Naturally Mama.

From one natural mama to another…

Life Without a Microwave: 2 Weeks and Counting December 10, 2010

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So first, I want to admit a few of things in regards to getting rid of our microwave…

  1. When I first heard that microwaves are bad for your health, I chalked it up to a bunch of nonsense. Of course, this is before I researched it. So, I ‘knew’ about the health hazards for quite some time and simply ignored them while zapping my food to eatable temperatures.
  2. I didn’t think I could do it. How could we really get rid of the microwave? What about leftovers? And… lazy tea, lazy quesadillas, lazy… everything else?
  3. I was pretty sure my family was going to resist. My Daughter and her Dad are 2 peas in a pod: they bore both always right even when they’re wrong, and they both have a tendency to resist change. I had made a lot of recent modifications and eliminations in regards to our health and natural living. Sometimes I feel as though I might overwhelm them, even though I try to slowly introduce new ideas and ways of living.

So now that those confessions are out of the way, I am happy to report that I do not miss my microwave. I can’t believe how much better things taste cooked in the oven, a toaster oven or on the stove top. Things that I would usually heat up in a microwave would come out floppy, or hard in spots, or cold in some spots, hot/warm in others… no more! Food is cooked quickly, evenly and with better flavor!

The family was surprisingly easily converted. My Husband had his reserves at first, but transitioned beautifully! (Bravo, Honey) My daughter didn’t even really think much of it, as I mentioned the upcoming change a couple of times over the course of 2 of weeks to prepare her. So when she saw we made the switch, she didn’t complain and jumped right in to learn how to use it. Such a champ.

Also, an unintended bonus: You eat less ‘convenient’ crap without a microwave. You might think this would inconvenience you and be a lot of work, but I pretty much don’t buy anything frozen these days and it’s not much more work at all. And when you pass by that freezer section, you think twice- saving you money. I actually enjoy what I eat now and feel good about it.

Have you researched the effects of microwaves on your health? Here are some of the highlights:

  • Microwaves change the molecular structure of your food into something your body cannot properly recognize and break down.
  • Microwaves severely diminish nutrients in your food. Researchers found that after heating breast milk in a microwave, over 90% of disease protecting agents were eliminated. Same type of results with other foods.
  • Microwaving food causes biological effects such as destabilized metabolism, brain circuitry destruction, hormonal imbalances and brainwave disruptions.
  • Microwaved food has been linked to cancer and tumors.

The (horrific, in my opinion) list goes on. Here are a few good places to start in your research, which I hope you will do if you haven’t already. Let me know your thoughts and it if you decide to make the switch, keep me updated. I would love to know how goes!


Menu Planning Monday: Frugal Vegetarianism (One Day Late!) December 7, 2010

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I’m recently a second time around vegetarian and this time, vegetarianism is here to stay. I’m also not the best cook and very impatient when it comes to cooking (I’m working on this). I scour the Internet for cheap and easy vegetarian meals every week and it takes a lot of time! So I figured “Why not share what I come up with? Someone will find these useful.”

I hope I’m right 🙂

*I use almost all organic ingredients.

Monday: Yesterday, we had Spaghetti with whole wheat noodles, tomato and basil sauce (pre-made in a jar), whole wheat bread with butter and garlic seasoning, and steamed broccoli. I cut up fresh organic broccoli and freeze it in a large ziploc bag to have on-hand.

Tuesday: Veggie Burritos.

Wednesday: Parsley Fingerling Potatoes and Pasta E Fagoli with corn.

Thursday: Vegetarian Chili (my own recipe) and Golden Sweet Cornbread.

Friday: Pizza. The bad-for-you-kind.

Saturday: No-crust Quiche and French Bread, buttered and baked in the oven.

Sunday: Rice and Black Beans and Quinoa Salad (this recipe says red, but I’m using regular).

I would love feedback if this is something anyone can use. Feel free to leave me a comment!


Why I Became A Vegetarian November 29, 2010

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I have been a true vegetarian twice in my life. The first time, I was 11. It was more for ‘political’ reasons then, if you will. I realized that hamburger was ground-up innocent cows, and I decided that in a protest against such cruelty, I would no longer consume it or any other meat from any other animal. It lasted for a couple of years until one day when my Mom left me alone as she often did and there was nothing in the house but bologna. That round slab of mystery meat was the end of my first vegetarian days.

The next time I became a vegetarian was right around the time my son was born, in September of this year. Meat made me hurl every time I even thought about it while I was pregnant. I hardly ate any meat most of my pregnancy, and started eating other proteins like seeds and beans. I started reading about natural health, which lead me to read about meat consumption, which lead me to watch food documentaries, which lead me to become a vegetarian once more. I couldn’t have made a better decision and here’s why:

  1. I do not enjoy meat. Even when I ate meat for years, I would always have to ‘hide’ the meat in something else. I would mix it in with pasta or cover it with my mashed potatoes. I didn’t like how it looked, and didn’t much enjoy the taste. My main reason for consuming it was only to have a source of protein.
  2. I don’t trust meat. I don’t trust the source and I don’t trust the hormones and antibiotics. I especially don’t trust that it won’t somehow make me sick.
  3. It’s easier to eat healthier when I don’t eat meat. I stopped eating fast food months ago, but when I’ve thought about stopping somewhere like Subway when I was running late, that idea is quickly shot down when I think about the facts that A) I don’t eat meat and B) fast food chains don’t use organic produce what-so-ever.
  4. It was a natural progression. I started my path to natural and healthy living by deciding to buy organic. I started out by buying organic products I already used and realized that many foods and goods that I purchased were a waste, costing me money I didn’t have. I cut back on convenience foods, then cut back on milk (almost entirely eventually), then cut out meat. It’s easy to cut certain things out of my diet when I research how they can affect my health.
  5. It still feels like the right thing for my body. I feel different. I feel healthier. I probably eat more protein now than I did when I consumed meat, anyhow since I am no longer avoiding protein. I am more creative with my meals, incorporating healthy ingredients that I once would have never thought of. It’s a truly amazing journey thus far.

Are you vegetarian/vegan? What are your reasons for consuming meat or for not consuming meat?


The impact of food on your family November 23, 2010

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I remember growing up it was common practice to eat breakfast and dinner at the dining room table together. We very rarely ate fast food more than a couple of times a year and ate at a sit-down restaurant as a family only on special occasions. My Mother would cook pretty much everything from scratch and there were always raw, cut-up vegetables on our plates. Despite having 3 kids, she always found time to make nutritious, whole meals.

Times have changed and our food is becoming tainted with more and more chemicals every day. Pesticides, fungicides, hidden MSG and genetically modified ingredients are in pretty much all processed foods nowadays. Corn syrup has taken over and sugar is rarely seen as an ingredient in sweet, processed foods. Fast food is ground up animals, bones and all, bleached, dyed and smashed into patties of chicken. Antibiotics and hormones are pumping into our cows, making our milk and our meat more dangerous than ever. I am not over exaggerating or using these disgusting descriptions to make it look worse than it really is- this is just the beginning of what our food is becoming.

So what can we do to teach our children that this is not how ‘food’ is supposed to be? Food powers our bodies and our minds to LIVE. The food and water that we consume literally give us life and the ability to think and act cognitively and rationally. How are we supposed to have the energy we need to live our life productively, and the mental agility we need to be at our best when the sources we have to fulfill those things are of little nutritional value and their integrity has been compromised by chemicals and their genes have been changed into something other than our earth creator intended? We need to show our children that corn syrup-filled cereals and ‘processed pasteurized cheese product’ are not real foods and will do nothing to help our health.

With eating fast foods and quick easy to prepare pre-packaged ‘foods’, comes spending less time with the family in the kitchen and at the table. Less time to cook together. Even if it’s here or there, dinner is also spent separated from one another either physically or mentally more often. Think: When do you have time in your day, where everyone is gathered and winding down to fill their bellies, that you can stop and just be together? Dinner is the perfect time to enjoy each other’s company and connect what was not connected throughout the day. Dinner does not only need to be nutritious, whole foods. Dinner needs to be a connection with your family members that might not otherwise take place.

We need to continue to teach our children to cook nutritious meals with fresh organic produce and ingredients. We cannot sit back as our parents might have done with us- things were much different even just 10-15 years ago. Our parents didn’t have to warn us to choose our foods carefully and be sure to eat organically whenever possible. Our foods were healthier on top of us being oblivious to some of the now-known dangers. We need to teach our children what some of society doesn’t know about and most of society doesn’t seem to care about when it comes to food. We need to protect our food supply by speaking up when changes need to be made and demanding organic, sustainable and healthy foods. We must be conscious of what we consume. Not only can it have negative health impacts in so many ways, if we don’t do these things, it can have lasting and even permanent effects on our health and well-being.

The words you are what you eat were never more important as now. We need to instill health and wholesome foods in our children and they will do the same for theirs. We can change the food industry and our health one plate at a time.


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