Monday, October 1, 2012

Unreal Candies are DELISH!

I just had the opportunity to try Unreal candies courtesy of my Bzz status with Bzzagent.com.  I received coupons for the candies in exchange for my honest opinion... which is that these candies are awesome.  I actually like these candies better than M & M's, they aren't waxy, and they have a deep chocolate flavor without being dark chocolate (I'm not a huge fan of dark chocolate.)  My husband tried the chocolate peanut butter, and I think he was less enthused than I was, but given that these chocolates have no corn syrup, no partially hydrogenated oil, no artificial ingredients, no GMOs, no preservatives AND they say they are low on the glycemic index- he said these are the best of the "healthier" chocolates I've ever purchased.

These are going to be my newest chocolate splurge.  I do have a few coupons left if you'd like to try one (they are Buy One Get One Free coupons, and the product is a little over $1.)  You can find them at Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, and soon- Target.  Check their website out here.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Touch Magic Toy Party- Coupons Available

I know this has little to do with EatCrunchy's normal premise, which is healthy and satisfying eating and living, but I was selected to host a Touch Magic Party by Leap Frog and I wanted to show a few pictures and talk about the cool toys we received.

As many readers know, we plan on homeschooling Miles when he gets old enough.  Now that he's almost 3 I've been looking for ways to introduce some preschool activities into his learning, mostly through play.  When I was selected from the Leap Frog party, I thought this was a perfect opportunity to get started on fun, learning games.  And I was right!  By the way, I do still have a few coupons available from the party.  They are for $5 off any Leap Frog Touch Magic Toy (the guitar, the bus, or a counting train, which we didn't receive, but I saw it in Target and it looks fun!)  Please send me a little note via email or comment below if you would like me to slip one in the mail for you.  I have just a few, so please be quick!

Miles already knows his letters, but the Learning Bus made reviewing the letters fun.  We've been working on the sounds that the letters make, and really enjoyed pressing the letters, and playing the keyboard that's on the bus.  In addition, he liked pushing it around up on it's wheels. :)  A little unconventional for a flat object, but fun nonetheless.

We also received two Rockin' Guitars.  Most of the kids were too young to understand the games between the two guitars, but enjoyed finding the songs that they recognized and playing along with them.  Miles in particular loved Itsy Bitsy Spider.

Here is Miles when we first introduced the guitar.
 My husband helped Miles put the strap over his head and tried to show him the proper way to rock out.  Miles didn't like the strap, but many of the other kids did.

 Along with the toys came some recipe ideas.  My personal favorite were these Rockin' Roll Ups, which I made healthier by using whole wheat tortillas, spinach, happy free range roast beef, and organic cream cheese with chives.
 I had purchased too many ingredients so I made lunch meals for my mom and my husband. :)
Our party kit came complete with invitations and certificates.  Miles likes to keep his certificate in the bathroom.  I think it's a little weird, but he likes to review the letters while he's going potty.  What can I say, he's an overachiever.  Thanks Leap Frog and MomSelect for helping us host this party!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Finding Greatness

I know this isn't a fitness blog, but I think that eating healthy over a lifetime where you are surrounded by foods that are addictive and bad for your body is a type of behavior that requires a lot of courage.  So, to that end, here's a cool video:





Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead

I was selected by BzzAgent to review the Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead video.  This movie is about a man who goes on a 60 day juice cleanse in order to be healthier.

The movie articles his 60 days doing it on his own, and assisting others along the way.  The first 30 days he spent in New York City, while the second 30 days he spends driving across the United States meeting new people and telling them what he is doing.  He loses a lot of weight, and helps a truck driver- who has the same rare condition he has- do the same.

I LOVED this video.  After watching the video previously, I embarked on a juice cleanse of my own.  Three days was as far as I could make it, but I intend to make juicing a regular part of my diet.  If you want information on doing a cleanse of your own, and to speak with other people doing it, go to www.jointhereboot.com.  You can also watch the video at that site as well!  I highly recommend the juicer he uses in the video as well, the Breville Juicer Elite.  After watching the video, we purchased it and it works extremely well for all types of fruits and vegetables, and isn't as loud as past juicers I've used.


Win Free Berries From Naturipe

We received some information about a Trivia Contest being help by Naturipe.  For more information, like their page on FB here.


And answer their trivia questions for a chance to win weekly!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Freebie Alert: Vega One

A nutritional shake, I haven't tried this one myself, but just ordered the sample, so we'll see.

Check it out here.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July!

From your friends at Eat Crunchy, may you have a wonderful, safe, and freedom-filled Fourth of July!!


"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."
- Ronald Reagan

Monday, July 2, 2012

Natural Fruit Fly Trap

Recently, fruit flies invaded Lisa's house! Having left for a long weekend with ripe fruit all around, we returned home to a house with fruit flies. After doing some research and consulting our exterminator, I decided to try a natural approach to trapping fruit flies. At the suggestion of our bug guy, I grabbed a mason jar and poured in about 2 ounces of apple vinegar cider. As I couldn't find the lid to the mason jar, I cut a small hole in the corner of a sandwich bag and inverted it so the tip was about an inch above the apple cider and fastened with a rubber band. (If you have the top of the jar, you can secure saran wrap with a few holes on top instead.)



I cleaned the kitchen and placed two of these traps by where the flies seemed to be gathering, the trash and the drain. After a few days and lots of flies caught, I rinsed out the glass, refilled it, and set the trap again. Afraid it would not be successful, I also purchased traditional sticky fly traps but caught only a few with it. The apple cider vinegar approach was by far the most successful! So if you find yourself plagued by these annoying little bugs, try this trick! (As a side note, our bug guy said if flies are staying by the drain, pouring diluted bleach water down could keep them from populating in the drain.)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Dr. Fuhrman Responds To Obamacare Ruling

Given all of the attention in the political spectrum to the Supreme Court decision on Obamacare, it is expected that newspapers and political pundits from across the land would be responding to this landmark decision.  However, what I did not expect is that Dr. Furhman would also have a response to this Court's ruling.  Dr. Furhman makes a clear case for health over insurance.  Read his posting below.

We may be required to buy medical insurance, but what we really need is health insurance

The Affordable Care Act was intended to make insurance coverage more secure and affordable, and insure millions of uninsured Americans. The Supreme Court has now deemed the individual mandate portion – the requirement that everyone purchase health insurance – to be constitutional.
Certainly, some aspects of medical insurance coverage are in need of reform.  But a much greater need exists – the need for Americans to reform their health by reforming their diets.
Of course there will be continued debate on this subject, but when we look at the big picture (the overall health of the American people), the Supreme Court’s decision and even government involvement is irrelevant. Regardless of the government’s involvement, the health of Americans will not improve unless the eating habits of Americans improve.
Money. Flickr: 401K 2012The U.S. per capita health costs are the highest in the world. Health care made up more than 17% of the GDP in 2010. Health care costs rose5.8% in the year ending February 2012, and costs are predicted to continue rising.  As health care costs rise, so will insurance costs. Overconsumption of medical care (for example,overuse of diagnostic tests) is a significant driver of health care costs.1 
These high costs do not bring about better outcomes than other developed countries. In the U.S. life expectancy is lower than in similarly developed nations whose per capita costs are lower.1  The U.S. is ranked 38th in life expectancy, 37th in infant mortality, and 37th in overall health outcomes, according to the World Health Organization. We cannot expect the Affordable Care Act to significantly improve the health of Americans – its aim is only to increase access to care, which also mean more needless drugs, radiation exposure and surgeries. More medical care does not translate into better health, as much of what doctors do is harmful, such as prescribe antibiotics for viral infections, perform angioplasties and bypass surgeries on stable CAD, or perform CT scans, prostatectomies and other worthless, expensive invasive interventions that serve to protect the doctor, not the patient. Actually interventions that do not extend life are worse than worthless because they create harm. People should not be denied access to care in emergencies, but overall our population (including lower income people) need less medical care, not more.
It is normal in our society to follow a disease-causing diet and sedentary lifestyle. A huge proportion of the health care dollars spent in the U.S. are spent on largely preventable diseases, whose rates are rising.   More medical care supports dependency on medications and the emotional expectation that drugs buy us health, rather than healthy habits and proper dietary choices.  Modern medicine actually weakens personal responsibility. Healthy lifestyle promotion and implementation protect people from medical tragedies, reduces the need for and the side effects and damage from excessive medical care and prescription drugs.
  • Heart disease, cancer, arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol are all included in the top ten causes of direct health expenditures.2
  • Almost 70% of Americans are overweight or obese, and recent data estimates that obesity adds $2741 to an individual’s annual medical costs – equating to $190 billion/year or 21% of national health expenditures.3,4
  • Cardiovascular disease was estimated to cost over $297 billion in 2008.2
  • The most commonly prescribed drugs are cholesterol-lowering drugs – 20% of middle-aged Americans and about 40% of older Americans take them.
Prescription drugs. Flickr: Charles Williams
It is the number of Americans sick with preventable diseases, not the number of uninsured Americans, or the cost of prescription drugs that is of most concern. More affordable prescription drugs are not what we need – reduced need for prescription drugs is what we need.. More than increasing access to care, we need less requirement for care.  To truly improve the health of the American people and reduce health care spending, Americans must take control of their own health.
We know now that genes are mostly irrelevant – what really counts is gene expression in response to the body’s environment, primarily diet and lifestyle. For example, in people with a certain genetic alteration known to increase heart attack risk, still eliminate risk with  high vegetable and fruit consumption.5
Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease, and it can be reversed, often quite quickly with the appropriate diet. Excess weight is the primary risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, and conversely weight loss with a low glycemic, nutrient-dense, nutritarian eating style and exercise is effective at reversing the condition. For example, in a recent study, my colleagues and I found that 62% of participants in the study reached normal (non-diabetic) HbA1C levels within seven months on a high-nutrient diet, and the average number of medications dropped from four to one.6 Plus, a recent study confirmed that lifestyle interventions are more cost-effective than metformin for diabetes prevention in high-risk individuals.7
Cardiovascular disease is preventable and reversible with the proper diet and lifestyle modifications, as documented by much medical research.8,9  Medical interventions – cholesterol-lowering drugs, stents and bypass surgery – do not cure heart disease. A large meta-analysis of the data on surgical cardiac interventions demonstrated conclusively that heard disease patients who undergo these interventions do not have fewer heart attacks or longer survival.10,11  Now millions more will have access to be harmed by interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons. 
Cancer risk is also largely tied to lifestyle. The American Institute for Cancer Research estimates that about one-third of common cancers could be prevented by following a healthy diet, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight. I believe that figure could be more than double that protection if Americans were to truly take charge of their health; eat a health-promoting diet based on immune-boosting and cancer-fighting foods, exercise daily and maintain a healthy weight.  Green and cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms, beans, and onions are associated with significantly large risk reductions for common cancers.  After all, look at the cancer rates in other countries in South Asia before the explosion of the fast food revolution; a small fraction of today’s rates of cancer deaths was the norm.12-15

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Black Bean Fudge

So I've been off chocolate, that's right.  This is a big deal for me, I consider myself a true chocolate addict.  I love it, I must eat some every day.  When I went off chocolate, I found myself craving it and I wanted to find a healthy way to fulfill that craving.  I came across a recipe for black bean fudge at Whole New Mom and figured I should give it a try.  I made a few modifications based on her recipe and this is that I used!

3 cups black beans
3/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

Combine all of it into a food processor and mix and puree until smooth.  Place in shallow pan lined with wax paper or other non stick (I used a silicone liner), refrigerate until firm.  Cut into squares and enjoy.

I found that this was a perfect way to fulfill my craving, but because it was so filling, I truly could not eat that much.  Delicious and simple!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Salad

 I made a delicious summer salad last week and wanted to pop on and share the recipe with you!

2 cups corn
1 cup black beans
red pepper
avocado
2 tomatoes
mango
1/2 red onion
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cilantro
kiwi
2t hot sauce
lemon juice
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t chili powder

That's it!  Just mix all the ingredients together and pop in the fridge until it's time to eat!  This salad is super versatile and uses so many summer ingredients!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Join Our Gardening Group!

I'll be taking a short blogging break since I'm headed on vacation soon, but I wanted to pop in and encourage you to join a Gardening FB page I created!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Adventures in Exercising

Life has been kind of crazy and I haven't written any posts in awhile.  As usual, Heidi has kept the blog going strong in the meantime.

I thought for this post, I would catch everyone up on my pursuits to be a regular exerciser.  First, I finally ended my sessions with my trainer.  I have been seeing him since last fall.  It was a VERY expensive experiment.  He is a good trainer, as far as they go, but I would give this experiment mixed reviews.  The good: he definitely pushed me physically further than I thought I could go.  I think in terms of helping me understand that I really am capable of more than I thought, the training was useful.  Having said that, the negative is that training is really only a piece of the puzzle.  You still have to eat right and exercise on your own.  I could not afford to have more than 1 or 2 sessions a week.  So, it was more to check in then to actually work me out regularly.  I had weeks when I was not eating as well as I should, and the training sessions felt like a complete waste of money because I wasn't doing my part outside of training.

I finally decided that it was too expensive to pay for something that really was not getting at the core of my areas of improvement.  So, I quit.

I am feeling good about it so far.  The key is that exercise has to be a habit and you really can't buy this, it has to come from within.

Now, the focus is to find enjoyable ways to exercise.  I try to shoot hoops (when it isn't too hot), swim, ride my bike (I'll post about this later.  Yes, I bought a very basic cruiser), play Xbox (yep, bought that too recently - maybe all this spending is why I can't afford my trainer?), and basically find ways to get exercise that doesn't feel like exercise.

So, that's it for now.  More to come later...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Making Butter

Who knew I could make my own butter so easily?  I didn't!!  I saw this on Pinterest and knew I had to give it a try!  Ever since I bought a individual ice cream maker, we've been making ice cream constantly, so I had cream on hand.  I simply pour it into a jar, closed the lid, and then shook it.  And then I handed it to my husband to shake since my arm was getting tired.  So I guess technically HE made butter, but I'm sure he won't mind me taking credit.  It was really delicious!  And since I had bought the organic cream on sale with a coupon, it was cheaper than store bought butter. :-)  Happy shaking!