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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

HellO 2011, HellNO Special K

This time of year the gyms are packed and everyone seems to be on a "diet." The new year is a great time to have new goals, cleanse, and set an intention for the year, but what I would advice against is buying into corporate pushed diet plans that may work for short term weight loss, but do not work in the long term and often deprive our bodies of nutrients and the pleasures of food.

Having a well balanced diet does not mean you are on a "diet," it simply means the foods that you habitually eat are nutrient rich and you are getting the right types and amounts of foods and drinks to supply nutrition and energy for maintaining body cells, tissues, and organs, and for supporting normal growth and development. The word diet, is such a misunderstood word.

I read a really well written blog post today about the Special K Diet Challenge that I think is important to share. While so many people look for a quick fix to weight loss, a diet filled with processed foods and high fructose corn syrup is certainly not the answer!

Read the blog post here

The new year is a great time to rethink what we put into our bodies and how we treat our bodies, I know I've set a few new intentions for 2011 that have to do with food and nourishment. I also believe that after the holiday's and when the idea of a fresh start is still, well, fresh, this time of year is great for a cleanse. More to come on safe cleansing next week though.

Until then I leave you with a few of my Goals for 2011, perhaps they will inspire you to set a few of your own, omitting of course, the corporate backed high fructose corn syrup diet that is the Special K Challenge.

My Goals for 2011:
  • graduate from college --not doubt this will be achieved, I just love the satisfaction of crossing things off a list :-)
  • waste spend less time on the internet
  • read a different book for pleasure each month
  • floss every day
  • have variation in my workouts (yoga, strength, cycle, running)
  • drink more tea 
  • use the microwave less
  • run the Cherry Blossom 10 miler
  • keep in touch with my friends from home better
  • bake my own bread
  • soak my own beans instead of using canned
  • eat less kashi cereal  --although a better option than Special K it's still a processed food
  • run a race with my mother
  • ......... etc. 
Happy New Year!

Chickens say WWOOF

Pictured above, myself, Melissa Eddison and Erin McCluskey, had an incredible experience working on a rural organic farm in Panama this winter break. One of the most gratifying jobs we were given was to tend the chickens. Although I consider myself a learned gardener, chickens were a new ball game for me. They squawk and peck at you and flap their wings a ton when they get flustered and it just makes me flustered and I start flapping my arms like a chicken too. On the farm, I really had little choice, either be a chicken or be above the chicken. I did my best to accomplish the latter.

Erin was very calm around the chickens, a chicken whisperer, if you will. This chicken was named Petcho, he was too rogue for the coop and escaped every time we put in him there. He just foraged around the farm for worms and bugs, too cool for the chicken feed.

These were the meet hens and we about 6 weeks and 1 pound away from being dinner! They sure were cute though.
More posts about our time on the farm coming soon and maybe even some video!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Quinoa For Breakfast?

Quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Most commonly considered a grain, quinoa is actually a relative of leafy green vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard.

It is a recently rediscovered ancient "grain" native to South America, quinoa was once called "the gold of the Incas," who recognized its value in increasing the stamina of their warriors. Not only is quinoa high in protein, but the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Not only is quinoa's amino acid profile well balanced, making it a good choice for vegans concerned about adequate protein intake, but quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. Because quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, this "grain" may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Go here to learn more!

Pumpkin Breakfast Quinoa

1/4 cup quinoa
1/2 almond milk (sub. coconut milk or cows milk)
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tbsp Mila (or Chia Seeds or Ground Flax)
1 tsp. maple syrup
Dash of cinnamon

Soak quinoa for 5 minutes in water, drain and add to pot with milk. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover. Let cook for 10-15 minutes or until the milk is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy. Stir in the remaining ingredients and transfer to serving bowl. Add toppings, then eat!

chunky apple sauce (recipe here)
chopped walnuts
splash of almond milk

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Goodbye for a month, but we will be back!

As the fall semester comes to a close, all of us at Food Justice Alliance are studiously ace-ing our finals : ) Please excuse the scarcity of posts in the last few days and the rest of this week! While this final exam buildup makes the winter break that much sweeter, some of the Food Justice members are taking a different path. Instead of chillin at home with mom and dad, we are doing something called WWOOF. For those of you unfamiliar with the acronym, it stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms...or Willing Workers On Organic Farms. Either way, through WWOOF, you can travel to any country in the world and work for your stay on an organic farm. The idea is to learn and spread knowledge of organic farming because it transcends cultural differences. We all need to eat and most of what we eat has origins in the ground, thus, connecting everyone on this very basic level.
Erin McCluskey and I are going to Panama for the winter break to work on a farm that focuses on organic permaculture. Permaculture is an ancient practice of farming in harmony with nature that is making a comeback these days. Ellie Smith will be WWOOFing in Puerto Rico on a GW Alternative Winter Break Program.
WWOOFing is an excellent affordable way to travel as it is just airfare that you are responsible for. In addition, you get to learn about organic farming and connect with a family or community anywhere in the world. Stay tuned to hear about our experiences and see photos of our trips!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Free Store Event

Reduce with Reuse

Recycling is great, but reusing and reducing is better.
Reuse matters because tons of trash (and dollars) can really add up. Each time
you choose used over new, you’re helping to redirect materials from landfills, and
you’re extending the life cycles of natural resources already in circulation.

One person’s trash is another’s treasure. Take part in the Free Store Event this
Friday December 10th 12-4pm in the Fishbowl, sponsored by The Food Justice
Alliance and GW Roots & Shoots.

As you’re thinking of packing up for home, maybe you are studying abroad,
or you just can’t find your textbooks under all the clutter… this is your chance
to purge some of the items you no longer need or want. Bring your gently
used clothing, household items, books or any other odds and ends and give
someone else a change to enjoy them rather than throwing them out. You can
drop off what you don’t want or need and pick up any items that catch your eye!
Everything is FREE!

All leftover items will be donated. Contact with
any questions.