Living the WELL Life

Greens and Lettuces to Add to Your Diet

Winter Lettuces
Bibb, delicate leaves and flavor
Black Seeded Simpson, crisp, loose leaves
Deer Tongue, triangular delicate green leaves
Four Seasons, French burgundy butterhead
Freckles, burgundy freckled loose leaves
Read Oakleaf, buttery flavored loose leaves
Rouge D-Hiver, red romaine leaves that turn redder in the cold weather
Salad Bowl, sweet, loose leaf with deep lobed leaves
Tom Thumb, tiny 3-inch heads  Read more

It’s Easy Being Green

Shakespeare coined the phrase ‘salad days’ in ‘Antony and Cleopatra,’ referring to a time of youth and innocence. In modern days, this same phrase indicates the peak of life, regardless of age. I wonder if The Bard really knew what he was saying, if he knew the value of greens in keeping us youthful and vital.

Leafy green vegetables (often known as winter greens because of their viability in cold weather) are the greatest powerhouses of nutrition we can imagine. Loaded with antioxidants to slow down aging, vitamin C and D for strong bones; vitamin K for proper clotting of blood and liver synthesizing of protein; fiber for digestion; chlorophyll for strong red blood cells, protein (yes, protein…), calcium, iron and other essential minerals and buckets of moisture to keep us hydrated. And did I mention that they are rich in compounds that battle cancer? Whew!  Read more

GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)…Playing Roulette with Our Lives

G-M-what’s? GMOs are genetically modified organisms that are engineered in a lab, in petri dishes, without any influence from Mother Nature, and then used to create new breeds of foods (and other living things). DNA and other compounds, like pesticides, are incorporated into organisms for an end purpose. We know little about the long-term effects of these foods on us and the planet.

“Round-Up Ready” is the name given to soy and corn that was developed by Monsanto and involves the pesticide Round Up being integrated right into the seeds before they are planted. The theory they are trying to sell is that this will require less pesticides to be sprayed, but according to experts at Cornell University, this practice has ended up requiring a more intense use of pesticides as the plants around the corn and soy (and the corn and soy themselves) grow resistant to the Round Up. Mistake?  Read more

Olive Oil in Skincare? Really. - by Mario Di'Martino

In March of 2007, I read a book by my now good friend Dr. Maher Abbas called "Olive Oil Cookery." Not only did it have amazing Mediterranean style food recipes using extra virgin olive oil, but I also found a wealth of information from a doctor’s perspective as to why consuming olive oil is great for your health. 

That same year at a family reunion, my Aunt Lena bragged on about how she had been rubbing olive oil on her skin for 50 years, and at age 88 she looked great! It was at that point that I decided to take all of the years of nutritional knowledge my parents had given me along with this new love for extra virgin olive oil to create a skincare system that was unique and espoused the benefits of ancient therapeutic treatments. In 2010, my company Vita Bella created the world’s first organic olive oil plant-based phytonutrient skincare system.  Read more

Demo Class - Live Like You’re an Italian

March 17, 2013 - 10am to 1pm  $30
No, I don’t mean moving back in with your mother. I mean live your life choosing whole fresh, seasonal foods, elegantly and simply cooked and so satisfying…because they are nutrient dense as well as delicious. They don’t call it La Dolce Vita for nothing!  Read more

Demo Class - Your Inner Health

April 6, 2013 - 10am to 1pm
We worry about the planet and the environment in which we live. But what about the environment inside us? My teacher used to say if we took care of our inner environment the one in which we lived would naturally be cleaned as we would not be able to tolerate it any other way. Join me as we cook to keep our inner workings working well.  Read more

We Have the Right to Know What’s in Our Food

A recent survey conducted by Reuters and National Public Radio in October 2010 states that more than 90 percent of Americans think genetically modified organisms (GMOs) should be labeled. Come November, California may join the more than 40 countries of the world that label GMOs with the passage of a ballot initiative called the California Right to Know. If California wins a labeling victory, then it could pave the way for the rest of the country.  Read more

Holy GMO’s, Batman! In Artificial Sweeteners, Too?

GMO’s are complex and often confusing. They are ingredients derived from plants whose DNA has been altered with genes from other plants, animals, bacteria or viruses. 
Yuck, right?
If you didn’t think artificial sweeteners were bad enough, aspartame, considered by many to be the most widely used sweetener in the world, is found in soda, sweets, diet foods and a host of other processed foods. And by virtue of the fact that it’s an artificial sweetener (and with that comes a laundry list of troubles), now it has been discovered that it’s being made using a secret genetic engineering process…a fact that has some scientists saying further testing is needed to discover the impact on human health.  Read more

Kale Power!

As hearty dark leafy greens come into season, they are at their most tender, sweetly flavored and oh, so yummy. Incorporating them into your daily eating will make you big and strong as they provide us with most of the vitamins, minerals (and fiber) we need to nourish our vitality.  Read more

Fear, Ambivalence, and Raising a Vegan Family

“Propaganda.”  “Brainwashing.”  “Dangerous!”  Who knew that a children’s book about veganism could provoke these charges? While my first picture book, That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals, was welcomed by veg populations around the world, it also caused such controversy—garnering attacks online, in animal agriculture trade magazines, and even from Farm Bureau CEOs. My recently released picture book Vegan Is Love: Having Heart and Taking Action also caused an uproar in the media. I admit—I loved it. I’ve always been interested in the underbelly of things, and each case of opposition to my books provides me the opportunity to study the invisible forces that shape public thinking about children, food, health, and animals.  Read more

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