Friday, September 24, 2010

"Rinse, Lather, Repeat!"

Rinse, Lather, Repeat! From childhood, we're taught that the more suds our shampoo produces, the cleaner our hair will be. But new reports suggest that the ingredient that creates all of those fun little bubbles might actually be doing more harm than good!

SLS, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, can be found in almost every shampoo bottle on the shelves, but this additive has been linked to multiple health risks and other problems! SLS irritates the skin, even if left on for short amounts of time, while allowing environmental contaminants easier access to the lower, more sensitive layers of skin. And because it cannot be metabolized by the liver, its effects can be much longer lasting. Studies show that .5% SLS in shampoos can lead to irritation while 10-13% can cause skin corrosion and severe irritation. Most conventional shampoos contain 15%! (But the effects are not noticed as quickly because shampoo is not left on long and can be diluted by water.)

Other complaints sent to the FDA concerning conventional shampoos include: Eye irritation, scalp irritation, swelling of the hands, face, and arms, as well as split and fuzzy hair. The reason SLS is so powerful? Sulfates were originally used as industrial cleaners to remove oil stains in cement. In the diluted doses, it is designed to dissolve oils on skin and can create a drying effect; which can lead to irritation and damaged hair. Our shelves boast numerous SLS-Free products! "Aubrey Organics", "Giovanni", "Jason's", "Nature's Gate", "Avalon Organics", just to name a few are all SLS-Free!

So next time you think "Rinse, Lather, Repeat", remember that suds aren't everything!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Vegan Wednesday! Spicy Chili!

Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year, especially because I can enjoy soups and chilis and hot apple cider. Here is a great vegan chili recipe that I found while perusing some cooking sites. It's a fun one to play with and add or subtract ingredients depending on your preferences! Here's my personal favorite.
Delicious Spicy Vegan Chili

1-1-pound eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
Olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium zucchini, chopped
2 large red bell peppers, cored, seeded, diced
1 to 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded, finely minced (Taste and check the heat of the jalapeños. If very hot only use one, if mildly hot, use two. Wash hands with soap and water after handling. Do not rub eyes.)
1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped, including liquid (or 2 pounds fresh plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1-2 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chopped oregano or 2 teaspoons dried
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 1/2 cup cooked white beans (1 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed)
1 1/2 cup cooked kidney beans (1 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed)
Zest of one lemon
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (can sub parsley if you have an aversion to cilantro)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Scatter eggplant cubes in a shallow roasting pan and slather with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes, stirring once during the cooking. Remove from the oven and set aside.
2. In a large (5-6 quart) thick-bottomed Dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute more. Add the red bell peppers, zucchini, and jalapeño chili peppers. Cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the tomatoes to the pot along with any liquid that may have been in the can (if using canned). Add oregano, cumin, and fennel seeds. Add chili powder to desired heat. Stir in the eggplant cubes (carefully as to not break them up), and simmer for 20 minutes over low heat.
4. Add the white beans and kidney beans, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and chopped cilantro. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Serve with vegan sour cream, shredded Daiya cheese and chopped green onions.
Serves 8-10. (Or dinner for two for a few chilly evenings!)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gluten-Free Tuesday: Phyllo Dough!

As much as it pains me to say this (mostly because I absolutely love summer time and roasting myself outside in the heat), it is almost time for holiday cooking! Which means if you, like me, are looking at doing a gluten-free Christmas, Thanksgiving, or party for the first time, you're going to have to figure out how to change some of your favorite recipes to make them gluten-intolerant-friendly!

Phyllo dough is frequently used in recipes associated with the cooler part of the year. Below is a recipe (courtesy of for phyllo dough that is gluten-free and looks like it should stick together really well, despite the missing gluten. And, as always, we have all of the ingredients at Food for Thought! Happy cooking!


1 3/4 cups rice flour
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
4 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon gelatin
1 egg
1/4-1/2 cup milk, of choice***
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted or 1/2 cup oil
1 teaspoon honey or 1 teaspoon agave nectar
***I have been told that whole milk works best, but even soy will work with this recipe! The recipe actually calls for 1/4 cup, but you might want the extra bit on hand in case the dough needs to be softer. Different rice flours can end up with different textures.

-Mix together rice flour, sweet rice flour, xanthan gum and gelatin.
-Make a well in dry ingredients large enough to hold the liquids.
-Lightly beat egg with milk, butter and honey.
-Pour this into well in dry ingredients.
-Mix everything together until you have a soft dough (add the extra milk here, if needed)
-Wrap dough in plastic wrap until ready to use.
-Store in refrigerator if not using immediately.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Supplement Shorts: Bee Pollen

Ancient Egyptian secret:

Bee pollen gives you staying power! The Egyptians called bee pollen the universal healer, and today, athletes swear by it to build stamina. Why? It's so packed with vitamins and amino acids that one tablespoon is the equivalent of three servings of fruits and vegetables! It's also been shown to rev metabolism, help muscle recovery and improve endurance by more than 25%!

Food for Thought carries the granules and capsules. Follow the recommended dosage on the label

New Mambo Sprout Printable coupons, including BOGO Evol Burritos!

Whoo hoo!  Mambo Sprouts has posted new coupons on their website, including one of our favorites, a Buy One Get One Free Evol burrito coupon!  Right now, the Evol burritos are on sale for $2.39.    Use the coupon and the burritos would only cost you $1.19 each!  Healthy and yummy lunch!

Here are a few other of our favorites:
$1/1 Udi's gluten free product
$1.50/1 Rudi's gluten free bread (On sale this month at our store!)
$1/1 Zensoy Pudding (On sale for $2.59 this month!)
$1/1 Knudsen 32 oz Just Juice (Black Cherry and Cranberry are on sale!)
$1/1 Celestial Seasons Tea
$1/1 Seeds of Change product
$1/1 Lightlife product (Smart Ground on sale this month!)
 ...and so many more!  So print them while you can!!

Manic Monday: Fajita

The weekend is over and it's back to reality! Each Monday we will post an easy recipe, either for the crockpot, quick fix or five ingredient or less recipe. Here's to eating healthy, simply!

This week's meal is a bit of a cheat.  It features Frontera's Classic Fajita Skillet Sauce.  Add this sauce to the following recipe developed by Rick Bayless, winner of Top Chef Masters:

Favorite Chicken Fajitas

1 onion, halved, thinly sliced
1 poblano chile and red bell pepper sliced
1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken, sliced into 1/4" strips (or tofu)
1 pouch Frontera Fajita Skillet Sauce

1.  Cook onion and peppers in 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet until tender.  Remove to a plate.  In three batches, cook chicken (or tofu) until brown, about 5 minutes.
2.  Stir vegetables and sauce into meat; heat through
3.  Serve in warm tortillas with cilantro, salsa and guacamole.
(I also like to serve over a bed of lettuce and salsa for a tasty salad!).