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    • Dangers of Folic Acid

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    •  2/28/2012 7:26:06 PM
    • I am currently reading "Super Immunity" by Dr Joel Fuhrman (which I highly recommend).  There is a VERY interesting section on Folic Acid.  With Veteran Mommy being pregnant, the part of folic acid stuck out to me (since most pregnant women are told by their doctors to increase their intake of folic acid - usually in their prenatal supplements).


      The key point to know is that FOLATE is not the same thing as FOLIC ACID.  Folate is naturally found in plant foods (especially green vegetables) and is important in fetal development. Folic acid on the other hand is NOT found in natural foods and is the SYNTHETIC form of folate.  Folic acid is added to a lot of refined foods "in an attempt to replace nutrients that are lost during the processing of whole grains."  New research is showing that too much folic acid can be harmful (especially when a typical diet is combined with a multi-vitamin containing folic acid)


      To quote Dr Fuhrman:

      "Folate is abundant in all green vegetables.  We do not need synthetic folic acid supplements to meet our daily folate requirements (this goes for pregnant women also)."


      He then goes on to list numerous research studies linking folic acid intake to CANCER.  In fact, one study found that women who took extra folic acid during pregnancy were found to be TWICE as likely to die from breat cancer as women who had no folic acid supplementation.


      It was also linked to childhood asthma, infant respiratory tract infections, and cardiac birth defects.


      WO, I had NO idea about any of this!!!


      Another interesting part was that higher-levels of folate FROM FOOD is linked to a DECREASE in cancer.


      So it seems apparent that what doctors should be telling people is to increase their beans and greens in order to get higher levels of folate, rather than relying on a pill.


      A few great sources of folate include:

      • asparagus
      • edamame
      • lentils
      • broccoli
      • chickpeas
      • romaine lettuce
      • spinach

      Dr Fuhrman also recommends that women take a blood test for folate sufficiency before even complemplating pregnancy ....and don't forget that diet rich in green vegetables.


      Maintenance Mommy

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    • A Bit of humor

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    •  2/21/2012 1:12:46 PM
    • Maybe it is deserved, maybe not, but there is a sort of stigma associated with "Vegans".  There are parodies and comedy acts out there portraying vegans as a little "holier-than-thou" and possibly a little uptight.  I for one find humor is these generalizations (and also don't label myself as vegan....well...maybe "veganish" :)

      Anyway, I was in Mexico last week with 4 other couples (one of which including Newbie Mommy).  We had never met 2 of the couples previous to our trip.  We lucked out and an incredible time with everyone.  One of the men turned out to be one of the funniest guys that I have ever met in my life (which only adds to a great vacation).  As the week progressed, of course our "eating styles" were discussed.  He brought quite a bit of humor as he declared half-way through the week that he had "turned vegan".  When we got back home he sent us this testimonial.  I laughed so hard that I cried.  I certainly hope no one is offended by it and I share it only to add a touch of humor to a subject that is often fairly intense.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!!

      Maintenance Mommy

      To all my Vegan friends,

      I never thought I would find myself in this situation. I am a Vegan. There, I said it.
      I would like to quickly take you back 2 weeks into my train wreck of a life. I was the average american man, short, balding, horny and eating cancer daily. I would sometimes have massive headaches and my body would ache constantly. A lot of times I just wouldn't feel right. Well, my world turned upside down last a good way!!

      I met two young ladies, Charity and Loni. They spoke words that I had never heard before. What they said clicked for me and made me evaluate my life. I was worthless, and they were kind enough to let me know.

      Today, I am a better man. I am now proud to say that I AM A VEGAN!!! Do people stare at me when I order a Sirloin Steak and ask them to hold the steak and replace it with leafy greens? ABSOLUTELY. In fact just last night I ordered an omelet and told them to hold the eggs and got an odd look from the waitress. Well, a good friend of mine recently told me, "don't worry about the haters, you'll have the last laugh and they will all be dead soon anyway".

      Sure, I fall off the wagon, sometimes 5 or 6 times a day, but those times a side I have a new found dedication. While my body still aches and the massive headaches have actually increased, not to mention feeling constantly like I'm going to throw up, I have noticed that my hair is fuller, I am now 4 inches taller and now not really attracted to women anymore.

      Thank you Charity and Loni, I LOVE THE NEW ME!!!!

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    • Yummy Snack - Rice cake with Avocado and Tomatoes

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    •  2/21/2012 1:04:00 PM

      As many of you know, I have been doing a fairly intense detox program.  I  am quite limited by the things that I am allowed to eat (hooray, I was able to introduce fruit last week...FINALLY)!  SOOOO, this snack has been almost daily for me.  It is quick, easy, and healthy!!!

      Just take a brown rice cake, add avocado and tomatoes (or any other veggie of choice).  A little salt and pepper, and that's it!  Delicious



      Maintenance Mommy

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    • "Oh My Goodness Gravy" with Roasted Potatoes

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    •  2/20/2012 12:26:25 PM


      I wasn't sure how my kids would respond to a mushroom based gravy and that's how it got it's name : "Oh My Goodness!"

      It was a huge hit!


      2 TBS Olive Oil

      1 cup finely chopped mushrooms

      2 cups water

      2 TBS Bouillon paste (see below for an example)

      1/4 cup nutritional yeast (Bragg's is my favorite)

      1 tsp dried Rosemary

      1/4 cup Whole Wheat flour


      Combine all of the ingredients except for the flour in a saucepan over medium heat.  Simmer for 5 minutes and then whisk in the flour 1 TBS at a time.  Continue to stir until the gravy



      Potatoes are so versatile and this isn't really a recipe as much as it is simple instructions.

      You can chopped as many potatoes as you choose, and you can use any type.

      For what is pictured above, I chopped 5 Russet potatoes into about 1 inch cubes.

      I boiled them in water for about 20 minutes.  The key it so boil them until right before they get  too soft (the roasting will cook them the rest of the way).

      Drain the potatoes and lay them onto a cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt (kosher salt is particularly yummy on these).

      Put them under the broiler for about 10 minutes and then "flip" them over for another 10 minutes.  This should give them a nice brown color all around.  

      Pour the hot gravy over the potatoes and serve right away.  DELICIOUSNESS!!

      Maintenance Mommy

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    • Raspberry Coconut "Ice Cream"

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    •  2/9/2012 10:58:06 PM
    • This is what my sweet honey got me for Christmas.  It's the Cuisinart Ice Cream and Sorbet maker that can be found here.


      Of course I didn't waste anytime experimenting with different non-dairy "ice creams"!!


      In honor of Valentine's Day (which just so happens to be one of my very favorite days of the year....oh, and it happens to be my birthday:), I thought I would post something sweet today.  This recipe turned out fantastically and everyone gobbled it up.  I had to quickly snap a shot with my iPhone before it was gone (sorry about the lousy pic).  This is a special treat that you can feed your family on that special day. Enjoy.




      1 can of coconut milk

      1 can of coconut cream (different than milk and can be found at most health stores and Asian stores)

      1/2 cup raw cane sugar (I picked this up from Costco)

      1 tsp vanilla

      pinch of salt

      1 TBS arrowroot starch (optional, but it adds to the creaminess of the ice cream

      10oz pkg of frozen raspberries

      Simply mix all of the ingredients into together in a bowl and pour into your ice cream machine.  Follow the instructions of your machine.



      Maintenance Mommy

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    • Things You Don't Know about Soda (or Pop for some of us :)

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    •  2/7/2012 2:11:28 PM
    • Here is an interesting article that my brother just sent me found here

      Unless you have had your head buried in a Big Gulp you probably already know that there are a litany of reasons why soda is bad for you. It’s nothing but sugar water. It’s devoid of any nutritional value. It leads to obesity and diabetes.  Here are things you might not know.

      1. Drinking non-diet soda leads to dramatic increases in fat buildup around your liver and your skeletal muscles, both of which can contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes. A Danish study revealed that people who drank a regular soda every day for six months saw a 132 to 142 percent increase in liver fat, a 117 to 221 percent jump in skeletal fat, and about a 30 percent increase in both triglyceride blood fats and other organ fat. Their consumption also led to an 11 percent increase in cholesterol, compared with the people who drank other beverages such as water or milk. 
      2. Even diet soda will pack on the pounds: Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center found that those who drank diet soda had a 70 percent increase in waist circumference over the 10-year study, compared with those who didn’t drink any soda. Those who drank more than two diet sodas per day saw a 500 percent waist expansion!
      3. Artificial caramel coloring used to make Coke, Pepsi, and other colas brown. The reason: Two contaminants in the coloring, 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, have been found to cause cancer in animals, a threat the group says is unnecessary, considering that the coloring is purely cosmetic. According to California’s strict Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer, just 16 micrograms per person per day of 4-methylimidazole is enough to pose a cancer threat, and most popular brown colas, both diet and regular, contain 200 micrograms per 20-ounce bottle.
      4. Diet or regular, all colas contain phosphates, or phosphoric acid, a weak acid that gives colas their tangy flavor and improves their shelf life. Although it exists in many whole foods, such as meat, dairy, and nuts, too much phosphoric acid can lead to heart and kidney problems, muscle loss, and osteoporosis, and one study suggests it could trigger accelerated aging. Excessive phosphate levels found in sodas caused lab rats to die a full five weeks earlier than the rats whose diets had more normal phosphate levels—a disturbing trend considering that soda manufacturers have been increasing the levels of phosphoric acid in their products over the past few decades.
      5. The artificial sweeteners are bad for the environment.  The artificial sweeteners in diet sodas don’t break down in our bodies, nor do wastewater-treatment plants catch them before they enter waterways so the end up in rivers and lakes. A recent test of 19 municipal water supplies in the U.S. revealed the presence of sucralose in every one. It’s not clear yet what these low levels are doing to people, but past research has found that sucralose in rivers and lakes interferes with some organisms’ feeding habits.
      6. Mountain Dew contains an ingredient called brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, added to prevent the flavoring from separating from the drink, is an industrial chemical used as a flame retardant in plastics. Also found in other citrus-based soft drinks and sports drinks, the chemical has been known to cause memory loss and nerve disorders when consumed in large quantities. Researchers also suspect that, like brominated flame retardants used in furniture foam, the chemical builds up in body fat, possibly causing behavioral problems, infertility, and lesions on heart muscles over time.
      7. It’s not just the soda that’s causing all the problems. Nearly all aluminum soda cans are lined with an epoxy resin called bisphenol A (BPA), used to keep the acids in soda from reacting with the metal. BPA is known to interfere with hormones, and has been linked to everything from infertility to obesity and diabetes and some forms of reproductive cancers.
      8.  Yellow #5 is a common dye used to color soft drinks. Reactions to the consumption of this dye can include indigestion, anxiety, migraines, clinical depression, blurred vision, itching, general weakness, heat waves, feeling of suffocation, purple skin patches, and sleep disturbance. It has also been linked to childhood obsessive compulsive disorder and hyperactivity. Its use has been banned in Norway, Austria, and Germany.
      9. Carbonation is an irritant to the stomach. Our bodies pull calcium out of the bloodstream to cure this irritation. The blood must replenish its calcium supply, so it pulls calcium from the bones contributing again to osteoporosis.
      10. If you drink at least one soft drink every day, you could have more than a 50% higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome according to a study in the American Heart Association’s journal. Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions which includes lower metabolic rate and excess fat around the waist. Researchers found the risk was high whether you were drinking regular or diet soda.
      11. Have you heard dentists refer to “Mountain Dew” mouth?  Drinking soda has a detrimental effect on our teeth. While the high sugar content of soda causes tooth decay, the acid in all soft drinks easily dissolves tooth enamel.
      12. Michael Pollan says if we are what we eat we are mostly corn.  Take a look at the ingredients list for any soda and chances are most of those ingredients are derived from corn. As much as 88 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified to resist toxic pesticides or engineered to create pesticides within the plant itself. There are no human studies that can prove or disprove whether these crops are safe. Independent scientists have found that, in animals, genetically modified crops, or GMOs, are linked to digestive tract damage, accelerated aging, and even infertility. By drinking soda, you’re taking part in the biggest science experiment on the planet.
      Of commonly consumed legal substances, other than cigarettes, soda maybe the worst enemy to our health - and diet soda maybe worse than regular soda. The combination of sugar, sugar substitutes, caffeine and perhaps the chemicals, make soda very addicting.  Do you really want to be owned by a can of chemical water? Maybe it is time to put down the Big Gulp and think.

      “Every human being is the author of his own health or disease.” Buddha

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    • Farmer's Market

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    •  2/8/2012 8:40:10 PM
    • About this time of the year I start to REALLY miss all of the fun Farmer's Markets that are around here during the summer and fall.

      I went up to Calgary, Alberta (I am originally from Canada) last week to visit my sister and she took me to the COOLEST Farmer's Market ever!!!  I am still on my detox (which I promise I will write about soon) and part of me was in heaven while the other part was in hell!

      Anyway, I just wanted to share some of the pictures with you guys.  The vendors were so incredibly friendly and everyone was offering free samples of everything.  I am super picky when it comes to apples and I thought it was so brilliant to have samples out of all the different kinds of fruit to try.




      I was also blown away by how many gluten free things there were.  There was an entire bakery section of gluten-free goodies.  I have recently discovered that I have a sensitivity to wheat and my mouth was watering looking at all of the options.


      And last but not least....oh the bakeries!!! 




      This is the awful baker, Dave (owner of Yum Bakery) who kept offering me and my sisters samples of french pastries.  You can see the open container of French Macarons to his right.  I didn't go home empty handed, I brought home a sweet treat for my honey.

      Anyway, it was such a great place and it made me sad that we don't have anything like it here in Utah.  I LOVE LOVE markets, and groceries stores etc, and I love to visit them in other cities.  So if you have a cool place like this where you live...DO TELL!  Who knows, we 3 mommies just might make a road trip to see it.  Which brings me to my last few photos.

      While I went to Calgary I went to Canadian Superstore, which is a huge store that is very inexpensive.  The closest thing we have here would be a Super Wal-mart or Winco.  I wanted to check out their non-dairy selection and I was completely astounding by what I found.  Most groceries stores here have just a tiny selection to choose from and you generally have to go to an expensive health food store to get a really good variety.  Well at this store they had an entire aisle!  Unbelievable.  Even their freezer section had a plethora of non-dairy goodies to choose from.





      And last but not least, I of course had to check out the bulk section.  I moved to Utah to go to school when I was 18 to go to school and I vividly remember my first time going to a grocery store here.  I searched around the store and I asked the clerk where the bulk section was.  They kindly directed me to a little corner of the store that had a small section of bulk candy.  I wanted to cry. I was so used to buying grains, and spices, and raisins and nuts, and pasta, and even cereal all in the bulk section.  There was such a variety and the prices were so affordable.  Anyway, I thought I would just take a small shot of it (keep in mind there were rows and rows of them)! Ahhh..the luxeries of home :) Happy grocery shopping to you all!



      Maintenance Mommy

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