Charlotte’s first! Fresh Expo 2012

Image

Being a native of Charlotte, and an Organic Eater, this is very exciting news for my beloved Queen City! The Fresh Expo, Charlotte’s FIRST “Healthy, Natural, and Green Living” event, is happening this Saturday, October 13th and I can’t wait!

The expo will host healthy living presentations from celebrities, bloggers, and doctors. Delicious cooking demonstrations, yummy product samples (my personal favorite as you saw at Expo East!), and swag bags to a few hundred lucky ones.  Exhibitors will include Healthy Home MarketEdible CharlotteFood MattersCoconut BlissEarth BalanceLuna’s Living KitchenEarth Fare, and many more, all with the common goal of making Charlotte a healthier city through foods, products, and health & wellness services. (That awesome quote was from the  Fervent Foodie blog.) If you are interested in any/all things natural, you should come too! The tickets are extremely reasonable. Seriously, they’re cheap tickets! (Some expos cost hundreds of dollars per ticket! I know, I just went to one!) I’m really excited to attend this inaugural event! It’s going to be a fun and healthy way to bring Charlotte together. Hope to see you there!

The Fresh Expo

October 13, 2012
Saturday: 10:00am to 6:00pm

Charlotte Convention Center
501 South College Street, Area 217
Charlotte, NC 28202

Encouraging Health,

Organic Eater

Hashtag Envy

Image

I don’t fit in. I’m not a vegan, vegetarian, raw foodist, or paleo. I’m not a Traditional Foods expert either (I don’t even know how to make my own yogurt for heavens sake!).  I LOVE all of those diets/lifestyles for different reasons, I just don’t fit in to only one of them 100%. The closest title I might fit is “real food” foodie, I suppose. But I do eat what some consider “processed food” (think protein bars and powders, not Doritos, here people), so I’m not a real food purist either.  I’m an organic eater, obviously, but my blog goes into detail about how even that‘s not always my top priority in every food selection.

I do not diet. I did for 12 weeks while detoxing, but as soon as that contest was over, I figured out how to make food and exercise fit my real life, for the rest of my life. This is a lifestyle I choose to embrace and encourage others to do the same, but it’s hard to name it exactly….

I’ve been a little bummed, not fitting in with a particular food crowd, trying to navigate exactly where I fit in. I wanna #hashtag that identifies me a little better. Haha! And my problem was solved this week! I listened to a podcast at Underground Wellness (the guy who created “Just Eat Real Food”), and on there someone (forgive me for not researching and giving the credit) mentioned what will be my new mantra in eating: a LOW CRAP diet! Yes, that suits me just fine. I like it. It incorporates all my food beliefs into one simple phrase and makes me smile every time I hear it! I’m still Organic Eater (I love my social media name!), I just so resonated with this “low crap diet” thing! That broadly describes the way I try to live: low crap, real food, mostly organic and/or pesticide free, pastured animal products, traditional, and FOR ME it’s gotta be low sugar and grain because that stuff makes me FEEL like crap! So, I encourage you to find out what makes you feel like crap, and get that out of your life!! If you’re not sure, start with grains, dairy, fast food, processed foods, or sugar. Start eliminating one at a time and see how it goes. Experiment with your own lowcrap diet and see what works for you, just give it a couple weeks (at least), for each elimination and really pay attention to how your body is reacting. It could get worse before it gets better. There are lots of elimination diets out there, so contact me if you want some direction getting started.

So, how about you? What would you say your eating style would be named? Are you a purist at whatever food lifestyle you choose, or do you put an “-ish” on the end of whatever name you give yourself? Thanks for letting me rant a little, and now you will understand why you’ll see #lowcrapdiet on mysocial media posts from now on! 🙂 Enjoy!

Encouraging Health and low crap,

Organic Eater

Healthy Fats

Since I refer to “healthy fats” so often, I thought it best to have a page that lists some of the information I have used in researching healthy fats. I encourage you do to the same for yourself! Like all my other posts, I make my own deductions (using critical thinking) and my personal experiences. This is what’s working for me.

Here are 4 (of many) links to why I believe in healthy fats!

My favorite is from Balanced Bites because it’s pretty (eye catching and interesting!) and has a print out if you want to post it in your kitchen

Gary Taubes, NY Times

Dr. Mercola website is filled with posts on healthy fats

Dr. Josh Axe has a video if you would rather watch a video instead

WARNING: The information above will go against everything you’ve heard for the last 30 years about saturated fats.

The main fats I use in cooking are coconut oil (virgin, unrefined, organic) and real butter (grassfed KerryGold brand or any brand of organic). I use lots of extra virgin, first cold pressed olive oil, but rarely cook with it. Grapeseed oil is another one I have used in the past because it has a high smoke point, but my latest readings indicate it’s important to use organic, since grapes are often grown with many pesticides. Organic grapeseed oil is hard to find, so I’m sticking with the other two for now. Those work well for me, and I feel confident using oils that have been used for so many years around the world, but as always, if new information becomes available I will re-evaluate at that time.

Encouraging Health,

OrganicEater

Blender Pancakes

Taste is Trump.: GAPS Blender Pancakes.

I made these this morning, like many weekend mornings in the last few months. They are awesome. They’re my favorite grain free pancake recipe because it all goes in the blender, then I pour the batter from the blender. Couldn’t be easier. Seems like I’m all about sharing the “easy” recipes with you guys:) I guess that’s because it’s GOT to be easy for me to like it! And because one of my goals here at OE is to encourage everyone that cooking healthy food is not difficult!

I use her exact recipe, so go to the link and print it. Notice her disclaimer that a regular blender MAY not work on almonds. I used my Blendtec. Here are my other tips:

1. you don’t HAVE to soak your almonds. I have used soaked raw almonds and I have used raw almonds out of the bag. Didn’t seem to make a difference. Her blog should have more info as to why you do want to soak them for better nutrition,  if you plan ahead well enough. That’s not usually me.

2. keep the heat on medium,  the butter can scorch easily. Use grass-fed butter if you can, or organic. At the least, use real butter rather than a processed oil fake butter tub of gross. (hey Dana, why don’t you tell us what you really think of imitation butter!!??!) IF you need convincing on using grass-fed butter see this page. If you are vegan, well, I just remembered this recipe has yogurt in it, so I suppose you won’t be making this one anyway…. Oh! Wait! There is almond milk yogurt now. And you can use the coconut oil to fry them instead of butter. Oh, you’re all set!   Update: I forgot about the eggs since the recipe wasn’t right in front of me:).  Vegetarians would eat these, but vegans won’t. Sorry, I tried.

3. the batter will thicken as it sits. The first batch may be a bit thin but they will still taste great, don’t worry. After the batter gets thicker you may need to do this: after you pour a “blob” of batter onto the pan, take a spoon and spread it out a little. If you leave them too thick, they won’t cook properly.

4. I like to add some almond extract if I have it.

5. To make these an extra special treat, you can add chocolate chips, but don’t blend them. Add at the end. Same for blueberries or other fruit that is in season. We used blueberries today and they were heavenly.

6. Use REAL maple syrup, (grade B is more nutritious) not the fake stuff. I’m sure Aunt Jemima was a wonderful person, but she makes some crappy syrup (Hey Dana, why don’t you tell us what you really think about fake syrup?!!?). It makes no sense to go to the trouble of making these awesome pancakes and then top them with high fructose corn syrup. You simply defile these healthy pancakes by doing so. Do not defile the pancakes.

7. I also added  a few pecan pieces on top of my blueberry pancakes today. Brilliant.

8. this recipe makes enough for my hungry family of 4, with plenty of left overs, which we love.

9. In her recipe she also tells us that if you leave out the sweetener and vanilla, these can be used like pieces of “bread” to make pizzas or sandwiches. I can’t wait to try that!

REMINDER: chocolate chips and maple syrup are not on the Maximized Living “Advanced Plan”. They are a rare treat after weight goals have been attained, or if you’re a healthy kid who gets pancakes on Sundays like mine do! We eat healthy breakfasts all the other days, but Sundays are always a treat breakfast because it’s our favorite day of the week!

Enjoy! We surely did! In fact, hubs had all the leftovers for dinner tonight!:)

Encouraging Health,

Organic Eater

Strawberry Sorbet loaded with Vitamin C, and every other fruit possibility! (only need a blender)

STRAWBERRY “SORBET” WITH CHOCOLATE CHIPS
from http://www.OrganicEater.com

I just whipped up a monstrous portion of Vitamin C filled organic strawberry “sorbet”, and I had to share it with you asap because it’s so stinkin easy you won’t believe it! Strawberries are a great source of Vitamin C, and this sorbet is filled with strawberries, so here ya go. Here’s the fastest, easiest sorbet you’ve ever made. Hope you have a good blender!

(I realize it looks like ketchup in the picture, but it’s not. promise.)

1 bag (12-16 oz) frozen organic strawberries. I’m gonna tell you that it DOES matter if you use organic here. Strawberries are one of the most pesticide covered fruits according to the Dirty Dozen list. But if you can’t find/afford them, it’s still healthier than eating processed sorbet that used non organic strawberries at the factory! So, go for it. (no guilt here, remember)

1 cup almond milk (may need a little more, test as you go). Almond milk is a fantastic source of calcium! You should be able to substitute other milks, but unsweetened vanilla almond milk gives it a great flavor with no added sugar, so it depends on “where you’re at” on the good/better/best scale. YOU decide. If you’re into it, go to www.WholeNewMom.com to look for her – almond milk recipe.

Sweetener equal to  2 TBS pure maple syrup (grade B is the healthier one actually) or honey (we use local raw honey for health benefits). Liquid stevia or raw organic agave could be used as well. If anyone tries using an apple for the sweetener, let me know. Red or yellow, not green.

Blend until smooth. Eat immediately! Melts fast. It will have the consistency of a milkshake, but we still used spoons to eat it. We topped it with chocolate chips since it’s a weekend treat, but they weren’t necessary.  If you need to make this “to go”, like a smoothie, just add more milk, then pour it in a to-go cup with a straw.

Earlier this week I made pineapple sorbet and also banana sorbet, just like this, and they were both amazing. I was originally  inspired by a peach sorbet recipe that I saw on “The Chew” earlier this week, and now I’m trying all the fruits I can think of! This is an amazingly healthy, easy, fun, and delicious treat that we will be making all summer, usually without the chocolate chips:)

If you try this or another variation, let me know how it turns out! I can’t wait to hear about some of these creations. The possibilities are endless!

update 9/14/12: Dr. Axe had this Raspberry Sorbet recipe this week, and it uses water instead, but you’ll need to freeze it after blending:

  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/3 cup raw honey or stevia
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
    1. Directions blend together and freeze for a couple hours (you may need to stir every 30 min to keep from freezing into a solid block of ice)

      Encouraging Health,

      Organic Eater