for Food Safety (www.centerforfoodsafety.org) and Organic Consumers Association (www.organicconsumers.org).
  1. If possible, give your financial support to the organizations that are working to protect us all by taking Monsanto to court.  The Center for Food Safety (and other groups, as well) are currently involved in lawsuits against Monsanto, and they need our financial support to continue this work.
  1. Share information with friends and family.  Encourage them to read and become educated about GMOs.  As more and more people become aware, more voices will be raised in protest, and more consumers will demand non-GMO food items at grocery stores and restaurants. 
  1. Call and email your state and federal representatives and senators to ask them to support labeling of genetically modified foods.  This needs to be an ongoing effort.  Just one letter or call won’t do it!  Make it a priority to continue to write and call, and ask others to do the same.
  1. We also need to send emails and make calls regarding other GMO issues, and these calls and emails can also go to the President, the USDA, and the FDA:
    • Demand that the approval for GM alfalfa be rescinded.
    • Insist that organic farmers be given protection from GMO contamination.
    • Ask why Congress continues to take PAC money from Monsanto while it ignores the demands of the citizens.
    • Ask why our government is ignoring the critical importance of genetic diversity and is allowing GMO crops and their contamination to continue—putting the environment and all of us at grave risk.
    • Demand to know why the government is not insisting on third party testing of GMO food products.
    • Insist that our right to pure, safe, organic food must be a top priority.
    • Stay informed about current legislation that has to do with GMOs, organic farming, and other related issues.  Call and email congress, the president, the USDA, and any other officials who are involved.  Make your voice heard!
    • These are only a few of the important issues.  There are many more.
  1. Even when it seems discouraging, never doubt that we can accomplish our goals.  If we stand together and keep up our efforts, we will make a difference!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
–Margaret Mead

2 lbs, a “Cook” Book and a Fresh Meeting

I have two pounds to go!  That is it!  Two pounds to reach my Bahamas goal.  That is all that stands between me and reclaiming my $50.  My husband has 4 pounds.  Not much, but still, we remain unsure as we anxiously watch our weights fluctuate up and down on the scale.  I can not wait until this little contest is over and done with and we can focus on our upcoming vacation!  Of course then, upon returning I will have to get back to it as I am not quite where I want to be weight wise.  A never ending process it seems.

I am very excited that I ordered Mimi Kirk’s new “cook” book, called Live Raw.  It is due to arrive today or tomorrow.  For Christmas I got a large dehydrator and am embarrassed to say that it is still in the box!  Mimi’s new book will be just what I need to get going with the dehydrator and eating more raw foods again!

And veering over to the GMO topic for a second, I am going to be hosting a World Food Day Planning Meeting/Screening of FRESH, the movie at my house on the 26th.  This is our first meeting to get organized for World Food Day, which is October 16.  The entire state of Indiana is invited.  :)  I am excited!  I hope it will be productive and enjoyable as well!

A Bone to Pick

Like that subject title?  A bit “tongue in cheek,” I admit.  But, this is of course, is the “proverbial bone” that I am discussing today.  Well, if you thought I was a little bent on the topic of genetically modified foods (GMOs) before, well guess what?  I am even more so now.  The more I learn the more involved I become.  It is just INSANE.  This has got to be stopped.  In previous posts, I have made it clear that everyone and I mean EVERYONE needs to sign the “Truth In Labeling” petition.  No one can argue that we all have the right to know what is in the food we are eating.

I made certain to share this information and request with all of the Raw Food Experts/Nutrition experts that I follow.  If you still think this doesn’t affect you, my dear raw foodists, think again:  They are contaminating the entire food supply, one crop at a time.  I want to give a big thank you to Mimi Kirk, Tonya Zavasta and John Allen Mollenhauer for jumping right on this topic and signing the petition.

I also want to express my bitter disappointment in Dan McDonald and Philip McCluskey* (see comments section) who have thus far completely ignored my comments and requests that they educate themselves on this very serious topic and join forces in this movement before it is too late and our entire food supply becomes contaminated. It’s almost as if these guys get so “high” on their spiritual journey through raw foods that they think the are completely untouchable and don’t need to be concerned with anything, ever.  I wish they would step off of their little clouds for a minute and help out their fellow man by using their influence to educate and expand our army of people fighting against these bio-tech bullies who are quite literally trying to take over the world.  I know that sounds overly dramatic, but do the research yourself!  You will be shocked at what you learn.  For example, read this excellent, in-depth article:  Monsanto: The World’s Poster Child for Corporate Manipulation and Deceit. The unfortunate fact of the matter is that if everyone doesn’t do their part in this fight, then one day, no one will access to organic or conventional fruits and vegetables; they will have foreign fish, animal, bacteria or even human genes in them!

Think about it.  Educate yourself.  Get involved in any way that you can.  I mentioned before that I started my district chapter for Millions Against Monsanto.  Well, I have now also started the page for my stateFind your chapter.  Find your state page.  Please get involved to save organics and conventional crops before it is too late.

Forever United By Birthday Cake

So, I guess today is my birthday.  It is going to go by in a blink of an eye.  Barely recognized or noticed.  So, please indulge me, while a take a moment to say “Hey!  I am another year older today!”  This particular year my day is snuggled up next to Easter (which was yesterday) and also my daughter’s birthday which is this Wednesday.  7 years ago she decided to arrive a few weeks early.  Today is Monday, which means I will be running around doing everything that normally needs done on a Mondays and then taking my kids to swimming lessons tonight.  Oh well.

In addition to feeling a slight bit of self-pity, I also have the challenge of not adding extra weight to my goal that I am trying to achieve by the family trip to the Bahamas in June.  Remember that?  I am down to 6 weeks to get it done.  Now, this isn’t my all-time goal – I wasn’t crazy – I know myself too well; I am easily distracted by shiny objects.  So, I am just shooting for a 20 lbs weight loss by then, but I will have a bit more work to do after that.  Assuming I don’t add on any extra from the Easter goodies, birthday celebrations and of course, the annual trip to Chuck E Cheese, than I just might do alright!

A couple of weeks ago I bought a couple of kettlebells.  I am really starting to get the hang of them and am feeling particularly like a bad a$$ chic again.  If you don’t know what they are, they are kind of like a bowling ball with a handle.  I am using a 15 lbs for any moves that require it to go above my head, like “cleans” and a 25 for lower body stuff, like “swings”, etc.  They seems to give a fantastic total body workout in only minutes a day – that was something I could really get on board with!  After every workout, I have my green smoothie.  I have been adding a bit of keifer for a little extra protein and the pro-biotics that you gain from it.  So far so good.  It’s early yet, but I am already feeling slight changes taking place.  Yippee!

One last comment on the birthday thing.  I have always felt like a little kid in grown up clothing; never really felt like an adult.  I am not sure if this is a good sign or not, but lately, I have actually started to feel differently.  Turning 38 today, dang….well, I guess, it is time to accept it!  So, I have decided to finally take certain things more seriously, continue to act passionately about the things that stir my heart while making no apologies about it and to let go of pursuits that have no beneficial outcome. 

Sometimes it is not so bad sharing your birthday with a loved one:  My whole in-law family, including Grandma and I went out for dinner a few days ago and they all insisted on telling the waitstaff that it was our birthdays next week.  Well, not only do these folks sing to you, they make you get up and dance while doing soSo, although embarrassing, it was a fun experience had between me and my little girl. 

*Note: the photos were taken on spring break when we went to visit my parents in Dallas, Tx.  They had an early celebration for us, but mainly for Lauren as her name was the only one on the cake.  ;o)

Nutrient Rich?

Taking a break from the GMO “soap box” for a minute, I have been delving back in to my eating plan again.  Remember that food plan wherein I was supposed to become a raw foodist? Ya, that was it.  I think I made a wrong turn somewhere there along the way.  Anyway, it is definitely still my highest goal to consume a mostly raw fruits and veggies with some nuts and seeds diet as possible: some days I am better at it than others.

Awhile back I explored the idea of being a “Nutritarian” in my blog post “Living The Food Label.” There is an interesting short video there of Dr. Joel Fuhrman explaining why in some cases it is more beneficial to eat certain vegetables cooked instead of raw.  Recently, I began revisiting this concept through the Nutrient Rich website that is run by John Allen Mollenhauer.  I had the privilege of interviewing  John or “JAM” as is his nickname a few years ago.     He is a very knowledgeable and high energy guy!  I really learned a lot from him!  So, now I am curious about his Nutrient Rich Food Class SystemHe lays out various foods in classes according to the nutrient value.  According to this chart, the best foods, called “First Class” are as follows:

Vegetables:

Spinach, cooked

Kale, cooked

Broccoli, raw

Red Bell Pepper, raw

Onions, raw

Carrots, raw

Sweetpotato, cooked

Fruit:

Oranges

Blackberries

Strawberries

Cantaloupe

Bananas

Apples

Papaya

 

Nuts & Seeds:

Seasame Seeds

Sunflower Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

Pistachio Nuts

Almonds

Hazelnuts (filberts)

Brazil Nuts

 

Beans & Legumes:

Lentils, sprouted cooked

Black beans, cooked

Adzuki beans, cooked

Kidney beans, cooked

Navy beans, cooked

Pinto beans, cooked

Soybeans, raw

 

Whole Unrefined Grains:

Quinoa

Brown rice

Rye

Buckwheat

Whole wheat

Oats

Amaranth

 

I find this to be very interesting and want to to learn more about why certain foods are considered actually healthier if they are cooked. Do those extra nutrients really negate the enzyme loss and subsequent aging that occurs when we eat cooked foods? In a couple of days,  John Allen will be hosting a webinar to explain this different way of eating.  The good thing is I know that he comes from the like mind of a “plant based diet” being best, so in that respect, we are “on the same page.”   The question is, will he be able to convince me that a 100% Raw Vegan diet is not the “holy grail” that I had always thought it to be. I will have to get back to you on that one.  I would like to have an open mind because the true goal here is living the healthiest life possible.  What if that does happen to include some cooked foods? What are your thoughts?  In your opinion, is it ever appropriate to cook certain foods?

Moms Against Monsanto

You know what?  I am angry.  I am sad.  And I feel awfully helpless at the moment. The more I learn about GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and everything that this company, Monsanto is doing the more duped I feel.  Is it too late? Have they already taken completely over?

Yesterday I attended the very first Rally for the Right to Know for Millions Against Monsanto.  They protested on the sidewalk of the White House and in several places across the U.S. including Indianapolis, where I joined in with my less than glamorous, but to the point sign.  If you haven’t yet read my previous blog post about this, you may want to pause here, do a quick read of “Say No to GMOs” and then come back.  In addition to the film,  “The Future of Food” another must-see is “The World According to Monsanto.” Okay, now that you are up-to-date, I will continue my rant.

I am in the process now of trying to alert everyone that I know about all of this scary stuff I have been learning.  So far, most people are completely clueless and when I have posted several links and information as my Facebook profile status you can practically hear the crickets chirping.  As a side note, I have always found it hilarious when I have posted things and no one knows what I am talking about, no one bothers to ask questions!  It’s almost like everyone is allergic to anything that might upset their way of life, so they become deer in headlights and freeze, not saying anything, hoping this new, potentially life changing information will just go away.  Well, I am here to say, “Wake the H. E. Double Hockey Sticks Up People!”

So, I say okay, the change starts with me. I print off my handy “Non-GMO Shopping Tips Guide” and go to clean out the cupboards and the pantry.  You know, it is one thing for me to always be talking about raw foods and trying to eat healthy, but it is a whole other thing when it comes to my kids.  Yes, they are good about eating their fruits and veggies, but no, we haven’t eliminated all of the junk completely from their lives.  And now, what’s this?  The cereal my kids are eating – basic stuff, like Cheerios isn’t even good anymore!  I thought I was doing a good job because I didn’t allow those sweet, cartoonish cereals in my house.  But now, thanks to the last 10 years of Genetically Modified foods sneaking into all of our foods at the store, I can’t feel good about my kids eating anything that is processed!  So, what am I going to feed them? Well, armed with my  non-GMO shopping guide I can either start trying to educate all my local grocery stores and/or start doing all my shopping at the places that carry the most foods that have the “Non-GMO Project label.”

That is fine and I will do that, but I just want to point out here that I have a 7 & a 5 year old.  Thank you Monsanto for forcing me to begin a war with my children and not to mention my husband! (That’s a blog post for another day!)  Things are going to get ugly around here for awhile.  No wonder my other mom friends would rather “bury their heads in the sand!”

I am so angry about all of this now that I wanted to start a “Moms Against Monsanto” group!  Not wanting to “reinvent the wheel,” however, I looked on Facebook  and found this group to join: Moms Against GMOs. I urge you, if you are a mom and you care about what is happening to the future health of your children, jump on this band wagon!  Learn all that you can about GMOs and Monsanto and let’s take a stand together! That’s what they did in the European Union!  They said No to GMOs and they succeeded!  We need to do the same thing and unite together and work with our local, organic farmers (through farmers markets and CSAs) to take back control of our food supply!

If you still have questions regarding GMOs & what Monsanto is all about, here is an excellent blog post detailing everything you need to know: GMO 101: Everything Monsanto Doesn’t Want You to Know http://ecoconvert.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/gmo-101-everything-monsanto-doesnt-want-you-to-know/#comment-31

 

 

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