Category Archives: Healthy Living

Should You Be Drinking Yerba Mate?

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

bottle of yerba mate

Yerba mate is suddenly everywhere. From the check-out aisle at Whole Foods to the tea selection at your favorite café, “mate” is taking North America by storm.

A species of holly native to areas in Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay and southern Brazil, Ilex paraguariensis, the Latin name for the yerba mate shrub, grows surprisingly tall to about 45 feet (15 meters). The leaves are dried, sold in tea bags or in bulk, and steeped in similar fashion.

Served hot, cold or as an energy shot, yerba mate is considered to be the new coffee by its fans, who expound its (allegedly) jitter-free health benefits for weight loss, headaches, depression, and fatigue.

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Response to Dr. Daniel’s Report on Fermented Cod Liver Oil

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

cod liver oil off the spoon

After initial review of Kaayla Daniel PhD’s report on Green Pasture Products, I felt it necessary to state my current position as a consumer and as a Board member of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

I know it is important to many of you that I weigh in on this issue since it is potentially so upsetting to those who have been using Green Pasture Products and giving them to your children like I have for years.

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Heirloom Wheat: Hybridized or Not?

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

heirloom wheat

It seems a lot of people are experimenting with the ancient wheat known as einkorn, the only completely nonhybridized form of wheat left on Planet Earth. This is wonderful, as reviving the foods and preparation methods of our healthy ancestors is the most basic key to recovering wellness in this modern age filled with nutritional half truths.

The kitchen is where it’s at folks from a prevention and health maintenance perspective. Unfortunately, there seems to be quite a bit of confusion pertaining specifically to the many varieties of wheat available to home bakers and their hybridization or lack thereof when it involves heirloom wheat.

For example, this comment below on an article about the good gluten in einkorn pertained to the heirloom variety known as White Sonora Wheat. This variety was introduced by a Jesuit priest name Eusebio Francisco Kino in the 1700’s in the Sonoran region of Mexico and Southern Arizona. It was a staple for the western United States and particularly California for almost 200 years. It is also one of the oldest surviving heirloom wheat varieties in the world.

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The Good Gluten You Can Probably Eat Just Fine

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

gluten can be good

If you’ve been interested in alternative health for any length of time, you have probably realized that a black and white approach to wellness is a recipe for disaster.

Successful health recovery is typically like the slow, methodical peeling of an onion with persistent, consistent lifestyle modifications to achieve incremental improvements. This takes patience, time, and determination as opposed to the band-aid approach of popping a handful of vitamins each day in a (futile) attempt to magically make up for a lousy diet, lack of quality sleep, or a stress filled home or work environment. While supplement popping might help somewhat in the short term and buy you some time to make impactful lifestyle changes, over the long haul it won’t make much of a difference.

This is because health silver bullets are nonexistent in my experience as a Nutrition Educator for the past 20+ years (are you listening supplement companies?). Furthermore, a food that might trigger symptoms for one person might be beneficial for another. As a simple example, tomatoes contribute to problems with chronic pain and digestive issues for those individuals with a nightshade sensitivity. For most people, however, tomatoes and products containing them are just fine to eat.

The same can be said for gluten, a complex and difficult to digest plant protein present in some grain based foods. Some people can eat gluten with no symptoms while others bloat up within minutes of a single bite. Still others suffer more insidious gluten related symptoms that result in slow development of autoimmune disease over time. This would be the case for those with Celiac disease.

Despite the problems that many are having with gluten today, it would be a mistake to say that all gluten is bad.

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Maple Syrup Truths Revealed: Time to Switch Brands?

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

the truth about maple syrup production methods

Maple syrup is without a doubt one of the best and most traditional sweeteners that is easily available today. Supermarkets, buying clubs and healthfood stores alike typically stock a wide variety of brands with consumers increasingly favoring its simple, whole sweetness over genetically modified (GMO) corn syrup or sugar derived synthetic syrups that can cause an acne breakout or a nasty canker sore nearly as fast as you can finish a stack of pancakes at the local diner.

Maple syrup has consistently played an integral part of the economies of North America. Native Americans originally taught the early European settlers how to tap maple trees and boil down the sap to make this sweetener which comes in a variety of hues, with the darker versions the richest tasting and most mineral loaded.

Since maple syrup is a completely natural product that is derived from trees that are decades old in most cases and rarely if ever sprayed, I’ve always assumed that conventional maple syrup is basically the same as organic. Why pay more for maple syrup that has the organic label which is an expensive certification for producers to procure?

I know many consumers who have made the same mistake.

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