Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Group Buy Order Extra Items

I received an extra large shipment of group buy items and have extras that I can now break down into smaller orders (for those who did not want 25# of something).

Here is what I have left as of 1-31-10:

Olive Oil: Extra Virgin – $27 ea gallon – I have 1 gallon tin left

Coconut: Shredded, Organic – $1.85 per lb – I have 1.5 lbs

VitaMineral Green: $52 ea – (17.6 oz.) I have 5 bottles left

Walnuts, raw: $4.00 per lb – I have 24 lbs

Chia Seeds: Raw, Hulled (sproutable) – $5.50 per lb I have 4 lbs

I'm out of the raw almonds

I can break these down into any weight (1 lb minimums each please) and will be available for pickup in (Arizona) either Gilbert (Country Club/Baseline), or in the Buckeye area which ever is most convenient.

I can also ship to any U.S. location.

Flat rate shipping costs:

  • Medium Flat Rate Box $10.70 13-5/8" x 11-7/8" x 3-3/8" or 11" x 8-1/2" x 5-1/2" (fits approx 11 lbs)
  • Large Flat Rate Box $14.50 12" x 12" x 6" - (Fits no more than 17 lbs)

Arrives in 2-3 business days

Please contact me by either email at shanna.dave@gmail.com or call me at 623-332-2262

I will update this page with what is available as it changes.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Egg Marketing - What’s in the Label?

“Free Range,” “Cage Free,” “Organic”…what does it all mean? Marketing labels are perhaps the most confusing part of this whole “eating healthy” game - and they are MEANT to be confusing - well... it is at least meant to make us believe we are getting something much more healthy than the egg with NO label. Marketing is very tricky and it makes me mad! So what do the various terms you see on the packages mean?

  • Conventional (i.e., no special label) - Typically less than half a square foot of space per hen, giving not even enough room to spread their wings. These chickens do not ever see the light of day, eat a blade of grass and are fed the cheapest food. The lack of nutrition in their diet has prompted the egg producers to add ingredients to their feed that will color the egg yolk to a darker yellow/orange. If they did not do this, the yolks would be very very light yellow, closer to clear.

  • Cage Free - Just as it says..., the hens are able to move about inside a barn without being confined to cages. They can also be fed the same as the conventional chicken above!

  • Free Range - "Implies" chickens feed on lush green pastures. Actually, it is not a regulated term for eggs so this can be used by absolutely anyone. Really all that’s needed is a door to the outside that gives the chickens “access” to an outdoor area, whether they actually use it or not. This is a meaningless term.

  • Organic - This means the hens were fed organic feed, (grown without commercial fertilizers or pesticides), and not given hormones or antibiotics or fed animal byproducts. Federal regulations state that they must have access to the outdoors, shade, shelter, exercise areas, fresh air, and direct sunlight suitable to the species, its stage of production, the climate, and the environment.

  • Vegetarian - The hen is fed a vegetarian feed (not fed animal by-products which is offensive to some people). Chickens need protein in their diet and they are naturally omnivores, not vegetarians, and will naturally eat bugs, grubs, etc. This term is used to imply “healthier” in our anti-meat culture.

  • Pastured - This is the one most people ‘think’ the above mean - Pastured means the chickens were raised on pasture, with access to the sun, grass, bugs, and possibly supplemented with grains and other feed. Chickens are very social animals. Pastured chickens get the opportunity to run around, dust bathe, socialize, spread their wings, scratch in the dirt for bugs and worms, eat grass, weeds, bits of dirt (which they need and is natural for them).

Sometimes there is a combination of labels. If you are able to find “Pastured AND Organic”, then you would know you are getting the best eggs (from a store).

How can you be sure you are getting what you really want? Consider raising a few chickens of your own. You might be surprised how many people are doing it. I personally have three that I raised from chicks (photos below). I have a family of four (on most days – I have step children on the weekends), and I get approximately 18 eggs per week from my ‘girls’ – that is plenty for us (I actually have to give many away). I KNOW what they eat (grass, weeds, bugs, grains, sprouted wheat, and occasional leftovers – they will eat anything – one of mine actually caught a little lizard and gobbled it right up – this is all part of their natural diet) I also know where they live – they have a coop, but get free run of my backyard most of the time. I have NEVER seen nor eaten eggs that were as rich in flavor and color. There are many websites that support this growing trend. Check out http://www.backyardchickens.com/. This is a fun site with photos of coops, tips, lots of information and photos.

I'd like to hear from those of you who have raised a few (or want to) and what your experience is with the difference in quality of the eggs.












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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Is Your Desire to Eat Heathy Causing Relationship Stress?

This may be getting personal, but it is on my mind. I wondered if anyone else out there is experiencing a strained relationship because you want to eat healthy, but the other person doesn't. For the last 2 months or so, I have been more and more committed to eating healthy. I eat very little meat, we focus the larger part of meals on vegetables and salads, the smaller portion of the meal is meat and other side dishes. My husband, in my case, has loved all the things I have been making. I have made him some of the things he loves and tried to add balance. I have been very cautious about not trying to tell him what he needs to eat, etc... but for some reason, he is viewing my desire to fix healthy foods for me and my family as "fanatical". I can now see that he resents this new lifestyle I am sharing with my family, and it is causing some pretty big arguments. I have a 2 and 3 year old at home and I feel responsible for teaching them how to eat right. I was amazed tonight at dinner when my 2 year old asked for MORE salad. This salad has spinach, lettuce, carrot, tomato, cucumber, mushrooms, and celery in it and she ate it all and wanted more! I felt like this was a positive turning point in our diet at home. It has taken her awhile to accept that she will have salad at just about every meal. She is actually beginning to LIKE it and is finally eating tomotos and mushrooms! I felt proud! :) My husband on the other hand, while he likes salad and eats it, he feels that the kids should be able to eat whatever they want. My response was that it is my responsibility as the mom to teach them to eat well. I buy the food and I cook the food, so I will cook them what I think will be best. He can choose to participate, or he can make something else. I wasn't trying to be rude or anything, but just stating what the situation is. I work full time, he works full time, so it isn't like I have to be the one who does all the cooking. So after all this complaining (thanks for letting me vent) I'm truly at a loss of what to do. He is resenting the "healthy food" approach and feels I'm being too restrictive with the kids. I'm so bummed because I truly thought he'd see it as a loving and positive thing I am trying to do. I don't think I'm willing to make two separate meals, so I'd like to hear from anyone who has dealt with this and provide any helpful tips. I could use it.

I love these whole grain blender pancakes

I was enjoying my Veteran's Day off at home with my girls and they wanted pancakes for breakfast. It isn't something we do often here, but today, their wish came true. This recipe turns out so fluffy and good. The girls (2 and 3) kept eating and eating them. (OK - so did I)

Whole Grain Blender Pancakes

You don't need a fancy blender for this recipe, nor do you need a grain grinder. Just put whole grains right in your blender with liquid (and other ingredients) and "Walla". Pancakes with the taste of freshly ground wheat (or other grain). Delicious. Place the following in your blender:

1 cup of whole grains
(wheat, buckwheat, brown rice, oats, include a tablespoon of flax if you have it, quinoa, barley, amaranth, kamut, millet - whatever you have or like, use it! Just use one cup total of whatever grains you like.)

1 cup of almond milk (or any kind of milk)

Blend on high speed for 2 full minutes (will take only 1 minute in your
Blendtec blender)
Add:

3/4 more cup of milk and blend 2 more minutes

(depending on the type of grain you used, you may need a little more or less liquid)

Add:

2 eggs - best if organic, free range
1/3 cup olive or coconut oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon & nutmeg each
1TBS. agave nectar (or honey)
Blend well. Can store in refrigerator over night.
Just before cooking, add: 1 TBS. baking powder - Blend in gently
Pour onto heated and greased griddle.

Enjoy!


Options: Fold in 1/2 cup of blueberries before cooking and/or your favorite nuts. Or, top with sliced bananas and chopped walnuts. Or top with sliced strawberries and whipped topping. Try spreading on your favorite jam. These are delicious!You can use whole wheat flour as well. Use 1 1/2 cups of flour if pre-ground.

Friday, November 6, 2009

See What's in My Dehydrator Today

Today I decided to make a few things. I recently bought a huge box each, of pears and apples. The apples will last longer, but the pears are starting to get soft. They are perfect to eat right now, but I can't eat the whole box. So, I'm making some fruit leather and dried fruit. I have a 9 tray Excalibur dehydrator. It's great because it has a timer, so I can set it for up to 26 hours if I need to, and a temparature control (very important) Foods need to be dried under 118 to retain the natural enzymes. I did 4 trays of fruit leather. 2 were peach/pear which I pureed in my Blendtec Blender. I had some frozen peaches and I thought the combination would be tasty. Then I made some strawberry/pear (used frozen strawberries from costco), and then just apples with some cinnamon sprinkled in the blender. The other 5 trays are just rings of apples and pears.

I can't believe how sweet they are. No sweetener added! Once the fruit dries, the natural sugars are concentrated into a much smaller peice than what you start with. Now I don't have to worry about the pears going bad. These will last for years now - well they will probably go much quicker in this house. The girls LOVED them! I kept catching them sneaking another fruit roll up. They are only 2 and 3 years old. At least all it is is pure fruit - a mother can only smile at that! :)

Fruit Leather:

Select ripe or slightly overripe (but not spoiling) produce that blends and tastes well together. (Strawberries and rhubarb, or bananas and pineapple make great combinations.) Wash, remove any blemishes, stems or pits and peel produce, if desired. (Keep in mind produce skins are highly nutritious). Puree the produce in a blender until it is smooth.

Pour 1½ to 2 cups of puree on to a ParaFlexx™ sheet or parchment paper covered trays. Since the edges tend to dry more rapidly, the poured puree should be 1/8" thick at the center and 1/4" thick at the edges. Place the prepared puree in the dehydrator with the temperature set at 135ยบF. Average drying time for leathers is 4 to 6 hours. When the leather has dried, it will be a bit shiny and non-sticky to the touch. Allow the leather to cool and peel it from the tray. Roll it into a tight cylindrical shape. A piece of plastic wrap, measured to fit the length and width, is then tightly wrapped around the leather.

See my website for more info on my favorite kitchen tools that make this a cinch!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Just Eat It! Getting kids to eat healthy food.

Ever battle with a child to just eat their vegetables? It is a terribly negative experience that will leave them resenting that they ever had to put it in their mouths? Do they sit at the dinner table whining and crying over it until you finally give in and give them what you know they will eat? That child has you in the palm of her hand at that point and is in complete control over you!

I know a mother who feeds her child just about nothing but chicken nuggets. She complains that he won’t eat anything else, so to get him to eat, she feeds him what he ‘wants.’ The problem with this and any child who only eats this or that, is that if we as parents limit what we feed our child, he/she will only eat those foods. I guarantee that it has a lot to do with the parent’s attitude toward food choices as well, but kids WILL eat when they are hungry. Don’t provide the unhealthy food, and they can’t eat it! A child may go hungry for even a whole meal (this is not harmful to them for one meal), but no doubt, when the next healthy meal comes along, they will eat if they are hungry! It is so vital to their nutrition and health to introduce them early to many vegetables and fruits. If a child never has an unhealthy chicken nugget full of preservatives, and saturated fats, he will never know the difference. This parent introduced a chicken nugget to her child early in life, but I’m sure if she introduced better choices early in life, he would learn to love them too – even without having to put ketchup on it!

10 Tips: What you can do to get your child to eat healthy food – and like it!


  1. Let them help - Get them in the garden with you (or produce section of the store) and teach them what the different vegetables are. Pick one and let her make it with you in the kitchen. She will have ownership in the process and get excited to try what ‘she has made’.
  2. Make it fun – Cut up all sorts of vegetables of many colors, display it in a fun dish, and get a variety of dipping sauces for them. They will want to try them out.
  3. Let them choose – Let them decide what vegetables they want for dinner.
  4. Surprise them – Add spinach to lasagna, or cooked carrots or squash, cut small, into macaroni and cheese. There are a lot of ways you can sneak the good stuff in.
  5. Make smoothies with vegetables and fruits – Start with less veggies and more fruits – they’ll never know it is there. Then gradually introduce more veggies and less fruit.
  6. Vegetarian night – Pick one night a week where you consistently ONLY have a variety of vegetables, cooked and raw. Make it fun, and delicious. Make this the one night that you set the table perfectly, with the good dishes. Possibly even have candles or other decorations that tells everyone at the table – “wow – this is a special night of the week”. Call the night “Family Fun Night” or make up a better name. You don’t even have to mention that all you are serving is vegetables, just make it enjoyable!
  7. Wrap it – Kids will eat just about anything inside a tortilla. Use a whole wheat tortilla and fill it with shredded chicken, spinach, some shredded carrots, diced tomatoes, a little cheese and salsa or homemade ranch dressing.
  8. Be their role model – Kids learn by watching your eating habbits. You can never expect your child to do something willingly that you are not doing yourself. When you eat your vegetables, voice how much you love them, express excitement, “Yay – I get to eat my green beans”! Their enthusiasm and positive attitude will set the tone for how they will react when trying a new food.
  9. Limit Snacking – If kids eat a snack too close to dinner time, they will not feel hungry enough to eat the healthy food, and will fight you more. If they are good and hungry, they will be more open to trying new things!
  10. Say "No” without saying "NO" – When your kids ask you for an unhealthy snack – say “I have something better for you”! You can always say “YES” if you keep healthy snacks on hand so you can always offer a better alternative to satisfy their cravings for a snack or something sweet. If all they hear is “NO!” to everything, it will become a negative experience.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Immunizations - H1N1

I had an experience just the other day. I’m pregnant and went in for a 3 1/2 mo check up. The Dr. asked if I had the H1N1 vaccine yet, and I said “no”. She matter of factly said “that’s ok, we’ll get that for you then before you leave today.” I replied that I would not get it. She GASPED, and said “WHY!”, in a very shocked tone. She wanted all my reasons. I told her this was not up for discussion as I did not want to argu the point. (I knew that if I gave her a reason, she’d probably have a good comeback.) She tried and tried, and then used guilt to tell me “don’t you realize that you are at more risk and you are putting yourself and your unborn infant at risk of dying if you contract the H1N1.”!!! She tried to make me feel like a terrible person and an irresponsible mother… but I still told her ‘no’, and she just couldn’t understand why. While “I” am not an infant, my baby is and will also be affected by any immunizations I would receive. She made an interesting comment to me…. she stated that when the baby is born, he/she cannot have the shot for the first 6 months of life, so if I get the shot now, it will protect the baby now and for the first several months of life… so… if even the Dr. will not give a new infant the shot (see photo - For 6 months and older), then WHY would I want to allow the immunization to get into my 3 1/2 mo old child still in the womb?

I just want the truth, and as long as we are being used as guinea pigs, and they are trying to pump us full of experimental drugs, I will be cautious about what I allow to be put inside of me. We just don’t know what side effects will come of this yet, and may not know for 10+ years, as we have seen of other immunizations, or their ingredients “thimerisol”, and other preservatives, etc…

I hope if I contract the H1N1, it is not serious. (I actually believe I already got it, but it was fairly mild) This could be because I drink my purple (green) smoothie (http://www.alive2u.com/recipes/smoothies.htm#Purple%20(Green)%20Smoothie) every day. I am taking care of myself and I very rarely get sick, so I feel I made the right choice. If I ever have been to the Dr. for something, they always seem stunned when I say “no” to all the sicknesses, diseases on their list – "nope - never had them"… I usually get the "wow, you're just healthy, aren't you?" I just can’t believe they push SO hard to try and make you feel like a bad person if you don’t follow the crowd. One thing I know is that people for the most part, feel VERY strongly about either side they are on… but which one is right? For me and my family, good healthy habbits and good sanitation will take care of most anything that would/could be a potential problem. It isn't worth the risk to me, to take an experimental drug, that may or may not prevent a sickness that may or may not be that serious!

I know this is a touchy subject and I encourage you to take a look at both sides and not just blindly take the advice of your Dr. - They are taught to tell you what they do and in most cases, probably mean well, but it doesn't always mean they are right!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Moooo - ve over milk - Now there's somthing healthier!

Milk, it does a body good! Mmmm MILK! Where's Your Mustache? Milk builds strong bones. Got MILK?

Those familiar comments and questions sound a bit familiar don't they? The milk producers have spent millions on advertising, and I might add, they have done an excellent job. I sure grew up truly believing that milk is good for you. If you couldn't finish everything on your plate, mom would tell you to at least 'finish your milk'! As a parent, you feel like you are doing the right thing, keeping a large gallon of milk in the refrigerator at all times. Even when the cost rises, it is still a priority to buy it! When a treat is served like brownies or cake or cookies, it is the first thing we want, a nice tall glass of MILK. I have to admit, I have loved it. Is it possible to be addicted? Well I could have been. I loved to drink it with everything. I KNEW I was going to have strong bones because I have regularly drunk milk by the gallon for, well, my whole life.

A year ago, I started doing some research and found that we don't need milk! What? I thought... what about all the years of doing the right thing and trying to take care of my kids, all the calcium we've been consuming, etc... I started getting mad at what I found! Studies have shown that in the United States, we consume more dairy milk than ANY other country, and yet we have the highest rate of osteoporosis - go figure! It is even suggested that milk has contributed specifically to the bone loss in the older generation. That didn't seem to be the worst part of my findings. Most dairys feed their cows high levels of hormones so they can artificially produce more milk. This overproduction oftentimes causes infections and sickness which requires medicine and antibiotics, and then they are fed grains and food with pesticides, all of which end up in the milk WE drink.


There's more... and it is disgusting to say the least - I encourage you to educate yourself on this so you can at least make a decision for you and your family. If you find you can't break away from your tall glass of milk and cookies, at least look at the benefits of consuming organic over all the others.

Better yet, for those of us who are feeling deprived after learning that milk is no longer an option for us after learning the facts, there is hope! Sprouted Almond "Mylk". I wasn't a true believer till I tried it. For the last year, I have been making my own. From raw, unpasteurized, almonds, that have been soaked overnight to 'sprout' so they can release essential enzymes, and then when blended with water, a little salt, sweetener and a little vanilla it makes wonderful, creamy... milk! The taste and feel is remarkably similar to my favorite glass of milk! The health benefits are through the roof! I even recently bought some at the store (it's expensive) to try the difference in taste. I found that they tasted the same, but my version wasn't quite as sweet as the one at the store. Unlike the store version, I know mine was fresh, I used 'sprouted' almonds, I used natural sweetener (agave nectar) and all natural, unprocessed, sea salt.

Check out my links on the benefits of sprouted almonds: http://www.alive2u.com/sprouted_almonds.htm

And my Sprouted Almond "Mylk" recipe: http://www.alive2u.com/recipes/smoothies.htm#Sprouted%20Almond%20Mylk

It was easy to convert, and NOW I know I'm serving a healthy alternative that I can live with long term, and I haven't missed cows milk at all.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or Treat?

Q: Halloween is tradition and having ample amount of sugary treats is justifiable, right?

A: Would you intentionally digest poison? Consider this: Poison is any thing applied to the body or ingested within the body, which causes or may cause illness or disease. Sugar could be considered poison, because it is depleted of its life forces, vitamins and minerals. All that is left is pure, refined carbohydrates. The body cannot use the refined starch and carbohydrate unless the washed-out proteins, vitamins and minerals are present. Refined sugar is toxic to our bodies!


Q: Well, eating a sugary treat is better than eating nothing, right?

A: No! Sugar is worse than eating nothing at all since it actually drains the body of its existing vitamins and minerals since it demands those to digest it. Refined sugar is lethal when we eat it because it contains only "empty" or "naked" calories.


You may consider taking that trick over that treat – or grab a healthier alternative. It is ok to want something sweet, but in moderation, choose treats with all natural, whole sweeteners. Some options include, raw honey, molasses, agave nectar and stevia. Bake with these sweeteners in place of refined sugar, and your body will thank you.

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Alive2U first post - Why are we here

This is the beginning of a journey of your life!

Take this oath - Today, I am making a stand, to be a better me! I am going to take care of my health, for my future. The same way we pay insurance for our health or even car insurance. We are taking a step now for the outcome of something that will happen in the future. What we put into our bodies today, will affect the outcome of our health for the rest of our life. I will not let the food industry guide my life, I am in complete control. I choose to eat to live, and will choose to eat live food that is nourishing, that will balance my health, energy... my life!

Who is with me?