Friday, July 16, 2010

The Sweat without the Stink

For some, summer is the time to reconnect and spend quality time with friends. And with the heat index reaching an all time high, most are choosing to relax indoors where the air conditioner creates a cooler atmosphere. Movie nights have taken up most of my summer. But one night, I made a horrifying discovery. Comfortably sitting next to someone I admittedly wanted to impress, I realized that odor wasn’t from my friend’s fifteen year old relic of a dog, but from my pits instead! Summertime heat can make us all a little sweatier, but I’ve found a product that promises to let you “sweat without the stink”.

“Pit Powder” is a 100% natural deodorant that keeps its promise. What’s better, it’s toxin-free and easy to use! Just shake a bit into your hand, rub onto your pit, pat away the excess (especially if you’re planning on wearing darker colors), and you’re ready to go! Perfect for the hot summer weather, this deodorant “reduces odor without the introduction of harmful toxins which are found in many conventional deodorants and antiperspirants.” Sweating is a natural part of a healthy body. “Pit Powder” simply removes the unpleasant odor associated with sweating.

Enjoy fun under the sun without the worries of stinking up the yard and scaring away your friends! “Sweat without the stink”!

Sweet Confusion

There are enough "healthy" sugar alternatives on the market today to make your head spin. Xylitol, Maltitol, Erithrytol, Luo Han Guo, Agave and Stevia just to name a few. They all have a different sweetness level and taste. Some have a powdery consistency, some come in liquid form and some are like regular table sugar in taste and texture. Which one is the best? Which one is for you? Here is a Natural "Sugar Alternative" Primer to help you choose which one is the right one for you!

Luo Han Guo: Derived from an herb called Siraitia grosvenori, it has been used in China for hundreds of years as a sweetener. It's about 300 times the sweetness of sugar and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine. Usually found in powder and syrup form. Zero calories and carbs. Safe for diabetics.

Stevia: Also an herb and a species of the sunflower family and native to subtropical regions from western North America to South America. Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as sweetleaf, sweet leaf, sugarleaf, or simply stevia, is widely grown for its sweet leaves. Stevia's taste has a slower onset and longer duration of sugar, although it can sometime be bitter tasting and licorice-like. It also has 300 times the sweetness of sugar, low in carbs and has shown possible benefits towards treating obesity and high blood pressure. Usually found in a liquid and powder form. Zero calories and carbs. Safe for diabetics.

Xylitol: A sugar alcohol sweetener used as a naturally occurring sugar substitute. Found in the fiber of many fruits and vegetables including berries, corn husks, oats, birch trees and mushrooms. It is roughly as sweet as sugar yet with any consumption of sugar alcohols there is always the risk of bloating, diarrhea, and flatulence, although generally rather less so than other sugar alcohols such as sorbitol. Low in calories and contains carbs. Safe for diabetics if eaten in moderation. Does not promote tooth decay.

Maltitol:Contains 75-90% sweetness of table sugar. It is a disaccharide which is a "carbohydrate formed when two monosaccharides undergo a condensation reaction which involves the elimination of a small molecule, such as water, from the functional groups only. Like monosaccharides, disaccharides also dissolve in water, taste sweet and are called sugars". That was the best description I could find. It sounds very complicated and I'm still on the fence about how I feel about this one. And just like with the use of xylitol it can cause "bloating, diarrhea and flatulance. Fun! Low calorie and safe for diabetics. Does not promote tooth decay.

Agave: Mostly grown in Mexico, this plant can also be found in southern and western United States as well as South America. They are succulents that grow thick fleshy leaves, think aloe vera on steroids. Blue agave is used in the production of tequila. The nectar comes from the base of the young flower stalk and is sweeter than honey but not as thick. It has a much lower glycemic index than table sugar but does contain fructose....and calories, and a lot of them at that.

I hope this helps with some of the confusion you may or may not be having with alternative, natural sweeteners. There are a TON more out there that I didn't list because they are quite rarely used in the products that we carry. You can find alternative sweeteners available at Food for Thought in sodas, teas, juice, gum, toothpaste, protein bars, ice cream and ice cream mixes, low carb mixes, yogurt, syrup, ketchup, cookies and a bunch more i'm sure i'm forgetting!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Quorn! The Versatile Mushroom!

I'm not the biggest fan of mushrooms. Their taste kind of just blends in to things and I seem to only eat them when they are on pizza or in sauces or occasionally fried and stuffed with something. But then I discovered Quorn meatless products and I actually got excited about mushrooms. A fungus of all things....and it tastes great!

Quorn is a UK based brand which has been around since 1985 and has become the #1 retail brand of meat-free foods in the world! It is derived from a myco-protein ("myco" is greek from fungus) which was originally discovered growing in a field in Buckinghamshire, England. In the late 1960s, initial product development began, soon recognizing mycoprotein’s potential as an efficient and nutritious protein source. It is even low in fat and calories and high in fiber.

Even though I am a meat eater, I am still always looking for healthy options to incorporate into my diet. I get bored easily so I'm always trying to find the next best thing in food. And so far the Quorn products I have tried have not let me down. We carry 9 products by them including: beef style grounds(lower in sodium than Boca!), chik'n tenders (delicious with stir fry!), chik'n patties, chik'n nuggest, naked chik'n cutlets, and the turkey roast and turkey patties. The taste is great with no horrible aftertaste like some meat free alternatives. Their website offers a few great recipes to try including this one for Lite Quorn Stroganoff that I can't wait to try!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Vegan Wednesday!

Homemade Vegan "Pepperoni"
(as seen on
1/2 cup white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup cold water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon paprika (smoked paprika is even better!)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon barbecue sauce
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon whole anise seed
1 teaspoon red peppercorns
1 teaspoon green peppercorns
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten

1.  Start the water in the steamer so it will be boiling when your ready. Finely mash the beans with a fork. Add water, sugar, paprika, olive oil, salt, liquid smoke, bbq sauce, and cayenne - mix well.

2.  Roughly grind anise seed, peppercorns, and red pepper flakes with a mortar and pestle. Add into mixture. Add in wheat gluten and mix well with a fork.

3.  Divide dough into three equal portions. Shape each into a tube and wrap like a tootsie roll in heavy duty aluminum foil. Make sure to wrap it tightly by twisting the ends. Heavy duty foil is needed to keep the pepperoni from bursting out of the wrapping when cooking.

4.  Steam for 45 minutes. Cool and slice. You can use as is or also fry them up a bit on each side to make a crispier pepperoni.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

New! Rudi's Gluten-Free Bread!

As delicious as Udi's gluten-free breads are, they very well may have been usurped (in my book at least) by Rudi's new gluten-free breads! Available in three delicious options (original, multigrain and cinnamon raisin), you'll be hard-pressed to stop yourself from not eating the entire loaf!

Like their traditional breads, Rudi's gluten-free breads are made with all-natural (most of them are organic) ingredients, are amazingly soft, and they leave your mouth watering for more. And, happily, we carry all three flavors! We just got them in and they are on sale- only $4.59 a loaf!

Come into the store to check out these breads and all of our other new gluten-free products! And to find out more about Rudi's Bakery, click here!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Great Grocery & Produce Deals!

Here are a few great deals this week! Save and be healthy!

Organic Green Grapes on sale today for $1.99/lb!
Organic Peaches on sale for $1.69/lb!
Organic Bananas on sale for 69cents/lb!
(Yummy, fruit salad anyone?)

Almond Breeze select varieties of quarts on sale for $2.19
$1/1 in Mambo Sprout coupon book (available in-store)
Final cost $1.19

Annie's Mac & Cheese select varieties on sale for $1.99
75 cents/1 in Healthy Clippings (available in-store)
Final cost $1.24

Annie Chun's Wasabi Seaweed Snacks on sale for $1.19
Sign up for their newsletter here, and save $1/1 product
Final cost 19 cents!

Back to Nature Granola select flavors on sale for $3.59.
$1/1 in Mambo Sprout coupon book (available in-store)
Final cost $2.59

BioKleen Produce Wash on sale for $3.99; Spray & Wipe $3.89; Liquid Citrus Laundry 64 oz $9.49
$1/1 BioKleen Product here
Final cost $2.99; $2.89; $8.49

Boulder Canyon Chips select varieties on sale for $1.79.
$1/1 printable coupon here.
Final cost 79 cents!

Clif Bars select flavors Mojo Bars on sale for 99 cents.
50 cents/1 in Mambo Sprouts (available in-store)
Final cost 49 cents!

Ecover Laundry Detergent 100oz on sale for $12.99
$1.25/1 here.
Final cost $11.74.

Kashi Organic Cinnamon Promise on sale for $3.99
$1/1 in Mambo Sprout coupon book (available in-store)
Final cost $2.99

Knudsen Very Veggie Low Salt on sale for $2.99
$1/1 in Healthy Clippings (available in-store)
Final cost $1.99

Lundberg Rice Chips are on sale for $2.19.
75 cents/1 Rice Chip in the new Mambo Sprout coupon book (available in-store)
Final cost $1.44!

Woodstock Farms Yellow Mustard on sale for $2.39
50 cents/1 in Healthy Clippings (available in-store)
Final cost $1.89

Supplements for your Dogs and Cats

I have always had a great love for animals, domestic and wild alike. It is no surprise to my family that I have chosen to study Veterinarian Medicine in College. However, I must explain my blessing of first working at Food for Thought Inc. and of reading Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats. Working for the Foley family has opened up my eyes to a whole new world of health, holistically speaking. Working in the grocery, produce, vitamin and natural beauty sections, I have learned without hesitation that nutrition, or the lack there of, pays the most important role in our health. Our prescription drugs will not save us, only we can make the internal life changes needed to cure our ailments. There is no magic pill, sorry.

I came across Dr. Pitcairn's book the moment I started working at Food for Thought, but it wasn't a book I bought until here recently. Maybe it was a sort of fate, that I needed to first buy tons of books about Human health and nutrition (which I have) in order to see the truth of his words. This blog, however, is not meant to be a book review, as I would never be able to encompass all my gratitude towards the Doctor who wrote it, the wonderful teacher that he is.

However, I would like to focus on one aspect from his book at this time: supplements. Many people just buy pet food without ever reading labels or researching what exactly is in the "food" (if the companies even know, now that would be a miracle, but I will save that topic for another day). I do not believe I can convinence you to change your dog's or cat's diet at this point, but I would like to challenge you to try some additional measurements for their health. As follows is a basic but essential list: