I’m on the hunt for a good quality food processor…
Here’s the top three that I’m looking at for a family of 4 (pre-research): Braun, Breville, and Cuisinart. It needs to be durable and low maintenance. I don’t really care about how loud or quiet it is because my kids are typically loud and they sleep with a sound machine. A quiet motor is a nice “want” but not a necessity. Maybe that will matter to me more in 5 years.
- Reviews by People
- Healthy but Smart
- Tech Gear Lab
- Healthy Kitchen 101
- Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor: Best to Buy of 2020
- Hamilton Beach 8-Cup Food Processor: Best Affordable Food Processor
- Cuisinart 3-Cup Mini Food Processor: Best Small Food Processor
- The Breville 16-Cup Food Processor: Best High-End Food Processor
- Ninja Master Prep Blender/Food Processor: Best Values Food Processor
- Elechomes Baby Food Processor: Best for Baby Food
- Braun FP3020 12-Cup Food Processor: Best Attachment Combo
After the stellar reviews above as well as the in depth review from Tech Gear Lab and Healthy But Smart, I am leaning toward the Breville Sous Chef. I need a large food processor for 4 people — although my kids are only 1 and 2 years old, they already eat a ton and I know this will only mean bigger appetites as they grow older. Important things for me are chopping, shredding, slicing, and cleaning. After the research, I think the Breville Sous Chef fits the bill.
Who knew that toxins exist EVERYWHERE? I certainly wasn’t cognizant of my exposure to toxins. Teflon, PABAs, air, water, food, etc. But, I have learned so much and am constantly learning of the dangers of these toxins in our everyday lives. Most recently, all the soaps, lotions, and cleaning products have been updated in our house.
We use (all can be found on Amazon):
- Puracy natural dish soap
- Everyone Soap: hand soap and lotion
- Nature Clean dishwasher detergent
- Everyone 3 in 1 soap (adult and kids)
- Everyone lotion
- Attitude natural shampoo
- ThinkSport spf 50+ sunscreen
- Super Goop Play 50+ spf face sunscreen (currently a 3; would consider a better option)
- Ilia, RMS Beauty, Lawless, Aether Beauty makeups
- Baby purees: Beech Nut, Earth’s Best Organic
Profound Documentaries on Toxins/Food Industry:
Current Favorite Reads Regarding Health:
- How Not to Die
- Eat to Live
- The Obesity Code
- Genius Foods
- Next listen on Audible will be The China Study
- Future reads . –> . Click here
Whole Food Plant-Based Diet
I’ve been hearing more and more about a whole food plant-based diet. There’s definitely data out there that shows this lifestyle is the key to longevity and protective from illness and disease. My curiosity first started when I had our first child. It was important to me to learn more about nutrition because I wanted to learn how and what to prepare food for my kids. From this curiosity, I stumbled upon a book called Genius Foods. Then, I listened to the Audible version of The Obesity Code. Most recently, I’ve been embracing How Not to Die and Eat to Live.
Am I vegan? No. Am I a vegetarian? No. Am I here to save the animals? If saving the animals is a positive side effect, then absolutely! My main goal is to have the l o n g e s t quality of time with my kids as well as teach them how to incorporate nutrition into their lives. As a parent, I want to make my kids’ lives easier, more meaningful, and more fun. Aside from financial freedom and responsible parenting, the next best gift I can give to my kids is the power of nutrition. I wish I knew this information when I was a kid and grew up knowing what was helpful to fuel my body.
A colleague of mine had suggested/introduced “The Obesity Code” to me and my reading list. It’s a fabulous read and I highly encourage a read/listen. Here are other books I have read and suggest. After The Obesity Code, I chose The Complete Guide to Fasting… and since then, I’ve added Eat Stop Eat to my audiobook library as well. I’m extremely intrigued about intermittent fasting. I’ve followed a paleo diet for years, however, I’m curious to see if I could actually try intermittent fasting and not succumb to hunger bc I love snacking!
Here are some resources I’ve found to be useful:
- The Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting
- The Ultimate Guide to IF Schedules
- What to Drink While IF
- Alcohol and Fasting
- Brad Pilon’s Intro to Fasting
From Brad Pilon, author of Eat Stop Eat:
To summarize: a rather normal dose of alcohol caused a decrease in fat burning, no change in carbohydrate burning, and a slight increase in overall calorie burning in men who were in the fasted state.
So the question remains. If metabolic rate increases, glucose oxidation stayed the same, and fat burning decreased… what the heck were they burning?
Turns out the answer is the alcohol… sort of.
In fact, blood acetate is such a priority that it’s mere presence can decrease lipolysis by ~50%, even when you are in the fasted state [Crouse JR, 1968]
And this is what happens when you drink during your fast. It’s not that you will gain more fat (unless you are drinking excessively), but you will stop releasing body fat, stop burning body fat, and burn acetate instead. This occurs without any change in insulin levels.
So sadly, it seems the answer is that you cannot drink during your fasts without diminishing your fat burning abilities.
I’ve decided to try the 16/8 IF schedule (16 hour fast, 8 hour eating window = 11a – 7p) when I go back to work.
Why eat organic?
I wasn’t always a huge supporter of eating organic. I was a poor college student… a poor medical student… and a poor resident. In fact, I didn’t start thinking about my health seriously until my husband and I were planning to get pregnant. Maybe this was a little late in the game at 37 years old… but better late than never, right?
In college, I lived off of lean cuisine microwaveable meals with plastic and drinking 3 diet dr. peppers a day. In medical school, I survived off a protein bar, sandwich, and microwaveable dinners as well. Did I mention that I experimented with smoking to help me study? Ick, what horrible habits! In residency, I continued with protein bars, microwaveable meals, and hospital food that was free for residents around 9p. Not to forget, that I made sure I went to a bunch of residency interview dinners to meet potential incoming residents. Fast forward to getting ready for my wedding day, I went 3 months on a paleo diet and felt incredible and saw real changes in my body without feeling deprived or hungry. We went organic during my first pregnancy. We’ve placed more importance on sustaining our baby and helping her maximize her growth and learning with a more nutritious diet. During my second pregnancy, I again ate organic. But, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and moved to a more Whole30 diet — eliminating processed foods as well as sweets. I was able to really control my blood sugars with diet alone, and I feel better without all the processed food and sweets in my system.
Why do I think about this now? More and more, I feel the impact of a well-balanced diet on my body. My AGING body. Perhaps in our youth, we can fake it and make it by eating crap food and maintaining an unhealthy lifestyle. But as I’m aging, I feel the effects more and definitely sooner. Additionally, I care more now about what I put into my body and in my family’s. I would love to teach my kids the importance of healthy eating and what good food tastes like. So, enter my quest to eat organic as well as grass-fed, hormone-free meats as well as going more plant-based.
HelpGuide – Organic Foods: What You Need to Know
HelpGuide – Healthy Food for Kids
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research – Organic vs. Non-Organic PDF
MindBodyGreen – A Doctor’s Top 4 Reasons to Eat Organic
EWG – EWG’s 2018 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce
Time – 4 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Eating Organic
The Organic Center – Bringing you the science behind organic
Food Safety Magazine – 2018 Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen Lists Rank Produce Items by Pesticide Level
Association between organic food consumption and metabolic syndrome: cross-sectional results from the NutriNet-Santé study. Eur J Nutr. 2018 Oct;57(7):2477-2488.
Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture: a comprehensive review. Environ Health. 2017; 16: 111.
Organic Food in the Diet: Exposure and Health Implications. Annu Rev Public Health. 2017 Mar 20;38:295-313.
Are organic foods safer or healthier than conventional alternatives?: a systematic review. Ann Intern Med. 2012 Sep 4;157(5):348-66.
Nutrition-related health effects of organic foods: a systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jul;92(1):203-10.
Clean Label Project: Methodology
Center for Ecogenetics and Environmental Health: Health Risks of Pesticides in Food
U.S. Right To Know: Monsanto Papers
U.S. Right To Know: Pesticides
Time: Why Organic is the Right Choice for Parents
NBC News: What a nutritionist wants you to know about pesticides and produce
- Eat organic and free-range/cage-free/grass-fed/hormone-free when possible
- Pesticides are toxic and can lead to health problems later in life
- Choose organic alternatives to the Dirty Dozen
- Babies, young children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding women are more susceptible to pesticides and toxins in food.
- Research the labels and get the facts
- Consider these Netflix documentaries on Health and Nutrition
Arden’s 1st birthday
Written Jan 2, 2019
I can’t believe Arden is almost a year old! Where did the year go?! I’ve got to start getting ideas for her bday as well as invites, food, party favors, location, etc.
- Hint Mama: 7 affordable activity ideas for 1st bday parties
- FrugalGirls: 22 1st bday ideas on a budget
- Parenting: 20 fun 1st bday party ideas
- Parents: 17 tips to throw a kids’ bday party on a budget
- Rookie Moms: 1st bday ideas
- Fit pregnancy: 8 budget-friendly 1st bday party ideas
- The Good Stuff: 17 1st bday party ideas for moms on a budget
The number ‘1’ photo collage of Arden: Ribbet, ShapeCollage, Shutterfly
Electronic invites: Paperless Post
Catering: Yelp Taco catering, Yelp food truck catering
Location: Carmel Valley parks
Carmel Valley Community Park and Recreation Center
3777 Townsgate Drive
San Diego, CA 92130
** Insurance for caterers/vendors/food trucks needed. No glass containers. Alcohol is permitted. If >50 people, then $175 for day use. Tables 1st come, 1st serve.
Things to get:
- Inflatable swimming pool: Amazon
- Balls to fill pool: Amazon
- Bubbles: Amazon
- Gluten-free Cupcakes
- sheet cake – Costco?
- one small cake for Arden
- decor for Arden high chair: Amazon
- Plates, silverware, napkins
- 529 gifting: https://gift.my529.org/1RU6HD
- Party favors: bubbles, pinwheels, Amazon
I’m not one to make New Year’s Resolutions. Why? Because I used to make a list of 10 things and NEVER got any of them completed. My goal these days is to constantly re-asses my goals daily. Every day is a new day to accomplish something or try something new or go outside your comfort zone. So, this year, my husband and I both want to work on our nutrition. It’s more evident now (we’re in our 40s) than ever before that we really take responsibility not only for our own health, but the health of our littles. Therefore, this is a top priority for both of us. The more we learn about nutrition and what to put into our bodies, the more we can teach our kids the importance of health and nutrition. I hope this knowledge continues to transfer down into our kids, grandkids, etc. The gift of good health is more valuable to me now than before. The older I get, the more I see my parents/family aging. Luckily, my family has good genes are have lived into their 90s. However, I want to take what I can into my own hands and make sure it stays that way. I come across so many patients who either have bad genes, poor diet, poor access to nutrition, lack of knowledge of nutrition and exercise, or simple complacency with an “I’m gonna do what I’m gonna do” attitude.
Three Books that I’m tackling this year:
- Fit Men Cook by Kevin Curry: 100+ meal prep recipes for men and women — we got this book as a gift from my mom who is a great healthy example of nutrition and exercise. This book is very approachable!! Originally, my hubs and I wanted to just dial in a few meals to be able to cook during the week. But the more we read this book, the more we love the idea of meal prepping and eating healthy at home and work. So far, I’ve cooked one dinner and one breakfast and they are delicious! Our almost 11month old loves the foods as well!
- Genius Foods by Max Lugavere: Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life — I purchased this one via Audible, while I purchased the hardcover book for my mom. It’s an outstanding listen on Audible as I gained a lot of tips and knowledge on what are great brain foods. However, I think I learn better as a visual learner and can’t wait to get my hands on the physical book.
How Not to Die by Michael Greger, MD: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease — I purchased this for my mom as well. She has a voracious appetite for healthy living, so both this book as well as Genius Foods were great gifts for her. I haven’t gotten to this book yet, so stay tuned.
- The Obesity Code by Jason Fung — I purchased this on Audible as a recommendation from one of my anesthesia partners. It’s been a great listen and actually uses large scale studies done on humans (not animals) to really discuss nutrition. So far, it’s a great listen!
Things I’d like to tackle:
- Become more plant-based
- Read the labels
Easy BBQ Instant Pot Ribs
From time to time, I get a craving for meat. More specifically, Texas BBQ. As much as I’d love to learn the secrets of a pitmaster or master griller/smoker, life and job get in the way of tackling it all.
However, I did find a delicious recipe to curtail that craving that’s tender, juicy, flavorful and brings me back to my Texas roots!
EASY BBQ INSTANT POT RIBSOriginal Recipe: please visit their website to send the love!
1 rack baby back ribs
4 tablespoons your favorite BBQ sauce (We used Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce)
Ground black pepper
Prepare the Baby Back Ribs: Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs with a paper towel.
Season the Baby Back Ribs: Season the Baby Back Ribs with generous amount of kosher salt and ground black pepper.
Pressure Cook the Baby Back Ribs: Place 1 cup of cold running tap water and a trivet into the pressure cooker. Place the baby back ribs on top of the trivet. Close lid and pressure cook at High Pressure for 16 – 25 minutes. Adjust the timing according to your preference: 16 minutes (Tender with a bit of chew) to 25 minutes (Fall off the bone). Turn off the heat and full Natural Release. Open the lid carefully.
Preheat Oven: While the baby back ribs is cooking in the pressure cooker, preheat the oven to 450F.
Apply Sauce and Finish in the Oven: Brush your favorite BBQ sauce all over the baby back ribs on all sides including the bones. Place the baby back ribs with the baking tray in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes.
Serve: Remove the ribs from the oven and serve!
In all honesty, instead of doing steps 4 and 5, my husband fired up the grill and got some great grill flavoring on the ribs while also rebasting them with BBQ sauce. That’s how we served up the ribs! And it was a crowd pleaser!!! This would be perfect for your next summer picnic or Super Bowl party!
Whole30 Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla-Less Soup
Continuing on my cold weather craze of some comforting hot soup, I came across this recipe. I was looking for something quick and easy to store if I didn’t get a chance to make it during the week. This is what I stumbled upon and after making it… it doesn’t disappoint!! The hubs and 10 month old baby loved it!
Here’s the original recipe: 40 Aprons – Whole30 Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla-Less Soup (Paleo)
Whole30 Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla-Less Soup
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 10-ounce cans cans tomatoes with green chiles
1 14.5-ounce can Whole30-compliant chicken broth
1 medium onion chopped
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1-3 teaspoons chipotle pepper powder if on Whole30. 1 teaspoon for mild, 3 teaspoons for hot. I used 1 tsp.
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 zucchinis chopped or cut into 1/2″ half moons
1 red bell pepper cubed (my addition)
1 14-ounce can can full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream whisked until smooth
1 small can diced green chiles (my addition)
fresh avocado slices
red onions , sliced thin
fresh cilantro , chopped
coconut cream or greek yogurt or sour cream
shredded cheese , if not paleo or on Whole30
tortilla strips or chips, if not paleo or on Whole30
Sprinkle boneless skinless chicken breasts with salt. Add the chicken breasts to the Instant Pot. Sear both sides. Add the remaining ingredients in order, through zucchini.
Secure the lid on the pot. Cook at high pressure for 18 minutes. Allow the pressure to naturally release for ten minutes, then use the manual release. Pull out the chicken breasts and add coconut milk and diced green chiles. Switch Instant Pot to Sauté mode and stir to combine. Dice chicken, then return to soup. Serve hot, topped with garnishes of choice.
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