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    • 2 Steps back

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    •  7/31/2011 7:06:53 AM
    • Just when I think we are starting to make forward progress, something comes along that feels like we are taking 2 steps back.

      As I was registering 2 of my children online for middle school, I came across this letter from the school board:


      July 1, 2011
      Dear Parent or Guardian:
      This letter is to inform you that as of August 29, 2011, Jordan Nutrition Services will no longer
      provide juice each day as a milk substitute for students with non-disabling milk allergies or
      lactose intolerance, This change is in accordance with the USDA rule Fluid Milk Substitutions in
      School Nutrition Programs (73 FR52903). Under this regulation, juice will no longer be offered
      each day as a substitute for milk as it does not qualify nutritionally. In the future, 100% juice will
      be offered on the menu twice a week and can be chosen as a side item. Water can also be
      made available upon request.
      I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your support. If you should
      have any questions, please feel free to contact Katie Bastian, Registered Dietitian at 801-567-
      8602 or

      Nutrition Services Director


      Sad...that is the emotion running through me right now.  Of course my first reaction was flaming angry, but it was quickly displaced by a penetrating sadness.  Have we really come to the point that the USDA gets to tell me what "qualifies nutritionally".  My kids are enrolled in a public school, which is a wonderful privilege offered to all children in this amazing country that we live in.  A country that was founded off the suffering of people searching for true freedom.  Now I know that it might seem like a stretch to compare this letter to our founding fathers quest for freedom. but truly, I thought we had evolved so much further.  Since when did 100% juice not "qualify nutritionally".  This means that when we purchase school lunch (which we pay $2 for) there is NO substitute for the milk.  I had to fight with the school last year to get them to see that they were forcing me to pay for milk.  There reply was "Well, your student doesn't HAVE to drink the milk".  I understand that, but I have a very difficult time paying for something that I DON'T WANT.  And so they offered juice as a substitute only for those students that specifically asked for it.

      I have heard arguments that the sugar in juice is not desirable for children....fine.  But there are no medically sound studies that link sugar (specifically fruit sugar) to CANCER or DIABETES.  Yet there are THOUSANDS of just such studies that link milk consumption to  cancer, diabetes and all sorts of diseases and illnesses.  Not some "quacks" opinions, but true medical professional, researchers, and world-renowned universities.  I recognize that this is not the common belief among the majority of the population.  I understand that many still believe that milk is something that our children need.  To read a little more about milk, click here.  But in all honesty, how can we possibly think that the juice that comes naturally from fruits that are naturally grown in the earth does not "QUALIFY NUTRITIONALLY".....Ughh!

      I won't even get into any of the environmental issues or animal rights here!  (But let me just say that I certainly hope all the Prius drivers and compact florescent lightbulb users are also conscious of there dairy and meat consumption, since this is hands down the largest offender to our environmental issues).


      I am not just looking for a fight (honestly) or seeking to be offended...I'm just sad!  Can't we do a little better than this?  Can't we as a society do just a little bit better for our children?  Doesn't the rising generation deserve just a little bit better?  Is the dairy industry in charge of our dietary guidelines, or are our trusted officials?  And are they truly looking out for our best interest as they are sworn to do?  Just makes me think a little, that's all.


      Looks like I will have to look into what "non-disabling milk allergies" means.  I wonder if the fact that when humans drink cow's milk it increases insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) in the bloodstream, which just happens to be a very powerful stimulant for cancer growth...sounds like an "allergy" to me!

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    • Meal-On-A-Plate Salad

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    •  7/20/2011 9:03:40 AM

      In honor of the new food pyramid which was very much influenced by THE POWER PLATE by PCRM, I decided to enjoy a salad that had it all : FRUIT, VEGETABLES,  GRAINS, AND LEGUMES.  And boy was it delicious!

        I have also been playing around with oil-free dressings and decided to try one from  Rip Esselstyn's ("He is such a stud", to quote Veteran Mommy) which is found in his book "The Engine 2 Diet".



      Choice of Greens (I used Green Leaf)

      1/2 cup broccoli florets

      1/2 cup beans (I actually did a mix of kidney and black)

      1/2 cup brown rice

      1/2 a red pepper, chopped

      2 strawberries, sliced

      E2 Basics Dressing:

      2 TBS nutritional yeast

      1 TBS tamari (or soy sauce)

      1 TBS mustard (I prefer stone-ground)

      Juice from 1 lemon, lime, or oragnge

      1 TBS agave nectar, honey, or maple syrup

      1 TBS wheat germ

      Whisk the ingredients together in a bowl.  Store leftover in the refrigerator.



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    • Dairy-free Strawberry Ice Cream

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    •  7/13/2011 11:21:43 AM


      It seems like summer and ice cream go hand and hand. 


      But with the overwhelming amount of evidence showing the harmful effects of dairy (to learn more click here) does that mean no more delicious creamy ice cream?  No way!


      My kids loved this summer treat and could not tell that is wasn't your traditional ice cream.

      It does take a little preparation but is well worth it.


      The first thing you need to do is make the "base".  You can find step-by-step instructions here.

      This base is generally frozen overnight (which is why you need to plan ahead).

      I love to keep this on hand in my freezer and then I can make 'ice cream' whenever we feel like it.

      Simple add as much fruit as you want in a high-powered blender.

      I used about half of the 'base' recipe and about 12 strawberries to make this delicious treat!



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    • Lettuce Wraps - Inspired by the Cheesecake Factory

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    •  7/6/2011 7:50:48 AM

      This recipe was directly inspired by the Lettuce Wraps from the Cheesecake Factory, only in this I used Tofu instead of chicken

      1 block of firm tofu, sliced

      Marinated in:

      1/4 cup of shoyu (or soy sauce)

      juice of 1 lime

      a pinch of rep chili flakes

      1 clove of garlic minced

      I let this marinate for about 30 minutes before frying/steaming in a little water for about 8 minutes

      For the cucumber, I found this recipe on

      Marinated Cucumbers



      • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
      • 1/4 cup sugar
      • 1/4 cup water
      • 1/4 tsp salt
      • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
      • 1 large cucumber – seeded (I actually used 2 cucumbers)



      1. Combine the vinegar, sugar, water and salt in a small pan.
      2. Cook over a medium heat, stirring until it boils and the sugar is dissolved.
      3. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
      4. Peel the cucumber and cut lengthwise into quarters and again crosswise into 1/8″ slices.
      5. Place in a serving bowl and pour marinade over cucumbers, stirring to blend.
      6. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

      As well as this dipping sauce:

      Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce



      • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
      • 2 tbsp fish sauce
      • 1/4 cup hot water
      • 2 tbsp sugar
      • 1 lime – juiced
      • 1 tsp garlic – minced
      • 1 tsp red chili paste


      1. Combine the rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, hot water, sugar, lime juice, garlic and chili paste in a blender.
      2. Puree until smooth.
      3. Pour into bowls and serve.

      The green sauce on the tofu that you can see in the picture above is the delicious honey cashew sauce found here.

      For the lettuce wraps I used:

      Lettuce (any kind) soaked in cold water for an hour (for maximum crispness)


      Shredded Carrots

      Marinated Cucumbers

      Bean Sprouts

      Fried Tofu

      2 sauces: Sweet chili and Honey cilantro cashew

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