food · Food allergies · food allergy blogs · food sensitivities · recipe · slow food · vegetarian

Pesto Primer

Is there anything better than Italian food? I mean think about it, how many other places in the world could you see Roman ruins, the beautiful relics of greats like Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo, the legendary canals of Venice and the Tuscan hills lined with vineyards and yet when people return from there all they can talk about is the food. How many times have you had this conversation: “How was your Italy trip?” “The food was amazing!” I know I’ve heard it countless times and I’m not saying it’s wrong, I’m saying that there is something intrinsically right about how that country puts ingredients together…simply, efficiently, magically. It’s no wonder the Slow Food movement started there, or that pizza was invented there, or any number of spectacular combinations were first tried in that rich and fertile country by the sea. One combination that I can’t get enough of is pesto. I know people get all herbal-ly with nettle pesto or vegetable-y with parsley pesto but I personally like to stick to the basil kind. I add it to salads, sandwiches, pizza and a recent favorite, farinata. I always have to look up proportions though when making it, so I was thoroughly pleased to find this handy infographic by Delicious Living. I hope it makes your life a bit more bella too.

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food · gardening · health · modern life · vegetarian

Aging Well Tips

This is a cute, concise infographic from Delicious Living about what things increase life expectancy and also what decreases life expectancy. You might recognize the style from a certain board game of your youth which is pretty darn clever. I think the most interesting part of this graphic is the part about most centenarians being mostly vegetarian with little meat included in their diets. I think the idea of aging well is often not included when people think about their diet and in particular ‘dieting’. Anyway~ can you guess the game?

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cosmetics · health · Herbs · modern life · natural beauty products

Natural Beauty vs. Toxic Beauty

I’m a sucker for a good infographic, especially one that details something I’m interested in and natural, healthy beauty is definitely on my priorities list. There are so many healthy alternatives to the toxic nastiness passed off as beauty products that it doesn’t make sense to put something poisonous, even just potentially poisonous, on our bodies and hair and nails. Make-up, masks, spa routines, and herbal enhancements have been around since ancient times so there is a wealth of history and tradition to draw upon when it comes to modern beauty routines, but we humans seem to have a tendency to want to replicate nature whenever we can to lessen costs, get a patent on it, “improve” upon it (though our bodies innately recognize what is natural and what is not), and therefore make more money. With these things on my mind, I’ve decided to start using Henna on my hair instead of the usual dye. (My brown hair has a large percentage of white or else I wouldn’t dye it at all, but I’m not ready for grey hair just yet, not when there is natural alternative anyway!) I’ll post my results soon because Henna has a bad rap which I think is truly undeserved because I’m feeling pretty positive about it so far. You’ll have to come back and tell me what you think. In the meantime, check out this infographic from Delicious Living and maybe think about what is in your cabinet that could be replaced with something that truly makes you feel beautiful and healthy. Once you discover how instinctively natural products work with your body you’ll never go back to triclosan and phthalates again. And I guarantee your hair, nails, and skin will thank you.

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celiac disease · Food allergies · food allergy blogs · gf foods · gluten free · Gluten free eating · gluten free lifestyle · gluten intolerance · gluten intolerant · Herbs

Places Gluten Likes to Hide

Even though I’ve been eating gluten-free for about ten years now, I still like reminders of those hidden places where gluten may lurk. This infographic from Delicious Living is a nice visual reminder for some of those sneaky spots:

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I would add herbal teas to this list because I often find barley malt on the ingredients lists of herbal tea blends, especially Yogi teas (which I love!). Not all have barley malt, but I know Stomach Ease does and so does Kava Stress Relief, both of which I used to drink regularly and highly recommend if you aren’t avoiding gluten. Otherwise, find another tea to drink and read those labels!

alternative medicine · food · health · Herbs

Food as Medicine

I thought I’d share this infographic that I saw today on NewHope360 even though it isn’t overly informative. It gives enough information to get one thinking about food as nutrition instead of just mindless pleasure, but not enough information to really astound anyone unless they happened to have never had an ounce of nutritional information seep through their brain ever. I would like to see one that shows herbs in there too. I guess that just means I need to learn how to make infographics…hm, better get my 10-year-old on that because I’m sure he’ll figure it out much sooner than I ever could. If you think of food and medicine on a spectrum where the more nutritious foods are closer to medicine while the less nutritious foods are further away, then herbs, (depending on what they are and how much because the dose makes the medicine with food including herbs,) would bridge the gap between food and medicine. Herbs are meant to be used like food in that you take them to help balance imbalances, strengthen weaknesses, and yes, fight bacteria/viruses/disease, but herbs are generally not something you can take and see an immediate result, just like you can’t eat a head of broccoli and be cancer-free. If you have a tendency towards inflammation, for example, as so many of us do, then taking anti-inflammatory herbs, such as turmeric, might be something that could help your body long-term. That means taking the herb at a medicinal dose for at least two months to see if you notice a difference, but better to take it longer before deciding to stick with it long-term or not, unless you have a bad reaction to it of course. Incidentally, if your ‘bad reaction’ involves diarrhea, you might consider the fact that herbs generally contain fiber and therefore you may need to work up to the recommended dose. As always, talking to a doctor, especially a naturopath who has actually studied this stuff, is the best way to get started. Well that was a long intro to this infographic: food_vs_medicine