Brussels sprouts are one of those vegetables that most people either love or hate. For many of us they’re no longer the food that our mother’s forced us to eat. Brussels sprouts have graduated onto my superfood list and with good reason. They’re not only full of flavor, but they also have a ton of health benefits. I’m a lover and I know I’m not alone.
There are quite a few good reasons to become a lover of brussels sprouts.
Lower cholesterol. Steamed brussels sprouts can help lower your cholesterol. Steaming allows their fiber to bind to bile acids in your digestive system more effectively, which allows those bile acids to exit the body as waste.
Fight cancer. Brussels sprouts contain glucosinolates and isothiocyanates, which are shown to fight against and also prevent various types of cancers, including bladder, breast, colon, lung, prostate, and ovarian cancer.
Bone health. Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin K (one cup contains 273.5% of the recommended daily allowance), which promotes healthy bones and prevents calcification of the body’s tissues.
Eye health. Brussels sprouts are a good source of vitamin A, which is essential to proper functioning of the retina. It also helps prevent night blindness by helping the eye to adapt between bright light and darkness, helps reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and the forming of cataracts.
Healthy weight. They are a low-glycemic vegetable packed with a powerful punch. Just 100 g of brussels sprouts is about 45 calories, and contains 3.38 g of protein, 3.80 g of dietary fiber (10% of RDA) and zero cholesterol.
Pregnancy health. Studies have shown that women who get 400 micrograms (0.4 milligrams) of folate daily before conceiving and during early pregnancy reduce the risk that their baby will be born with a serious neural tube defect (a birth defect involving incomplete development of the brain and spinal cord) by up to 70%. Eating your brussels sprouts can help. Eating one cup of boiled brussels sprouts will give you approximately 25% of your daily recommended amount.
Lower blood pressure. They are filled with potassium, which helps lower blood pressure and maybe even cholesterol.
These delicious little cabbages don’t fall under EWG’s Dirty Dozen as a vegetable that should be purchased only in it’s organic form, but I would suggest buying organic when you can. I rarely find organic brussels sprouts at the farmer’s market or local grocery store.
Do you love or hate brussels sprouts? Any luck finding organic sprouts?
Incorporating more food from a plant-based diet has been a goal of mine for quite sometime. When a friend sent over an invite to a blogger event called ‘Entertaining with a Healthy Twist’ I was immediately sold. How could I pass on an opportunity to meet Chef Chad Sarno, a chef who focuses on plant-based diets? Off I went to a local Whole Foods Market to participate in a cooking demo. Chef Sarno co-authored a cookbook with Kris Carr called Crazy Sexy Kitchen: 150 Plant-Empowered Recipes to Ignite a Mouthwatering Revolution. Kris is a cancer survivor (she calls herself a cancer thriver-I love that!) who inspires people to take charge of their health and happiness by adopting a plant-based diet.
Chef Chad Sarno is known for bringing his approach to healthy cuisine to some of the world’s premier health-focused restaurants, resorts, film sets and healing spas. He wears many hats, one of which is the Global Health Starts Here recipe developer for Whole Foods Market. I learned very quickly that he’s full of amazing tips for eating an animal-free, whole foods diet. Tips that I would actually use!
When I first arrived there were delicious vegan hors d’oeuvres being passed around and time to mingle with other local foodies. It was so nice to meet in real life fellow green blogger, Alison from Green with Renvy who I’ve been in touch with on Twitter for quite some time.
During his cooking demonstration Chad said something that really stuck with me: “Eating plant-based is so much more than just eating salads”. So true and so easy to forget.
Here are a few healthy tips for eating a plant-based diet which Chad shared with us during his cooking demonstration.
Ginger doesn’t need to be peeled, but if you do peel it use a spoon. There will be less ginger that goes to waste.
You don’t need oil to stir fry. Heat your pan and add onions. The seal created by the onions will create a non-stick surface. Now you’re good to go with your stir fry. No oil needed!
For a non-dairy substitute cashews are your nut. When blended they become smooth and a perfect dairy replacement.
Breaking News: Tide has agreed to reformulate laundry detergents!
For those of you who have been following Groovy Green Livin for a while you’ll remember that Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE) released a report , Dirty Secrets: What’s Hiding in Your Cleaning Products?, which revealed high levels of the cancer-causing chemical 1,4-dioxane hiding out in Tide® and Tide Free & Gentle® . 1,4-dioxane has been linked in animal studies to increased risk of breast cancer. This toxic chemical doesn’t appear on the Tide product label or on the product website, so consumers have no way of knowing it’s even there.
Many of you know that I started a petition over at Change.org demanding that Procter & Gamble (makers of Tide) strip this harmful cancer-causing chemical out of Tide Free & Gentle®. As it turned out I wasn’t the only one who wanted these cancer-causing chemicals out of their Tide laundry detergent.
The petition went viral. Over 78,000 of you stepped up to the plate and raised your voice, demanding that Procter & Gamble change the formulation of their Tide laundry detergent. We knew Procter & Gamble could make this change because they’ve done it before. Back in 2010 the company reformulated its Herbal Essences® shampoo to eliminate 1,4-dioxane. We continued to turn up the volume, letting Procter & Gamble know that we wouldn’t stop until they made a change.
Following the WVE report, As You Sow, an Oakland-based nonprofit, filed a lawsuit against Procter & Gamble for violating Proposition 65, the California law governing toxic chemical exposure in consumer products.
On January 24, 2013 Procter & Gamble, makers of Tide® and Tide Free & Gentle® detergents agreed in a California court to reformulate its detergents to reduce levels of 1,4 dioxane to below 25 parts per million. Procter & Gamble will complete the reformulation process by September of 2013!
The Power of Our Collective Voice
Yes, I started the petition but YOU made it happen. By taking a few seconds out of your day to add your name to that petition you made a difference.
This victory is a testament to the power of our collective voices. We just moved the biggest consumer product company on the planet to make a change, a big change, in just one short year. Together we not only made a difference in our own health we made Tide safer for the millions of people who use it globally.
Thank you to all the fabulous writers and friends who covered this story on their blogs and/or in other media. There are too many of you to name, but just know that you were instrumental in making this happen. Thank you.
Thank you to WVE for spearheading the report and working tirelessly to make sure Procter & Gamble was held accountable. Cassidy (the star of the victory video above) you rock!
Thank you to As You Sow for adding that extra pressure that helped turn the tables on this issue.
Thank you to Change.org for providing a fabulous petition platform which empowers people everywhere to create change.
Together We Made this Happen
So after September of 2013 when you see a bottle of Tide® or Tide Free & Gentle® sitting on the shelves in the store walk by with your head held high, knowing that you made that product a bit safer for families everywhere. Maybe you’ll even share the story with your children and let them know how powerful we really are.
Congratulations. This victory is yours!Please take a moment to thank Procter & Gamble for listening to our concerns.
Toxic chemicals are everywhere. As parents most of us do our best to keep our kids safe, but unfortunately it’s not always easy or within our control. Our kids are exposed to toxic chemicals on a daily basis through a variety of consumer products found in our homes. This is unacceptable. If you’ve been a Groovy Green Livin follower for a bit you know that this is an issue I care about and I write about often.
Stand up for kids not toxic chemicals
Today I’m joining forces with Safer Chemicals Healthy Families and people across the country to ask our Congressional candidates to stand up for kids NOT Big Chemical! Toxic chemicals are found in so many consumer products that are in our homes-toys, lunch boxes, even Halloween costumes. Through these products and many others kids and their families are exposed to toxic chemicals like lead, pthalates, cadmium, and formaldehyde. Studies have shown a direct link between toxic chemicals and childhood cancer, early puberty, infertility and learning and developmental disabilities. This can’t go on.
Girls and boys starting puberty much earlier than before
We already know that girls are maturing at a younger age, with many starting to develop breasts as early as age 7 or 8. Just this week research was released showing American boys are showing signs of starting puberty six months to two years earlier than they did 30 to 40 years ago.
Today people across the country will be contacting their Congressional candidates to ask them to stand up for the Safer Chemicals agenda. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican, Democrat or undecided-this issue affects all of us!
Healthy Families Day of Action: Here’s how you can help
Share Safer Chemical Healthy Families action materials via social media. Head over to theirFacebook page or find them on Twitter and share our action links and images that state “I stand with kids, not Big Chemical!”
As parents it’s our responsibility to advocate for our children since they don’t have a voice. We have a voice – it’s a collective voice that can be used in a very powerful way to effectuate change. Remember that any small action you make can and will make a difference.
There’s a cabinet above the fruit bowl in our kitchen that’s overflowing with vitamin supplements. When I was pregnant I was very diligent and took my prenatal vitamin like clockwork. But ever since my pregnancies I’ve completely fallen off the wagon and all those supplements are sitting in the cabinet untouched. I focus on eating well and hope that everything I need comes from my diet. Not always the case.
Adding vitamin supplements back into my diet has been on my mind for quite sometime. I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf now that the school year has begun. I’m going to take a probiotic for starters and the rest of my family is going to join in on the fun.
Probiotics are bacteria that help keep everything balanced in your intestines. The human digestive system is designed to have “good” and “bad” bacteria. Trying to maintain a balance between the two keeps us healthy. Many times we are able to do this through a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle, but there are times when your body needs a little extra help. Taking medications, a change in diet, diseases, and the environment can upset our bodies natural balance. Adding a probiotic to your diet can help.
Health benefits of taking a probiotic
The list of potential health benefits of probiotics continues to grow. While research is on going, the Mayo Clinic suggests that taking a probiotic could help:
Treat diarrhea, especially following treatment with certain antibiotics
Prevent and treat yeast infections and urinary tract infections
Treat irritable bowel syndrome
Reduce bladder cancer recurrence
Speed treatment of certain intestinal infections
Prevent and treat eczema (and potentially allergies) in children
All probiotics aren’t created equal. ‘Probiotic’ has been a buzz word in the supplement industry for a few years and many vitamin manufacturers are eagerly entering the retail space. There’s an over abundance of probiotic choices. Here are a few tips to help find a probiotic that’s right for you:
Use a reputable brand. Be picky.
Look for a high dose-over 8 billion live cultures per capsule.
Ask questions. I always accost the people at our local Whole Foods with questions.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you probably know that exercise is a big part of my life. It really kicked in when I started law school many moons ago. During a school vacation week I traveled with my family to Israel. My brothers and sister were always (and still are) in fabulous shape. We decided to climb Masada-an historical mountain in Israel. Off went my sister and brothers and I fell behind, needing to stop periodically to rest. After a few comments in semi-jest from my family, I knew that the time had come to get in shape.
I joined a gym in Boston and made exercise a part of my daily routine. I did my first road race with my husband and a few close friends to celebrate my thirtieth birthday. I don’t always have a goal in mind when it comes to fitness, and I don’t always need one, but I continue to incorporate it into my life. I mix it up with a little yoga, running, cycling and going to the gym. I ramped it up a few years ago and trained for my first sprint triathlon in honor of a little boy in our town who lost his life to cancer. It’s been four years and the triathlon has become an annual event.
When summer comes my consistent, daily work-out isn’t as consistent and it makes me crazy. I’ve tried over the years to find ways to work fitness in and been relatively successful, but there’s room for improvement.
The amount I exercise had been pretty consistent over the years and my eating habits are in relatively good shape, with an occasional splurge or indulgence. My weight really doesn’t fluctuate that much and hasn’t in many years. BUT I’m starting to notice that my metabolism has changed and I do need to pay closer attention to what goes in-the quantity of food I’m eating- or it could end up landing in the wrong spot. So I need some motivation to stay where I am.
Go Green Get Fit Challenge
This summer I’m joining a group of 25+ remarkable green bloggers in the Eco Mom Alliance’s Go Green Get Fit Challenge presented by Healthy Home Magazine. We are joining forces and on June 18, 2012 we will launch our 12 week health and wellness series where we will all share our ups and downs throughout the challenge. We will be working together to offer information, inspiration, and motivation for each other and-you guessed it-I’m hoping that you’ll join me too.
My Fitness Goals
Pick up my pace in the swim portion of the triathlon. I also panic just before the start ‘gun’ goes off. Anyone want to train me? I’ve been swimming all of my life and feel pretty comfortable in the water. But I’m not fast.
Cycle as fast as my husband. My legs aren’t as long, but I think I can do it. Especially since he doesn’t think I can.
Find a consistent time to exercise over the summer or be accepting of the amount of time I find to keep in shape.
ENERGY STAR is a program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that helps us save money and protect the environment and our health through energy-efficient products and practices. In 2011 alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved enough energy to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 41 million cars — all while saving $23 billion on their utility bills and reducing the pollution that contributes to heart disease, asthma and allergies.
Sounds as though we’ve made quite a difference, but there’s still plenty to do. Climate change continues to be a very real concern and childhood illnesses, including asthma and cancer, are on the rise. Team ENERGY STAR is asking that we get our children involved and encourage them to save energy at home-because we all know the future is in their hands.
Team ENERGY STAR is a new, exciting initiative from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program, developed to engage and educate American youth and their families about saving energy in the home.Team ENERGY STAR empowers kids to help protect the climate through easy-to-implement, money-saving actions and provides them an outlet for sharing their passion for preserving our environment. And, with Dr. Seuss’ the Lorax as the engaging theme for Team ENERGY STAR, kids can learn and have fun at the same time.
Being part of the team involves the following simple steps:
Take steps to reduce your energy use at home
Help your family and friends save energy
Encourage your family and friends to take the ENERGY STAR Pledge
Inspire others by sharing your story
Once you join
Once you join you will be given access to Team Energy Star. You’ll receive:
A Team ENERGY STAR certificate of participation-a guide for saving energy at home, including Energy-Saving Tips and Tools, the ENERGY STAR Home Check-Up, and the ENERGY STAR Pledge.
Energy efficiency games to play with your kids
Become a Lorax mustache kit-you’ll have to join to see what this is!
An activity booklet filled with fun games and a poster that you can color in and display at home to remind your family about ways to save energy.
Energy Facts: Did you know……
The average house is responsible for more than 25,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions per year, about twice as much as the average car.
Electricity demand for U.S. homes is expected to climb by as much as 18 percent by 2035.
The typical household spends more than $2,100 per year on energy bills. With ENERGY STAR, you can save over one-third, or more than $700 on your household energy bills.
If every American household took the actions found in the Change the World, Start with ENERGY STAR Pledge, we would save more than126 billion KWh/year of electricity and save $18 billion in annual energy costs. We would prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions from 20 million cars.
This year, EPA is proud to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ENERGY STAR program. For two decades, ENERGY STAR has helped millions of Americans and thousands of businesses save energy, save money and protect the climate.
Today, ENERGY STAR is one of the most well-known brands in the country, with over 80% of Americans recognizing it as the symbol of superior energy efficiency.
So I hope you’ll join me and take the pledge with your families to make a difference.
UPDATE: Your kids are invited to participate in the Share Your Story campaign!
Are your kids interested in saving energy and doing their part to make a difference? ENERGY STAR is accepting submissions to their Share Your Story campaign until September 17th and winners will be announced on October 10th. If your kids submit a story they immediately become eligible for a number of prizes, including:
The new Lorax DVD, which will go to the first 100 kids to submit essays
25 winners will receive ENERGY STAR qualified electronics products donated by LG Electronics, including computer monitors and televisions, smart phones, and mouse scanners
Top winners will also be featured in New York’s Times Square on the LG billboard.
Some of the winners may have a chance to participate in ENERGY STAR day in October with EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.
How cool is that??
How do you and your family conserve energy at home?
This post is part of a carnival of posts from many bloggers and their children who support energy efficiency and Team ENERGY STAR. Please head over to Big Green Purse to see what everyone has to say.
Lori Popkewitz Alper, Founder and Editor of Groovy Green Livin, provides eco-wellness consulting for businesses, schools, homes and individuals; and inspiration for a greener lifestyle through her Groovy Green Livin blog and website. Read more….