OG MASTA BLASTA IN DA KITCHEN

tomatobarLearn to love REAL food while mastering your creative culinary experience. It’s as easy as “Prep and Play!” Sourcing fresh food options, while omitting processed picks, helps stock your kitchen with solutions to the dreaded question, “what’s to eat?”

Treat your fresh food picks with the gourmet goodness recognition they deserve. The faster you prep, the more options you will have jump out at you when surfing for snack, or entrée options. Below are a few quick tips to help guide you to becoming an OG Master Blaster.

  • Stay away from whole grains that are not sprouted (even if it says “organic”). Wheat is especially unhealthy, so try gluten free options including brown rice, organic corn and/or almond and coconut flour based eatable options.
  • The animal products (beef, lamb, game, organ meats, poultry and eggs) that you consume should come from free-range, pasture-fed animals. Buying locally ensures sure you are getting naturally raised, grass fed products from local businesses (farmers) whose livelihood depends on producing quality results for. If these are unavailable, try to buy organic products at the store.
  • Look for wild caught seafood. Eating wild caught fish and shellfish from unpolluted waters, especially high fat fish like wild caught salmon, is healthier for humans AND the environment. (Avoid farm raised if at all possible.) Wild salmon have higher levels of Omega 3 fatty acids than farm raised salmon. Farm raised fish and shrimp are fed diets of genetically engineered grain products, foods that are not normal and increase the omega-6 fatty acids in the final product. Increasing your intake of Omega 3 fatty acids offsets the high levels of Omega 6 fats in the standard American diet.

Chop Tips

  • Save time by prep cooking weekday meals on the weekend. Boil eggs, cook brown rice, grill, slow cook, or roast meats and roots (including potatoes, beets, yams). These will make tasty meal components that will be easy to build satisfying sandwiches, soups, salads, snacks and entrees during the week. If you don’t have time on the weekend either, spend an evening prepping the basics ready for quick evening meals and healthy snacks (instead of reaching for cheap and easy chips, etc.) chop fruits and veggies into bite-sizes, simmer or broil “happy” meats (free-range, organically fed).
  • Cook in stainless steel, cast iron, glass, stoneware, or good quality enamel. Cooking acidic foods in aluminum will result in a metallic taste in the food, and could result in heavy metal poisoning, which affects the kidneys. In addition, Teflon should not be heated to more than 500 degrees as it emits toxic gases at higher temps.
  • Although steaming or sautéing foods is healthy, roasting is the BOMB! Delicious and nutritious, roasting veggies means more flavor and nutrients since there is leaching by steam or boiling water, and whatever you roast becomes instantly delicious as the cellular walls soften and release that full sweet essence of veggie sweetness…especially when smothered with a quality oil.
  • If you use a microwave, make sure you cook the food in a glass container. Transfer any food stored in plastic to a glass or ceramic container first.
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SOY – THE NATURAL BREAST AUGMENTATION

how-to-make-your-boobs-grow-faster-300x225While crafting the message about the importance of leafy greens, I crossed the age-old debate about soy  – yay or nay on the REAL food and wellness  chart? This mamacita often wonders how many vegetarian and vegan ladies are still voluntarily eating soy while involuntarily walking around with enormous breasts [wtf?]! No matter the reason when the truth is stacked upon us that we have been fed a cupful of soy latte lies.

Ask any holistic practitioner about soy products, and they will give you the truth about soy including links and information from legitimate sources [read: non-government funded studies] such as the non-profit organization Weston A. Price Foundation. Ask any traditional general practitioner [or anyone affiliated with the AMA] and they will tell you the studies are inconclusive with establishing a relationship between cancers (specifically breast) and the consumption of soy. The one factor that both sides agree on is that soy is a phytoestrogen, the rest of the factors are left for us to decipher.

I don’t know about most women, but in a previous lifetime with western medicine I never had a discussion with my OB GYN on the importance of balancing hormones – especially after the body starts to lose progesterone around the age of 35. This loss of progesterone of course means higher amounts of estrogen often linked to breast cancer, large tender breasts, overly intense periods, and chin hairs [yes, that is the culprit ladies].

Yet because soy has seemingly been well programmed into the political side of American food and culture, many vegan and vegetarian women are being set up for painful aging as [non-fermented] soy has been linked to not only cancer but also stimulated growth of estrogen-dependent tumors, thyroid problems, deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D [both needed for healthy bones], and weakening of the immune system. The phytic acid in soy foods also results in reduced bio-availabilty of iron and zinc which are required for the health and development of the brain and nervous system. So why is soy still so prevalent in our “non meat” sector of the food political chain? The answer is simple: cash crop.

Now, my personal theory is that the soy craze caught on as we Gen X’ers were leaving high school and looking to change an already ailing global society. Being healthy became synonymous with eating non-meat items in the 1990’s as the world population was starting to look towards equality [read: anti-globalism movement], and had become mindful about global issues including the inhumane practices of meat production. Sadly, the government and corporations pounced on this movement and sent out their marketing minions to pave the way for the “eat healthy” revolution…including adding soy to their cash crop portfolio.

So throw out your vegan pressed propaganda ladies, and hike up your big girl boots, because this is just one of many social myths that you will have to decipher on your way up the bumpy path of the great awakening. Our bodies are our temples and as we purify ourselves and our universe, we need to follow the truths and bypass supporting lies. I haven’t even touched on the “banes of grains” of the flawed of the legendary USDA chart. We’ll save that for next time.

MASTERING YOUR CREATIVE CUCCINA

Five Salt MealWhat’s the secret to creating nutritious and delicious weekday meals? Flavor…and working with fresh farm-to-fork quality basics. Say “bye-bye” to recipe cards and over glorified (and processed) “gourmet” boxed food. This season’s hottest movement is REAL – welcome to the delectable world of creative cuccina.

Imagine that your kitchen is a blank canvas, utensils are your tools, and every single item you bring into your pantry or icebox is a beautiful bright paint color waiting to blend effortlessly together. Just like painting with a blank canvas (versus paint by numbers) the sky is the limit and your imagination is the catalyst. Removing restrictions (i.e. recipes) and working with what you have allows for a new approach in the kitchen – fun and flavorful – especially with local seasonal produce.

Just DO IT!

eatAt the end of the day no one is more accountable and responsible than you for how you act and feel. Nutrient-dense, mineral-intense foods are the fuel we need to stay energized, brain fog-free, and overall feeling great. The catch is that in order to stay on top of our game (AND treat our bodies as the sacred temple that they are), processed foods need to be kicked to the curb and replaced with the OG (organic goodness) that can only be found in nature – not from a manufacturing plant.

It’s true that boxed convenience tastes great and supplies our hungry bellies with substance to keep going, but at what cost? Is cheaper really better? Do you really understand what the usual suspects found on food labels are and how they will affect you down the line? Without going in-depth of the truthful phrase “eat to live…live to eat” (also a conversation to be had with a Holistic Practioner), I proudly announce that the creative cuccina approach will keep your taste buds happy while almost completely eliminating that dreadful question “what’s for dinner”.

The Creative Approach

Creative cuccina is simple approach that includes a prepping regiment that is most effective when paired with quality ingredients found at your local COOP, farmers market or local natural foods grocer. This approach also supports the lost art of self-sufficiency that is engrained in the Farm-to-Fork movement. Self-sufficiency brings out the creative genius while learning how to master new tasks…including becoming an impressive force in the kitchen.

ecoinactionThe secret to implementing creative cuccina is to become your own personal prep chef. You don’t have to have culinary experience to make this happen, just 4-5 hours, a few kitchen appliances, and a great attitude (libations can sometimes help!). If possible, the best time to make this happen is after a trip to the market to ensure that you’ll never have to scrape wilted greens off the bottom of your fridge again. When prepping your food after purchasing you can quickly and effortlessly chop, boil, bake your way to a fridge filled with options to whip together meals all week long. The key is to keep it simple when assembling so that the natural OG flavors come alive in less than 30 minutes. That’s right, one afternoon of prepping means easy peas-y gourmet meals that will impress even your worst critic (you, of course!)

DIG THAT DEHYDRATION

TSISG00ZFood Dehydration is the oldest form of food preservation, but is slated to be the hottest trend of tomorrow. Forget fighting zombies for savaged scraps of Twinkies and Wonder bread — knowing how to dehydrate food will save your cheeky behind.

Food dehydration is safe because water is removed from the food, and is an excellent DIY basic for the future while saving money in the meantime. Dehydration is a passive activity that on average takes vegetables 6-16 hours (fruit 12-48 hours) to dry. Food dehydration is also an excellent skill to know when rations are low  and beasts and looters are plentiful – not to mention you’ll have more friends to watch your back when you entertain them with a dried fruit salad and squirrel jerky!

DEHYDRATION METHODS:

Sun Drying: You will need three to four sunny days of at least 100 degrees in a row. And if you surviving in a sunny coastal climate – Mamacita says “you are a smart one,” and “be sure to use vinegar and lemon juice to clean off your simmering rock.”

Oven Drying: Of course you can try this option fairly easily today, but natural gas may not be around tomorrow. So no matter if you’re using a conventional oven, or you’ve designed a Dutch oven for the fire pit – keep the temp (at the minimum) 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and leave ventilation for constant air flow.

Prepping Produce
All vegetables except onions and peppers, and mushrooms should be washed, sliced, and blanched. Dry vegetables in single layers on trays. Depending of drying conditions, drying times make take longer. Dry vegetables at 130-degrees Fahrenheit.

* Beans, green: Stem and break beans into 1-inch pieces. Blanch. Dry 6-12 hours until brittle.
* Beets: Cook and peel beets. Cut into 1/4-inch pieces. Dry 3-10 hours until leathery.
* Broccoli: Cut and dry 4-10 hours.
* Carrots: Peel, slice or shred. Dry 6-12 hours until almost brittle.
* Cauliflower: Cut and dry 6-14 hours.
* Corn: Cut corn off cob after blanching and dry 6-12 hours until brittle.
* Mushrooms: Brush off, don’t wash. Dry at 90 degrees for 3 hours, and then 125 degrees for the remaining drying time. Dry 4-10 hours until brittle.
* Onions: Slice 1/4-inch thick. Dry 6-12 hours until crisp.
* Peas: Dry 5-14 hours until brittle.
* Peppers, sweet: Remove seeds and chop. Dry 5-12 hours until leathery.
* Potatoes: Slice 1/8-inch thick. Dry 6-12 hours until crisp.
* Tomatoes: Dip in boiling water to loosen skins, peel, slice or quarter. Dry 6-12 hours until crisp.
* Zucchini: Slice 1/8-inch thick and dry 5-10 hours until brittle.

The Drying Process – Fruits and Veggies

Fruits and veggies should be dehydrated between 120 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Begin drying your food at higher temperatures, and then turn the temperature down after the first hour or so (toaster ovens are the easiest and most efficient appliance). The last hour or so of drying time should be turned down on a lower setting. If using a conventional oven, turn to lowest setting (usually 250 degrees Fahrenheit), crack open door and place fan on side to keep temp low and breeze dry. Turn the food and rotate the trays while the food is drying (this includes in the sun).

When drying food, its best not to keep temperatures too low or too high. Temperatures too low may result in the growth of bacteria on the food. Temperatures too high will result in the food being cooked instead of dried. Food that is under-dried will spoil, and food that is over-dried will lose its flavor and nutritive value.

You will know your food is dried when you touch it, and it is leathery with no pockets of moisture. You can test fruit by tearing a piece in half. If you see moisture beads along the tear, it is not dry enough. Meat should be tough, but shouldn’t snap apart. Vegetables should also be tough but can also be crisp.

The Drying Process – Meats

Meats should be dried at 145-150 degrees Fahrenheit. Jerky should dry between 6-20 hours until pliable, but not brittle. Wipe fat off of the jerky while it is drying. Jerky does not store as long as fruits and vegetables.

To aid in the curing of jerky, meat must be marinated in salt and spices. The “OG” pioneers used 1 1/2 cups pickling salt to 1 gallon of water and soaked the meat strips in this for a couple of days. As an alternative to soaking, they also rubbed the meat with salt and spices (like garlic and pepper) before drying. The following is a quick and easy marinade:

1 C. fresh tomato puree
1/2 C. vinegar
1/4 C. brown sugar
3 T. Bragg’s Amino Acids
2 t. dry mustard
1 t. natural salt
1/2 t. pepper

Storing the Stash
Remember this key tip when storing your substances: moisture should not be allowed to enter the container. Dried food absorbs moisture from the air, so the storage container must be airtight. Jars and reseal able glass containers are the safest bet. If storing fruit leather, wrap in wax paper and store in another airtight container. Containers of dried food need to be stored in a cool, dark, dry place (60 degrees Fahrenheit – cellar conditions).

Learning to dehydrate food is also a great way to stay on a budget, maximize usage of seasonal organic produce, and ensure you always have the fresh flavors you love packed away in the pantry. Enjoy!

THE WONDER [less] WORLD OF BREAD

strange-weird-funny-pictures-of_bread-glovesBread is everywhere – in every meal and snack – but most bread options these days bare little to no resemblance to the “daily bread” from history. Just as with other processed foods, most breads (including many “whole wheat” options) contain questionable components that are unnecessary and do not add to human health whatsoever. Add in GMO wheat and you have a few more uphill health battles to conquer including an ongoing “bread” addiction that pulls you away from consuming the fresh foods [intended for humans to eat]. In fact there is no mystery as to why many people are now going gluten-free and substituting “clean carbs” such as organic brown rice, steel-cut oatmeal, and millet for loaves of “pain” – you just look and feel better! But if you must have your daily bread, here’s a few compounds to veer away from when scoping out the labels in the bread isle.

For starters, most bread options have  two primary (and toxic) chemicals used in the bleaching and aging of flour that living beings in general should steer clear of: Potassium Bromate and Chlorine Dioxide.

Potassium Bromate: Potassium Bromate is a carcinogenic that competes with iodine in the body, especially when an iodine deficiency is present. It is linked to kidney and thyroid tumors in test animals. It has been banned from use in food products in Europe, as well as the United Kingdom in 1990, and Canada in 1994, and most other countries. It was banned in Sri Lanka in 2001 and China in 2005. It is also banned in Nigeria, Brazil and Peru. However, it has not been banned in the United States. The FDA sanctioned the use of bromate before the Delaney clause of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act went into effect in 1958 — which bans carcinogenic substances — so that it is more difficult for it to now be banned. Instead, since 1991 the FDA has urged bakers to voluntarily stop using it.

Chlorine dioxide: a basic disinfectant and bleaching agent. No studies have been done on safety. Some believe it is actually helpful as an anti-viral agent when taken internally.

Other “substances” commonly found in most manufactured breads include:

Agar
A thickening and stabilizing agent made from seaweed. Can cause allergic reactions but generally safe.

Ammonium Sulfate
Ammonium salt. Used as yeast food and dough conditioner. Fatal to rats in large doses.

Azodicarbonmide
A bleaching and maturing additive for flour. A number of reports have been published of individual workers alleging asthma induced by exposure to azodicarbonamide. May also be a skin irritant.

Calcium Sulfate
Also known as Plaster of Paris, this substance is used as a firming additive, yeast food, and dough conditioner. It is also used in cement, wall plaster and insecticides. Because is absorbs liquid and hardens quickly, can cause intestinal obstructions when ingested.

Fumaric Acid
An acidic agent and antioxidant.

Guar Gum
A thickening agent made from cyamopsis tetragonolobus, a plant of Indian origin. FDA says it’s safe in small amounts. Dangerous when used in weight loss products. It expands when wet and produces a feeling of fullness, but can also block the esophagus and stomach valves.

Margarine
The process of making margarine includes using a solvent called hexane. Hexane is a toxic and volatile chemical made from crude oil.

Milk Protein Concentrate
This substance has a shady origin – the dried leftovers of dairy processing from all over the world are mixed together and generically called MPC. Big food processing companies save money by buying this cheap imported MPC rather than paying a fair price to U.S. dairy farmers. Food processors are petitioning the FDA to change the definition of milk, so they can list the liquid form of MPC as “milk” on product labels.

Preservatives
There are three commonly listed:
* Calcium propionate: which is a mold inhibitor, and is also used as an anti-fungal medication.
* Potassium sorbate: a mold and yeast inhibitor that can cause irritation of skin.
* Tocopherols: a form of vitamin E. Used as antioxidant and rancidity retardant.

Propylene Glycol
Prevents discoloration during storage. Large doses have been reported to cause central nervous system depression and kidney changes in test animals.

Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate
An acidic agent used in leavening flour. FDA says its safe.

Sodium Hexametaphosphate
An emulsifier, a sequestering agent, and texturizer. Prevents scale formation and corrosion, and acts to stabilize product and prevent changes in appearance and texture. May cause respiratory tract irritation. Symptoms may include coughing and shortness of breath. Some individuals may experience an allergic reaction to the ingestion of sodium hexametaphosphate that may produce mild chest pain. Also linked to pancreatic cancer in continual doses.

Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate
A form of lactic acid. It is caustic in concentrated solutions.

Sugar
Not toxic in a poisonous sense, but sugar molecules are 50% fructose, and fructose has been linked to health conditions such as metabolic syndrome and high blood pressure.

Titanium Dioxide Color
A white pigment used in foods and industrial products.

Xanthan Gum
Thickening agent made from corn sugar.

GETTING REAL WITH FOOD

REAL GoodModern diets consist of over-processed, lifeless foods that produce little enzyme activity and contain little or no fibrous material.  Simply put, we are eating devitalized foods that are not fresh, with fewer nutrients. Substituting processed foods for REAL food options is quickly becoming the link to physical AND mental dehabilitating diseases and chronic conditions such as obesity, lowered IQ and sexual dysfunction – just to name a few of the obvious side effects. Without the nutrition-dense, mineral-intense fuel that the body craves, we collectively drop the bar in life. Have you noticed the uptick in society’s downtrodden nature the past decade or so?

The current average American diet consists of eating lots of chemicals like coloring agents, artificial flavors and preservatives that can make the food appear more attractive and taste fresher.  Even non-processed foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, whole grains and meats often contain chemical residues from pesticides, herbicides, hormones and other products used to make them grow.  All of these substances reduce the amount of Vitamin E available for biochemical and physiological processes.

There are forty nutrients that cannot be made in the body.  They are essential fatty acid, 15 vitamins, 14 minerals, and 10 amino acids.  Collectively these forty nutrients are spoken of as the body’s requirements. From these our bodies synthesized an estimated 10,000 different compounds essential to the maintenance of health.  All the forty nutrients work together. Therefore, the lack of any one might result in the underproduction of hundreds of these essential compounds.

Ergo the Enzyme

Food that has been processed lacks major enzymes.  Every metabolic function in our body and every chemical reaction that keeps us healthy are helped by enzymes.

Without enzymes there is no life.   Enzymes run the body.  Every day your body burns enzymes to run our organs like the heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, as well as the trillions of individual cells that carry on life.  Those enzymes need to be replaced as the body uses them up.

An enzyme acts as a catalyst, which makes something work more efficiently. For example, the oil in your automobile engine is a catalyst. Although your engine runs on gasoline, how efficient would it run without oil?

Your body re-supplies enzymes by manufacturing them or by receiving them from an outside source.  They come from raw foods – vegetables, fruits, and even meat.  They can be converted for bodily needs. When there aren’t enough enzymes available on a daily basis, your body begins to cut back from various bodily functions.  For instance, hair may become dry, nails may crack and skin may become dry – giving the appearance of an older person.   Then more critical, the liver will not be able to handle the excretion of waste products.

Fifty percent of all enzymes burned by the body are used in digesting our food.  When insufficient enzymes are available for the digestion process the body steals energy (enzymes) from other bodily functions.  Without these enzymes, due to the lack of them in the food we eat, the average person only digests about 30 to 70% of what they eat.

Processing takes a lot of nutrients out of the nutrient rich foods.

Processed food is made from REAL food that has been put through devitalizing chemical processes and then is infused with chemicals and preservatives. Beef jerky, canned tea, jam, hot dogs, and low-fat yogurt with sugar or aspartame are a few examples of processed food.

Processed foods are also fortified with synthetics. Most of the pantothenic acid, folic acid, biotin, cholin, inositol, vitamins B6 and E are discarded in the milling of breads and the refining of flour for cereals. To make up for the loss of nutrients during processing, synthetic vitamins and minerals are added.  Although helpful, these synthetics are not as healthy as their natural counterparts.  The amounts of vitamins returned in “enriched” flour are far less than the quantity that naturally occurs.

All the natural fiber, such as grain peels, are also removed in the refining stages. Because of this the diet ends up poor in fiber, digestion is slow and the waste materials stay in the body longer.  This sets up the perfect condition for toxic materials to form.

Processed foods and most all packaged foods also do not contain live enzymes. When any food is heated over 112 degrees Fahrenheit, the live enzyme activity is destroyed. Missing nutrients, discarded in processing and refining foods, allow illnesses to develop.  Research shows that disease produced by a combination of deficiencies can be corrected when all nutrients are supplied.

The bottom line is that when we put foods that are void of adequate nutrition and void of any enzymes into our body, we eventually run down. The destruction of live enzymes does not permit our food to be thoroughly digested. Then our immune system becomes weakened, and we develop degenerative diseases.

Nutrition and Output – What’s Your ROI?

Non-foods have one thing in common; it costs your body a great deal more to digest, absorb, and eliminate them than they offer your body in nutritional value – an extremely poor return on your investment that leaves your body sluggish and depleted.

Our ancestors preserved foods naturally, using salt, fermentation, and sun drying. Food processing has evolved away from these simple practices into more complicated and dubious methods. Today, nearly six thousand additives and chemicals are used by food companies to process our food. Many of them can have a devastating effect on our health. But there is one simple answer to avoiding these tainted treats at all time – shop mindfully. Organic, whole foods can be readily found at local farmers markets, natural food stores, COOP’s, and even your neighbor’s backyard. There’s no reason to fret over GMO’s when you are sourcing places of good intent while grabbing your weekly goods. Not only are there specific rules and regulations to being a vendor, or having a retail product at these markets, but these are also customer quality backed establishments. A savvy [and very saucy] crew of customers frequent these locations, so if there is any “whole foods, half truths” going on, these locally supported businesses will often lose the heart of their business – knowledgeable and caring customers.

So the next time you tell yourself “I’m just having a few chips,” or “this is the last time I buy this frozen cheesecake,” remember to ask your body what it thinks. Your taste buds may be easily manipulated by synthesized flavors, but your body will always crave what’s best for it. That’s called evolution my friends!

OY – SAY NO TO SOY!

soybeansNatural soybeans taste horrible – it’s Mother Nature’s way of warning humans about the dangers of soy. In order to make soy products edible, soy manufacturers have to add large amounts of sugar, MSG and other flavorings and spices. The additives are in addition to the lack of proper processing of soy, which naturally can be harmful to a balanced system.

Almost 90% of the soybean crop in the US is genetically engineered, and hundreds of studies link soy consumption to all sorts of health issues including cancer (especially in women). The phytates in soybeans are extremely resistant to neutralization, and have been linked to malnutrition and growth problems, especially when soya is added to infant formulas.

Soy also contains goitrogens, which depress thyroid functions, and phytic acid, which hinders the body’s ability to absorb proteins, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. In general, it is an enzyme inhibitor. Soy (and artificial sweeteners) also weaken the immune system. The immune system is one of the keys to healing illness. Therefore, the more we can support immune related health the better.

The key is to cut out all soy products except fermented soy. Miso, tempeh and soy sauce are made for our consumption.

The good – Soy for humans.

Miso

Fermented soybean paste, used in soups and sauces. Rich in probiotics, good bacteria that aid vitamin absorption. Miso is high in sodium but is considered one of the healthiest soy products.

Tempeh

Whole soybeans pressed into loaves, which are then fermented. Often used as a meat substitute. Tempeh is rich in B vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids.

The bad and ugly of Soy the “white man” way (i.e. cutting corners for profit)

Edamame

Whole soybeans, commonly boiled in the pod and eaten as a snack. Most commercial edamame has been preheated to make digestion easier, but it still contains antinutrients which are counterproductive to natural absorption.

Fast Food

A source of hidden soy. Processed soy proteins extend some burgers and chicken (nuggets, patties, even ‘grilled breasts’). Buns contain soy oil and to a lesser extent soy flour and lecithin. Soy oil also appears in dressings and dips, in American ‘cheese,’ and as the No. 2 ingredient in fries. There’s even soy in Big Mac’s secret sauce: Soybean oil nets top billing.

Soybean oil and soy flour

Soybeans are full of natural toxins that leach minerals from the body. In addition, soy crops are usually genetically engineered to withstand heavy applications of pesticides. It follows that the products of these crops carry pesticide residue with them. The process of making vegetable oils such as soybean oil uses several toxic chemicals.

Soybean Oil

To extract oil, soybeans are superheated, ground, pressed, mixed with chemicals, and washed in a centrifuge. Soybean oil accounts for 80 percent of all liquid oils consumed annually in the United States.

Soy Milk

A processed beverage made of ground soybeans mixed with water and boiled, which removes some toxins. Sugar is added to improve flavor. An eight-ounce serving contains up to 35 milligrams of isoflavones, which may change estrogen levels and hormonal function.

Snack Food

Highly processed, a source of trans fat. Check your labels: Potato chips, tortilla crisps, and many other deep-fried things have been cooked in soy oil—straight up or partially hydrogenated.

Tofu

Soy milk, curdled and pressed into cubes of varying firmness. Often used as meat substitute. A non-fermented product, tofu contains antinutrients, which can block absorption of essential minerals.

The great part of kicking soy is that you still have awesome options that are much more tastier AND more beneficial for your purdy little body. Almond and rice milk are delicious and nutritious in smoothies, soups, and drinks. Vegan’s have many more tasty protein options [than tofu] with sprouted legumes, mushrooms, almonds, and avocados just to name a few!