Check Out My New Blog at www.crazyhappyhealthy.com

1 Jul

Hi all!

So I have been wanting to do this blog thing for a long long time now. At first I thought just getting a wordpress blog was enough. Buuuut I decided I want to have my own site and own domain name. I bought www.crazyhappyhealthy.com and am now blogging over there.

If you like this blog, then you will like my new one more. I have uploaded tons of articles and I encourage you to check it out!

Let me know what you think!

 

Much Love,

Kendra

Cooking Oil Shakedown Part 1

5 Jun

So I realise there seems to be a lot of confusion concerning cooking oils. When you go to the grocery store there are so many to chose from. And it’s a true story when I say they are not all made equally. Some oils are best suited for specific purposes like cooking, or salad dressings while many others should be avoided all together. In this 2 part article series I’ll give a rundown of some of the most common cooking oils you find in the grocery store and which ones you should be putting in your cart!

Before I get started I want to note that although some oils come from seemingly healthy foods (like sunflower oil or vegetable oil), it is the process in which these oils are extracted that makes many of them unhealthy. Extracting oil from a source requires it to be pressed and the oil “squeezed” out. This is an easy process for certain sources, like coconut or avocado, which contain a large percentage of saturated fat so further extraction methods are not neededl. When oil is extracted from sources that have high unsaturated fat content, a lot of “pressing” is needed leading to the prododuction of heat. Heating causes decomposition of unsaturated oils and this is what is “bad” about many commerically available oils. Additional processing is often needed to extract oil from these sources including degumming, neutralization, winterization, bleaching, deodorizing and hydrogenization (not very nice processes!) The result being these oils are already rancid before you even open the container.

1. Canola Oil

Ok. So what is canola anyway? Canola is actually a form of genetically modified rapeseed. Rapeseed contains high levels of eruric acid found to be damaging to heart tissue and generally toxic. Keep in mind that rapeseed oil was used as an industrial oil for the first half of the 20th century. Canola was modified to produce a form of low eruric acid grapeseed oil and is apparently safe for human consumption. There has been a lot of press on canola oil, praising it to be a healthy unsaturated oil. I believe this is largely progoganda due to the fact canola oil is Canada’s chief export products. Maybe not, but these are the facts. In 1985, Canada actually paid the FDA 50 million dollars to consider the product GRAS (generally recommented as safe). In 1996, a Japanese study announced that a canola based diet actually killed labratory animals. In response a Canadian study was conducted feeding piglets a formula containing canola. Results found their vitamin E levels reduced to dangerous levels and their blood platelets became sticky, disrupting blood flow. The abstract of this study actually condems the ingestion of polyunsaturated oils for human health. This is interesting since polyunsaturated fats are apparently considered necessary for a healthy diet. Canola oil is highly processed and it should also be noted that over 90% of canola oil seeds are genetically modified by Monsanto (more on Monsanto in a later post!). Knowing these facts, I do not recommend canola oil for any of your meals!

2. Olive oil

Everyone says oilve oil is the best and it’s true. Olives contain 30% fat making it an easy subject for expeller press processing. Although olive oil is considered healthy, there is a major difference in the types available. Pure olive oil has been chemically refined and filtered. Virgin olive oil has been produced without chemical additives but is still subject to secondary processing to reduce bitterness. When olive oil is labelled “extra virgin” it means only the primary expeller press has been used and is the highest of quality. So if you got the cash, choose “extra virgin” everytime.  Extra Virgin Olive oil has many health benefits including the reduction of heart disease, easing of ulcers and gastritis, promotion of healthy digestion and the balancing of fatty acids. Another thing to be noted about olive oil, is although it contains numerous health benefits, these benefits disappear once heated. Olive oil is suited for medium heat (up to 405F/210c) only. Once heated above these temperatures, the fats are damaged and the oil becomes toxic. So it’s ok to use olive oil for baking but is best avoided for frying.

3. Sunflower oil

Sunflower oil is another oil which has gained a reputation for being healthy. Unfortunately sunflowers require lots of processing for oil extraction. After the expeller press, sunflowers need to be dewaxed, degummed and neautralized. Sunflower seeds have a high unsaturated fat content, making them prone to rancidity. Heat produced through intense processing leads to a relatively toxic product. Also keep in mind that sunflower oil is one of the ingredients in margaine production (margarine is BAD!). The good news is sunflower oil is flavorless, ordorless and relatively boring. No need to choose this oil anyway.

4. Margarine

I feel like most people have already figured out the margarine scam. But just in case I am gonna devote a small paragraph to the ranting of this incredibly dangerous product. Somewhere back in the early 90’s, saturated got a bad rap. Margarine was produced to “save” consumers from the health hazards of butter. I can remember eating lots of butter when I was younger and thinking it was the ‘healthy” choice. Just so you know, these are the steps margarine undergoes before it finds it’s way to your belly.

  1. Extraction
  2. Neutralization
  3. Bleaching
  4. Deodorization
  5. Hydrogenization, Fractionation or Rearrangement

And those steps are just the refinement procedures. Next there are numerous processing steps that need to take place. Knowing all this, it is hard to understand how margarine can be marketed as “healthy.” Here is a little story about margarine. Margarine was originally produced to fatten turkeys. Unfortunately it killed all the turkeys. Not wanting to lose money, producers came up with a clever way to market it for human consumption. Hmmmmm. Another thing to consider is margarine is only one ingredient away from plastic and shares 27 ingredients with paint. Just saying.

Ok. So that wasn’t really a quick paragraph but I really want to get the point across that margarine is dangerous and in no way should be considered a healthy alternative for butter.

5. Butter

I must start by saying how much I love butter. I eat butter everyday. I add it to every vegetable dish and drizzle it in large amounts over popcorn. You might be surprised to know that butter is good for you. Yes, I just said that. Since consumers have been lead to believe saturated fat is bad, many people don’t know about the amazing benefits of butter. Saturated fats are NOT bad for you, as long as they come from a nonprocessed source. Butter is natural and it is essential to your health. Butter is rich in the most easily absorbable form of Vitamin A, as well as considerable amounts of Vitamin E and K. The benefits are endless. Butter contains antioxidants, contains lectins (essential for cholesterol metabolism), contains selenium and contains anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties. Seriously, I could write an entire post on butter. Isn’t it awesome to know that butter is good for you?

Alright. I think I’ve written enough in this post. I might have to make this series a 3 part series cause apparently I have a lot of say about oils. Much love blog followers!

 

My Yummy Kale Recipe.

5 Jun

If you read my last post you know that I just love kale. Kale is a superfood that we all should encorporate into our diet.  I can’t take full credit for this recipe. My friend Ellie actually showed it to me last summer and I seriously couldn’t get enough! It’s quick and delicious and oh so nutritious! This dish is an excellent addition to any dinner or lunch.

 

Ingredients

1/2 bunch of green, black or purple kale

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp tamari (or soy sauce, or braggs)

1 freshly squeezed lemon

2-3 cloves of diced garlic (depending on how much you love garlic!)

3 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp crushed chili peppers (this may very depending on the quality of your peppers. When I switched from conventional to organic I nearly ruined my kale with how spicy it was!)

 

Heat up the coconut oil in a fry pan. Shred the kale into small pieces and add them into the pan. Add the remainder of the ingredients and cover. I usually cook mine for 4-5 minutes but you can cook it for a little longer if you don’t like your kale too crispy. Remember not to overcook or you risk losing many of the nutrients packed inside the kale. Serve and enjoy!

 

 

Do you love kale too? What is your favorite kale recipe??

 

 

 

7 of My Favorite Health Foods and Why You Should Eat Them Too!

4 Jun

Eating healthy is fun. It allows you to not only be creative in your cooking but also has many added nutritional benefits. Here is as list of my 7 favorite foods to cook with and why they are so great for your health.

1. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are definitely one of my most favorite foods. They are great in the morning with eggs and a great way to spice up stews and curries. Not only are they tasty to eat but sweet potatoes have anti-imflammatory properties as well. Why is this a good thing? Because chronic inflammation has been linked to a variety of healthy problems including diabetes and heart disease. So what gives sweet potatoes their anti inflammatory properties? They contain vitamin A (over 300% of your daily value!), vitamin C and a high amount of fibre, all shown to be effective in reducing inflammation. On top of all these fabulous perks, is the fact that Vitamin A has proven to be effective in fighting cancer cells.

2. Eggs

Ok. So I know some of you might be skeptical as to whether eggs can be considered a health food. Maybe your asking, aren’t they high in cholesterol? Won’t they make me fat? The answer is NO and NO. Believe it or not cholesterol is good for you. Did you know that every single on of your cells contains cholesterol? Well they do. How can you expect to build healthy cells if you do not give them the proper building blocks? There seems to be so much misinformation out there when it comes to the health benefits of eggs. I am definitely going to have to write a post about eggs and explain why we should all be eating more of them! Not only do eggs keep cell walls healthy, but they are necessary for the production of hormones and vitamin D. So eat some eggs and get yourself out in the sun!

3. Kale

Mmmmmmmm. Where do I start with Kale? This is one of my most favorite foods. And maybe that seems funny to you. It is just a green leaf after all…but I have the most delicious kale recipe ever and even after a year of making it a few times a week, I still love it so much. Kale is extremely dense in a variety of nutrients so it is recommended that you eat this on a regular basis! Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high amount of antioxidant vitamins present including, Vitamin A, C and K and many other sulfur containing phytonutrients. Kale is also full of cartenoids and flavonoids, two powderful antioxidants that protect our cells from free radicals. Why are free radicals bad? They can cause oxidative stress leading to aging, tissue damage and a host of diseases. According to some recent research, Kale is an excellent source of well-absorbed calcium. And there’s more! Kale is high in manganese, potassioum, vitamin B6 and folic acid.  Kale really is a super hero among the veggie world. So next time you are craving greens go for Kale!

4. Raspberries

Berries are definitely my favorite fruit. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries….But I think raspberries have got to be my absolute favorite. Of course raspberries are full of those great antioxidants everyone won’t stop talking about. Like kale, raspberries are also very effective in neautralizing free radicals in the body. Fresh raspberries are also an excellent source of vitamin C. So throw some raspberries into your next smoothie or mix them with oatmeal. Nom nom nom on some raspberries!

5. Beets

Shaved beets are one of the main staples in my diet. I love them in salads, on sandwhiches, in wraps or just boiled and served with meat. One great thing about beets is they are very high in carbohydrates so they are great if you are looking for an instant energy boost. Beets also contain sodium, magnesium, calcium, iron and phosphorus. You really can’t beet that…ahahahha. Sorry couldn’t help myself.

6. Fresh Lemon

Fresh lemon is a great addition to any salad, stirfry or vegetable dish. I also love fresh lemon in smoothies and yogurt. One of the great things about lemon is once it’s digested it becomes alkaline. So when it comes to body pH, lemon is one of the best foods we can eat to alkanize the body and keep normal pH levels. Many of the foods in a standard North American diet are acid forming which can be harmful. When our body pH is out of balance, it loses its ability to heal itself, assimilate nutrients and prevent disease. So it’s really beneficial to start youir day off with a glass of lemon and water. Additionally, lemon has wonderful digestive properties and can help to relieve heartburn, bloating and belching.

7. Yogurt

The other day I ate a whole kilogram of yogurt. I didn’t mean to, it just sort of happened. One spoonful lead to another, which lead to another, which lead to another and then, well, then I was a little sick. But seriously, yogurt is so great. I usually just eat plain yogurt on it’s own. That might be a little wierd. But if you like a little sweetness in your yogurt then I recommend buying plain and adding a little honey and fruit. Most of the sweetened store bought yogurt is full of sugar or other weird artificial sweetners. The greatest thing about yogurt is the probiotics. Our guts have been so stressed with refined foods, antibiotics and birth control pills that most of us are lacking healthy gut flora. These little microbes are oh so important to digestive function, our immune system and even our production of seratonin. The active cultures in yogurt are transient and help to clean the digestive tract and feed the microbes living there. Since yogurt contains active bacteria that feed on sugar, many lactose intolerant individuals can tolerate yogurt very well. So my advice to you, if you can tolerate it, do it!

Mmmmmm. All these foods are delicious, nutrient dense and make for a great meal. If you don’t already eat them then add one of them to your next meal and experience some of the many health benefits listed above. Your body will thank you. See yas next time.

What is your favorite health food and how is it helping you improve your health?

Welcome to CrazyHappyHealthy

2 Jun

So Who Am I?

My name is Kendra Perry – I am 28 years old and I live in Nelson, British Columbia, although I grew up in Dunrobin, Ontario. Nelson is a beautiful town located in the heart of the Kootenays. I love to be in the mountains whenever possible. I am usually out skiing, rock climbing, biking, canoeing or hiking. I am incredibly lucky to have all this in my backyard!

   

My Story

I have always been interested in health and diet. My current diet has evolved over 8 years and will continue to evolve as my search for optimal health continues. About 5 years ago, I tooka  3 month coutse of antibiotics follwed by toxic brand of birth control pill that resulted in me getting a handful of uncomfortable symptoms including, acne, dry and pale skin, water retention and emotional distress. Although the last 3 symptoms were annoying, the acne is what bothered me the most. I lost my self esteem and delved into reading about every possible cure imaginable. Acne aside, what bothered me the most was the fact I didn’t think I looked healthy. I had always taken such pride in nutrition and eating whole foods, and when I saw myself in the mirror, I did not see a healthy girl.

The journey to cure my acne, lead me to learn not only about acne, but the importance of personal health and the corrupted state of our current healthcare system. I have learned I am passionate about holistic health and I truely believe all people can benefit from the adoption of not only a healthy diet but a low stress and postivie approach to everday life.

Why Should You Read My Blog?

Recently I started to notice that a lot of my friends are sick. Autoimmune disease, cancer, and tumors seemed to be plagueing the lives of many of them. It didn’t make sense to me. Women and men in their 20′s are in their prime, shouldn’t their health be in prime condition as well? This intensified my interest in health and diet. I believe the human immune system is sophisticated and amazing and given the right tools can properly correct most imbalances in the body. We have all the tools, we just need to learn how to use them.

This blog is about promoting the idea that good eating and mental and emotional health can help you lead a CrazyHealthyHappy and long life. We should feel empowered to take health into our own hands, let go of fear of disease and truely enjoy everything that life has to offer.

Over the past few years I have watched my friends and family get sicker, and mainstream nutritional information get more and more convoluted. It’s time for a change. With disease running rampid in modern society, it is now more important than ever to start taking an interest in your health. I hope to inspire people to make positive to changes to their lifestyle and inspire others to do the same. Remember, we already have the tools!

So please tune in, add your comments and share your information! The sharing of information is a powderful tool so let’s use it to help each other achieve crazy, happy, beautiful health.

Thanks for visiting CrazyHappyHealthy! See you next post :)

Kendra

What do you think about holistic health? Do you think you might need a lifestyle changes?