Tag Archives: healthy

Earth Girl Wellness – What’s a GMO?

What’s a GMO?

Written by Tina Hatcher, Earth Girl Wellness

Food manufacturers praise their products as Non-GMO. A television commercial portrays Triscuits as “Nongenemodiscuit.” So what’s with the Non-GMO trend? Is it worth our interest since most food marketing departments have long tried to lure us in with fancy wording to entice us to buy their product? Especially since many of these marketing ploys are only vain attempts to make a product inaccurately sound healthier? Earth Girl thinks the Non-GMO marketing trend is worth the added effort.

GMOs are “Genetically Modified Organisms.” Essentially natural food items (fruits and vegetables) have their genetic material altered to create a newer, “healthier” version of the food. Take corn for example. One species of corn has a piece of its genetic material taken and inserted into another species of corn to make it more resistant to drought, torrential rain, bugs, or undernourished soil. The new version of corn is then easier to grow in harsh conditions, creating higher crop production and lowering cost. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Cross-breeding of crops has been done for centuries to create similar results. So what’s so bad about that? Cross-breeding is a naturally occurring event. A farmer can put two similar breeds of corn together to make a new breed. Genetically modifying the corn is a scientific process occurring in a laboratory; two unrelated species are forced to combine. Think of it like this: You can create a new breed of dog by allowing natural puppy love to occur or you can create a “Frankenpup” by taking an eye from one and a leg from another.

As a point of debate, most of these new species are created to help bolster food supplies in challenging environments. Unfortunately, food executives have also used the technology to make a maximum amount of profit from their products. Most of the products containing GMO ingredients are of such poor quality, we shouldn’t eat them. But let’s push the point a little bit. What other ramifications can come from GMO products? Not a single GMO product can be labeled as organic and can’t really attest to the health of the nutrition or the potential harshness of the product to the land. There is not a single long term study which can validate the safety of these products. GMOs may not have dramatic effects on the current generation but can side effects show up in our children or our children’s children? Additionally, GMOs can ultimately eradicate normally occurring species of many fruits or vegetables. Cross pollination can occur across GMO farm and organic farms that are literally miles apart.

So how can you know if your food is safely free from GMOs? The most commonly genetically modified crops today are corn and soy. These are found in virtually every packaged product on the supermarket shelf! Earth Girl highly recommends putting any GMO product back on the shelf. Look for the Non-GMO Verified Green Seal of Approval and buy organic when possible. For more information on GMOs, go to The Non-GMO Project at www.nongmoproject.org.

For more info about Earth Girl Wellness, visit here.

Warm Up to Veggie-Packed Soup

When the weather outside is frightful, we could all use a cozy soup for supper. A steaming bowl of Rustic Vegetable-Beet Soup provides instant comfort.

The ease and convenience of Aunt Nellie’s pickled beets can’t be “beet”- no need to spend time peeling or pickling. This colorful mix of antioxidant-rich beets, sweet potato, and carrots joins tender zucchini to create a soup that tastes like it simmered all afternoon; but in fact, comes together in under an hour. The sweet-tangy beets add an unexpected but welcome layer of flavor to this hearty soup.

For the finishing touch, a garnish of vibrant green, lemony gremolata brightens the soup’s flavor. Garlic, lemon and parsley may seem ordinary, but they come alive when combined. Crisp flatbread makes a perfect accompaniment to this meal-in-a-bowl.

For more recipes, or to learn more about Aunt Nellie’s beets and other products, visit www.AuntNellies.com.

 

Rustic Vegetable-Beet Soup
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

1          jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Whole Pickled Beets, well drained
2          tablespoons olive oil
2          medium onions, coarsely chopped
2          medium carrots, coarsely chopped
1          medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2          large cloves garlic, minced
2          zucchini (about 5 ounces each), coarsely chopped
2          cans (about 14 ounces each) vegetable broth
1          teaspoon seasoned salt, optional
1          can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper
2          tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2          tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill

 

Gremolata:

1          tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1          tablespoon minced fresh dill
2          cloves garlic, minced
1          teaspoon grated lemon peel

Coarsely chop beets; set aside.

In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions; saute about 5 minutes or until softened. Add carrots, sweet potato and garlic. Saute 3-5 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften, stirring occasionally.

Add zucchini, broth and seasoned salt, if desired. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, about 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add chickpeas; heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper, as desired. Stir in parsley and dill. Stir in beets. Serve immediately topped with gremolata, if desired.
To make gremolata, combine all ingredients.

Nutrition information per serving (1/6 of recipe): 210 calories; 6 g fat; 6 g protein; 33 g carbohydrate; 6 g dietary fiber; 0 mg cholesterol; 2 mg iron; 727 mg sodium; 0.13 mg thiamin; 6981 IU vitamin A;  8 mg vitamin C.

 

Source: Seneca Foods

 

Meet the Maker: La Bonne Crepe

La Bonne Crepe began in 2012. Owned by Maya Ittah initially, it quickly became a hit throughout the area for the one-of-a-kind crepes inspired by Maya’s upbringing in France. Maya’s mother, Chantal, and her grandmother made crepes throughout her childhood. After moving to the United States (first to New York, then Virginia), Maya began La Bonne Crepe with the desire to share the dish she loved so much with new friends and acquaintances. In 2014, Chantal took over the business so Maya could concentrate on her studies. Today, you can find Chantal serving fresh crepes at the Blacksburg Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays every week. She also sets up at Sweet Donkey Coffee on occasion, and participates in local festivals like Go Fest.

“I want people to experience the difference that wholesome, organic ingredients offer. [Our crepes] have a lot more nutrients. This meal is going to give them energy and strength. That is my goal,” explains Chantal.

“People really like the crepes, and they enjoy watching me making them,” she adds. “They like the healthy version.”

The rich family history and connections behind this business are far from over. Chantal and Maya have plans for a brick and mortar location to offer both delicious crepes and guidance for those trying to eat healthy.

Soon, Maya will earn her Master’s degree. She will open a cafe in southwest Roanoke in September, using her knowledge of nutrition to help customers with specific conditions find food that works for them. Once the cafe opens, Chantal will join her there, still serving her healthy crepes.

Crepes, by the way, that offer something for everyone. Chantal is a traveler, and her adventures inspire creativity. She often adds cultural influences to the crepe fillings, making the experience educational and unique.

“I loved to travel when I was younger. I was fortunate to do that and learn about other cultures. My passion is to discover all the cultures and immerse myself into their traditions and languages. I enjoy what I do so much because people come to my booth from all over the world. We talk a lot, and that’s why I feel like I want to add something different to the crepes. People do [them] differently all over the world,” she says.

Stay up to date on where to find La Bonne Crepe, and the new cafe (coming soon!) by following them on Facebook.

Apps to Help You Reach Your Goals!

Whether or not you’ve gone through countless resolutions since the year began, every day is a new chance to change yourself for the better. Here’s a list of apps that can easily keep you on track for the rest of year:

For staying organized:
Try Cozi Family Organizer (IOS):
Keep the whole family on track with family calendars, shopping lists, to-dos, and journals! Anyone with an IOS device can sign into the joint account through their individual emails and send or receive notifications.

For working on getting or perfecting a job:
Try LinkedIn:
If you don’t have this one yet, what are you waiting for? LinkedIn is a portable resume that’s perfect for when you’re looking for a job, networking, or want advice in your field. You can receive notifications anywhere, that are purely career related.

To stop smoking or limit junk foods:
Try Quitter:
This app really helps to keep you motivated once you quit a habit. Whether that’s smoking or limiting eating out, you can see how long you’ve been without the habit, and just how much money you’ve saved thus far. What could be better than a healthier lifestyle and a fatter wallet?

To organize your finances:
Try mint.com Personal Finance:
With the convenience of a website and an app, you can access this one from everywhere! Once you link your account–and you can link multiple–you can manage everything from small bills to loans, credit, and retirement.

To get (and stay in!) shape:
Try Sworkit- Circuit Training Workouts:
This easily personalized app can generate home or gym workouts which can include strength training or yoga. You can set the duration of your workout and be stress free!

To eat healthier:
Try MyFitnessPal:
This app uses a fitness tracker and calorie counter to help you to lose weight. With a database of over 5 million foods, it will help you to keep a calorie in- calorie out balance. Although, this one is geared more towards the food aspect of health versus an advanced fitness tracker.

To learn a new language:
Try Duolingo:
Using short bursts of lessons throughout your use of the app, this app uses its small periods of time with memory skills to help you to develop knowledge of a new language.

To be more informed:
Try TEDTALKS:
If you want to be more educated on anything from history to politics, TedTalks are led by experts in the field who discuss their experiences, and shower their wisdom through interactive lectures. The best part is that you get to pick what you want to learn when you want to learn!

To manage stress or anxiety:
Try Pacifica:
When given attention, this app tracks and analyzes your everyday moods to help you manage stress and anxiety. It can even connect you to other applications that help you to sleep or connect with a therapist.

To do more charity/ volunteer work:
Try Volunteer Finder (IOS) / Volunteer Near You (Android):
If you’re feeling like getting involved in the community, this app helps to locate volunteer opportunities around your area and connect you to them.

So go out and make it a better year AND a better you!

 

Written by Zoë Pierson

Go Red for Women Luncheon

Join us for the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Luncheon tomorrow, May 12 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Hotel Roanoke. This luncheon is a wonderful way to learn more about how millions of women have united to raise their voices about their number one killer, heart disease. With your help, many more lives can be saved.

2016 Bella Banner Ad“I’m honored to be involved with the Go Red for Women campaign,” says Donna Littlepage, 2015-16 Go Red for Women Chair. “It is very important to educate women on the dangers of heart disease and stroke and to continue AHA’s support of research in this area.”

Find out how you can join the American Heart Association in the fight to raise awareness and save lives by attending the luncheon. Visit their website for details.

Books We Love: Aim True

Aim True, a new book by Kathryn Budig, is written for those who want total wellness to be apart of their daily routine. Kathryn is a yoga expert who has been featured in publications like Women’s Heath Magazine, Forbes, Yoga Journal, The New York Times and television shows like The Food Network and E! Entertainment. She has helped many people get their lives and bodies on the right track including Food Network star, Giada De Laurentiis!
aim true coverIn writing this new book she teamed up with Dr. Deborah Kim, a widely known holistic nutritionist. Together, these experts have put together a collection of yoga exercises, healthy recipes, tips for meditation, body-positive narratives, and DIY beauty recipes! The recipes in this book are designed to ignite a passion for cooking, while the yoga exercises are designed to make you fall in love with a healthy lifestyle. If you’re looking for a new addition to your routine, Aim True is perfect–it has all of the resources you need to get back on track and lead a happy and balanced life!

Don’t wait–Aim True is available today. Get your copy here!

Written by Kathleen Duffy

Snack Healthy!

If you have managed to stick with that New Years Resolution this long, the girls at Bella are cheering you on! However, if you’re like the rest of us and you’re still struggling with those greasy snacks calling your name, then we are here to help!
2e9eb6d6-67df-40b8-85a1-283a4f5c06f4_lWe just discovered falafel and multi-grain chips from Flamous Brands! Their mission is to create snacks that are healthy for you and also non-GMO, vegan, kosher, gluten free, and vegan. These chips contain 21 spices, herbs, vegetables, and legumes meaning that they are packed with extra flavor!
You can get these chips in four different flavors: original falafel, spicy falafel, multi-grain rosemary and thyme, and spicy fiesta! They go great with hummus or by themselves and are the perfect tasty distraction from other unhealthy snacks! So, if you’re looking for a healthy snack to jump back into that resolution or you’re keeping it going, check out Flamous Brands for yourself, and let us know what you think!

Written by Kathleen Duffy

Bella Loves: Gym Essentials

Getting up at 5 a.m. to hit the gym is… well, interesting. Especially if you aren’t used to it.
Even if you get up and manage to make it out of your door within 30 minutes, it’s very easy to forget important things–like headphones, a headband, and even shower gear!
If you read our monthly minimalism column, you’ll know that we like to simplify things to avoid this kind of mishap. That’s why we have compiled a small list of our morning essentials to get you to the gym and keep you healthy and happy throughout the day.

12750313_477394149138002_2099817502_nViolet Love Headbands
We LOVE these beautiful headbands and their “No Headache–No Slip” guarantee. Choose between two styles–sportswear and premier performance wear. The sportswear collection takes a more tailored, upscale, and specialty design approach to casual wear while keeping the laidback, bohemian vibe. The performance collection brings a spiced up take on core fitness wear in luxurious and durable fabrics offered in unique specialty prints and bright colors. Check them out at www.violetloveheadbands.com.

Wraps Headphones
lookbooknaturalWraps wristband headphones make it easy to transport your headphones without worrying about the tangled mess they often become in the bottom of your purse or gym bag. Some even come with microphones, making it easy and convenient to answer the phone while you are working. When they aren’t in use, simply wrap the headphones around your wrist and attach them until you need them again. They ship from Europe, but they are definitely worth it! Go to www.mywraps.com for more information.

packtowl_personal_m_indigoPacktowls
As featured in our March issue, Packtowls are perfect for when you want to maximize space in your bathroom. They also work really well for the days that you shower at the gym. Packtowls are designed to dry quickly. Once they are dry, you can roll them up and store them in their own bag. Purchase yours at Walkabout Outfitter in downtown Roanoke or on Amazon.

 

What are some of your go-to products for making life more simple in the morning? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

 

Written by Hayleigh Worgan