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Weighing In

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Smart Supplements Do you need more vitamin C? page 36

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Life happens.

But Kyo-Dophilus® is always there for me and my family. When stress, travel, icky weather and antibiotics bring on the sniffles and intestinal yuckiness, our balance of good and bad bacteria is thrown off.* When I think that 70 percent of the immune system is in our digestive tract, that means keeping our immune system strong partly comes down to making sure we’re supporting our intestinal health as well. That’s why probiotics are so important.* I take Kyo-Dophilus, a heat-resistant blend of beneficial bacteria shown to support healthy digestion and a strong immune system. It’s guaranteed stable at the time of consumption so I know we are getting live and active cultures. And because it doesn’t need to be refrigerated, it’s as convenient as it is effective.*

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tasteforlife

APRIL 2017

®

40

18

Healing with Mushrooms How they strengthen immunity.

28

On Fasting

The latest research and techniques.

departments

18 25

8 Editor’s Note 13 News Bites

Resveratrol and metabolism • Exercise for arthritis • Eating for weight loss • More

25 Weighing In

Green tea may be a dieter’s best friend.

33 Herbal Healers

Preventing UTIs, naturally.

Don’t miss our annual buyorganic! special section—we’re celebrating Earth Day with homemade baby food recipes, an exploration of organic composting, and more! page 41

36 Smart Supplements

Do you need more vitamin C?

38 Hot Products 40 Gluten Free Focus

Pretzels, from savory to sweet.

For more health & wellness resources visit

tasteforlife.com

www.

www.facebook.com/tasteforlifemag

www.pinterest.com/tasteforlife

@TasteforLife

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Products advertised or mentioned in this magazine may not be available in all locations.

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EDITOR’S NOTE

Timing Is Everything If you’re anything like me, you sometimes have a hard time staying current on certain issues—even ones you care deeply about. Just living a regular life can get in the way! That’s one of the reasons I was grateful to edit articles in this month’s edition that covered topics I’d been curious about. I was interested in learning more about the science behind the health benefits of intermittent fasting (page 28) and the damage one-use plastic is doing to our oceans (page twelve of our special Buy Organic! section at the back of the magazine). As a relatively new homeowner, I also want to improve our compost pile (page twenty of the Buy Organic! section), which is currently just a heap of rotting organic materials out by the shed. I’d like to thank all of our readers, both of our print magazine and our online site, who participated in our January Healthy Resolutions contest. We were happy to send out gift packages filled with more than $500 worth of natural products to each of our winners across the country. Some of them were new in their resolve to improve their lives, others had started some amazing journeys in 2016, and we wanted to encourage their continued progress. Winners included a breast cancer survivor determined to join her local Dragon Diva group, a dragon boat racing team made up of all breast cancer survivors, and a woman who had lost more than 90 pounds. It’s easy to get into a rut when it comes to how we treat ourselves. Maybe today is the day you say, “Enough. I can and will do better.” In the end, caring for yourself is the ultimate act of love—not just for yourself, but for all the people who care about you. If you need some encouragement, enter our weekly Wednesday giveaways at http://www.tasteforlife.com/ giveaway-wednesday. Some exciting products could soon be on their way to you. Good luck!

tasteforlife

®

Chief Content Officer and Strategist Lynn Tryba (Lynn.Tryba@TasteforLife.com) Managing Editor Donna Moxley Contributing Editors Lisa Fabian, Rich Wallace Editorial Assistant Kelli Ann Wilson Art Director Michelle Knapp Custom Graphics Manager Donna Sweeney Business Development Director Amy Pierce Customer Service: 800-677-8847 CustomerService@TasteforLife.com Client Services Director - Retail Judy Gagne (x128) Client Services Director Advertising & Digital Ashley Dunk (x190) Western Brand Promotions Director Shannon Dunn-Delgado 415-382-1665 Group Brand Promotions Director Bob Mucci 978-255-2062 Executive Director of Retail Sales and Marketing Anna Johnston (Anna.Johnston@TasteforLife.com) Retail Account Managers Kim Willard, Ola Lau Founder and Chief Executive Officer T. James Connell

Editorial Advisory Board

Seth J. Baum, MD, author, Age Strong Live Long Hyla Cass, MD, author, Supplement Your Prescription James A. Duke, PhD, 2000 distinguished economic botanist; author, CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs and 30 other titles Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, author of The Fat Flush Plan and 29 other health and nutrition titles Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG), registered clinical herbalist, health journalist, and author of Body into Balance Clare Hasler, PhD, MBA, advisor, Dietary Supplement Education Alliance; executive director, Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science Tori Hudson, ND, professor, National College of Naturopathic Medicine and Bastyr University Christina Pirello, MS, chef/ host, Christina Cooks Sidney Sudberg, DC, LAc, herbalist (AHG) Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of best-selling books on integrative medicine Roy Upton, cofounder and vice president, American Herbalists Guild; executive director, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia Taste for Life® (ISSN 1521-2904) is published monthly by CCI, 149 Emerald Street, Suite 0, Keene NH 03431, 603-283-0034 (fax 603-283-0141); ©2017 Connell Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Subscription rates: $29.95. This magazine is not intended to provide medical advice on personal health conditions, nor to replace recommendations made by health professionals. The opinions expressed by contributors and sources quoted in articles are not necessarily those of the editor or the publisher. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all content of advertising and for any claims arising therefrom. Information appearing in Taste for Life may not be reproduced in whole or in part without express permission of the publisher.

Creative and Sales Offices: 149 Emerald Street, Suite 0, Keene NH 03431 603-283-0034

Lynn Tryba

tasteforlife.com

www.

A note on recipes Recipes are analyzed by Anna Kanianthra, MS, LD. Nutritional values vary depending on portion size, freshness of ingredients, storage, and cooking techniques. They should be used only as a guide. Star ratings are based on standard values (SVs) that are currently recommended: ★★★★★ Extraordinary (50 percent or better), ★★★★ Top source, ★★★ Excellent source, ★★ Good source, ★ Fair source

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Printed in the U.S. on partially recycled paper.

The inks used to print the body of this publication contain a minimum of 20%, by weight, renewable resources.

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news bites foods, supplements & prevention

Resveratrol MAY AID METABOLISM

Resveratrol reduced some of the negative effects of a highfat, high-sugar diet in a new study. Animals were fed a diet similar to typical Western fare for two years, including high amounts of saturated fat and refined sugars. They also received 80 milligrams (mg) of resveratrol per day for the first year and 480 mg per day for the second. Resveratrol helped improve energy metabolism, among other benefits. The researchers reported that the supplement’s most significant positive effects “occur within a metabolically impaired state such as obesity and diabetes.” They also noted that resveratrol did not reverse all of the potentially harmful effects of the Western diet.

SOURCE “Comparative Proteomic Analyses of the Parietal Lobe from Rhesus Monkeys Fed a High-Fat/Sugar Diet With and Without Resveratrol Supplementation . . .” by A.M. Swomley et al., Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 1/17

DID YOU KNOW? Resveratrol—a natural compound found in foods such as red grapes, red wine, dark chocolate, and raspberries—appears to help restore the blood-brain barrier. That may slow cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s patients. Results of a recent study suggest that “resveratrol imposes a kind of crowd control at the border of the brain,” shutting out unwanted molecules that can increase inflammation and kill neurons, said neurologist Charbel Moussa, MD, PhD. Inflammation is believed to worsen Alzheimer’s symptoms. SOURCE “Resveratrol Appears to Restore Blood-Brain Barrier Integrity in Alzheimer’s Disease,” Georgetown University Medical Center, 7/27/16

SLIMMING DOWN

TIMING COUNTS Women who ate a big lunch and a small dinner lost considerably more weight than those who did the opposite in a recent study. The women consumed about half of their daily calories in the larger meal and 20 percent in the smaller one. Those who ate the bigger lunches lost nearly 13 pounds over 12 weeks, while those who ate bigger dinners lost about 10. Both groups also participated in an exercise program. SOURCE “Bigger Lunch for Weight Loss,” Am J Clin Nutr, 8/31/16, via Consumer Reports On Health, 12/16 www.tas teforl i fe.com

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news bites

foods, supplements & prevention ARTHRITIS RELIEF

GENTLE EXERCISE offers big payoff Older adults with arthritis and other muscle and joint conditions benefited from a low-impact exercise program in New York City. Participants reported decreased pain, improved mobility, and an enhanced quality of life. The exercise program was free and open to community members. It met once a week for eight weeks and included gentle exercises such as chair and floor-mat exercises using stretch bands. Participants found significant improvements in tasks such as carrying groceries, climbing stairs, bending, kneeling, bathing, and getting dressed. “Our bodies are meant to move, and inactivity leads to weakness and stiffness, and joints with arthritis often worsen with inactivity,” said Theodore Fields, MD, director of the Rheumatology Faculty Practice Plan at the city’s Hospital for Special Surgery. SOURCE “Motivation to Move: Study Finds Mild Exercise Helps Decrease Pain and Improve Activity Level in Older Adults,” Hospital for Special Surgery, 11/1/16

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news bites

foods, supplements & prevention VITALITY

ANTI-AGING COMBO shows promise

SOURCE “Boosting Levels of Known Antioxidant May Help Resist Age-Related Decline,” Oregon State University, 10/24/16

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Glutathione—a common antioxidant—helps us resist the toxic stresses of everyday life, but it declines in our bodies as we age. That reduction has been linked to many age-related health conditions. A recent study determined that small amounts of a compound known as N-acetylcysteine (NAC) may help maintain glutathione levels and prevent some of the declines of aging. “In young animal cells, stress doesn’t cause such a rapid loss of glutathione,” said researcher Tory Hagen, PhD, of Oregon State University. “The cells from older animals, on the other hand, were quickly depleted of glutathione and died twice as fast when subjected to stress. But pretreatment with NAC increased glutathione levels in older cells and largely helped offset that level of cell death.” Glutathione is produced by the liver and is found in many fruits, vegetables, and meats. It helps the body detoxify from air pollutants, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and other toxins. Glutathione and NAC are easy to find in supplement forms.

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COOKING WITH COLLAGEN beauty enhancing PERSONAL PIZZA

RECIPE BY CAROL KICINSKI

BEAUTY ENHANCING PERSONAL PIZZA **

SERVES 1 (gluten free, egg free, nut free, soy free, refined sugar free)

INGREDIENTS:

• 4 tbsp gluten-free all-purpose flour • 1 scoop NeoCell Super Collagen • ¼ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt • ¼ teaspoon baking powder • 4 tbsp water • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

• 3 tbsp pizza sauce or marinara sauce • 2 tbsp grated or shredded mozzarella cheese • 3 slices pepperoni • 1 cherry tomato, sliced • ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning

HOW TO MAKE IT:

1. Combine the flour, NeoCell Super Collagen powder, salt, baking powder, water, and olive oil in a microwave-safe mug or small ramekin (6-8 ounces). Microwave on high power for 30-45 seconds or until the dough looks almost set. 2. Spread the pizza or marinara sauce on top of the dough, top with cheese, pepperoni, tomato slices, and Italian seasoning. Microwave on high power for 45-60 seconds or until the cheese is melted. Eat immediately. FOR MORE COLLAGEN INFUSED RECIPES VISIT NEOCELL.COM/RECIPES

© 2017 NeoCell corp.

*BASED ON 52 WEEKS SPINS DATA ENDING 10/2016

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news bites

foods, supplements & prevention

MATERNAL CARE

Fish oil in pregnancy LOWERS ASTHMA RISK Taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements during pregnancy greatly reduced the likelihood of childhood asthma. The risk in some children was lowered by more than 50 percent. “Asthma and wheezing disorders have more than doubled in Western countries in recent decades,” said researcher Hans Bisgaard, MD. “We now have a preventive measure to help bring those numbers down.” Pregnant women received 2.4 grams per day of EPA and DHA from fish oil during their last trimester of pregnancy. Their children were then assessed for five years. The researchers found a 31 percent reduction in asthma risk. For mothers who had low blood levels of the omega 3s at the beginning of the study, their children’s risk fell by 54 percent. Inflammation in the airways and lungs is a significant factor in asthma. Fatty acids from fish oil help reduce inflammation. SELECTED SOURCES “Omega-3 Supplements Can Prevent Childhood Asthma,” University of Waterloo, 12/29/16 ■ “Taking Fish Oil During Pregnancy Is Found to Lower Child’s Asthma Risk” by Denise Grady, New York Times, www.NYTimes.com, 12/28/16

Don’t forget FOLIC ACID Even though enriched grain products are required to be fortified with folic acid, many women do not consume adequate amounts of this B vitamin to guard against birth defects. Folic acid has been shown to reduce the risk of neural tube defects such as anencephaly and spina bifida. The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends that all women of child-bearing age take a daily folic acid supplement of 400 to 800 micrograms. “Since neural tube defects occur in the first few weeks of pregnancy, it isimportant for women to be taking the recommended amount of folic acid before they become pregnant,” said Laura E. Mitchell, PhD, a professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health. SOURCE “Daily Folic Acid Supplementation Remains Important for Prevention of Birth Defects,” University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, 1/10/17 www.tas teforl i fe.com

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BY V I C TO R I A D O L BY TO E WS , M P H

healing with

mushrooms How they strengthen immunity

Delivering D

For health benefits ranging from a stronger immune system and sturdier bones to a lower risk of diabetes and a longer life, look no further than vitamin D. You need up to 5,000 IU of this vitamin daily (through a combination of sun exposure, foods, and supplements). Mushrooms serve as the only nonanimal food source of vitamin D. Mushrooms gathered in the wild, as well as cultivated ones exposed to UV light, can provide plenty of it. Interestingly, both fresh and dried mushrooms will increase in vitamin D levels if simply left in the sun for a day or two. For best results, expose the gill side of the mushrooms to the sun.

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Medicinal mushrooms have a long history of traditional use, coupled with new, cutting- edge research demonstrating their health benefits. Asian cultures share a deep respect for the benefits of mushrooms; the Romans were also fans, dubbing mushrooms the “food of the gods.” The healing power of medicinal mushrooms—such as reishi, shiitake, cordyceps, maitake, and turkey tail—stems from bioactive compounds called polysaccharides, as well as other compounds that are specific to each variety. These healthenhancing polysaccharides act as “biological response modifiers.” This means that they support your immune response in resisting infectious diseases and cancer. Beta glucan is the best known and most frequently studied mushroomderived polysaccharide.

Cancer warriors Cancer ranks as one of the most researched areas when it comes to medicinal mushrooms. The cancer-fighting ability traces back, in part, to beta glucan, which activates immune system cells (such as macrophages, interferon, T cells, and natural killer cells) to prevent the multiplication or spread of cancer cells. Medicinal mushrooms have been approved in Japan and China for more than three

decades as supportive therapies to use alongside standard cancer treatments. Several mushrooms enhance immune function and fight cancer, including maitake (Grifola frondosa), shiitake (Lentinan edodes), and cordyceps (Cordyceps sinensis), but one that hasn’t received as much attention as it perhaps deserves is turkey tail (Trametes versicolor). A growing number of studies in humans have shown potential benefits from polysaccharide-K (PSK) in turkey tail. For example, in patients with stomach cancer, PSK in conjunction with chemotherapy improved survival rates, while its addition to standard colon/rectal cancer treatment led to fewer recurrences. Lung cancer patients experienced similar benefits when taking PSK.

Bountiful benefits Reishi, like other medicinal mushrooms, has historically been valued as an “adaptogen,” or general tonic, to promote overall wellness and vitality. In addition to the immune boost that reishi can provide, this mushroom seems to be connected to cardiovascular health through an antioxidant effect. Reishi is not the only mushroom with cardiovascular ben-

efits: Porcini mushrooms have been noted to lower blood pressure in animal-based research. Several medicinal mushrooms have been studied for counteracting diabetes. For example, Agaricus bisporus has amazing potential. When people at risk for Type 2 diabetes consume this mushroom daily, risk factors go down. The benefits of medicinal mushrooms don’t end here. Promising research continues in the areas of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and even allergies. TFL Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH, a health journalist for more than two decades, is the author of Life After Baby: Rediscovering and Reclaiming Your Healthy Pizzazz (Basic Health Publications, 2012).

SELECTED SOURCES “Cardioprotective Activity of Ganoderma lucidum Extract During Total Ischemia and Reperfusion of Isolated Heart” by T.V. Lasukova et al., Bull Exp Biol Med, 4/15 ■ “Edible Mushrooms: Improving Human Health and Promoting Quality Life” by M.E. Valverde et al., Int J Microbiol, 2015 ■ “Effects of a Hot-Water Extract of Porcini (Boletus aestivalis) Mushrooms on the Blood Pressure and Heart Rate of Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats” by N. Midoh et al., Biosci Biotechnol Biochem, 2013 ■ “Medicinal Mushroom Science: Current Perspectives, Advances, Evidences, and Challenges” by S.P. Wasser, Biomed J, 2014 ■ “Medicinal Mushrooms (PDQ),” National Cancer Institute, 11/30/16 ■ “A Retrospective Study in Adults with Metabolic Syndrome: Diabetic Risk Factor Response to Daily Consumption of Agaricus bisporus (White Button Mushrooms)” by M.S. Calvo et al., Plant Foods Hum Nutr, 9/16 ■ “Vitamin D in Mushrooms” by D.B. Haytowitz, www.USDA.gov

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT BY OLIVIA BELANGER

SPRING INTO ACTION DIG INTO THESE FRESH TITLES

The Naughty Diet By Melissa Milne ($17.99, Da Capo, 2016) Over the last year, model-turned-author Melissa Milne has asked thousands of women how they feel about food, self-image, and their bodies. More than 80 percent feel guilty after a rich meal, almost two-thirds say they have been body-shamed by another woman, and 50 percent would rather be skinnier than happier or smarter. For Milne, these statistics have a simple solution: Don’t be perfect—just be Naughty. Milne’s The Naughty Diet gives readers the option to say forget guilt and pass the wine. Rather than spending your time counting every last calorie, you can enjoy food again. Each chapter brings a new Naughty Step, based on life-tested approaches to food, exercise, and life management, and approved by doctors and nutritionists. The Naughty Diet frees you to live without shame or guilt, while simultaneously being allowed to indulge in chocolate, bread, and cheese, along with more than 40 deliciously nutritious recipes. With this 10-step guide, the guilt—and the pounds—will melt away.

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Best Food Writing 2016 Edited by Holly Hughes ($10.99, Da Capo, 2016) Much like a wellstocked grocery store, Best Food Writing 2016 offers a bounty of different foods in one place. For 17 years, Holly Hughes has searched far and wide for a unique mix of stories and voices in the world of food writing. From last year’s hottest trends—like meal kits and extreme dining—to the beauty of simple meals, Hughes’s hand-picked stories share the importance of food and the people who make it. With almost 50 contributors and an array of cultures, Best Food Writing 2016 is bound to satisfy.

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Heal Your Pain Now

The Well Life

By Joe Tatta ($16.99, Da Capo, 2017)

By Briana and Dr. Peter Borten ($10.99, Adams Media, 2017)

Chronic pain affects more than 100 million Americans, and most feel that prescription medications are their only options. With the current opioid epidemic, doctors are hesitant to prescribe them and patients are hesitant to take them. This leaves those with chronic pain searching for alternative treatments to live happy and healthy lives. In Heal Your Pain Now: The Revolutionary Program to Reset Your Brain and Body for a Pain-Free Life, licensed doctor of physical therapy, certified nutritionist, and functional medicine practitioner Joe Tatta offers a drug-free approach to persistent pain. Dr. Tatta has developed a three-part Healing Pain Program focusing on nutrition, movement, and mindset. Including meal plans, shopping lists, recipes, and instructions for physical exercises to help alleviate the pain, Dr. Tatta offers a simple plan to reclaim your body and your life.

Most people can relate to the constant struggle of how to “have it all”—fulfilling work, meaningful relationships, and quality personal time—without burning out. Briana and Dr. Peter Borten lend their advice for successful living in their latest book, The Well Life, where they suggest that finding balance is the key. By using their three fundamental principles— sweetness, structure, and space—the authors believe you will be able to let go of the tensions that get in the way of being happy, authentic, and fully present.

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WEIGHING IN BY MARIA NOËL GROVES, RH (AHG)

GREEN & LEAN THE ROLE OF GREEN TEA IN WEIGHT LOSS

WHEN IT COMES TO WEIGHT LOSS, DIET AND EXERCISE REMAIN THE MOST EFFECTIVE METHODS. HOWEVER, SOME DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS CAN ALSO LEND A HAND. GREEN TEA IS ONE OF THE SAFEST, BEST RESEARCHED, AND MOST EFFECTIVE OPTIONS.

How Green Tea Works Both caffeine and catechins (antioxidant polyphenol compounds including epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG) in green tea have thermogenic properties that increase energy (calorie) expenditure and burn fat. Studies suggest green tea can lead to modest weight reduction, making it an effective boost to diet and exercise efforts. In a small study of healthy men, those taking green tea extract burned 17 percent more fat while cycling compared to those taking a placebo. In this study, green tea also improved insulin levels and insulin sensitivity. Green tea’s catechins may also impact gut mi-

crobes in a way that favors weight loss. The catechins in green tea decrease the fat and protein absorption in the intestines, which reduces the calorie intake from the food you eat, and improves your body’s ability to use fat and protein as fuel. In one study, obese patients who took green tea extract while dieting lost three times more pounds and more significantly reduced their body mass index (BMI) compared to those who just dieted.

Avoiding Caffeine? Caffeine may not be the most important player, though. While caffeine does help boost exercise performance by about 11 percent, the antioxidants in

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green tea have other perks. Studies show that EGCG aids weight loss in part by increasing the breakdown of fatty acids associated with obesity. In a study of 40 obese women, those who took a decaffeinated green tea blend after a three-month lifestyle intervention continued to lose weight and decrease fat mass while those who took a placebo gained weight. Also, black tea, which is higher in caffeine but lower in antioxidants, is not as effective as green tea.

How to Store & Use Green Tea To get the best weight-loss results, aim for three to four cups of green tea per day, delivering 600 to 900 milligrams (mg) of catechins. One cup of green tea usually contains 240 to 320 mg catechins and 45 mg of caffeine. You can reap the most antioxidants from a cup of green tea by purchasing high-quality loose tea, using hotter water, and letting it steep longer (though if you let it steep too long, it gets bitter). I find that green tea gets fishy tasting if stored too long. Green tea should always have a fresh scent, flavor, and color—both dry and brewed. Store green tea in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dark, dry spot or—especially for long-term storage—the fridge. Several cases of liver toxicity related to green tea weight-loss products have surfaced over the years. The risk appears to be greatest in multiingredient weight-loss products and may involve adulteration. When purchasing green tea supplements, opt for high-quality brands and take with food to reduce the risk. Drinking tea is quite safe; it is the second-most popular drink worldwide after water. TFL Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG), is a registered clinical herbalist and freelance health journalist nestled in the pine forests of New Hampshire. She is the author of the book Body into Balance. Learn about herbs, distance consults, online classes, and more at www.WintergreenBotanicals.com. SELECTED SOURCES “Dietary Supplements for Weight Loss,” National Institutes of Health, https://ods.od.nih.gov ■ “Effects of Greenselect Phytosome on Weight Maintenance After Weight Loss in Obese Women: A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Study” by L. Gilardini et al., BMC Complement Altern Med, 2016 ■ “Green Tea Extract Ingestion, Fat Oxidation, and Glucose Tolerance in Healthy Humans” by M.C. Venables et al., Am J Clin Nutr, 3/08 ■ “Mechanisms of Body Weight Reduction and Metabolic Syndrome Alleviation by Tea” by C.S. Yang et al., Mol Nutr Food Res, 1/16 ■ “A Minireview of Effects of Green Tea on Energy Expenditure” by D. Turkozu and N.A. Tek, Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 1/22/17 ■ “Nutraceuticals for Body-Weight Management: The Role of Green Tea Catechins” by P.L. Janssens et al., Physiol Behav, 8/1/16

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Could it be that when it comes to disease prevention, less is more? Perhaps, say modern researchers.

Emerging science continues to point toward evidence that fasting—depriving yourself of food in a medically prescribed manner—may ward off inflammation as well as the occurrence or recurrence of some diseases, including certain cancers. An August 2016 study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), revealed that when women fasted an average of 13 hours overnight, their chances of breast cancer recurring decreased. The researchers studied more than 2,400 women and concluded that improved glucoregulation and sleep might be the triggers connecting nightly fasting with an improved breast cancer prognosis.

Head-to-Toe Health Researchers writing in the Journal of Mid-Life Health note that Indian women have used fasting therapeutically for thousands of years, echoing the disease-prevention benefits of intermittent fasting. Fasting, their studies showed, starved tumors of the 28 tasteforlife

blood supply they needed for growth. Research indicates that additional benefits from fasting include improved reproductive features (in menstrual cyclicity, ovulation, and fertility) and metabolism. Pain and stiffness from rheumatoid arthritis improved when study participants employed fasting techniques for one to two weeks. Fasting also showed promise in improving cardiovascular health overall by lowering high blood pressure and the cholesterol that can

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clog arteries and cause heart attacks. Not only do fasting people lose weight, but their arteries are less inflamed if they use either the Every Other Day Diet or the 5:2 Fast Diet (which features five days of regular eating and two fasting days). With both techniques, “fasting” days provide about one-fourth of a person’s normal caloric intake. Scientists think that fasting mildly stresses cells. They surmise that on low-calorie days, the body is forced to deal with this mild stress, which strengthens long-term ability to ward off certain diseases.

We’re Programmed for Loss Your body is programmed to benefit from fasting. According to Francoise Wilhelmi de Toledo, MD, medical director of the Buchinger Wilhelmi Clinic in Germany, the propensity to deprive yourself of food occurs naturally. Dr. de Toledo argues that because food was often in short supply when humans were evolving into homo sapiens, our bodies have adapted. Throughout history, droughts and other harsh weather conditions produced food shortages that caused our ancestors to fast—often involuntarily—and our bodies eventually got the message. Valter Longo, PhD, of the University of Southern California agrees with Dr. de Toledo. Fasting for three days, he argues in a study published in 2014, can “reset” the immune system and trigger the production of new white blood cells, helping to ward off disease. Some studies show that fasting can even help mitigate the toxicity of chemotherapies used to kill cancers.

Fasting Techniques Every-other-day fasting might be the fasting method for you. Eat normally on the first day, but then limit yourself to only 500 calories (600 for men) the next day. Continue to alternate. With only 500 calories on your fasting day, it’s critical you make those 500 calories count, so choose food wisely. Opt for nutrient-rich foods, such as lean proteins and fresh produce. Half-day fasting is essentially 12 hours on, where eating is permitted, and 12 hours off, where you fast. Choosing the evening hours for your fast makes the limited food intake much easier to tolerate since you’re dozing for roughly two-thirds of the fasting period. Over time, you might find you can increase your fasting hours to as much as 16 hours a day. Some studies show increased health benefits if you limit eating to eight hours per day. 5:2 fasting has you eating normally five days a week and restricting your intake to 500 calories the other two days a week.

Good for What Ails Ya Researchers cite numerous benefits from fasting, whether short-term modified fasting with restricted caloric intake (7 to 21 days under medical supervision) or long-term, such as the Every-Other-Day Diet. According to these experts, numerous treatments for rheumatic diseases, chronic pain syndromes, and hypertension have shown improvement from fasting in addition to its potential for the prevention of some kinds of cancer. As unappetizing as fasting may sound at first, you may soon find that less—food, that is—is indeed the key to a healthier life. TFL

Fasters Beware Fasting is not recommended for people with diabetes, those who have eating disorders, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, the elderly, and children. Always check with your medical professional before beginning any fasting regimen.

SELECTED SOURCES “5 Safe Ways to Try a Fasting Diet (And Why You’d Even Want to in the First Place),” www.Prevention.com ■ “Fasting Therapy for Treating and Preventing Disease—Current State of Evidence” by A. Michalsen and C. Li, Forsch Komplementmed, 2013 ■ “Fasting Triggers Stem Cell Regeneration of Damaged, Old Immune System” by Suzanne Wu, USC News, https://news.usc.edu ■ “Intermittent Fasting” by Laurel Leicht, www.WebMD.com, 7/27/16 ■ “Role of Therapeutic Fasting in Women’s Health: An Overview” by M. Pradeep et al., J Midlife Health, 4-6/16

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HERBAL HEALERS BY V I C TO R I A D O L BY TO E WS , M P H

BLADDER TROUBLE NATURAL WAYS TO KEEP UTIS AT BAY ALTHOUGH ANYONE CAN GET A BLADDER INFECTION, WOMEN ARE MUCH MORE FREQUENT SUFFERERS DUE TO THE BIOLOGICAL FACT OF A SHORTER URETHRA THAT PROVIDES EASIER ACCESS FOR E. COLI, THE MAIN BACTERIAL CULPRIT, TO MIGRATE TO THE BLADDER. ABOUT HALF OF ALL WOMEN WILL EXPERIENCE AT LEAST ONE BLADDER INFECTION—THE TECHNICAL NAME IS URINARY TRACT INFECTION (UTI)—IN HER LIFE.

Many a woman who experiences her first UTI will face that same discomfort again (and again) in the form of recurrent UTIs. Each merry-go-round of a new UTI generally means a bout of antibiotics, which in turn can trigger a secondary yeast infection when the microbial environment of the vagina is disrupted by the antibiotics. Relying on natural ways to keep UTI-causing bacteria from gaining a foothold along the bladder wall goes a long way to stopping future infections. Cranberry juice is a time-honored tool in fighting off UTI recurrences, but there are other natural remedies to consider.

Hibiscus Hibiscus is generally thought of as simply a fruity addition to herbal tea (often found in “zinger” type teas). However, when used as a supplement, hibiscus might keep you healthier. This herb has antiadhesive properties, which prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder. With this adhesive process thwarted, bacteria are unable to colonize and cause an infection. Voila: UTI avoided. When a group of women at risk of recurrent UTIs (because they had catheters and were in long-term care facilities) supplemented with hibiscus as a drink, they experienced fewer UTIs. This makes hibiscus tea or supplements a tasty and easy way to maintain bladder health.

Probiotics

For women who find that bladder infections keep popping up, probiotic bacteria offer some hope. Because beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus grow in colonies, they are able to form a barrier that physically bars E. coli and other harmful bacteria from migrating into the bladder, where they would otherwise cause an infection. Several studies document that Lactobacillus helps prevent UTIs. In one study, women who had just been diagnosed and treated for bladder inflammation or a UTI were provided a combination supplement of probiotics (along with cranberry) to take daily for two months. This supplement regimen made a recurrence of Fighting UTIs a UTI less likely. All women (especially Looking at the body of research as those with a propensity a whole, several strains of Lactobafor recurrent UTIs) should cillus show effectiveness in reducing take these additional the chances of developing a recursteps to reduce the risk rent bladder infection. The effective of UTI: strains include Lactobacillus rham■ Drink plenty of fluids nosus GR-1, L. reuteri RC-14, L. casei ■ Void regularly shirota, and L. crispatus CTV-05. (especially after sexual Vitamin E activity) If—despite your best efforts at ■ Wipe from front to keeping a UTI at bay—you are expeback riencing uncomfortable symptoms ■ Avoid the use of of painful urination and urgency, it diaphragms and might be that a round of antibiotspermicides ics is inevitable. Even so, you don’t ■ Wear cotton have to give up on natural support. underwear Vitamin E supplements, when added

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to antibiotic treatment, offered benefits in a group of girls (aged 5–12) being treated for their first UTIs. Half of the girls received standard antibiotics, while the other half received the antibiotics plus vitamin E. All of the girls were cured of their UTIs, but the vitamin E group felt better sooner since they experienced less urinary frequency, dribbling, and that dreaded sense of urgency.

Nasturtium/Horseradish Combo A combination herbal product containing the flower nasturtium and the herb horseradish has been tested in a few early studies in patients susceptible to recurrent UTIs. Taking this herbal combination daily (compared to a placebo) for three months greatly reduced the number of UTI relapses. In related research this herbal combination showed results comparable to those of antibiotic treatment. Further research is warranted to confirm these promising results with nasturtium and horseradish. To sum up: Seeking natural ways to support bladder health can mean avoiding your next UTI, which means potentially skipping the discomfort and hassle of treating an infection. Sidestepping such an infection also means dodging the yeast infection that all too often follows on the heels of antibiotic use. TFL

By the numbers 6 days

Average total time of symptoms per UTI episode

2.4 days

Average time per UTI episode that symptoms restrict a woman’s activities

0.4 day

Average time UTI symptoms result in bed rest per UTI episode

40–50%

of women will have at least one UTI in their lifetimes

20–30%

of women will have a recurrence of UTI within a few months of a first infection SOURCE “Prevention of Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections in Women,” by Drug Ther Bull 2013

Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH, a health journalist for more than two decades, is the author of Life After Baby: Rediscovering and Reclaiming Your Healthy Pizzazz (Basic Health Publications, 2012).

SELECTED SOURCES “Effectiveness of an Association of a Cranberry Dry Extract, D-Mannose, and the Two Microorganisms Lactobacillus plantarum LP01 and Lactobacillus paracasei LPC09 in Women Affected by Cystitis . . .” by F. Vicariotto, J Clin Gastroenterol, 2014 ■ “Exploring the Effect and Mechanism of Hibiscus Sabdariffa on Urinary Tract Infection and Experimental Renal Inflammation” by S.T. Chou et al., J Ethnopharmacol, 2016 ■ Lactobacillus for Preventing Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections in Women: Meta-Analysis” by P.M. Grin et al., Can J Urol, 2/13 ■ “Non-Antibiotic Prophylaxis for Urinary Tract Infections” by M. Beerepoot and S. Geerlings, Pathogens, 2016 ■ “On-Going Investigations on Efficacy and Safety Profile of an Herbal Drug Containing Nasturtium Herb and Horseradish Root in Acute Sinusitis, Acute Bronchitis and Acute Urinary Tract Infection . . .” by K.H. Goos et al., Arzneimittelforschung, 2007 ■ “Probiotics for Prevention of Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections in Women: A Review of the Evidence from Microbiological and Clinical Studies” by M.E. Falagas et al., Drugs, 2006 ■ “Probiotics in Preventing Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections in Women: A Literature Review” by A.H. Chisholm, Urol Nurs, 2015 ■ “A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial of a Herbal Medicinal Product Containing Tropaeoli majoris herba (Nasturtium) and Armoraciae rusticanae radix (Horseradish) for the Prophylactic Treatment of Patients With Chronically Recurrent Lower Urinary Tract Infections” by U. Albrecht et al., Curr Med Res Opin, 2007 ■ “Vitamin E as Adjuvant Treatment for Urinary Tract Infection in Girls with Acute Pyelonephritis” by P. Yousefichaijan et al., Iran J Kidney Dis, 2015

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SMART SUPPLEMENTS BY JANE EKLUND

C WHAT’S GOOD FOR YOU WHEN YOUR MOM TOLD YOU TO TAKE YOUR VITAMINS, YOU KNOW SHE WAS TALKING ABOUT VITAMIN C ALONG WITH A FEW OTHER STANDBYS. PERHAPS THE MOST POPULAR OF ALL VITAMINS, C IS READILY AVAILABLE IN FRUIT AND VEGETABLES. THE BODY CANNOT MAKE C ON ITS OWN, AND IT’S NEEDED FOR MANY CRITICAL FUNCTIONS, SO IF YOU’RE NOT GETTING ENOUGH IN YOUR DIET, YOU’LL WANT TO CONSIDER TAKING VITAMIN C IN SUPPLEMENT FORM.

What Does C Do? Plenty! Our bodies use C to grow and repair tissue. Its antioxidant properties help block damage from free radicals, which contribute to the aging process and possibly also to cancer, heart disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, age-related macular degeneration, and other conditions. While studies don’t back up the claim that vitamin C prevents the common cold, it does appear that people who regularly take C supplements may reduce the length and symptoms of their colds.

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Who Needs C Supplements?

What Precautions Are Recommended?

Smokers are at greater risk of having low levels of vitamin C, as are people who don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables. If you have any of the following signs of vitamin C deficiency, talk with your healthcare provider about adding C supplements to your regimen:

C is generally considered safe, but you’ll want to be aware of these suggested precautions, and, again, be sure to talk with your healthcare practitioner about supplementation if you have any health issues. Drink plenty of liquids, as C supplements are diuretics. People with certain diseases, including thalassemia, hemochromatosis, sickle cell anemia, the metabolic disorder G6PD deficiency, diabetes, and kidney problems, can be negatively affected by vitamin C supplementation. Vitamin C may interact with other drugs, including over-thecounter painkillers, some antacids, chemotherapy drugs, and birth-control pills.

● Gums that are bleeding or inflamed ● Skin that is rough, dry, and scaly ● Skin that bruises easily ● Wounds that heal too slowly ● Joints that are swollen and painful ● Nosebleeds ● Lowered ability to ward off infections ● Hair that is dry and splitting

How Much C Is Enough?

Supplements of vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, come in a number of forms—tablets, capsules, chewables, powder, and liquid, as well as versions buffered to reduce stomach distress or heartburn. Supplement doses range from 25 to 1,000 mg.

In high doses, vitamin C can cause symptoms including kidney stones and diarrhea. And even at recommended doses, some people may experience upset stomach, cramps, heartburn, or headaches. TFL

SELECTED SOURCES “Vitamin C,” National Institutes of Health, https://MedlinePlus.gov, 2/2/15 ■ “Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid),” University of Maryland Medical Center, http://umm.edu, 7/16/13 ■ “Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid),” www.WebMD.com

Here are the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for vitamin C: ● Ages 1 to 3: 15 milligrams (mg) per day ● Ages 4 to 8: 25 mg/day ● Ages 9 to 13: 45 mg/day ● Girls 14 to 18: 65 mg/day ● Boys 14 to 18: 75 mg/day ● Men 19 and older: 90 mg/day ● Women 19 and older: 75 mg/day ● Pregnant women: 85 mg/day ● Breastfeeding women: 120 mg/day (Note: Smokers and people regularly exposed to secondhand smoke should up their intake by 35 mg/day.) For the best results, break up your vitamin C supplementation into two or three daily doses, and don’t take more than 1,000 mg every day without an OK from your healthcare practitioner. Also check with a healthcare provider before you give C supplements to a child.

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GLUTEN FREE FOCUS BY OLIVIA BELANGER

Gluten-Free Honey-Mustard Pretzel Chicken

DO THE TWIST A PRETZEL TASTE TEST

dGn

HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF GLUTEN-FREE PRETZELS BUT BEEN SKEPTICAL ABOUT HOW THEY WOULD TASTE? WE CONDUCTED A BLIND TASTE TEST OF FOUR DIFFERENT PRETZEL BRANDS, RANGING IN FLAVOR FROM SAVORY TO SWEET. FIVE STAFF MEMBERS HAPPILY SNACKED AWAY. HERE ARE THE RESULTS.

1 Mary’s Gone Crackers Sea Salt Pretzels Containing four grams of protein, these organic and non-GMO, vegan-certified pretzels have crackerlike characteristics. With a light sesame taste, this crunchy pretzel rod goes well with with your favorite hummus or other flavorful dips.

2 Gratify Gluten Free Pretzels Everything Thins Certified gluten free, this powerhouse of flavor was a staff favorite. The circular pretzel thin has a similar taste to an “everything” bagel but maintained a pretzel-like consistency. While it would pair beautifully with a cream cheese spread, the flavors of salt, garlic, and poppy seeds are enough to stand on their own.

3 Snyder’s of Hanover Gluten Free Pretzel Sticks Hot Buffalo Wing Some like it hot—and if you do, this is the pretzel for you. As if you are biting into an actual buffalo wing, these bold and tangy pretzel sticks will leave you craving some bleu cheese. They are also certified gluten free and contain no dairy or eggs.

4 Glutino Gluten Free Fudge Covered Pretzels Who doesn’t love something dipped in chocolate? Perfect for your child’s lunchbox (or your own), these sweet treats have a satisfying crunch with a light chocolate coating. The chocolate doesn’t overpower the pretzel’s savory qualities, but it does give you the sweetness you crave. TFL

4 2

3

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30 minutes prep time ■ serves 4

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast N c olive oil L c gluten-free whole-grain mustard 2 Tbsp honey 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar N tsp garlic powder Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 1K c crushed plain, gluten-free, dairy-free pretzels* 1. Preheat oven to 425°. 2. Cut chicken into 3xO-inch-thick strips. Set aside. 3. In a bowl, whisk together oil, mustard, honey, vinegar, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside half of the honeymustard for a dipping sauce. Pour remaining half of mixture into a large shallow plate. 4. Coat each chicken strip in plate with honey mustard. Then dredge each strip in crushed pretzels. 5. Place chicken onto an oiled baking pan. Bake for 7 minutes and flip. Bake for another 7 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. 6. Serve chicken strips with reserved honey-mustard dipping sauce. *Crush the pretzels into small pieces, so they will adhere to the chicken more easily.

1

40 tasteforlife

From the Taste for Life test kitchen

Per serving: 383 Calories, 28 g Protein, 25 g Carbohydrates, 1 g Fiber, 19 g Total fat (3 g sat, 11 g mono, 2 g poly), 233 mg Sodium, ★★★★★ Vitamin B3 (niacin), ★★★ Vitamin B6, ★★ Phosphorus, Selenium, ★ Pantothenic acid

D Dairy Free G Gluten Free N Nut Free V Vegan V Vegetarian

For a guide to nutrition breakdowns, see page 8.

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How to get butter from a coconut N A G E V

NEW! Ellyndale® Organics has taken the delicious taste of coconut and fused it with enticing flavors to create Coconut Infusions™. We use virgin coconut oil that’s non-GMO, certified organic, gluten free and vegan, with no added colors. Coconut Infusions™ make excellent cooking oils and non-dairy spreads. With three tempting flavors to choose from, our coconut oils pair perfectly with your favorite foods.

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ORGANIC IN THE NEWS

buy rganic! WHY ORGANIC MILK L ASTS LONGER

Have you wondered why the expiration dates on organic milk tend be longer than on conventional milk? It has to do with the level of heat treatment. Cornell University food science professor Carmen I. Moraru, PhD, recently explained the process to the New York Times. Both organic and regular milk undergo a heating process. Organic milk is heated to more than 280 degrees Fahrenheit for two seconds. This kills virtually all micro-organisms, so the shelf life can be months. Regular milk is heated to 161 degrees for a minimum of 15 seconds. This leaves some micro-organisms intact, so the milk will spoil after 14 to 21 days in a refrigerator. SOURCE “Organic Milk Will Wait and Wait for You” by C. Claiborne Ray, www. NYTimes.com, 9/26/16

BET TER SOIL IN ORGANIC ORCHARDS

It’s well known that organic farming practices help the environment by avoiding toxic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. A recent study added to the benefits: improved soil. The soil of organic citrus orchards in Spain was compared to conventional orchards and found to contain higher levels of organic matter and better “aggregate stability”—the ability of soil to maintain structure so air and water can reach plant roots. “Organic management practices were found to be beneficial for soil quality, compared to conventional management for soils with comparable textures and applied irrigation water,” wrote the authors of the study. SOURCE “Organic Production Improves Soil Health in Spanish Citrus Orchards,” www. Organic-Center.org, 1/31/17

STUDY FINDS ORGAN DAMAGE FROM ROUNDUP

Exposure to very low levels of Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer caused liver and organ damage in a recent animal study. The research followed an earlier study that linked extremely low doses of Roundup in drinking water (lower than what is permitted in US drinking water) to kidney and liver diseases. The more recent, follow-up study found more than 4,000 genetic differences between Roundup-exposed rats and a control group. The genetic changes were typically linked to organ damage. Organic agriculture prohibits the use of chemicals such as those found in Roundup. SOURCE “Low-Level Exposure to Roundup Associated with Organ Damage in Rats,” www.Organic-Center.org, 1/31/17

ORGANIC GROW TH SPURS GRANTS

As the demand for organic foods continues its rapid growth, the US Department of Agriculture has offered nearly $4 million in new grants to support research, education, and extension for new and existing organic farms and ranches. The grants were authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill and funded through the Organic Transitions Program. Among the program’s priorities are documenting and understanding the effects of organic practices, improving technologies, and addressing barriers that limit the transition to organic farming. SOURCE “USDA Offers Grants to Help Meet Demand for Organic Products,” Organic Farming Research Foundation

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AT A G L A N C E

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SOURCE Clean Fifteen: EWG’S 2016 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce, www.ewg.org

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Pure Food Supplements from our certified organic farms to YOU. FRESH RAW INGREDIENTS · NON-GMO · SUSTAINABLE

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B Y E VA M I L O T T E

Homemade baby food

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Making your own baby food is a valuable endeavor. Not only do you control the ingredients and flavors, but you’re also modeling a valuable lesson in how to feed the body in a healthy way. Whenever possible, buy organic fruits and vegetables to make baby food. Grown without synthetic chemicals and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), organic items are full of nutritional goodness. Conventionally grown produce harbors a greater amount of pesticides—an important consideration, as chemical pesticides accumulate in higher levels in small children.

Time to Eat! Begin your baby’s introduction to solid foods with single-food purées. Wait a few days before introducing another food item to make sure

there are no allergic reactions. During feeding time, transfer just a few tablespoons of the purée into a dish. Discard whatever’s not consumed, as bacteria from the inside of the baby’s mouth have traveled from the serving spoon back to the serving dish. If purées are too thick, add formula, breast milk, or purified water. If they’re too thin, add instant baby cereal. The following starter purée recipes are a great introduction to solid foods for babies. Start with an approximate serving size of 2 tablespoons. As your baby begins to eat

more, increase the serving amount to N cup. If your baby doesn’t like a purée, wait a week or two and mix it with a purée you know your baby will eat. It can take up to 15 exposures to a new food before a baby will accept it. Baby food freezes well, so when your baby likes a recipe, make it in bulk. Freeze food in ice cube trays or other small portion sizes, so single servings can be defrosted at a time. Baby food will keep for up to three months in the freezer. SELECTED SOURCES Real Baby Food by Jenna Helwig with Natalia Stasenko, MS, RD ($16.99, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015) ■ Whole Food Baby by Michele Olivier ($18.99, Barron’s Educational Series, 2016)

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CA RROT PURÉE dGnV From Whole Food Baby by Michele Olivier ($18.99, Barron’s Educational Series, 2016)

15 minutes prep time ■ makes about 3 cups

1 lb carrots, peeled, trimmed, and chopped K teaspoon ground cumin 1 c reserved steamer water, formula, or breastmilk 1. Fill a medium saucepan with about 2 inches of water and heat on medium until water begins to boil. Place carrots in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until just tender. Let cool slightly. Reserve steamer water. 2. Transfer carrots to a blender or food processor. Add cumin and liquid. Purée until smooth, adding additional liquid in ¼ cup increments if needed.

PE AR P U R É E dGnV From Real Baby Food by Jenna Helwig with Natalia Stasenko, MS, RD ($16.99, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015)

Kitchen Note: Adding a pinch of nutmeg, cloves, or turmeric brings out the carrot’s earthy flavor.

CARROT, PARSNIP, MANGO, AND CHIA SEED PURÉE Make the purée using the main recipe (left), omitting the cumin and adding 1 peeled, trimmed, and chopped parsnip to the steamer basket, and cook for 10 minutes. Add 1 peeled and pitted mango and cook for another 5 minutes. Transfer all the ingredients, along with 1 teaspoon chia seeds and the liquid, to the blender and purée as instructed in the main recipe.

SPICED CARROT PURÉE WITH COCONUT MILK Make the purée using the main recipe, omitting the cumin and adding 1 large peeled and chopped sweet potato to the steamer basket and cook for 15 minutes or until the potato is tender. Transfer to the blender, adding K cup cooked, drained chickpeas, K cup canned coconut milk, and K teaspoon ground turmeric. Purée as instructed in the main recipe, adding either reserved water or coconut milk as needed.

Per serving (¼ cup made with breast milk): 29 Calories, 1 g Protein, 5 g Carbohydrates, 1 g Fiber, 1 g Total fat, 29 mg Sodium, ★ Vitamin K

20 minutes prep time ■ makes about 2½ cups

4 pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks 1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 inches of water to a simmer. Place a steamer basket over water. Add chopped pears. Cover and steam until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool slightly. 2. Transfer pears to a food processor or blender. Process until you get the desired consistency for your baby, adding a tablespoon or more of water if needed to help it blend. Flavor Kick: Blend in V teaspoon cardamom. Per serving (¼ cup): 46 Calories, 1 g Protein, 12 g Carbohydrates, 4 g Fiber, ★ Vitamin C

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continued from page nine

A SPA RAGUS PURÉES

dGnV

From Whole Food Baby by Michele Olivier ($18.99, Barron’s Educational Series, 2016)

15 minutes prep time ■ makes about 3K cups

A SPAR AG US AN D MIN T PUR ÉE 1 lb asparagus, chopped (fresh or frozen) 4 fresh mint leaves K c reserved steamer water, formula, or breastmilk 1. Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water and heat on medium until water begins to boil. Place asparagus in a steamer basket over boiling water, cover, and cook, for 10 minutes or until just tender. Let cool slightly. Reserve steamer water.

A SPAR AG US , AVOCAD O, A N D LEMON PURÉ E Steam asparagus using the main recipe and let cool. Transfer to blender, adding 1 ripe, peeled, and pitted avocado, the juice from K a lemon, and the liquid. Purée as instructed in the main recipe. Kitchen Note: Freeze in ice cube trays to have healthy food at the ready. Per serving (¼ cup made with breast milk): 13 Calories, 1 g Protein, 2 g Carbohydrates, 1 g Fiber, 2 mg Sodium, ★ Vitamin K

2. Transfer asparagus to a blender or food processor, and add mint and liquid. Purée until smooth, adding additional liquid in N cup increments if needed.

A P P L E PU R É E dGnV From Real Baby Food by Jenna Helwig with Natalia Stasenko, MS, RD ($16.99, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015)

25 minutes prep time ■ makes about 2 cups

D Dairy Free G Gluten Free N Nut Free V Vegan V Vegetarian

4 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks 1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 inches of water to a simmer. Place a steamer basket over water. Add apple chunks. Cover and steam until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool slightly.

A note on recipes Recipes are analyzed by Anna Kanianthra, MS, LD. Nutritional values vary depending on portion size, freshness of ingredients, storage, and cooking techniques. They should be used only as a guide. Star ratings are based on standard values (SVs) that are currently recommended: ★★★★★ Extraordinary (50 percent or better), ★★★★ Top source, ★★★ Excellent source, ★★ Good source, ★ Fair source

2. Transfer apples to a food processor or blender. Process until you get the desired consistency for your baby, adding a tablespoon or more water to blender if needed to help it blend. Flavor Kick: Purée with ¼ teaspoon ground ginger. Per serving (¼ cup): 40 Calories, 11 g Carbohydrates, 3 g Fiber, ★ Vitamin C

© LAUREN VOLO

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H E A LT H Y P L A N E T

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Drowning in Plastics How modern convenience poisons our oceans Everywhere we turn there’s an abundance of plastic items: packaging, to-go cups, bags, utensils, straws. In fact, over the last decade we’ve produced more plastic than we have in the previous century—nearly 300 million tons each year—half of which is used once and thrown away. Plastic is cheap to produce and ship. It’s highly flexible and versatile. And it’s become a $100 billion global industry. Despite all its conveniences, the ubiquitous use of disposable plastic comes at a cost. According to a study by Jenna Jambeck, PhD, an environmental engineer at the University of Georgia, an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year—and that number continues to grow at an alarming rate. Allison Schutes, senior manager at the Ocean Conservancy, said, “Year after year volunteers find millions of pounds of trash including candy and chip wrappers, plastic bottles, caps and straws littering our waterways and beaches.”

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Plastics Leach Toxins

Apart from the problems volumes of trash cause, plastic is made of petroleum and contains dangerous toxins. According to Julie Andersen, executive director of the Plastic Oceans Foundation, “While many plastics don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade. UV light exposure combined with salt water and the churn of the ocean breaks down all those plastic bottles and bags into tiny toxic pieces, which are ingested by marine animals and get into the food chain.” Bonnie Monteleone, ocean researcher at the University of North Carolina, added, “Some plastics have been shown to leach toxic chemicals when exposed to heat or prolonged use. Styrene, for example, has been classified as a possible human carcinogen while many plastics contain phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA), originally designed to be a female hormone replacement, that mimic estrogen and can disrupt the endocrine system. Our endocrine system is what manages every cell in our bodies. When ingested, these chemicals have been linked to reproductive issues, neurological disorders, cancer, obesity—and can affect male genitals before birth.”

Most Plastics Downcycle v. Recycle

Yet we continue to consume disposable plastics at an astounding rate. While recycling is always better than tossing something in the trash, the global waste infrastructure can’t keep up with the consumption. Plastics are complex and don’t melt down the way aluminum and glass do. “Only a few plastics are truly recyclable,” explained Monteleone. “Most containers are downcycled into something of lower quality that will eventually end up in landfills or our oceans.”

Disposable coffee cups are some of the worst offenders. The US churns through more than 50 billion cups every year, yet many consumers don’t realize that cardboard cups have a thin plastic liner that can’t be broken down through recycling. “Plastics are predominantly made out of petroleum, but we eat and drink out of them even though they’re known to leach chemicals like BPA, especially when heated,” said Monteleone. “We’ve got to do more than reduce, reuse, and recycle. We’ve got to refuse plastic.”

A New Way of Thinking v. the Old Way

Some organizations, like PK Clean, are taking nonrecyclable plastics and turning them back into fuel to help offset offshore drilling. Others are developing environmentally friendly plant-based materials and compostable plastics. But other companies are fighting environmental progress every step of the way because they’re profiting from the problem. “No one is holding those organizations accountable,” said Andersen. “Unless proper policies are put in place to make them responsible for the waste they produce, the problem is going to continue. Our goal is to encourage people to reduce what’s not essential.” Plastic bags, plastic bottles, and straws are the biggest threat to our environment. In the old days, we brought coolers with paper cups instead of plastic water bottles. Milk, ketchup, and salad dressings came in glass bottles. And we made coffee at home. “Start by making a difference in your own life,” Schutes suggested. “Use reusable beverage containers. Say no thank you to straws. And bring your own bags whenever you can. There are a ton of small simple steps you can take that will have a huge impact in

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H E A LT H Y P L A N E T continued from page thirteen

the long run.” Become an agent for change. Consider the following: Take your own coffee cup to the places you buy coffee. Take your own grocery bags. Go back to the bar. Bar soap comes in recyclable cardboard versus plastic for body washes, and lasts longer too. Forget the straw. Or try a pretty paper one instead of plastic. Think before you bag. Instead of plastic bags try a washable container. Take a closer look. Not all plastics are created equal. Look for the

triangle with the number 1 or 2 on the bottom. These are the best choices. Ditch the doggie bag. To-go cartons are almost always made of nonrecyclable styrofoam. Use your voice. Write to your favorite companies and ask them to choose biodegradable or recyclable materials instead of plastic. Take action. Volunteer at the Ocean Conservancy’s annual Coastal Cleanup the third Saturday in September. Or contact screenings@ gmail.com to host “A Plastic Ocean” film in your community or school. —patty lenz bovie

SELECTED SOURCES “From Sea to Plate: How Plastic Got Into Our Fish,” www.TheGuardian.com, 2/17 ■ “Hormones and Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals: Low-Dose Effects . . .” by L.N. Vandenberg et al., Endocr Rev, 6/12 ■ “New Science Paper Calculates Magnitude of Plastic Waste Going Into the Ocean” by Stephanie Schupska, UGA Today, 2/12/15 ■ Personal communication: Julie Andersen; Bonnie Monteleone; Allison Schutes, 2/17 ■ “Plastic Waste Inputs from Land Into the Ocean” by J.R. Jambeck et al., Science, 2/13/15 ■ “The Politics of Plastics: The Making and Unmaking of Bisphenol A ‘Safety’” by S.A. Vogel, Am J Public Health, 11/09 ■ “Polystyrene Plastic: A Source and Sink for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Marine Environment” by C.M. Rochman et al., Environ Sci Technol, 12/17/13

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ON ORGANIC

buy rganic! Apple Oatmeal Quick Bread Recipe courtesy of Stonyfield 1 hour prep time ■ serves 12

1 c Stonyfield Organic Lowfat French Vanilla Yogurt 1 c quick-cooking oats 1 egg or two egg whites, slightly beaten N c canola oil K c packed brown sugar M c all-purpose flour M c whole-wheat flour 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp ground cinnamon N tsp salt 1 c diced apples, peeled or unpeeled

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. 2. In a small bowl, mix together yogurt and oats. Set aside. 3. In a large bowl, mix together egg, oil, and brown sugar. Stir in flours, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and yogurt mixture (batter will be lumpy). Fold in apples. 4. Pour into greased pan. Bake 45 minutes or until golden brown or a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from pan immediately. Once cooled, cut bread into 12 slices.

Sweet Potato & Raisin Pancakes Recipe courtesy of Happy Baby 35 minutes prep time ■ makes 8 pancakes

1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded (about 4 c) O c raisins L c whole-wheat flour 2 large eggs, lightly beaten K tsp ground cinnamon Pinch of salt Pinch of sugar K c applesauce or plain whole-milk Greek yogurt, optional

1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Lightly grease a baking sheet. 2. Wrap shredded sweet potatoes in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess water. 3. In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, raisins, flour, eggs, cinnamon, salt, and sugar and stir until well mixed. 4. Form sweet potato mixture into 8 pancakes, each about 3K inches in diameter. Place pancakes on prepared baking sheet and bake, turning once halfway through baking, until golden and crisp, about 20 minutes total. 5. Serve warm with applesauce on side for dipping, if using. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Chocolate Cherry Blondie Cookies Recipe courtesy of Ellyndale 30 minutes prep time ■ serves 24

2K c all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking soda K tsp salt 1 K c NOW Real Food Organic Coconut Sugar 1 c Ellyndale Organics Coconut Infusions NonDairy Butter Flavor oil 2 eggs 1 tsp Ellyndale Organics Vanilla Extract 1 c chocolate chips 1 c dried cherries

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1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. 3. In a separate bowl, cream together coconut sugar and coconut oil until smooth. 4. Add eggs and vanilla extract. Stir in flour mixture, chocolate chips, and cherries. Mix until dough forms. 5. Scoop into 1-inch balls and flatten into discs. Place 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet and bake 17 to 19 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a rack and enjoy.

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ORGANIC SHOPPER

ON ORGANIC

buy rganic!

continued from page sixteen

Grassfed Yogurt 100 percent grassfed and 100 percent delicious—milk from cows that graze naturally on lush grass gives Stonyfield Yogurt a rich and unique flavor. Taste #NoFilter.

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Natural Beauty Aid Perfect Hair, Skin & Nails vegetarian capsules from New Chapter help maintain a youthful appearance and reduce fine lines and wrinkles with organic algae, biotin, and fermented herbs. www.NewChapter.com

Food for Life has produced baked goods with your health in mind, using only the best natural and organic ingredients.

Liver Support Salus Red Beet Crystals from Flora are a naturally sweet tasting, instantly soluble product carefully obtained from the juice of freshly pressed, certified organic beets. 800-498-3610, www.FloraHealth.com

Yogurt Fettuccini with Caramelized Onions Recipe by Cathy Whims, courtesy of Nancy’s

serves 6

2 c Nancy’s Organic Whole Milk Yogurt 5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional to garnish 3 large onions, thinly sliced Sea salt 1 lb fresh fettuccini 1 c grated Pecorino Romano cheese N c finely chopped or snipped chives Freshly ground black pepper One day in advance: Fold a long cheesecloth into fourths. Spoon yogurt into center of cheesecloth, and tie bundle to a long wooden spoon. Suspend spoon across a bowl, allowing bundle to drain. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Yogurt will drain and become quite thick. 1. Remove yogurt from cheesecloth and bring to room temperature. 2. Heat oil in large skillet. Add onions, toss well, and reduce heat to mediumlow. Stir often until onions are creamy and caramelized to a golden brown, 30–40 minutes. Reduce heat if onions darken too quickly. 3. Meanwhile, bring 5 quarts of water to a boil and season with salt—enough to give it a sea-water taste. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving K cup of pasta water. 4. Place yogurt in a large bowl. Add K cup reserved pasta water and whisk together. Add drained pasta, toss, and put in a large, warm serving bowl. 5. Spoon in caramelized onions. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle grated cheese, chives, and pepper to taste.

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BY MARTIN HANFT

Enrich Your Soil

Make your own compost

Composting is a wonderful way to improve the soil in your garden. And making your own compost at home is easy to do, as well as good for the environment.

Whether you’re interested in flowers or vegetables, adding compost to your garden will feed your soil with nutrients and micro-organisms far more beneficial than chemical fertilizers, which the rain washes into streams and rivers. Using compost improves the soil’s texture and drainage, helping it to hold the moisture it needs to produce strong, pest-resistant, and productive plants. It’s also the perfect way to dispose ecologically of organic waste. Compost is simply decomposing organic matter. When found in nature, it is the crumbly raw material that produces the soft soil that’s a perfect growing medium

for plants. When properly managed and applied, it is the path to a healthy garden.

How to Compost

Home composting is easy, requiring only a suitable container and an ongoing supply of organic materials, both wet and dry. Some of the best candidates include vegetable and fruit peelings, kitchen scraps (avoiding foods containing salt or butter), tea leaves (without the bags) and coffee grounds (paper filters are OK), dead leaves, crushed egg shells, small weeds, straw, branches, flowers, garden plants after harvesting (such as potato

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and tomato), and grass clippings. Avoid composting meat products or fish, to discourage unwanted pests. Also avoid pet waste and colored paper, which leaves behind a chemical residue. To begin composting, you will need a container. It is possible simply to pile composting materials in a corner of the garden, but composting is a process of controlled decomposition that requires heat. A proper container will keep the heat where it is most useful, and a cover will keep out the rain; while moisture is essential, too much water slows down composting. Compost bins come in a variety of sizes. All provide some kind of access to the bottom of the pile, where the fully decomposed compost can be removed. Commercial composters are available, but it’s also easy to build your own. First, situate your new compost bin close to the kitchen and garden, and where it won’t be an eyesore. A common size for compost bins is three by three by three feet, though the smallest and easiest bin to make is probably one built from a plastic storage bin. Such bins are quickly transformed into a composter by drilling a dozen or so holes in the top for aeration and a similar number in the bottom for drainage. Fill the bin about a quarter full of leaves or shredded newspaper, then fill to the halfway mark with soil. Moisten the contents, and it is ready for use. As you add kitchen scraps to the compost container, check regularly that the contents do not become too dry, and stir occasionally. Add a glass of water as needed, and regularly rock the bin from side to side and front to back to keep the contents mixed. The compost will be ready for use in as little as four to six months—less if worms are added. Larger, permanent composters can be constructed in place by sinking four two-by-fours two feet deep, so that they form a square 36 inches on each side. Use chicken wire or rot-resistant wooden slats (avoid pressure-treated woods) spaced two inches apart on three sides; the fourth side will be the gate. Check the pile periodically and add water and green or dry organic matter, as needed. The pile should be moist but not soggy. Turn the pile often with a pitchfork. Full composting may take from nine to 12 months. Apply dark compost to your garden, flowerbed, or lawn, and enjoy nature’s bounty! —martin hanft SELECTED SOURCES “How to Compost and the Different Types of Compost Bins,” www. DIYNetwork.com ■ “How to Make Better Compost,” www.Compost-Info-Guide.com ■ “How to Make a Compost Bin (It’s Easy & Cheap!)” by John Petersik, www.YoungHouseLove.com, 2008 ■ “How to Make a Composter,” www.bhg.com, 2017

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LAST WORD

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“A flower does not think of competing

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