JEM Raw Chocolate Cinnamon Red Maca Almond Butter

Aww…this is a new love of mine in the food department. I had been looking for an organic almond butter that I would love and actually like. I loved peanut butter with delish organic apples and celery, but had been looking for an equally delish almond butter.
While looking for my almond butter I wanted it to not have ANY soy, soy letchin or any crap and less than 7 ingredients; I got this baby with only 5 ingredients. JEM Chocolates in a great little company out of Oregon that makes organic dark chocolate and almond butters. I got the cinnamon maca almond butter. What really stud out to me is that this is a superfood almond butter! You get the healthy fats of the almonds, the metabolism and blood sugar leveling cinnamon, and the hormone balancing powerhouse of red maca! The total ingredient are: raw, organic almonds; cinnamon, coconut palm sugar, vanilla extract, red maca powder. Five simple ingredients; that’s it. This is so good with apples and celery and just to plain out scoop in your spoon and take a spoonful; I’m gently of this; but it is so rich (in a good way) that a tablesoon of it is enough. This really helps me from the cravings of wanting to grab so sugar and run down to the gas station and grab a candy bar in a sugar craving rage! This does happen; but this almond butter has saved me! haha Actually I haven’t had a gas station run in awhile; I’ve started just paying for diesel at the pump instead of going in so that I am not tempted 🙂
I snagged the almond butter on Amazon, because there was several things that I needed/wanted to order. The cost on Amazon was $11.99 for 6oz. It’s a little pricey, but when you look at the fact there is red maca in there it made it worth it to me. They also have a couple other varities: coconut cardamon almond butter and maqui camu super berry almond butter! I can’t wait to try these ones as well. They also have dark cacao chocolate bars and a chocolate hazelnut spread! Yummy.
All in all I thought this was a great buy; it’s totally going to be a staple in my pantry for a long, long time 🙂

xoxo,
heather

Best Wishes & Live Beautifully!

If you are interested in one on one holistic health coaching visit me at www.hormonebalancehealthcoach.com

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Super Powers of Cinnamon & 18 Ways to use Medicinally

Before, I had learned the many benefits of cinnamon, I thought it smelled good and was used in baking. That was about the end of my knowledge for it. However, cinnamon has such super powers that it was documented in use by Ancient Chinese herbalists as early as 2700 B.C. Cinnamon comes from the bark of an Asian tree; cinnamon sticks are actually pieces of dried bark. Cinnamon had been recommened by ancient herbalist for fever, diarrhea, and menstrual problems and still is today. It is also known that cinnamon was an ingredient for ancient embalming recipes. In the Bible, Moses was instructed to use cinnamon in Holy annointing oil* (see Biblical Reference below). After the fall of Rome; trading between Asia and Europe became difficult, however; cinnamon still made it’s way west for it’s prized healing powers. In ancient times if you had 24 oz of cinnamon it would be about equivalent to having 24 oz of pure gold today. In fact, modern medicine has proved time and time again that cinnamon is valuable for preventing infection, cancer, disease, pain, colds, coughs, flus, and gastrointestnal issues, as well as many other aliments. * Biblical Reference: Exodus 30:22-28; Proverbs 7:17; Song of Soloman 4:13-14

18 Uses for Cinnamon Medicinally:

Here are the uses:
1.) Cinnamon contains the natural chemical, cinnamaldehyde, which studies show it increases the hormone progesterone and decreases testosterone in women, which helps balance hormones and helps infertility.
2.) Helps relieve menstrual pain
3.) Contains fiber, calcium, iron, and maganese
4.) Natural food preservative; inhibits bacteria growth and food spoilage
5.) The University of Texas has studies that show cinnamon may reduce the proliferation of cancer cells; espically those in luekema and lymphoma
6.) Research at The University of Texas, Department of Experimental Therapuetics, and Cytokine Research labs show cinnamon reduces chronic inflammation linked to neurological disorders: Alzheimers, Parkinson’s, MS, brain tumors, and meningitis.
7.) Goes well with sweet and savory dishes 🙂
8.) 1/2 a teaspoon a day of cinnamon can help lower bad cholesterol (LDL)
9.) Cinnamon helps treat type 2 diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels and increasing amount of insulin production in the body, stablizes blood sugar; great for weightloss 10.) Antifungal properties in cinnamon have been said that candida cannot live within a cinnamon environment
11.) Anti-clotting effect on blood
12.) When honey and cinnamon are combined helps with immunity, coughs, colds, flu, and relieves arthritis pain and cramps
13.) Just the smell of cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory
14.) Fightd E. coli in unpasturized juices
15.) Natural remedy for eliminating headaches and migrane relief
16.) Helps with indigestion and prevents ulcers
17.) Studies show cinnamon completlly suppress’ the cause of most urinary tract and yeast infections
18.) Cinnamon is an antiseptic that helps kill bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease. Cinnamon isn’t just for baking! Be sure you try one of these remedies before you head for the phamacy again for a nasty chemmical filled OTC drug!
Best Wishes & Live Beautifully!
If you are interested in one on one holistic health coaching visit me at www.hormonebalancehealthcoach.com

Superfood Salad

I love salads! They are so delish and light and refreshing! I came across this recipe on www.iowagirleats.com . I changed a couple things from the original, but nothing major. I hope that you will enjoy this light salad that is sure to hit the spot as much as I did.

Superfood Salad with Lemon Vinagrette Dressing:
Serves 5
Salad:
* 1/2 Cup dry Quinoa
* 1/3 Cup red onion, chopped
* 1 Orange, peeled, and segments chopped
* 1 avacado, chopped
* 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
* 1 Cup Pomegranate Arils (about 1 pom)
* Salt and Pepper
Vinagrette:
* 2 Lemons, juiced (need about 1/4 cup of juice)
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* dash of honey or other sweetener
* Salt and Pepper
* 6 TBS Organic, EVOO

1. Cook Quinoa to package directions
2. Combine ingredients for vinegrette; mix well with whisk
3. Combine cooled quinoa with other salad ingredients; pour dressing over, mix well to coat and combine. Top each serving with about 3-6 shrimp or 4 oz chicken breast!

This is a goodie that you will love!

Best Wishes & Live Beautifully!

If you are interested in one on one holistic health coaching visit me at www.hormonebalancehealthcoach.com

Natural First Aide Kits for Traveling

First aide kits are found in just about everyone’s home. Some are packed with aspirin, tums, bandades, sugar laden cold and flu syrups and cough drops, and nasty vicks vapor rub and more! What if you could have a more natural first aide kit? Would you use it? Of course you would or else you wouldn’t be here at Naturally Glowing, because you are wanting a more natural, organic approach to not only nutrition but wellness! One of the most annoying things I think is when you are on the road and a headache, stomach ache, tension, anxiety, etc arises and there is nothing to help when you are in the middle of nowhere or you suffer through it because you would rather not buy the aspirin or advil or tums at the fuel station you just passed. Being prepared while traveling is real important. Not only packing healthy foods and water, but health is real important that I think alot of people often most overlook. I remember one time when my siblings and I were younger and we were traveling back to Texas from Colorado with my aunt Lori and mom. In the backseat sat my brother, sister in the middle, and me. For some reason my brother and I were fighting and picking on eachother. Well, my brother had enough and swung at me over my sister; instead of hitting me he whacked her right in the nose!! Blood poured out everywhere! I don’t know how many of you have ever traveled Vail Pass in Colorado on I-70, but regardless if it’s in the winter or summer you don’t want to have to have an emergency were you have to pull over! Well, we did pull over and didn’t really have anything to help her, we had to use clothes to stop her bleeding and couldn’t properly clean her up until we reached another gas station. My mom and aunt were so mad!! It’s kind of funny now looking back, but we sure were in a pinch at the time and if we would have had the proper supplies we probally could have got the mess cleaned up and her feeling better, even on the side of the road! So here are my recommendations for a Natural First Aide Kit while Traveling:
Natural First Aide Kit for Travel:  * Valerian Tincture: sedative properties of valerian make it useful for reliefing anxiety, insomnia, and tension; may also provide minor pain relief. Video to make your own
* Eucalyptus Oil: Potent antibiotic & antiviral, also excellent for treating colds & sinus infections when used in as steam inhalation, but when traveling simply rub a few drops in the inside of nostrils and breath in.
* Witch Hazel Extract: Distilled witch hazel has been reported astringent, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties; which is useful for treating insect bites or skin irritations. Is also a nice base for diluting essential oils; Do not ingest. * Herbal Insect Repellent: A must have! Badger has some great products and can find herbal insect repellant here as well!
* Arnica Gel or cream: Arnica flowers have anti-inflammatory and circulation stimulating properties; the gel or cream can help with sore muscles, sprains, strains, and bruises. Do not apply to broken skin.
* Lemon Essential Oil: Uplifting, clarifying essential oil of lemon can be used as aromatherapy to help get rid of mental fatigue. Also is an antiseptic, but should be diluted before applying to skin.
* Elderberry Extract Syrup or Lozeges: helps with colds and flus; has amazing immune boosting properties. Make your own here.
* Calendula/Comfrey Salve:  Calendula has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and comfrey’s ability to help heal wounds makes a great salve to have to treat minor scrapes and cuts.
* Goldenseal Capsules or Powder: The antimicrobial properties in Goldenseal is affective against many microorganisms that can cause travelers diarhea. The powder has antiseptic properties that can be sprinkled onto cuts or wounds to stop bleeding. DO NOT use if Pregnant!
* Ginger Capsules, Tea Bags, or Crystalized Ginger or All 3: Ginger has antisposmadic and gas-relieving properties, which will soothe digestive upsets. Also, has been shown to have be a better solution to relief motion sickness and nausea than Dramamine.
* Peppermint Essential Oil and Tea Bags: Peppermint helps soothes stomaches and eases congestions when colds and coughs arise and helps with itching insect bites. You can also rub a few drops on your temples when a headache arises. Do keep in mind peppermint can irritate heartburn.
* Lavender Essential Oil: Multipurpose oil, sedative, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Good for insomnia, anxiety, wounds, burns, and headaches. Mix a couple drops in a small stainless steel water spritz bottle with 4 oz water and spray on wounds and burns or spritz face to relieve headaches and anxiety. It will also deodorize bad smells, i.e. stinky diaper, smelly dog, etc.
* Aloe Vera Gel: Soothing, cooling, and healing has anti-inflammation properties that will heal sunburns or burns from cooking, fire, etc.
* Emergen-C: for electrolite replenishment, when someone gets dehydrated.
* Activated Charcoal: Can be crucial if someone gets food poisoning or ingests poisen of some sort
* Acai Powder: acai has anti-allergenic properities that can be used when an allergic reaction occurs, although not natural Benadryl would be good to have on hand and an epi-pen; just in case!
* Coconut Oil: Keep a small jar in your kit. Coconut oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antibiotica, antiseptic, and much, much more. Put on burns, insect bites, cuts, bruises, dry skin and more. Can also be ingested 🙂
Other Supplies:
*Twizzers, Scissors * Gauze, bandages, tape, vet wrap (for wrapping sprains or unstable bones) * themometer There are so many other things you can get or supplement for one thing or another. It’s your choice! Do you have anyother items you take or any recommendations? Comment below and let me know! The Ultimate Natural First Aide Kit for Home will be up tomorrow!! Since my husband has to travel for work and usually long distances, we usually try to keep all or most of these items in our trucks. You can store these in a train cosmetic case or a case to carry travel toilitries! Some other items not related to first aide, some are, to keep with you while traveling can be: * water * warm blanket * coat * winter boots * gloves/hat * disposable gloves * flashlight/roap flares * snow chains * canned dog food (if traveling with animals) * protein bars, nuts, canned organic meats, jerky, dried fruit, etc * jumper cables * battery powered car jumper * Small bills of cash and quarters if you need to make a phone call, a few dollars if no ATM is around
What do you keep in your car or truck when traveling for emergencies? Let me know!

Best Wishes & Live Beautifully!
If you are interested in one on one holistic health coaching visit me at www.hormonebalancehealthcoach.com

Top Exercises for PCOS

When you have PCOS there is a couple things you want to keep in mind. First, you want to make sure you are not raising your heart rate too high, too fast. Women with PCOS are prone to have possibly heart attacks; therefore having a good warm-up is key. Next, you want to make sure that you are getting enough cardio to help make your heart stronger and to burn fat. Lastly, lift baby lift. Most women with PCOS think that they are going to get all big and bulky if they lift weights. However, the key is to do it the right way. You want to lift light weights with a high amount a reps. So, as an example you are doing an overhead bench press with just dumbbells. Use 2-5 pound dumbbells but do about 20 reps; not 40 pound weight and doing 10 reps; that’s where you will bulk up. Another thing with lifting weights is to give your body a day of rest for that muscle group; or a little smarter workout your whole body everyother day or 3 times a day and try to work in cardio everyday. Another great way is to use resistance bands; which are fantastic! You want muscle, because muscle burns fat! With resistance bands you can do alot of the same exercises that you would perform using regular dumbbells, which is great!

Great Workouts for PCOS:
1. Light weightlifting with high reps (muscle building)
2. Resistance Bands
3. Yoga (try to do 15 minutes everyday)
4. Zumba (great cardio, muscle building, fat burning)
5. Simple walking, briskly
6. Ride a bike
7. Hiking
8. Water Aerobics
9. Pilates
10. Sex (Yes, Sex…responsibly and perferably with your hubby! ha-ha)

Tips for a Great Workout:
1. Always stay hydrated! Ditch the Gaterade; drink WATER! Coconut Water is also a great alternative to Gaterade; add some fresh lemon and lime juice or slices to it and it’s pretty good. It’s also full of electrolytes!! But, always make sure you have fresh, clean water available.
2. Always fuel up post workout. Eat you some organic, almond butter with apples or a small chicken breast with avacado. Protein+Fat
3. Don’t over do it! Sweat and get a great workout, but don’t hurt yourself
4. Take a break if you need to. If you are breathing so hard you can’t talk; take a break.
5. Don’t let people intimidate you, they started somewhere too!

Resources:
* Free yoga poses: Yoga Journal
* Free, 100% Yoga Videos: Do Yoga With Me
* Lots of free Resistance Band Workouts: You Tube
* Find a Zumba Class in your area here: Zumba Class Finder

What do you do for your PCOS with exercise? Let me know by commenting below.

Best Wishes & Live Beautifully!

If you are interested in one on one health coaching visit me at www.hormonebalancehealthcoach.com

Classic Spinach & Hot Bacon Dressing

Dont’ you just love a good ole’ spinach and hot bacon dressing salad? I know I do, here is a healthy version of one, that just happens to be Paleo approved!

Ingredients:
* 2 cups fresh, washed baby spinach
* 1/4 cup, organic cherry tomatoes
* 2 TBS organic diced red onion
* 1 hard boiled, organic, free-range, egg
* 2 strips, organic, nitrate free, bacon
* small grilled chicken breast
For the Dressing:
                                                            * 2-3 TBS of bacon fat from your bacon for salad
* 1/4 cup EVOO
* 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
* touch of honey
* salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Cook your bacon, save the fat. Cook chicken breast and boil egg. When chicken is done, cut up into pieces, and peel and chop egg. Mix all ingredients for your dressing and let set for 20 minutes if able to incorporate flavors; toss and coat with sald and other ingredients and arrange on 2 plates or take the extras for lunch! Enjoy!

Benefits of Spinach:

 

Best Wishes & Live Beautifully!

If you are interested in one on one health coaching please visit me at www.hormonebalancehealthcoach.com

Detox of the Tropics Smoothie

Detox of the Tropics Smoothie:
* 2 cups frozen mango
* 2 tbs lucuma powder
* 2 tbs wheatgrass powder
* 1 cup organic orange juice
* 1/2 almond milk
* 1-2 tbs lime juice
* 1 c. chia gel (learn how to make below)

To make chia gel:
* 1-2 tbs chia seeds
* 1 cup water
mix together, let set for a few minutes for the chia seeds to gel up.

**Mix all ingredients of smoothie in blender and enjoy**

I love smoothies! They are a quick and easy solution for any meal when you are in a pinch. I love them even more when they are loaded with superfoods and nutrient rich foods to keep you fueled and the health benefits soaking into your body. This delish Detox of the Tropics smoothie is sure to keep your going and your energy level elevated! I hope you enjoy it!! Oh, and this does contain wheatgrass powder,which will make it green, but with the fruit in it you will not be able to taste it! Trust me!!

Live Beautifully!

If you are ever interested in one on one health coaching visit me at www.hormonebalancehealthcoach.com

Safe & Green Kitchen: Food Storage

The next element in a healthy kitchen is food storage. Everyone needs containers to store leftovers, prep food, and pack up a lunch. What are you storing those foods in? Most likely you are storing them in plastic Glade or Ziplock containers, tupperware, etc. I’ve discussed the harm that plastic can play in our lives and bodies in Part 2 ; I would really like for you to consider giving up those plastics and moving to something a little safer.

Stainless steel containers are an excellent option as they don’t leach chemicals into our food and should be chemical free themselves. Go Green In Stages has a really nice line of stainless steel containers in alot of different sizes. As well as, Life Without Plastic. Go Green in Stages; however, I like a little better for thier afforadability prices. Yes, I know that changing over all of your containers will be time consuming and a little hard on the budget. But it takes times, goes in stages! Hey Christmas is around the corner; when people ask you what you what tell them you would like some containers from Go Green in Stages or Life Without Plastic or a gift card to these places.

 

 

 

 

Glass containers are a huge recommendation by many; I like them too! However, the concern I have with glass is that it will break. I’ve noticed that the tempered glass containers don’t break, at least I haven’t broken mine yet. Alot of times now you can find glass containers and water bottles with silicone rubber cases around them to help save the container from breaking; which is a huge save! Kinetic Go Green Glasslock containers are awesome! I really like them. They are tempered glass, which makes them sturdier and they have a silicone gasket to seal in the flavor and protect food. They are non-toxic and customers are advised to remove lid before reheating food in the container because of the silicone seal.

 

 

When it comes to utensils and flatware I like bamboo, stainless steel, or true real silver. The chances of finding true real silver is pretty slim to none unless you are lucky enough to have a set that has been handed down to you generation after generation. However, it is possible to find some vintage silver from estate sales, etsy, cragislist, or even garage sales, and of course up class ritzy stores. But, for the most of us stainless in the way to go in the metal area. Bamboo is great and sturdy and can actually cut through plenty of foods. I haven’t tried cutting root veggies with bamboo before; but who knows it might work. Try and look for recycled stainless steel when you do buy it; it’s less harsh on the environment!

 

 

Live Beautifully!

If you are interested in one on one health coaching visit me at www.hormonebalancehealthcoach.com

 

Safe & Green Kitchen: Utensils

The theme for this week at Naturally Glowing is discussion on making your kitchen a safe, green, and clean place. As talked about in Safe & Green Kitchen: Cookware;  it is so important to not end your healthy journey at the food you eat, but start where you prep, cook, and store your food as well. I have a good response on the cookware article, and now we are moving onto kitchen utensils! There a couple materials we will talk about when it comes to choosing your kitchen utensils: bamboo, stainless steele, plastic, and silicone.

The most dreaded material to have in your kitchen is plastic! I know it’s cheap and sometimes you can’t afford anything but that, or a second cousin by marriage bought a set for you and your hubby and you can’t refuse it….I don’t care, get rid of it, throw it away! It’s not safe, healthy, green, or clean. Plastic contains toxins such as, phthalates and bisphenol; which are known endocrine disruptors that can leach into your food!! And people wonder why there are so many of us with illness such as PCOS, thyroid problems; a little note…if your endocrine system is messed up, your whole body’s hormones are too! Plastic also contains BPA which is a developmental, nueral,and reproductive toxin. Scientists have even linked low doses of BPA to cancers, impaired immune function, early onset puberty, obesity, and diabetes. It can be transferred from the plastic to drinks and food. Plastics that say they are BPA free still contain chemicals that are possibly toxic and might be carcinogenic. This is a a BIG NO, NO is my book and in my kitchen. No plastic here! So, toss yours too!

Next up is silicone. Silicone has become pretty popular lately, espically in the baking world. I hate making muffins, cupcakes, or mini meatloafs in a baking tin without a liner; because, it always sticks! I also hate having to buy cupcake liners everytime I bake something. They are a waste of money and a waste to put more trash in our landfills. Why spend money on something, that isn’t food or necessity, that you are just going to end up throwing away? Anyway, back to food grade silicone. Silicone is made up of silicon, which is a natural element that is found in rock and sand, and oxygen. At this time there seems to be no harm in using silicone. With its’ high heat (500*F) resistance, it doesn’t leach any chemicals into the foods. As per my research I haven’t found any forgein chemicals in silicone products; that is just my research…  However, be aware when buying silicone. Some companies use a filler, which can omit an odor in your food. Before buying silicone twist and move around the silicone, if any white shows through then it contains a filler; which not only leaves the odor in food but may not be as heat resistant as it should be. There is still little research about silicone in cooking, but seems to be ok. It is also comparable in price to plastic; so making the switch shouldn’t hurt your pocket book to much!

Thirdly, we have stainless steel. Now, I have no problem with stainless steel; it’s strong, durable, non porus. It doesn’t react with food, even acidic foods like tomato or vinegar based foods. It is well liked in the kitchen for it’s durability. Is not known to have any toxicity or chemicals present. However, as stated in Part 1: Cookware, stainless steel can sometimes contain copper; and it’s really not good. Copper can leave a metallic taste to your foods and is not desirable in the kitchen. Most cheap stainless steel will carry copper or other unsafe metal compounds in it. Pristine Planet offers some good stainless steel choices, Buy Green has a nice selection as well as Natural Home. Stainless is on my top picks!

Now, for my absolute favorite of them all, BAMBOO!! Did you know that bamboo is a member of the grass family and not the tree family? I didn’t until about 4 months ago; thought that was pretty crazy! Bamboo is also naturally anti-microbial, which means that it will stop the growth of bacteria; which also makes it a great place for the bathroom as well as a kitchen (more on the bathroom later :p ). Bamboo is also one of the strongest, yet lightest materials available; 16% stronger than maple and 33% lighter in weight compared to oak. When bamboo is harvested its natural root system spreads out and starts regenerating another plant; therefore it is also eco friendly in the sense that we are not wasting tons of trees. It only takes up to about 4 years for a bamboo tree (err grass) to reach maturity and ready to be harvested. Obviously, there are no chemicals or toxins used in bamboo products! Which makes them a great essential in the kitchen! One of my favorites is the core grip, over the sink bamboo cutting board from www.corebamboo.com. I love this company! A totally awesome thing about Core Bamboo is that they use 100% Organic grown bamboo. They also use laquer that comes from cashew trees and all of thier products meet USA and European standards. If they meet European standards then they are pretty good because Eurpean countries have awesome, strict regulations! Buy Green also has some great bamboo products!

So, when buying new kitchen utensils and tools use your judgement. First use bamboo, then stainless steel, lastly silicone, and never ever use plastic…please! If you have any recommendations, comments, or concerns leave them in the comment section below!
If you are interested in one on one health coaching please visit me at www.hormonebalancehealthcoach.com

Safe & Green Kitchen: Cookware

When it comes to healthy and holistic nutrition and lifestyle, it doesn’t just begin and end at food. Many times people, including myself, overlook the importance of the tools we use to prep, cook, and store our food in. There are so many choices; stainless, non-stick, bamboo, castiron, plastic, glass, etc. The choices are truely endless and can alot of times be a little overwhelming. I feel that knowledge of the safest cookware can be the difference between health and sickness; seriously. I will educate you on the differences in different cookware, what prep tools are the safest, what type of material to store your leftovers and such in, and the best dinningware and cutlery! Since this is a lengthy subject I’m breaking it down into a few parts. Stick with me! This stuff is truely important.

First, lets take a look at the cookware you use to cook up delish, healthy, clean, holistic, and traditional meals for you and your family. What’s better? What’s safer, healthier, less toxic? When you are shopping for cookware at a local store 9 times out of 10 the clerk or salesperson will tell you that non-stick is the best. Why? Well, because that’s what they have been told. They are told that by using non-stick that thier food wont stick and it’s healthy and safe. I asked a clerk at a Bed, Bath, and Beyond one time what her favorite was and to no surprise she said, “Non-stick of course”. When I asked her why she informed me that her boss told her it was safe, your food wouldn’t stick, and since your food wont stick you get all the healthly goodness your food has to offer and since it doesn’t stick all the nutrients stay in your food and not in your pan. Hummm? Ok, I thought; there needs to be some major education going on here, because (no offense to the clerk), but she sounded like an idiot, to me at least. How one can honestly believe that using non-stick keeps the nutrients in your food is a cry for help! I simply told her thank you for her recommendation and that I would think about it.
When you go to a store you can simply be overwhelmed by the masses of different cookware. Lets take a look at all the types that are offered. There are three different categories of cookware; reactive and less reactive. The reactive cookware is one that you want to avoid! It is the most hazardous and has compounds that actually react with food, espically acidic foods like tomatoes, that allow harmful chemicals to leach into our food! Gross! Then less reactive which is better and then non-reactive which is best!

Non-Stick or Teflon:
Non-stick and Teflon is by far the worst and most evil in cookware! The non-stick chemicals used have been linked to birth defects, liver toxicity, cancer, etc. Consumers of Teflon have even been warned to not let per birds in the kitchen while cooking with it because the fumes, smoke, and odors can cause the pet bird to become seriously sick or die; but they say it has little or no effect on humans. In my opinion if it will kill a pet bird, wont it kills a human over time and espically since you’re ingesting the food that these chemicals are being leached into? I would think so. According to the Enviromental Working Group, non-stick coatings can reach, ““reach 700 degrees Fahrenheit in as little as 3-5 minutes, releasing 15 toxic
gases and chemicals, including two carcinogens.” And according to Mother Nature Network, “At high heat the fluoropolymers used in nonstick finishes release various toxic substances, and at least one greenhouse gas. The greatest concerns surround perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA), a substance that persists in the environment and widespread use of which has made it detectable in the blood of almost all Americans, adults and newborns alike. PFOA is considered a likely carcinogen and is associated with raised levels of cholesterol and birth defects. It is known to cause testicular, pancreatic, mammary and liver tumors in rats, and workers exposed to PFOA have increased risk for cancers of the pancreas and the male reproductive tract. Additionally, overheated chemical nonstick finishes release fumes that cause an illness in humans known as polymer fume fever. The fumes are known to kill birds, and manufacturers warn against use of these pans in homes with pet birds … hence the canary in a coal mine reference.” Some pretty scary stuff! Also, on the EWG site, “Statistics reported by the Cookware Manufacturers Association indicate that 90 percent of all the aluminum cookware sold in the United States in 2001 was coated with non-stick chemicals like Teflon (Cooks Illustrated, September 2002). Chemicals and tiny, toxic Teflon particles released from heated Teflon kill household pet birds.  At least four of these chemicals never break down in the environment”.  By far Teflon will no longer find a home in my kitchen, ever again!! If you have to use Teflon and other non-stick cookware, don’t ever use metal utensils, such at whisks and spaulas, as it cause tearing of the non-stick coating and then will end up in your food. Not like it really is any better, but it’s helpful. Aluminum is no better fit either.

Stainless Steel Cookware:
Stainless steel cookware is less reactive. It’s sturdy, crack resistant and less reactive of all metals. Good quality stainless steel can sometimes be essential in your kitchen for canning or cooking acidic foods, like tomato sauce. But, beaware that cheap stainless can contain copper in the metal. A little trick you can try with your existing stainless is to mix 1 teaspoon baking soda with 1 cup water and bring to a boil, then taste the water. If there is a metallic taste then it most likely has copper or another unsafe metal compound and should not be used in your kitchen! Le Creuset has some awesome options for stainless steel, they do offer some non-stic pans, I’m not sure about these so I might avoid; your choice. I’m awaiting an answer back about what makes them non-stick.

Cast Iron Cookware:
Cast iron is known for its durability and even heat distribution. Unglazed cast iron can transfer notable amounts of iron into food, but unlike the metals that come off other types of pots and pans, iron is considered a healthy food additive by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The nonstick quality of cast
iron comes from seasoning. Seasoning is the term used for treating cast iron with oil and baking it. This fills in the porous surface of the cookware.

Enameled Cast Iron Cookware:
Enamel cast iron cookware has been used for over a century for cooking and is considered one of the best and safest cookware around. The enamel cast iron has a protective, chemical-free glaze. Enamel cast iron can withstand high heat temperatures and distributes heat through food very evenly. It’s heavy and expensive, but will literally last a lifetime. This could actually become a family hierloom, it will last that long. As long as it is properly taken care of, which can be found here.
* Le Creuset: An amazing company out of France that is the gold standard in cookware, Enameled cast iron to be exact as well as baking dishes as well. Manufactoring process found here.
* Staub: Is also made in France and has exceptional quality enamel cast iron as well.

Amazing safe Bakeware:
* Le Creuset: awesome stoneware for baking and such
* Pampered Chef: also has some nice, natural stone bakeware!

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