Incense—it can change the mood; maybe even your life!May 20, 2013
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 4:23 PM
Some of us have not even thought about the exotic smells of burning incense since the heady 1960s. Then, it was all the rage to burn long ribbons of the stuff at parties, in college dorms and sorority houses (hoping we wouldn’t forget about it and burn down the place) while the like-minded gathered to talk about art films, differing philosophies, all the wondrous literature that suddenly crossed our paths as college students, and, of course, boys.
Incense would later mean other things to other generations—such as a cover-up to pot smoking—but to those of us who went to university in the early 60s, incense was something ethereal. Our parents had never even heard of it, except for the times the Catholic or Orthodox priests blessed the church altars. Incense was all ours. Something secretive, seductive, almost spiritual in nature.
So, you might imagine our surprise to find it still alive and well at GreenAcres Market. Satya Sai Baba Nag Champa, the most well known and the world’s largest exported incense is still being made today, just as it has for purportedly thousands of years, and now manufactured by the Srinivas Sugandhalaya company in Navi Mumbai, India.
It smells divine, and rightfully so. It takes its name from an Indian guru and spiritual leader who died only a few years ago at the age of 84, and who declared himself an avatar of another spiritual leader who lived a century before. Mysticism always swirls around the colors, scents and spices of exotic India. The fact that Satya Sai Baba lends his name to the aromatic blend of resins, gums, flowers and oils in this powerful-smelling incense makes the incense experience even more compelling.
Satya Sai Baba apparently has hardly left the earth for those who still follow his philosophy and befriend him on Facebook. His Facebook page has more than 26,000 followers! The late Baba’s declaration is selfless and appeals to those who have tired of the political and self-promoting:
“I have come to light the lamp of Love in your hearts,” he has said. “To see that it shines day by day with added luster. I have not come on behalf of any exclusive religion. I have not come on a mission of publicity for a sect or creed or cause, nor have I come to collect followers for a doctrine. I have no plan to attract disciples or devotees into my fold or any fold. I have come to tell you this unitary faith, this spiritual principle, this path of Love, this virtue of Love, this duty of Love, this obligation of Love.”
Who can argue with that?! But just who was this Satya Sai Baba? If you google him on the Internet, you will find both adulation and skepticism; but today, as when he was alive, an estimated 6 to 100 million followers still revere him and his simple philosophy. Baba supported countless worthy causes and organizations throughout his lifetime, including colleges and schools, hospitals and charitable institutions. After he died, and the state went through his home, inspectors found rooms full of treasures given to him by both the simple and the high-minded, commoners and kings. Treasures he apparently did not use for himself. Rumors swirled about impropriety, but none ever disproved Baba’s intent and vigor to give to the world.
The price placed on his earthly contributions total in some estimates to be in the trillions of dollars US. And with most whose memory serves to side on the saintly rather than the devilish, the Baba will no doubt continue to be revered for as long as those who love him will continue to spread his story and adulation to the next generation.
How Baba ever got his name on Nag Champa incense will have to be the subject of another blog. Presumably, along with photos of Baba that are displayed in millions of homes and car dashboards, in lockets and amulets kept in wallets for spiritual protection, incense will continue to be lighted around the world. And that unique, pungent odor will curl and waft in Baba’s memory, giving those of us who have never met him, nor really ever heard of him, something mystical to ponder.
It’s what’s on the menu for kids this summer and whenever healthy eating is the topic of discussion!May 17, 2013
If you and your children or grandchildren attended our Kids’ Healthy Eating Seminar in any of our GreenAcres stores this week, you might have noticed how quickly the kids scarfed up those victuals!
Tasty and nutritious at the same time—you can’t beat that combo. So, just to recap, we’re printing the menu here for moms and dads to consider the next time they’re wondering what to feed the kids while still trying to stay the course for healthy eating.
On the menu:
Organic Prairie Hot Dogs – Made with USDA certified organic, pasture-raised beef that comes straight from local ranchers. The hot dogs are uncured with no synthetic nitrates or nitrites. They contain no preservatives or artificial ingredients.
Rudi’s Hot Dog Buns – The buns contain 19 grams of whole wheat grains, 3g of fiber and 4g of protein per roll. Free of synthetic chemicals, artificial ingredients, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup and they are Non GMO and USDA certified organic. They are soy free, dairy free and vegan.
Dr. Praeger’s Sweet Potato Pancakes – Made entirely of sweet potatoes, egg whites, potato flakes, onions expeller pressed canola oil, arrowroot, brown sugar, salt and pepper. They are gluten free, no cholesterol, transfat, or saturated fats, all natural, certified Kosher and low in fat.
Organic Valley Aseptic Milk – Comes from family farms at Organic Valley. They are certified organic, produced with no antibiotics, no hormones, no pesticides. With aseptic packaging, these milks are shelf stable; do not require refrigeration; and provide the optimal balance between nutrition and convenience.
Funky Monkey Fruit Snack – These are 100% real, freeze-dried fruit; 100% fat free, all natural, without added sugars or preservatives, artificial coloring or flavorings. They are vegan, RAW, gluten free, kosher and peanut/tree nut free.
Bitsy’s Brainfood Snacks – An excellent source of Vitamins A, B12, B6, D3 and Folic Acid. Also, Omega 3 EPA and DHA. Contains 32mg or Omega 3s per servings, which is 20% of the 160mg daily value. A great source of calcium and iron as well. No GMOs.
What’s better for you—RAW or cooked?May 16, 2013
Much controversy seems to swirl around vegetables these days. Are they more nutritious right out of the ground or off the vine, in their pristine, raw state, or are they better cooked which may release certain enzymes that benefit the consumer in ways he knows and knows not?
RAW foodies say raw is best. But not everyone’s digestive system can adapt. There’s a woman on the speaking circuit that swears by RAW, that preaches RAW. Just looking at her—almost 60, she appears no more than 40—and immediately everyone’s on board to eat RAW, at least in theory. This woman has vitality up the ying-yang. Her complexion has a moist, translucent glow. She doesn’t carry an ounce of extra fat. When you hear her speak, you know at least for that moment you’re on board, you’re going RAW.
Then, you read that article that says some foods have to be cooked to release valuable vitamins and minerals. So, how do you know?
Thank God for bloggers who contemplate these very things and write about them so we all can benefit. Squidoo.com weighs the RAW against cooked in a recent article, and presents the following:
Carrots – “It has been found that cooking carrots actually increases the level of beta-carotene. The reason being, raw carrots have tough cellular walls and cooking breaks down those walls to free up nutrients in the body. An experiment carried out at the Institute of Food Research in 2009 showed that the body can absorb about 5% of the beta carotene from a single carrot, whereas if it’s boiled, the carrot releases 60%. Same goes for zucchini and broccoli.”
We notice our cooks at GreenAcres prepare lots of carrots, zucchini and broccoli—almost daily—always cooked.
Tomatoes – “Tomatoes are a good source of lycopene, the phytonutrient which gives the tomato its red color and also its antioxidant power. A report in Scientific American suggests that simply cooking the tomato will increase the antioxidant power of lycopene. Heating changes the chemical structure of lycopene to make it more bioavailable. Studies have shown the lycopene has antibacterial and antifungal properties that help reduce inflammation and fight infections and cancer.” And we all know that inflammation is the culprit behind most—maybe all—disease in the body.
But wait! Here’s what the RAW foodies say about all that: Veggies are packed with enzymes, and cooking drains those away. Without enzymes, vitamins and minerals are ineffective—they actually require enzymes to do their duty and reach their mark.
Enzymes can’t survive past a certain cooking temp of approximately 115 degrees F. Most cooked veggies are heated at much higher temps. RAW enthusiasts say that Vitamins C and B are among the first to go in cooking. Raw veggies retain chlorophyll, lutein and indoles which help fight unhealthy cells. Some raw foods are high in carotenoids which are high in antioxidants which support cardiovascular and immune health, and polyphenols which support cardiovascular health. Sooooo, where does that leave us? Betwixt and between.
We go back to Squidoo for more info and here’s what he says:
“If you’re going to eat raw, then eat vegetables that are freshly picked. There is a significant loss in the nutrient value of raw vegetables that have been picked too long before being eaten.
· Chew your raw vegetables well, at least 20 times per bite.
· Make a raw vegetable smoothie. You are able to consume several types of raw vegetables at one time in an easy-to-drink smoothie.
· Food poisoning due to contaminated raw foods has increased since the 1970s. Some of the foods that have led to these outbreaks include salads, sprouts, melons and berries. In May 2011, an outbreak of E.coli caused thousands in Europe to be sick. The contamination was traced back to an organic farm in Germany producing a variety of sprouted foods.”
Well, we may never settle this argument. Some of us prefer to take the middle road: Eat plenty of raw veggies and salads, while enjoying plenty of digestible cooked vegetables. As long as we are persistent in eating a diet high in protein, vegetables, fruits and nuts, we can’t go too wrong.
When in doubt, we invite you to dine with us every day of the week at GreenAcres, where we serve the best all natural, non-GMO produce, grass fed meat, sustainable fish and organic fruits anywhere. We truly believe “you can have it raw or cooked…and eat it too!” Bon appetite!
Easy, breezy springtime eating!May 13, 2013
With all the beautiful, ripe fruit and vegetables beginning to come into Green Acres, it starts some of us thinking of easy, breezy springtime entertaining.
Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, caveman, gluten free or grain-convinced, you’ll love these recipes that are spotlighted in the recent Garden of Life magazine called, Extraordinary Health. Just looking at the colorful photographs gets the mouth watering for RAW and uncomplicated food.
How does Simple Mango Cazpacho sound? Or Avocado Salad Wraps? Or Raspberry Vanilla Cream Popsicles for dessert? Yum! Not a bad ladies luncheon, picnic family supper or a regular meal “just because”—just because we all deserve it!
Last Saturday, Matt, one of our owners, gave some Wichita GreenAcres customers a lesson in cutting up a ripe mango. Not as easy as you think without a very sharp knife! But if you’ve ever tried to tear into that juicy fruit without really knowing how, by the time you pry your way through, you’ve got a puddle of juice all over the kitchen counter and a bunch of stringy pulp. So, before you try the recipe that follows, check out this Youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcDPB7wTReg
Simple Mango Gaz courtesy of RAW Chef Penni Shelton
2 c. diced fresh mangoes
2 c. freshly squeezed orange juice
1 c. chopped cucumber, peeled and seeded
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
3 T. fresh lime juice
2 T. chopped fresh cilantro (or basil or mint—you choose)
2 T. organic cold-pressed EVOO
1 t. onion powder
Himalayan sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Red onion, chopped for garnish
Avocado, sliced for garnish
Reserve a bit of the mango, cucumber, red pepper and cilantro to use as the final garnish, if desired. Process the remaining ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour into bowls and garnish for soup or this can easily be poured into a glass enjoyed as a savory, sweet smoothie.
Avocado Salad Wraps courtesy Dr. Josh Axe
2 avocados, cubed
1 red pepper, cubed
2 T. diced red onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ c. fresh cilantro, chopped
2 t. fresh lemon juice
6 to 8 romaine lettuce leaves, roughly chopped
6 gluten free wraps
Mix all ingredients, except the wraps, in a bowl. Scoop out approximately ½ cup mixture into each gluten free wrap and roll. Serve.
Raspberry Vanilla Cream Popsicles courtesy Pure Fresh Daily
1 13.5 oz can organic coconut milk or 2 cups whole fat coconut yogurt
2 6oz. packages fresh respberries
4 T. raw honey
1 t. vanilla extract
2 T. Garden of Life Coconut Oil
Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend on high until smooth, frothy and creamy. Pour into popsicle mold and insert handle tops or wooden sticks (depending on the molds you have.)
Freeze for a minimum of three hours. Once thoroughly frozen, turn popsicle mold maker on its side under running hot water, but do not allow water to touch popsicles! If there are any left over, store in plastic individual plastic bags in the fridge.
As always, you can buy all of the above ingredients at GreenAcres Market. If you decide to try any of these recipes, please let us hear how you life them!
As always, you can buy all of the above ingredients at GreenAcres Market. If you decide to try any of these recipes, please let us hear how you life them!
MOTHER SAYS!May 09, 2013
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 4:58 PM
On this her special upcoming Sunday, we just had to post Matt’s Top Five Lessons We All Learned From Mother. They are all old as the hills, as they say, but they’ve stood the test of time.
Many of us have lived long enough to encounter people who somehow didn’t learn these little life lessons, and they have fared not too well because of it.
So on this Mother’s Day weekend, we toast our moms, dead or alive, and revisit some of their sage warnings, admonitions and “sweet suggestions.” We remember everything good they ever taught us and hopefully pass on the best of the best to our own children and grandchildren. Here they are:
Five: Eat your vegetables! Who knew that all these years later that Mom was on to something? Experts agree that the best way to maintain your health and fight disease is a diet high in colorful vegetables. I recall gagging on bits of mushrooms or having to sit at the table till 9 p.m. for not eating my vegetable, but now I love all vegetables.
Four: Be nice to your sister. When it is all said and done, life really is about relationships. Money can buy you fancy houses, clothes and cars, but can it buy you love of an enduring kind? Remember that what you give out in your relationships will be returned to you multiplied. Kindness begets kindness!
Three: Go outside and play. These words of wisdom always serve as a reminder to stay active and keep moving. If you want to stay slim and trim, you will need to get outside and play in the garden, ride a bike, walk, run—just turn off the TV, step away from the computer, and do something physical!
Two: Go to bed on time. Of course growing up this was especially painful, but in the long run it makes perfect sense. Doctors and patients spend tons of time and millions of dollars trying to help people get to sleep, and stay asleep. Oh, if only they had learned discipline at bedtime at a young age, they would not have the problem today!
One: Eat breakfast. Although mother did not know that eating breakfast fueled your metabolism, she insisted that no one left her house in the morning without eating. She worried we would starve to death or at least not be able to think in school with an empty stomach. Words of wisdom from many years ago, still relevant today! HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!
The almighty coconut is again a big player in the Alaffia product arsenal!May 06, 2013
And the products are free of sodium lauryl sulfate, synthetic fragrance, animal testing, refined oils, parabens and gluten.”
We at GreenAcres love the Alaffia products and encourage all our customers to give them a try.
Gifts from the heart that spell M.O.T.H.E.R.May 02, 2013
Mother’s Day is a week from this coming Sunday and customers already are wondering what to get their moms, girlfriends, even their sisters on this lovely day as tokens of their appreciation for what the women in their lives have meant to them.
To our wonderment, there are so many great things at GreenAcres to choose from, we just decided to ask our Health and Beauty and Supplement market team to pick one item they might like for themselves or to give to their mothers on Mother’s Day. Here’s what they chose:
· Irwin Naturals “Sunny Mood” supplements—uplifting to the spirits (we guess because in Wichita today, it’s still winter out.)
· Newton Homeopathic’s Sciatica Nerve Care—some of the mom’s we imagine are a bit down in the hip.
· Dr. Houschka’s Eye Concealer—for obvious reasons. Whether women need this or not, they think they do.
· Earth Therapeutic’s Relaxing Microwavable Comfort Wrap with Lavender and Chamomile—almost sounds good enough to eat!
· Pacifica’s Vanilla-flavor Soy Candle—both beautiful to look at (fuschia in color) and to scent the entire house.
· Now Solutions’ Tranquil Rose Massage Oil—for those who need a loving touch.
· Zum’s mini Zumbag full of mini soaps, body washes and lip balms—to “feel mothered on Mother’s Day.”
· Valerie Ann Worwood’s The Complete Guide Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy—just to sit in a comfy chair and read all about so many delicious and fragrant “healers.”
· Flowers: a big bouquet of white hydrangeas and orange lilies—what could be more lovely?
This gives you some ideas as you contemplate your gift giving. A gift basket is always nice—and GreenAcres can fill it with all kinds of lovely products. How about just giving a gift certificate and letting your loved one pick out what she’d like? Whatever you decide, we’re here to help.
Without our moms and dads, we wouldn’t be here today. A little extra attention on Mom’s special day will just mean so much to both of you. After all, mothers are a gift to us, and we are our mother’s most precious gift of all!
If you can dream it, you “Can see clearly, WOW!”April 29, 2013
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 3:19 PM
That’s actually a name of one of the Better Life-Clean Happens all-natural scrubbing, dishwashing, floor mopping, hand lubricating products on the market today. Clean Happens is the company with the hysterical names like: “Simply Floored,” “WhatEVER,” “Oak-y Dokey,” “Work it. Own it.” We know customers who have bought the products just for their names, and why not? They actually work, and work well. And you just can’t beat the fun of creative marketing. We’re floored by that…ok, ok, pun intended.
The company was started by two long-time friends—two guys watching their toddlers crawling and climbing all over the place while they conversed. Observation of the kids touching everything in sight then thrusting chubby fingers in their mouths gave the dads pause. The conversation switched to home cleaners and the dangers of toxic residues. Tim, the encourager, and Kevin the formulation chemist decided then and there to create a line of cleaning products the friends could work together.
The year was 2007. Kevin repaired immediately to his chemistry lab—he was actually a well-established chemist with a successful track record of more than 300 well-known products--and Tim started to put dreams and business plan on paper. Today the two guys are still best friends who have made their dream a reality. Kevin Tibbs, mad scientist, will be the guest vendor on our May 18 GreenAcres Health Talk radio show. You’ll want to tune in on that Saturday in Wichita and Kansas City, and on Sunday in Tulsa/Jenks to hear the story of how Clean Happens came to be.
A quick look at the Clean Happens website shows a picture of Kevin “cooking” and a couple of Tim and his family: his wife, Nancy, posing while cleaning and juicing…and Tim, on a sun-drenched beach in Hawaii with the kids enjoying the fruits of his bounty. Life is good! And for sure it’s clean. After watching a video of Kevin ingesting one of his spray products (yikes!) and Tim passionately telling us that he loves his products so much, he even takes them on vacation…we were totally convinced. How could we not be?! Says Tim:
· We always bring Better Life soap and lotion with us wherever we go. This keeps us from using the throw-away bottles at the hotel and avoiding the proliferation of what are usually highly fragranced, petro-chemical based products. Better Life soap can be used for shower gel, shampoo and hands. We also use small reusable plastic containers for smaller sizes of any products that we want to bring with us, such as conditioner.
· We use compression bags to pack things like socks and underwear. This not only saves space (and the cost associated with checking additional bags), it also saves space on the plane.
· We try to eat healthy when traveling. A lot of times this means going to the grocery store vs. going out to restaurants for each meal. Unfortunately this can increase the potential to waste food, especially on shorter trips. In most cases the housekeeping department is happy to take a half loaf of bread or whatever might be left over. This allows us to buy healthy options for the family without feeling guilty about wasting unused items.
· When going somewhere for an extended stay, we plan out our meals and grocery list prior to leaving. When we arrive at our destination, a stop at the supermarket is one of the first things that we do. By planning ahead of time, we eliminate waste of unused food, the fuel needed to go back and forth to the store, and we save a ton of time and stress by knowing we have most everything we need for the entire stay.
Could you doubt a guy like that? In the meantime, we encourage you to drop in at a GreenAcres Market near you and pick up one of the Clean Happens products—all natural, completely safe without damaging toxins of any kind and let us know if you like it…and see if you, too, catch the dream!
There’s more to tea than meets the cup!April 25, 2013
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 5:04 PM
Dr. Joseph Mercola who writes a daily health blog on the Internet is a big believer in the benefits of tea—especially green tea. He’s not so keen on the plastic and paper wrappers commercial teas come in, in fact, his latest blog this week was death against the toxins in those little papers. But, the good doctor warned his readers “not to get discouraged and give up drinking tea all together,” and went on to list the benefits of drinking tea which he highly recommends more than any other beverage except water. He ticked off a few of the benefits:
· It neutralizes the effects to your body of harmful fats and oils
· It inhibits bacteria and viruses
· It improves digestion
· It protects against oxidation in your brain and liver
· It helps promote healthy gums
Practically medicine, we say! The tea-drinking in China and the US not withstanding, when we think of the ritual of the Afternoon Tea, we think immediately of our neighbors across the pond. The British love affair with tea and the ceremony that became High Tea dates to 1840 and actually grew out of rituals and routines that were long-time traditions of the British through the years before that.
The English, we’re told, began drinking tea in the 1600s—and even more abundantly after it became the drink of choice among royalty. The wealthy drank tea in London’s fine coffee houses, and ladies in grand castles, country manors and row houses in the city poured tea for visitors out of dainty porcelain cups which in succeeding generations were passed down to the first born female who displayed and used them with pride, and then continued the tradition for at least two more centuries.
If you visited England in the 1960s, you might remember cars pulling over to the side of the road and the ever-present thermos of tea and presumably tea sandwiches whipped out at exactly 3 p.m. each day like clockwork. The ritual may still exist today…but to a wide-eyed teen from America, that was something to behold. The British so love their cup of tea!
Another blogger on the Internet—the Tea Muse—writes this: “Because tea was so expensive, the servants in British households, were not allowed to handle the precious leaves which the lady of the house kept guarded away in little Chinese jars in her pantry.”
When she wanted to serve tea to her guests, a servant would arrange the furniture, set all the tea brewing equipment on a small table and bring in a kettle of boiling water. Then the lady herself would do the honors, offering milk or lemon, and always pouring the milk first so the cold liquid did not cool the tea.
“Taking tea” was always associated with manners and tradition, fine English porcelain and silver spoons. Tea meant so much more than a mere beverage. No matter how humble or grand the abode, when it came time for tea, a white cloth was laid over the table and the best cups and saucers brought from the cupboard.
The first food associated with tea was simply bread spread with butter. Later the tradition of High and Low Tea took hold and more elaborate meals of scones and clotted cream, tea sandwiches, fruit and tiny cakes made the long wait till late supper more bearable. But once tradition was fully ensconced, tea time became the perfect occasion to “live up to the Joneses”—match tea services, afternoon dress, drawing room furniture and community gossip with the best.
In Europe, it was a great opportunity for mothers to introduce their daughters to society and for the more adventurous ladies to use it as an excuse to welcome male visitors to the home. Everyone, after all, could come to tea, flirt and sit cozily together without anyone thinking a thing about it. Scandal simply did not exist during tea time.
Today, in America, every now and then one will be invited to a mother-daughter tea, or to a Junior League Tea or some such, but coffee for most of us is the beverage of choice in and out of the home. Still, when tea is served, we want to get it right, and so Dr. Mercola took pains recently to inform his readers just how to brew une (perfect) tasse de the:
“Bring water to a boil in a tea kettle (avoid using a non-stick pot, as they too can release harmful chemicals when heated.)
Preheat your tea pot or cup to prevent the water from cooling too quickly when transferred. Simply add a small amount of boiling water to the pot or tea cup that you’re going to steep the tea in. Ceramic and porcelain retain heat well. Then cover the pot or cup with a lid. Add a tea cozy if you have one, or drape with a towel. Let stand until warm, then pour out the water.
Put the tea into an infuser, strainer, or add loose into the tea pot. Steeping without an infuser or strainer will produce a more flavorful tea. Start with one heaped teaspoon per cup of tea, or follow the instructions on the tea package. The robustness of the flavor can be tweaked by using more or less tea. Add boiling water. Use the correct amount for the amount of tea you added (i.e. for four teaspoons of tea, add four cups of water). The ideal water temperature varies based on the type of tea being steeped:
White or green teas (full leaf): Well below boiling (170-185 F or 76-85 C)
Once the water has been brought to a boil, remove from heat and let the water cool for about 30 seconds for white tea and 60 seconds for green tea before pouring it over the leaves.
Oolongs (full leaf): 185-210 F or 85-98 C
Black teas (full leaf) and Pu-erhs: Full rolling boil (212 F or 100 C)
Cover the pot with a cozy and let steep. Follow steeping instructions on the package. If there are none, here are some general steeping guidelines. Taste frequently as you want it to be flavorful but not bitter:
Oolong teas: 4-7 minutes
Black teas: 3-5 minutes
Green teas: 2-3 minutes
Once desired flavor has been achieved you need to remove the strainer or infuser. If using loose leaves, pour the tea through a strainer into your cup and any leftover into another vessel (cover with a cozy to retain heat.)
And there you have the good doctor’s instructions on how to brew the perfect cup. It seems like a lot of work, and it’s so much easier to drive through Starbucks. Still, sometimes tradition will out. The next time you’re in GreenAcres, ask our knowledgeable market team to show you around the tea aisles. If it’s anywhere near 3 p.m., it’s always time for a spot of tea!
Birds of a feather…April 22, 2013
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 3:13 PM
I don’t know how many of you know that Matt Murray, one of GreenAcres owners, raises guinea hens for fun and enjoyment. He just loves to watch the little critters peck about the “ranch,” scurrying to and fro all day long, then marching them into their shelter at sundown. The baby hens have a way of staring at humans that just makes Matt smile. They come around the corner, cock their little heads and survey the person in front of them. They never get too close; but Matt considers them his “babies.”
Matt is the quintessential man who could actually survive in the wilds if he had to. Oh, he likes luxury just as we all do, but this Montana-raised farm boy really prefers living close to nature. He follows what he calls the “caveman diet,” preferring meat and vegetables and eschewing sugar and grains. His mother was a home cook so he grew up knowing what “real food tastes like.”
Matt makes a killer chicken soup, among other culinary delights, but not to worry, his “babies” are not part of the fare. Recently, Matt purchased a chocolate Labrador puppy who just might be the bane of his existence. He actually rescued the lab he calls Moe from a woman who didn’t want to keep him—said he was too much for her—so now the rambunctious puppy has a new home.
It’s been quite an adventure with Matt learning to “tame” Moe, and Moe learning to “train” Matt. Once Moe found the salt-water swimming pool in the back yard, things have gone more smoothly. Labs have webbed feet, and do they love to swim! Moe has learned Matt means business when he rattles his leash and gives his hand signals. Matt has learned to roll with the punches when Moe, seemingly out of nowhere, leaps onto the kitchen counter to grab a Tupperware container full of just-made asparagus soup and drag it through the formal living room, dripping onto new carpet. You get the picture.
Luckily, Moe has no interest in the “babies”—so far. But, back to the birds. Matt found an amazing link online that is dear to his heart. Apparently, there are lots of people in New York who avail themselves of a little known company called Victory Chicken which was started by a guy named Noah Leff, who is as surprised as anyone that he’s actually in the chicken business. Leff’s day job is in non-profit finance, but his avocation, like Matt’s is all about hens and chickens.
Here’s a link to the story in Organic Connections, so you can read it yourself: http://organicconnectmag.com/wp/the-backyard-chickens-of-new-york-city/#.UXWaqk0o4dU
Leff partnered with a carpenter who builds backyard coops, and if you’re “game” to try, Victory Chicken will come to your New York back yard with a coop and three chickens—just hens for obvious reasons. No one in New York wants to be awakened at 5 a.m. sharp—there’s enough noise in the city that never sleeps.
It might be all about the eggs at first—who wouldn’t want free range, great tasting eggs of a morning?! but soon, as the story relates, “people discover that, just as pets, really it’s fun to have a few birds. They’re funny, unique and different. If you live a kind of crazy, hectic pace like those in the Big Apple, it’s a wonderful thing to come home from the subway, repair to your back yard with a drink and watch the birds.”
Matt has found this to be all too true, although he lives on plenty of acreage in East Wichita. Those that flock together just know. The next time you’re in any one of our GreenAcres Markets and you see Matt, you just might ask him about his “babies.” Believe us, it will not ruffle his feathers (!)
The (makeup) Doctor is in!April 18, 2013
GreenAcres is proud to welcome a new all natural skin care line to its repertoire, and we invite all our female customers to come take a test drive. Dr. Hauschka makeup has been around for several decades, but this is the first time all three of our stores have had a chance to bring it in and see what the industry “buzz” is all about.
Dr. Rudolf Hauschka was a real person. He was an acclaimed Austrian chemist, author, inventor, entrepreneur and anthroposophist who founded the company, Wala Heilmittel GmbH which manufactures his products to this day.
In the 1930s, Dr. Hauschka gave his company a mission—that of “supporting the healing of humanity and the earth.” To that end, Wala Heilmittel has espoused its founder’s philosophy in both its products and its business practices. For the past 40 years, the company has worked with “nurturing plants and mineral extracts to create one of the purest, most effective skin care preparations available.”
The company prides itself on growing ingredients which are ethically wild-harvested, without chemical preservatives and are never, ever tested on animals.
Because Dr. Houschka products stay true to the founder’s defining mission, the company has received numerous industry awards, including: The Best Natural Brand, 2010, NY Sunday Times Beauty Award; InStyle’s Best Beauty Buys 2011 winner, specifically for its Body Oils; 14 Green Beauty Bible awards, tested by 7,500 women over 13 years, among others.
GreenAcres CEO, Barb Hoffmann, happened upon the line during a product expo and has been using it ever since. Barb loves the sheer coverage the foundation gives, and the fact that it doesn’t settle in fine lines around the eyes or in laugh-line creases. “I just love it,” she says, “and I’m eager to know how our customers like it.”
There are numerous testimonials posted online—100% of them all good. Here’s one from a 23-year-old:
“After leaving a review for Dr. Hauschka's Volume Mascara, I have to leave one for the original as well. This is by far one of the best mascaras I own and I will continue to repurchase. The formula leaves my lashes soft (not stiff and crunchy to the touch) and patent leather shiny! Someone always asks what I have on my lashes when I wear this, without fail!
“I will say this mascara isn't for everyone, but I am very concerned with the health of my lashes and my health overall, so I am an addict for natural and holistic products. My lashes are healthy and separated and fluttery and glossy with this mascara. Basically everything I look for in my mascara.”
We’ve noticed several of our customers have come to check out Dr. Houschka’s products and have left with a tube of both the regular, day-time mascara and a volumizing one. Finding the perfect mascara that doesn’t burn the eyes or cause tearing is admittedly hard to find. So we encourage you to try Dr. Houschka’s product. It may just do the trick.
Rita Andreeva, a beauty bloggist warns about using mascara, especially mascara that is not chemical-free:
“A recent study showed that more than 30% of all mascara in the stores contains harmful bacteria such as Staphylococcus or Streptococcus. Some mascara tested even had fungus as well. Most mascara has preservatives to help prevent bacteria growth for up to 3 months, but it needs to be stored in a cool place, like a fridge. After 3 months the mascara should be replaced. Also, you should not carry it around in your purse, especially in the summer. Any mascara that gets hot in your purse should be thrown away.
“Whenever in a desperate need and faced with using an old mascara, be very careful that you don't touch your eye or the eyelid with the brush. Paint the very tips of the eyelashes only to minimize the risk of infection. Never apply mascara from the base of the lashes! Never add water to thin out your mascara - water promotes the growth of nasty things. You should probably wash the brush with alcohol after every use, because every time you use the brush and put it back in the tube.”
We hope that helps when choosing the best—and safest—mascara for you. We invite you to come in, visit with our GreenAcres Market Health and Beauty team members. Let them help you with makeup and mascara testers and help you choose the best products for your skin, hair, lashes and health!
DANGER ALERT: Sipping through a straw may cause wrinkles?!April 15, 2013
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 4:46 PM
Yep! That’s what Matt found out when he started researching the Top Five Problems that can lead to premature aging. Well, if that’s the case, we’re all doomed. Most of us have been sipping through straws since we were babies, or at least since we were weaned from our sippy cups and on to (horrors) soft drinks.
Now, smoking, we can understand. There have been magazine and newspaper articles ad nauseum about smoking causing fine lines around the mouth, and deep wrinkles on the cheeks…but straws (?) No way!
An article in the Huffington Post last October had several things to say about straw sipping and wrinkles and came to this conclusion: “Repeated movement around the mouth -- which could include sipping through straws, pursing the lips and most importantly, smoking -- can contribute to lines and wrinkles.”
Here’s a link to the entire article so you can read for yourself, however, some of us will remain skeptical indeed: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/28/straws-cause-lip-lines-wrinkles-beauty-myths_n_1924146.html
Matt has another shocker in his Top Five. If you sleep on your stomach or side, you may be causing deep wrinkles in the lower part of your face. Yikes! Bad news for tummy or side sleepers. However, all is not lost. New York dermatologist Debra Jaliman, author of Skin Rules, has this to say about “wrinkled sleep”: “It’s best to sleep on your back,” she says, “although most people find this difficult. The way you sleep does affect wrinkles—that’s why some lines are deeper on one side of your face then the other. If you crunch your face against a pillow, you can get them. Or,” she continues blithely, “you can buy a satin pillow case, and that may take care of the problem.”
Well, who knew, life could get so wrinkly. For those who have not despaired all together, here’s the rest of Matt’s Top Five for today:
Top five problems that can lead to premature aging
Five: Too many free radicals can make you look ten years older. To fight these internal compounds, eat more colorful vegetables, fruits and herbs. Don’t overeat and exercise to maintain good circulation. It is pretty simple!
Four: Loss of facial fat can make you look older. What is the answer? Do not be too skinny. Sure we all want to be thin, but overly skinny can make your face look much older than you really are! Opt for an ideal weight and your face will look better.
Three: Be gentle on your skin. Rubbing your eyes can stretch and make the area around them darker. Sleeping on your stomach can stretch and breakdown collagen in your face. Drinking from a straw or smoking cigarettes can give you wrinkles around your mouth.
Two: Don’t skip on sleep. When you do not sleep well, your eyes are bloodshot, you have dark circles and your face is puffy. Your skin renews itself at night while you sleep, so rest! In fact, even your facial care products work better if you are sleeping well.
One: Stress causes an increase in cortisol, can cause the collagen to break down within your skin. It is a hormonal response that can happen from too much work, too much excitement, over exercising and many other things. If you have too much stress inside, you will be wrinkling on the outside. Find out how to reduce your stress and you will be part of the way to better, healthier skin!
Ban those bugs for good with BugBand!April 11, 2013
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 3:07 PM
If spring finally does come, summer can’t be far behind. And we all know what that means: BUGS! They’ll be swarming come grilling season and making patio sitting and backyard picnics a nightmare.
You don’t have to repair to dank indoor air conditioning or hang mosquito netting from your gutters to enjoy the outdoors without pesky mosquitoes or risk diseases carried by ticks.
BugBand, a product that comes in several forms: wrist bands, pump sprays and towelettes, is a natural bug repellent, manufactured without harmful DEET, that smells like citrus and really does take the sting out of insects.
BugBand has been proven effective in repelling a wide variety of pests, including mosquitoes, house flies, stable flies, horn flies, cockroaches, fire ants, fleas, gnats, dog ticks, lone star ticks, and more. It can be safely used on and around children and animals. In fact, one of the products—BugBand Granular Spread—can be applied to animal bedding, deodorizing and repelling bugs at the same time. There’s an innovative BugBand Portable Diffuser that comes with replaceable repellent cartridges in a motorized dispenser to disperse repellent vapors over wide areas. The company says it’s safe to use around outdoor kitchen areas and food prep as well.
The active ingredient in BugBand products is called Geraniol which is actually a natural, essential oil that comes from the geranium flower. The website says, “When Geraniol is exclusively formulated with other minimum-risk or food-grade ingredients, the resulting insect repellent products are not regulated pesticides when they meet federally-established criteria.” Geraniol also is biodegradable and safe for the environment. The website says, “There is no known toxicity to animals or wildlife.”
While children might turn up their noses at being sprayed with bug repellents, they won’t mind at all wearing the cool BugBand wristband that comes in multiple colors (blue, yellow, red, pink, olive and bright green.) Oh, yes, there’s even a glow-in-the-dark color and a convenient family pack of four.
It’s actually the vapors coming off the wristband that forms a protective shield around the immediate area, keeping insects at bay. While some repellents might wash off in a swimming pool or a summer rain shower, BugBand holds up (during testing) to 120 hours. The wrist bands come in plastic reusable “pods” to ensure the active life of the product. The bands have been designed with patented break-away straps should they become entangled, and can be worn on belt loops, hatbands, pet collars or fastened to baby carriages, pup tents or really anything in the near vicinity.
If you’re vacationing this summer, and worrying about bed bugs invading hotels and motels as we’ve read about in recent years, there’s also a product called Bed Bugs No More! That comes in a spray bottle and can be applied directly onto mattresses, sheets, pillows and furniture. The ingredients—again from the geranium—kill adult bedbugs, eggs, larvae and nymphs.
GreenAcres is just now getting in a supply of this “must-have” summer product. We invite you to check it out and give us feedback, and help to banish those nasty bugs forever!
It’s not just your grandmother’s mustard anymore!April 08, 2013
In fact, there are so many mustards on the market today that it’s hard to choose which tastes the best, which is the best for you…or does it make a mustard seed of difference?
Some of us have never thought about mustard being nutritious, but there’s a blog online that offers an insight into another way of looking at the mustard seed, mustard oil and the plain, old hot dog and hamburger mustard condiment.
Apparently, the mustard seed is as old as civilization itself. It comes from the mustard plant which is actually a member of the cabbage family, and proliferates in temperate climates in Europe and Asia.
There are numerous varieties of plants, with seeds that have colors from white to black. The white seeds have the mildest flavor and are made into the mustards we use in our homes and drizzle over our hot dogs at baseball stadiums.
If you prefer a more pungent mustard, then you’re looking at brown or black mustard seeds that are peppered with vinegar, wine or other ingredients. Black mustard seeds are often used in Indian cooking and in several cultures used in healing ointments and salves. Remember grandmother talking about the “mustard plaster?”
Natural News.com has this to say about the mustard seed: “The Bible mentions mustard seeds, as do ancient Sanskrit texts. The ancient Greeks used them for cooking, as did the ancient Romans, who appear to have invented an early form of the condiment used today. The ancient Greek physician, Hippocrates, used them medicinally.
The traditional system of healing in India, Ayurveda, continues to use mustard seeds for their healing properties. The Ayurvedic system prescribes medicines as a means of balancing the three doshas, or types, recommends mustard seeds as a means of increasing pitta (fire) while minimizing vata (air) and kapha (earth and water). All three varieties of mustard have medicinal value, but stronger healing properties correlate to more pungency in taste.
In terms of nutritional value, mustard is an excellent source of antioxidants. Its high content of selenium and magnesium give it anti-inflammatory benefits. A small amount, as little as a teaspoon, packs a powerful nutritional boost, providing both omega 3 and omega 6-fatty acids, as well as potassium, calcium and phosphorus. The dense nutrition in mustard speeds up body metabolism while lowering blood pressure.”
At GreenAcres, we carry a variety of organic mustards.
The Whole Journey, a blog on the Internet that rates products has this to say about Woodstock Farms Organic Mustard:
“Believe it or not, the best mustard choice is the yellow mustard because of the turmeric it contains. Turmeric is one of nature’s most powerful anti-inflammatories. Woodstock Farms is a GOLD STAR condiment company. It uses all organic ingredients, which are Non-GMO project certified and consistently give back. We are overjoyed that the company is a main sponsor of the American Farmland Trust, an organization that raises awareness and funds to preserve land for sustainable farming. Helping to get our food supply back to the way it should be, the way nature intended. This mustard only has 5 ingredients, no preservatives.”
Annie’s, another natural, organic company, makes everything from pizza crust, to salad dressings to snack foods, to condiments and more. There’s a fun online video that shows an Annie’s chef making a dynamite basketball-watching mustard cheese dip just in time for the big game. Check it out: http://www.annies.com/recipes/recipe/Bernie-s-Bites-Annie-s-Bubbly-Mustard-Cheese-Dip
Sierra Nevada is another line that offers an organic mustard in three flavors: Porter (spicy brown), Stout (stoneground) and Pale Ale (honey mustard). Annie’s Natural has a robust horseradish mustard that packs quite a wallop. It has a strong, but not overpowering, garlic undertone; it’s gluten free with no added sugars and was developed by Annie herself on her seven-generation Vermont farm.
Maille, a Dijon mustard made in France, has been around since the 1700s and still gives Grey Poupon a run for its money. The company’s website has this to say, and makes all who read it want to book passage to Paris:
“You have probably seen Maille mustard in America, but never a selection such as this. Mustards with fruits, mustards with exotic spices, mustards made especially for fish and mustards made to pair with cheese. Mustard based sauces for fish soup and mustard glazes to use for meats. Even special, seasonal mustards using the most seasonal vegetables and spices to create flavors like apricot curry, goat cheese pear, and wheat bread spiced mustards. There must be 80 mustards or more in the store at any given time, that change seasonally, and are not offered outside of France. There are even some mustards you can only get at one of the Maille stores, here or in Dijon, France.” Yum! Mouth watering yet?
While we can’t boast Maille’s extraordinary extended line, we do carry several Maille’s varieties at GreenAcres and stock a ton of all natural, mostly gluten free mustards. The next time you’re shopping for something to put on a hot dog, check out our copious supply and try something new. We think you’ll be glad you did!
A Derma e beauty talks about that certain glow from within and without!April 04, 2013
If you turn into the GreenAcres Health Talk radio show the weekend of April 13-14, you’ll hear a delightful young woman from the enormously-popular Derma e skin care line tell her secrets about glowing from the inside out.
We know women will enjoy this show, but we think men will also. There’s a huge shift where men are concerned regarding embracing products and procedures that help them with their own masculine glow. More men are open to booking facials and hair-care appointments than at any other time in history. After all, both sexes are living longer and want to look and feel their best throughout life.
We asked Kate Tart, a licensed esthetician and Derma e’s Corporate Trainer, to give us some thoughts on keeping our city’s “beauties and beasts” in tip-top form. Here’s how Kate responded to our preliminary questions. But, be sure to catch the show on Saturday in Wichita and Kansas City, and on Sunday in Jenks and Tulsa. We want to know how you liked what our beauty expert had to say. Now, here’s Kate:
Q. I have a facial once a month and feel my skin is ahead of the aging game because of it. Do you recommend?
A. Absolutely! I think if facials are in your budget, getting one once a month will do wonders for your skin. I remember the first time I had my first facial, I was 24. I thought I had pretty darn good skin, but my esthetician thought otherwise. She brought up everything that was under the surface and extracted years of accumulated, closed, hardened comedones. After the torture (sometimes having a facial is not a walk in the park), my skin looked years younger. My pores were tightened, my pimples were freed, the toxins had been removed, and I felt like my skin literally was the cleanest it had ever been. Apart from the actual benefits of having your skin thoroughly cleansed, detoxified and comedones extracted, facials can be quite relaxing…well, at least the massage part! A skilled esthetician feels like she has 20 fingers. Just like body massage, an esthetician can manipulate the muscles underneath the face to help firm, tone, tighten, rejuvenate, re-circulate and de-puff.
With all that being said, you CAN give yourself at-home facials with the right products. Starting with a gentle cleanser and toner to remove makeup, impurities, dirt and oil is the first step. An esthetician will always cleanse your skin twice, and this is what I recommend as well. Next step is to exfoliate. Your skin will be smoother, more radiant and less dull when you exfoliate on a regular basis; plus your moisturizers will penetrate better. After removing all the dead skin cells with a scrub, a clay mask will help to remove further dirt and oil while detoxifying your skin. Clay masks should be applied all over the skin, avoiding the eye area, and left on for 15 minutes. At this point, you can apply your moisturizers or perform self-facial massage. I like using oil as a massage medium because it provides slick, fluid movements. After facial massage, the last step is to apply your moisturizers. Serums, moisturizers and eye creams are essential to hydrate and nourish the skin with beneficial anti-aging ingredients. Choosing products that are enriched with antioxidants will not only prevent future free-radical damage but turn back the clock from past damage.
Q. When my esthetician talks about hydrating—which she does abundantly—is she talking about water in (the body) or moisture on (the body) or both? And how do your products help with keeping the moisture on the face with hot Kansas summers and cold, windy winters?
A. Dry vs. Dehydrated is a subject that I get asked a lot about. Dry skin lacks OIL while dehydrated skin lacks WATER. For dry and dehydrated skin, choosing moisturizing and nourishing products that help protect the skin, improve its barrier function and increase its water content is essential and can greatly improve the look and feel of the skin. Drinking water throughout the day will help with dehydrated skin, while taking fatty acid supplements can help lubricate dry skin from the inside out. For both conditions, derma e®’s Hydrating line with Hyaluronic Acid is my #1 recommendation. Hyaluronic Acid is Mother Nature’s moisture magnet; it can hold 1000x its weight in water. When you have dehydrated skin, your skin lacks water, so having an ingredient that binds to water is crucial. Hyaluronic acid is too large to penetrate the skin, so instead, it stays on the surface, holding the water molecules that it attracts there with it. By this method, the level of surface moisture of the skin increases greatly.
To learn more about derma e®’s Hydrating line, click here. Vitamin E is also an excellent ingredient to combat dry skin, especially weather-stripped skin. derma e®’s Vitamin E Severely Dry Skin Crème was created to moisturize and soothe extra dry, severely chapped skin. Vitamin E is a natural moisturizer, antioxidant and healing vitamin.
Q. How can you live in sunny California and keep your skin so radiant? And do you help any movie stars we know keep that same glow?
A. I like to think of radiance as a state of mind, however, there ARE products that can help boost skin radiance, making it appear younger, fresher and dewy-er in appearance. First and foremost, radiant skin means skin that glows from within, so making sure you are drinking enough water is the first step. Next is protection; choosing products that are loaded with protective antioxidants will help prevent free-radical damage while the addition of sunscreen will protect the skin from the most skin damaging element there is, the sun.
derma e®’s Evenly Radiant® collection was created to help brighten and diminish the appearance of uneven pigmentation. Utilizing exotic Madonna Lily plant stem cells which interfere with the transfer of melanin to the surface of the skin, along with other known skin brighteners such as Bearberry, Licorice root, Alpha-Arbutin and Niacinamide, Evenly Radiant® will target sun spots, hyperpigmentation and dullness while encouraging cellular renewal for younger looking, more radiant skin. As for the celebrity curiosity, I never tell. J
So, what’s on your mind?April 01, 2013
Filed under: Uncategorized - greenacres @ 12:50 PM
Matt's Top Five Healthy things on people's minds
FIVE: How do lose weight? Never before have Americans been so consumed with the idea about losing weight. But why are they trying to lose it? Is it for looks? Is it for health reasons? Whatever the reason, it is on everyone’s mind!
FOUR: How can I sleep better? We are a nation of stressed out, worn out, overworked people who have lost the ability to relax, unwind and sleep. But we need good restorative sleep, not some drug induced trance that substitute or the real thing.
THREE: Digestion - what do I need to do it fix it? Chronic use of little purple pills that the label says to use for only 14 days does not seem to help. People tell me that they have been on them for years. Gas, bloating, constipation and all symptoms of digestive system that is clearly out of balance!
TWO: Women's hormones - how can we make them better? Today’s woman is confused. Should she take hormone therapy? What is to be expected when going through menopause? What about bio identical hormones? Where does a woman start?
ONE: Is there an answer that will help seniors with healthy aging? Joint health, eyesight concerns, osteoporosis, and chronic inflammation are leaving many older adults wondering if this is what they should expect as they age.
The good news, all three of our GreenAcres stores will have Dr. Michael Murray, N.D., author and the science-behind-supplementation expert, at seminars early in April. Now is the time to register for his talk and to come with all the questions you have. Dr. Murray promises to linger longer after his talk to make sure everyone gets one-on-one time.
The good news, all three of our GreenAcres stores will have Dr. Michael Murray, N.D., author and the science-behind-supplementation expert, at seminars early in April. Now is the time to register for his talk and to come with all the questions you have. Dr. Murray promises to linger longer after his talk to make sure everyone gets one-on-one time.
Easter: The eternal rising!March 29, 2013
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 3:12 PM
To the Christian, Easter is the most important day of the year. It commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, His overcoming death, and the promise that believers will share in His glory. Comforting, indeed to the nearly 2.2 billion followers today, as Christianity is still the largest religion on earth, with Islam being the second-largest with about 1.6 billion people.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Europe was considered the mainland for Christians, but researchers now say the population is so widely spread across the world that no specific region can be described as the epicenter of the faith. The smallest concentration of Christians can be found in North Africa - where the faith began - and where they make up only about 4% of the population today. Ironically, Africa is the fastest growing Roman Catholic nation in the world.
For both the Christian and the non-believer, Easter is a family holiday when the generations get together for a meal of lamb or ham or some other meat, deviled eggs, spring greens and chocolate Easter bunny candy. The kids (young and old) chase down dyed eggs in the back yard, and sometimes even in the house. You’ve probably all heard tell of sitting down on a sofa months later and hearing the familiar splat of an unfound Easter egg. Better yet are colored plastic eggs filled with money. There are lots of reasons to love Easter!
About.com talks about Easter as “the yearly time of renewal, when the earth renews itself after a long, cold winter. The word Easter comes to us from the Norsemen's Eostur, Eastar, Ostara, and Ostar, and the pagan goddess Eostre, all of which involve the season of the growing sun and new birth. The Easter Bunny arose originally as a symbol of fertility, due to the rapid reproduction habits of the hare and rabbit.
The ancient Egyptians, Persians, Phoenicians, and Hindus all believed the world began with an enormous egg, thus the egg as a symbol of new life has been around for eons. The particulars may vary, but most cultures around the world use the egg as a symbol of new life and rebirth. A notation in the household accounts of Edward I of England showed an expenditure of eighteen pence for 450 eggs to be gold-leafed and colored for Easter gifts. The first book to mention Easter eggs by name was written 500 years ago. Yet, a North African tribe that had become Christian much earlier in time had a custom of coloring eggs at Easter. Long hard winters often meant little food, and a fresh egg for Easter was quite a prize. Later, Christians abstained from eating meat during the Lenten season prior to Easter. Easter was the first chance to enjoy eggs and meat after the long abstinence.
Some European children go from house to house begging for Easter eggs, much like Halloween trick-or-treaters. Called pace-egging, it comes from the old word for Easter, Pasch. Many old cultures also attributed the egg with great healing powers. It is interesting to note that eggs play almost no part in the Easter celebrations of Mexico, South America, and Native American Indian cultures. Egg-rolling contests are a symbolic re-enactment of the rolling away of the stone from Christ's tomb. The decoration of small leaf-barren branches as Easter egg trees has become a popular custom in the United States since the 1990s.”
Wikipedia tells of the Ukrainian custom of dyeing Easter eggs, and the judicious guarding of family recipes for custom dyeing. The gorgeous, intricate eggs were decorated after the Easter Mass blessing and were carefully garnered with the greatest of care and ideally were perfectly oval and gathered as the first laid of young hens.
The dyes were made from dried plants, tree bark, nuts and berries. Bright yellow and red were extracted from flower stamens, sunflower seeds and onion skins. Wiki says: “The dyes were prepared in secret, using recipes handed down from mother to daughter. Sometimes chemical dyes (of unusual or difficult colors) were purchased from peddlers along with alum, a mordant that helped the natural dyes adhere better to eggshells.
A stylus, known as a pysachok, pysak, pysal'tse, or kystka (kistka), depending on region, was prepared. A piece of thin brass was wrapped around a needle, forming a hollow cone. This was attached to a small stick (willow was preferred) with wire or horsehair. In sthe Lemko regions a simple pin or nail inserted onto the end of a stick was used instead (drop-pull technique).
Pysanky, as they were called, were made using a wax resist (batik) method. Beeswax was heated in a small bowl on the large family stove (піч), and the styluses were dipped into it. The molten wax was applied to the white egg with a writing motion; any bit of shell covered with wax would be sealed, and remain white. Then the egg was dyed yellow, and more wax applied, and then orange, red, purple, black. (The dye sequence was always light to dark). Bits of shell covered with wax remained that color. After the final color, usually red, brown or black, the wax was removed by heating the egg in the stove and gently wiping off the melted wax, or by briefly dipping the egg into boiling water.”
The tradition of egg dyeing isn’t lost on commercial enterprises of today. Now, the unadventurous or those artistically wanting or those who don’t have time for time-honored traditions simply head to the grocery store for dyes and wands that come in a package. The kids don’t know the difference and everyone has fun—albeit messy fun. (More dye on the fingers than on the eggs.)
For us at GreenAcres who are more organically inclined, there’s a website and link that tells about the nine ways to dye eggs naturally http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2013/03/27/9-ways-to-dye-eggs-naturally/ If you give this a try, send us photos and tell about your experience and we’ll post the results on our Facebook page. GreenAcres will be open on Easter to serve you. We wish all of our customers a Happy Easter and hope you enjoy your day with family and friends.
Can you Emu?March 25, 2013
Emu oil, that is. Can you massage it all over your body, hair and joints and feel safe doing it? Absolutely, say the distributors of Purple Emu, Ltd. who have brought this highly-refined oil to GreenAcres’ attention.
For those of you who have visited zoos, you’re probably familiar with the bug-eyed, long-necked, flightless bird from Australia. The emu is the largest bird down under and second only to the Ostrich. A good runner, he can sprint up to 50 miles an hour, but most in captivity spend their days walking endlessly and picking on their relatives and neighbors. Don’t get too close, though, as they are known to chase after visitors...and they can kick down a metal fence with a single blow of their clawed feet.
Emus can go forever without drinking, and once thirsty can drink copious amounts of water, for 10 minutes at a time, without coming up for air. They are good swimmers and feed on plants and insects, but Emus can digest almost anything including chards of glass, rocks and cacti. Emus don’t smell too good either, but many a rancher has tried to cash in on this often ornery bird, spending endless resources trying to educate a populace about the nutritional value of its lean meat, mostly to no avail. Some ranchers about the prairie states have just given up and use the curious birds as wild, fenced-in pets. Others, though, like those distributing emu oil, see all kinds of benefits from their fat such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids, and as a moisturizer for skin and natural healer for joints that contains Oleic acid.
Wikipedia says this about the emu and its nutritional and moisturizing properties: “Emus were used as a source of food by indigenous Australians and early European settlers. Aboriginal Australians used a variety of techniques to catch the bird, including spearing them while they drank at waterholes, poisoning waterholes, catching emus in nets, and attracting them by imitating their calls or with a ball of feathers and rags dangled from a tree. The indigenous Australians used a kind of poisonous plant to contaminate water supplies and were easily able to catch disoriented emus that drank the water. Aboriginal Australians did not kill the animals except to eat them, and frowned on peers who hunted the emus but then left the meat unused. (As the American Indian revered the buffalo,) the Aboriginal peoples used every part of the carcass for some purpose. Aside from the meat, the fat was harvested for oil used for polishing their weapons, and the bones and tendons were used as makeshift knives and tools, and for tying, respectively…”
Some sources say there’s not near enough science to support its arthritic benefits; others say there are myriad sources that attest to the oil’s anti-aging benefits. One thing, the oil has been found to be very effective on burned skin, including both sunburn and first and second-degree burns. As the Aloe plant, emu oil is highly effective at reducing scarring.
The rich oil has found its way into massage parlors and sports’ training rooms. Some say it’s an excellent treatment for muscle strains, sprains, injured ligaments and heel spurs.
Beauticians use it as a fortifying agent for limp, dry hair. They say it eliminates split ends and restores a natural, healthy shine. Although no medicinal claims for emu oil can be made in the US, Australia’s Department of Health has classified it as a pharmaceutical.
Only time will tell if it catches on in the Midwest, but if you’re game to try, give Purple Emu a whirl and let us know what you think!
March into “Madness” lean and mean!March 21, 2013
Brett Harris, one of our GreenAcres Health Talk radio gurus, loves Shocker Basketball almost as much as Mig, his fiance, and his two precious daughters. But when it comes time to have the gang over and chow down on his favorite fixings to watch the games, Brett starts foraging through the fridge and heading over to GreenAcres to buy groceries that won’t pack on the calories. Our man, Brett, likes to keep that boyish figure!
Thumbing through a copy of Men’s Health Magazine the other night while getting ready for the radio show, Brett found this “make it easy on yourself” article on “9 Healthy Snack Ideas for March Madness Parties” and he instantly fell in love.
We replicate our top four easy peasy recipes for your consideration. All low-cal produce, dairy, meat, condiments and bulk items (beans) can be purchased at GreenAcres. And they are all natural, all organic, free range, finger-licking good stuff for the whole family. And the rowdy tail-gate guys will love them, too.
Check ‘em out!
Sweet Potato Fries
An order of french fries can contain nearly 500 calories, 20 grams of fat, and 5 grams of saturated fat—but you can make two simple swaps to get your fry fix without the fryers. Try using Vitamin A-rich sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes, and then bake them instead frying. Simply drizzle with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and toss in the oven until crispy.
7 Layered Dip
A cup of traditional 7-layer dip with full-fat sour cream and cheese, re-fried bean, ground beef, and guacamole weighs in at about 700 calories and 80 grams of fat. Yikes. So cut that almost in half by making your dip using these swaps: reduced-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt ; organic low-cal cream cheese; black beans for refried beans; and homemade guac for the store-bought kind. Pile on the salsa, freshly chopped lettuce, vegetables, and 1/3 cup of reduced-fat shredded cheddar and you’ll save yourself a whole lot of calories.
Mini Meatball Sliders
Dialing for delivery? Hold up. A six-inch meatball marinara sub can do a lot of damage, containing upwards of 750 calories, 11 grams of saturated fat and 50mg of cholesterol. Save yourself by making your own batch of meatballs using lean ground turkey meat and tomato sauce; then, for easy eating, simply skewer each on a toothpick or between mini hamburger buns. (Swapping turkey for beef or pork, by the way, will slash 500 calories and 10 grams of saturated fat per 10 balls.)
Get this: Spicy Chili Cheese Nachos can cost you over 1,000 calories, 107 grams of fat, and 40 grams of saturated fat. (They don't sound so good anymore, huh?) So instead, try making a warm turkey chili to fill you up, which can save you nearly 600 calories and 90 grams of fat. Just toss the following into a crockpot for two hours: Lean ground turkey, red kidney beans, green pepper, onion and celery. Then, garnish with diced onion, a few baked tortilla chips and a tablespoon of low-fat sour cream or cheddar cheese.
If you try any of Brett’s faves, let us know. Brett likes a fan club!
A Paleo expert answers our questions.March 18, 2013
On March 30, GreenAcres Health Talk radio will have Dr. Loren Cordain, professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University, with us to discuss the Paleo Diet.
Dr. Cordain has spent more than 20 years studying the evolutionary and anthropological basis for diet, health and wellbeing in modern humans. His scientific publications have examined the nutritional characteristics of worldwide hunter-gatherer diets as well as the nutrient composition of wild plant and animal foods consumed by foraging humans.
Using ancestral dietary characteristics as an organizational template, Dr. Cordain and colleagues have made unique contributions to our understanding of optimal diets for contemporary people. Specifically, Dr. Cordain’s international research team has uncovered previously unrecognized dietary triggers for acne and myopia and has shown how certain nutritional characteristics of the western are responsible for these and other ubiquitous “diseases of civilization.”
Since many of our customers follow the Paleo nutritional and exercise regimen, we thought posting his preliminary questions and answers on our website would benefit many customers in all three of our Midwestern Markets. To learn more about Dr. Cordain, please “like” us on both of our Facebook pages:
Here are the questions we asked Dr. Cordain:
Q. With the government and lobbyists interfering big time with our food sources, how can we be sure that the grains, vegetables and fruits we’re getting aren’t contaminated, even when they are designated non-GMO?
A. Your points are well taken. Whether intentionally or unwittingly governmental agencies, special interest groups, lobbyists and other U.S. institutions have clearly influenced national policy affecting our food supply which in turn impacts our health and well being.
Governmental agricultural subsidies encourage farmers to produce certain food crops at the expense of others. The top 7 subsidized food crops in the U.S. are: #1) corn [35.4 % of all subsidies], #2) wheat [14.6 %], #3) rice [14.1 %], #4) soy [7.6 %], #5) dairy #6) [3.7 %], #6) peanuts [3.2 %] #7) sugar [0.8 %], and #8) [0.5%] vegetable oils. All other combined food crops only amount to 2.0 % of all subsidy dollars.
Granted, a large percentage of each of these food crops are fed to animals, shipped overseas or turned into non-food products. Nevertheless, cereals grains, legumes, vegetable oils and sugars represent cheap, nutritionally inferior foods that form the basic ingredients of junk and processed food. The following list of junk food ingredients is long, but certainly not all-inclusive: high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, corn starch, corn oil, shortening, margarine, white flour, white rice, rice flour, soy oil, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenate soy oil, modified food starch, table sugar, soy protein isolates, whey, casein, powdered milk, skim milk solids, peanut oil, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated peanut oil, peanut butter.
In the typical U.S. diet 70.9 % of the total caloric intake comes from the following four subsidized food crops: 1) cereal grains [23.9 %], 2) refined sugars 3) [18.6 %], vegetable oils [17.8], and 4) dairy [10.6 %]. And this is the problem. Whether inadvertently or deliberately, governmental policy is encouraging its citizens to consume nutritionally inferior, cheap foods at the expense of more healthful fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, seafood, grass produced meats, eggs and poultry. Few fresh fruit and vegetable crops receive governmental subsidies, and even so, these monies only amount to a tiny fraction of the total subsidy for food crops.
From nutritional, environmental and sustainability perspectives, local, grass or pasture produced meat, poultry and eggs makes good sense. The nutritional profile of grass produced animals is superior to those force fed grains in feed lots. The meat and eggs of pasture or grass produced animals are higher in the healthful omega 3 fatty acids, protein, CLA and other nutrients and typically are not raised using hormones, antibiotics or other human and environmental toxins.
Yet, the governmental policy that subsidizes grain (particularly corn), unwittingly encourages the production of fatty, unhealthy and low quality animals in feedlots, because it is cheaper to raise animals on governments subsidized grain than on grass and pasture. In the end, the entire populations suffers health wise because of long term policy ramifications that were not even considered when they were originally conceived decades ago.
Nevertheless, in spite of this major flaw in governmental food policy which affects the entire population, it doesn’t mean that all governmental policy regarding food and health is necessarily flawed. In fact, many governmental guidelines, rules and regulations were drafted to insure that our food supply is indeed safe, non-toxic and without pathogenic or environmental contamination. Numerous laws, regulations and inspection requirements are currently in place to prevent widespread food contamination from spoilage, dated items, bacteria, fungi and environmental toxins . Governmental agencies are comprised of humans who are necessarily fallible, and who invariably make mistakes in judgment and policy. Let us recognize these shortcomings and work collectively to improve policy and regulations based upon the best science and most current data available.
Let me now answer the second half of your question, “how can we be sure that the grains, vegetables and fruits we’re getting aren’t contaminated, even when they are designated non-GMO?”
A.When you speak of “contaminated” grains, vegetables and fruits, I think we need to define “contamination.” In a pristine, non-agricultural, non-industrial world, despite virtually no human caused contaminants almost all plants foods still would have contained a variety of compounds that are both: 1) healthful and 2) potentially harmful. The harmful compounds are called antinutrients because they may disrupt normal body function. These potentially adverse antinutritional effects can range from benign, to mildly toxic, to lethally toxic. For instance, the skin of potatoes (particularly when green), contain two naturally-occurring compounds, alpha solanine and alpha chaconine which can be lethally toxic in both humans and animals when consumed in high concentrations. Similarly, uncooked red kidney beans can be lethally toxic in laboratory rats when consumed at about 35 % of daily calories. In humans, uncooked red kidney beans are mildly to severely toxic and produce severe gastrointestinal irritation, if even consumed at a single meal. Hence, natural plant foods “uncontaminated” by human produced pollutants may be much more toxic than foods “contaminated” by human industrial pollutants.
All domesticated plant foods and even gathered wild plant foods can be contaminated by a wide variety of pollutants stemming from our industrialized and technological world of the 21st century. Common contaminates infiltrating the air, water and ground may include pesticides, heavy metals, hormones, antibiotics, fertilizers and petroleum by products – all of which may find their way into our common food crops. Almost all contaminates have a varying degree of toxicity varying again from benign to lethal. Most fall somewhere in between and their toxic effect is almost always dose dependent – meaning that the more you ingest, the greater will be their toxic effect. In the 21st century, there is no way to escape consuming industrial, human caused contaminants. Environmental contaminates are even found in Antarctica.
The trick is to minimize the amounts you take in. Generally, organic produce contains lower pesticide concentrations than commercial produce. Typically, produce grown in rural area far from cities and population centers is likely to contain lower concentrations of environmental contaminants. Subsidized food products such as cereal grains (corn, wheat, rice), legumes (soy, peanuts) are more likely to contain environmental contaminates because of increased exposure to pesticides and other industrial pollutants. These are also the same foods most likely to be GMO (genetically modified organisms) because scientists modify their native genetic makeup in an attempt to increase crop yield, and resistance to herbicides and plant predators (insects, fungi & bacteria.)
One of the best dietary strategies to reduce environmental contaminants is to adopt The Paleo Diet and focus upon fresh fruit and vegetables (organically produced if possible, but not absolutely necessary), while reducing or eliminating foods made from subsidized crops. Try to replace grain produced meats with grass fed, and you have gone a long way in reducing human caused pollutants in your food supply.
Q. With the hunter-gatherer diet, has man’s digestive system morphed too much to handle life without sugar, or is the human “memory” system such that the body welcomes returning to “simpler times?”
A. Let’s also include “women’s digestive systems” in this question as evolution through natural selection has focused its selective pressures upon the genomes of both males and females.
We are members of the Genus and species, Homo sapiens. Our genus first appeared in Africa about 2.0 million years ago, and the best available evidence indicates that we have always been omnivores – that is, our native hunter gatherer diet always included plant and animal foods, with few exceptions. As such, we have always consumed plant foods in varying amounts, and plants contain both sugars and starches. The starches are converted to sugars in our gastro-intestinal tracts.
We are still well adapted to the concentrations of sugars and starches found in wild plant foods, and can eat these foods ad libitum with virtually zero health concerns. Some high sugar, modern fruits (dates, raisins, dried fruits, grapes and bananas) can be problematic for people with pre-existing obesity or the metabolic syndrome (type 2 diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease). Only when we load our diet up with modern processed foods containing high amounts of refined sugars and starches (hence causing a high glycemic load), do we run into a myriad of health problems from dental decay, to acne, to type 2 diabetes, to cancers and heart disease.
Q. Do you recommend a body cleanse before starting out on the Paleo regimen, and what would such a cleanse look like?
A. No special cleanse requirements are necessary to begin the Paleo Diet regimen. It is always nice to have a support group as you begin to lose weight or make any behavioral change like diet. I know that CrossFit gyms across the U.S. maintain regular 30 day Paleo challenges to help people ease into and maintain the Paleo Diet. So, if you are the type of person who favors group support and regular input, then definitely check out your local CrossFit organization.
As you replace grains, dairy, legumes and sugary, salt laden processed foods with fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, grass produced meats, eggs and poultry, your gastrointestinal tract will love you for it, and your bowel function, along with just about everything else that ails you, will begin to improve and normalize. Some people find that ground psyllium seed in the morning for the first week or two of the diet also helps bowel function. Make sure you get a before and after blood chemistry workup, so your physician will believe your subjective feelings of health, wellness and equanimity. One of the first changes most people notice within days is a smoothing out of energy levels throughout the day and better sleep.
Exercise is a wonderful panacea for health and fully complements the Paleo Diet. After a strenuous exercise bout in which you sweat profusely, nothing feels better than a nice warm shower. This is a great way to cleanse your skin. Go one step further, and at the end of your warm shower, turn the water to cold and take less than a minute under the cold water. This change of hot water with cold water on your skin increases compounds in your body called heat shock proteins, which have therapeutic effects.
Thank you, Dr. Cordain!
Health and Beauty products aren’t just for the vain.March 14, 2013
The new, all natural, organic and gluten free products coming onto the market are not all centered in the food sections of health stores. One of the fastest growing areas of the natural products’ market lies in women’s and men’s facial and body “pampering, prettying and healing.” And those products worth their salt are beginning to put pressure on the traditional beauty industry, with good results.
Americans spend more than $50B each year on personal beautification products, yet there’s no federal agency testing the safety of those products. The FDA gets involved “after the fact,” when something goes horribly wrong and the consumer starts complaining of skin and scalp irritation or, in the case of Rio, a hair-relaxing product in the ‘90s, hair actually turned green. Not a pretty picture.
A group known as the Cancer Prevention Coalition claims there are more than 30,000 cosmetics-related injuries serious enough to call a doctor or make a trip to an emergency room each year in the United States. But more importantly, no one is testing the long-term effects of many bath and beauty ingredients. Remember the stories circulating after Jackie Kennedy died? It was said she wondered on her death bed if the hair dye she used for years contributed to the particular type of cancer she had.
We don’t know the answer to that or other questions about products most of us take for granted and have used for years, but the organic, health industry is sending up red flares. "Caveat Emptor," buyer beware. Read those labels. There are hidden carcinogens in many a beauty product. When in doubt, do your research and ask a knowledgeable health food store team member. We've been doing our due diligence all along.
We know that some leading beauty companies are taking a look at the toxic chemicals they’ve been putting in their products, thanks to pressure from a more educated public and consumer advocates and regulators. Tests conducted in the Fall of 2008, revealed that a least some segment of the beauty industry was making progress in removing phthalates, a set of industrial chemicals linked to birth defects and a whole host of autoimmune diseases.
To California’s benefit, that state now requires large cosmetic manufacturers to report any products that contain cancer-causing material or reproductive or developmental toxic agents. Wonder if the movie industry has anything to do with that? The fact that the west coast is leading the way may influence other manufacturers to follow suit, still, as they say, “We’ve got a long way to go, baby!” That’s why GreenAcres invests only in products it knows to be safe.
The next time you’re in one of our stores, ask our HABA department market team to show you products that are effective and non toxic. Here are a few that you might want to learn more about:
- Alba Botanica’s natural very emollient sunless tanner. No streaking, no turning yellow, just a nice over all glow, says Susan our Wichita HABA department manager.
- Booda Butter, a daily moisturizer you can use in 50 different ways on skin, hair, lips, and more which we’ll post another day. The 50-list is pretty fun to read—No. 18 says even dreadlocks need Booda. No. 19 says Booda is great for ouchies. No. 20 touts the benefits of Booda on riding sadles (!) and No. 22 says “even carpenters and construction workers love Booda.” What’s not to love!
- Burt’s Bees has a most effective “Herbal Blemish Stick” that our customers swear by.
- And, in our Wichita store there’s a neat little product that Andrea in our K.C. store actually uses and may bring into that store as well: Body Pure+ Detox Food Pads. The pads slip into shoes and help to detoxify, enhance circulation and support energy. It has everything to do with the cleansing power of distilled bamboo vinegar. Right now, there’s a special going on where you send in a coupon along with a used foot pad to the company and you’ll get a toxic analysis back! Worth walking around with a foot pad for a day!
So, keep GreenAcres in mind when you’re determined to go toxic free, yet still want to look beautiful and have that healing touch. We’re here for you every day of the year except Christmas. Both your good health and ours means everything to us. Go "clean and green!"
The closer to home, the more we like it!March 11, 2013
GreenAcres Market is located in three Midwestern cities and now we can take advantage of local products in those and surrounding towns. We tend to like it that way. We get to know the farmers and growers, the manufacturers and the producers. We can barrel down the highways in between Kansas City and Wichita and Wichita and Jenks, picking up products, stocking our shelves, introducing customers to things made in and near their own home town. How good is that?!
GreenAcres has been introduced to some of these home-grown products through our summer Farmers Markets. The companies naturally start small and can grow tremendously, seemingly overnight. Once customers like what they taste and see, a miracle can happen, and a company can really take off.
Take Little Bits, a great little low-cal cookie made with all natural ingredients and spices that set tongues a’tingling. Greg Cole is the sole proprietor who bakes his cookies on a daily basis in his own home kitchen. So popular has Little Bits become, Greg has his cookies in all three GreenAcres Markets and in about 15 other stores besides. Greg is going big time, and he started right in our flagship store’s front parking lot, under a tent, just like the other farmers and their produce and products.
Not all home-grown businesses get their start in the parking lot. Take Delano Bakery for example, nestled in the heart of what is called Wichita’s Delano District near South Seneca. For nearly a quarter of a century, the Dumford family has followed Wichita’s traditions of baking the freshest and highest quality breads such as Ciabatta, Focaccia, Stone Hearth-baked Rustic breads, and a variety of rolls. Our customers appreciate homemade bread, and especially buy up the raisin bread which is “not too sweet,” as one fan says.
Another great product that doesn’t sit long on our shelves is El Zarape salsa which comes in mild, medium and hot. If you go to its website, you can read the story: Phyllis and Manuel Garcia, Sr., started the company in the late 60s, not knowing anything about financing or business…just having a dream, a dream of becoming entrepreneurs.
As other start-ups, El Zarape started in the Garcia kitchen. The Mexican community had not yet migrated to Garden City, but Phyllis and Manuel knew the Kansas palate was ready for hearty, Mexican cooking. El Zarape was the first Mexican restaurant to open in the area. And while the senior Garcias are now gone, their great grandchildren proudly carry on the family business, distributing the tangy salsa throughout Kansas.
Have you tasted our demoed products from the Mediterranean Market and Café? If not, you’re in for a treat. Mediterranean Market comes to us from Lawrence, KS and has what we consider some of the best hummus, falafel and tzatziki around.
We know you’ve tried our MarCon pies—we can’t order them fast enough: Blueberry, Cherry, Carmel Apple, Raisin, Pecan…too many to list. The Strawberry Rhubarb has quite a following.We love these pies, and they come fresh out of the oven, homemade to our doors from Washington, KS.
Okie Chai, anyone? Absolutely the tastiest chai this side of Tulsa, Oklahoma—that is where it comes from after all--all the way from Jenks, where our newest GreenAcres Market just opened last year. Okie Chai is made with almond milk, cinnamon, Indian assam tea, cardamon, licorice (!), ginger, honey and black pepper. It’s made by the Okie Alchemy Co. whose website says, “…its juices and teas are hand-made, crafted by the batch in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Okie Alchemy’s products are mindfully created with intent to affect positive overall health within our community.” And we couldn’t agree more.
So, now that we’ve introduced you to some of our home-grown products, we’d like to know what you think. Drop into any of our GreenAcres Markets and ask our market team to point out what’s grown in your neck of the woods. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised, just as we were when we first discovered them!
Matt’s Top Five Reasons to Learn Natural Alternatives for Better Health!March 07, 2013
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 5:31 PM
From time to time, we will continue to post Matt’s Top Five taken from the GreenAcres Health Talk radio show every week.
We’re all seeking better health. Going “natural” is simpler, more efficient and much more effective. But it’s not going to be easy, so conditioned are we to high fructose corn syrup (soda pop), sugary snacks (anything in a cookie box), processed food (almost anything in a package that doesn’t read non-GMO, certified organic, gluten free)…you get the picture.
It’s going to cost you more—in research, in time reading labels, in interviewing (getting to know) your grocer and inventorying your wallet (it's going to cost you more.) But going after proper nutrition and vitamin and mineral supplementation is so worth it. It’s worth your very life!
Here are Matt’s Top Five:
Five: When you realize that roughly 50% of the population will end up with some sort of chronic illness, you can take a proactive approach to prevent being in the group by learning about your food supply, your air, your exposure to toxic chemicals in your environment and other things. Begin to take charge now so you will not be in the unhealthy 50%.
Four: Modern Medicine saves lives, there is no doubt about it. But modern medicine also thrives upon sick people who need expensive drugs, who have to stay in expensive hospitals and pay for expensive surgeries. Wouldn’t you rather become educated in prevention and self-care options for healthy living and save your medical visits for emergencies?
Three: Find about non-invasive procedures for pain control such as acupuncture, chiropractic treatments or herbal medicines that can offer relief from symptoms and speed healing without harmful side effects.
Two: Tap into traditional methods of healing from all over the world. Herbal medicine, Chinese medicine and folk medicine from far away countries have kept people healthy for centuries. Are you missing the one technique that might be your answer? Investigate world healing techniques and you might be pleasantly surprised.
One: Learn how you can take charge of your health through diet and nutritional supplements. You can correct high cholesterol, lower blood sugar and lose weight by following a smart diet. Then you can find out which nutrients might be in short supply in your body so you can supplement and make a significant change for the better.
Chia: Tiny seeds that pack a nutritional punch!March 04, 2013
It’s both educational and fun to look back on history and study the benefits of a “new” substance we happen to discover in the present decade. The all-nutritious chia seed is just such a food. You can drink it (Mama Chia drinks, for example) or sprinkle it on yogurt or stir it into almond “milk” or mix it into hamburger patties. It’s endless, really, what you can do with chia seeds, but however you take your chia, it’s bound to give you more energy.
Most evidence shows that people started infusing their diets with the chia seed as early as 3500 B.C. The Aztecs and Mayans consumed them in copius forms, grinding them into flour, pressing them for oil, drinking them as a nectar. The word chia actually means “strength,” and has become a staple in the lives of athletes and those seeking the most from natural, organic nutrition.
Author and ultra-marathoner, Christopher McDougall immortalized the chia seed when he set out to discover the secret of the Tarahumara Indians who run for miles in the rugged terrain and snake-like paths of North America’s treacherous Copper Canyons. It’s said the Tarahumaras can run down a deer and not break a sweat. For sure they’ve joined in marathons, running barefoot or in odd-shaped moccasins (flip-flops, really) and matching their prowess against the world’s most talented and seasoned runners. More often than not, they will win the race, while stopping for a smoke, so natural is their ability to run for miles on a handful of chia seeds.
And even smoking, considered deadly to the rest of humanity, doesn’t seem to affect the Tarahumaras, as they continue to this day to enjoy good health and serenity living in the Mexican high country, literally running hundreds of miles a day. Think of the lung capacity!
Today, we know the chia to be full of inflammation-fighting antioxidants and heart-healthy Omega 3 fats and fiber. They contain calcium (six-times that found in milk), along with phosphorous, magnesium and Omega 6. (Remember, we always strive to keep the Omega 3 and 6 ratio in balance for optimal nutrition.)
Howtotut put this on the Internet in January of this year about chia seeds:
They regulate sugar levels
Seeds can form gel that converts starches into sugar much slower. This is why chia seeds are perfect in cases of diabetes, as blood sugar levels don’t surge soon after meal consumption. Comparatively slow sugars released into the blood stream aid in their optimum absorption by the body cells. This is how the need for insulin diminishes. Regulating blood glucose chia seeds also prevent type 2 diabetes.
They are high in minerals
In addition to all the above-mentioned features, this one also takes a special place. Chia seeds are known for being a great source of a huge number of minerals that the human body needs to thrive. Calcium, zinc, magnesium and iron are among the primer ones. They are essential for bone health and proper functioning of all body organs.
They have omega-3 fatty acids
Flax seeds contain much omega-3 fatty acids, but are you aware of the fact that chia seeds possess much more fatty acids? In case you don’t keep to a vegetarian diet and refuse to eat fish, a full tablespoon of chia seeds per day ensures you get the omega-3 fatty acids you and your body need. One more plus is the fact these seeds needn’t to be ground to let the body benefit from their intake. Even eaten whole, the body manages to process all the fatty acids it needs.
They boost brain power
Fatty acids that are present in chia seeds assist in maintaining proper functioning of brain cell membranes, as well as neurotransmitters. They contain DHA – docosahexaenoic acid – which is used by the human brain and the nervous system of the body. In addition to docosahexaenoic acid, they have EPA – eicosapentaenoic acid – that is widely known for its help in relieving low-grade inflammation that is associated with clinical depression. Chia seeds are very powerful sources of essential acids that are considered to be natural food for one’s brain.
GreenAcres has a hard time keeping up with the demand for both chia seeds and chia drinks in all three of our stores. So, there is definitely something to this “wonder food.” Check it out!
Me woman, you man…let’s Paleo together.February 28, 2013
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 5:55 PM
The Paleo diet—it’s hard to pin down just exactly what it is. Matt, a GreenAcres owner and store manager in our Wichita store, follows the Paleo diet. He eats meat, veggies, seeds and fruit, and eschews sugar in all its forms and bread, to my knowledge.
So what’s good about a diet that leaves out cookies? When I ask Paleo followers what motivates them food-wise, they mumble something like, “It’s just what my body likes.” Well, how does one know what one’s body likes. Most of us just like good, healthy food, and occasionally some unhealthy food. Some of us think our bodies like ice cream, but that’s not Paleo. It’s how you feel with a particular nutrition/exercise/sleep regimen—not what YOU like. Get it?
Paleos are a breed apart. They can detox on a whim, give up sugar forever, never let a soft drink pass their lips. They are both disciplined and driven. And they usually look good. They’re in shape, lean and trim. They’re either super human or in a teen vocabulary, “Neanderthal.” And, that after all is the point. Paleos eat like our ancestors did thousands of years ago, before our food was contaminated with toxins and the government and corporate lobbyists started messing with our produce.
Still, going in search of what foods constitute Paleo isn’t easy. It seems there are several definitions, but for our purposes, a guy by the name of Todd who writes an engaging blog gave an entertaining example of what it means to eat Paleo. Here’s an excerpt from his blog:
Is this food Paleo?
Kashi cereal: This comes in a box and was made from a factory. Thus it’s not real and won’t allow you to thrive.
Whole eggs: We all know where eggs come from. Most of us eat chicken eggs which hens poop out on a near daily basis. We steal these eggs, crack them and then eat them raw or cooked. We know that they are full of vitamins, minerals, fat, protein and other nutrients. Many call eggs nature’s perfect food.
100% Whole wheat bread: Look at the ingredients. It’s not real food. Do you know how it was made?
Pumpkin: Um… yea… this comes from, uh, the Earth. We naturally know what to do with it. Slice it open and then bake it. Easy. Pumpkin nourishes all human beings.
Freshly picked grains: If you picked wheat or rye what would you do with it? Do you have any idea? It won’t nourish you if it’s raw and you probably won’t feel good if you just boil it…
Flank steak: If the cow was grass-fed and local then you can know exactly where it came from. You know that steak is meat. It comes from muscle. You know it has a lot of nutrition. You know that you feel satisfied after eating just a bite or two (or a pound)…
Coconut water: You know what a coconut is, right? The liquid inside is the water. It does not get much simpler than that. Coconut water is nature’s greatest source of electrolytes – mostly potassium. Drink up.
Black beans: Ah, those beans. I pass gas after eating just a small amount. Thus, for me, I don’t thrive while eating black beans. So, it does not fit within my diet. BUT, if you eat beans and don’t pass gas and are thriving in all categories of health, then black beans are ‘Paleo’ for YOU.
Paleolithic is a time period that took place before the agriculture revolution which was about 10,000 years ago. If you want to thrive for as long as possible and food matters to you, consider going Paleo. It can’t hurt, can only help, and you just might find yourself feeling better than you ever have in your whole life!
Honest Tea is chasing after bubbles, but at what cost?February 25, 2013
The Honest Tea folks have strayed a bit from their mission. They are making their new Honest Fizz brand of soft drinks with zero calories and zero sugar, but it’s not completely organic, and therein lies the dilemma. Can a company that has launched its business using only certified organic products, veer away from its mission and still pull forward? Remember, this is the “honest” company.
We think it can, especially after we read Seth Goldman’s blog and article in Inc. Magazine.There’s always the yen and yang of trying to bring an excellent product to market while trying to contain costs so people will buy it and the producer makes a profit. After all, if you’re not in business to make a profit, you’d better pack it in. Business people aren’t in the fray for fun and games (although every entrepreneur will tell you that’s half the excitement of starting a business in the first place.) If you can’t pay suppliers and manage your books, it soon becomes a headache not worth having.
Seth is introspective in the article link below. You can almost hear him fighting with himself, while trying to find avenues that will satisfy both himself and the customer.
We at GreenAcres love the new Honest Fizz. While only the Root Beer bubbly is certified organic, we have faith in the Honest Tea team that it will stay on task long enough to bring the entire product line into the certified realm.
Give Honest Fizz a taste test and tell us what you think. In the meantime, here’s the article: http://www.inc.com/seth-goldman/when-to-compromise-on-your-mission.html
Two Moms in the RAW show their sweeter side.
But only slightly sweet. The Two Moms granola is made of a crunchy combination of nuts, seeds, fruits, spices and just a hint of sweet. Four bars of gluten free, kosher, certified organic, non GMO granola bars are packed into a single box. You can eat the bar by itself, or break the bar into a cereal bowl and pour over your favorite dairy or non-dairy “milk.”
The RAW girls are a mother-daughter team out of Colorado that got its start out of necessity. Shari, the mom, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) when her daughter, Marsha, was an infant. Shari progressed rapidly in the disease and at her “turning point” could not even hold her daughter in her arms.
This determined dynamo is not the type to succumb to tragedy. Instead, with her husband’s full support, she went looking for a natural solution to her malady and came up with the solution that eating RAW was the right thing for her.
So far, she’s made lemonade out of lemons. Her business is thriving—so much so that her husband quit his day job and came to work for Shari. The entrepreneur has a great support group. She runs the business with her mother, father, husband and in-laws from the same commercial kitchen 5 minutes from her home. It is a true family affair.
Shari knows MS waits in the wings, and every now and then, if she veers off course, she can slide into an all-too-familiar symptom. Today, she chooses to stay well and stay RAW (though she admits her diet is not for everyone.) Because of her pitfalls, we, at GreenAcres are the recipients of a great idea. We carry several of Shari’s RAW products. Her granola is her newest line. If you try any of the Two Moms in the RAW cereals, give us an honest critique. We want to know what you think!
A true “Sountern Fan:” COLLARDS!February 21, 2013
If you’re not from the South and you first take a whiff of collards simmering on the stove, you might never eat them. But if you’re from the deep South, that smell is as familiar as perfume is to a French lady. There’s nothing quite like it; and collards wafting from the kitchen can send some into ecstacy.
Collard greens come from the cabbage family and have a similar nutrition palate to kale. They are the most nutritious from January to spring, so if you’re thinking of trying out the recipe below, now is the time to gather your “fan.”
There's nothing "new" about collards. The ancient Greeks knew a good thing when they saw it and were only too happy to throw (as the Southerners came to call it) "a mess o' greens" (collards) in a pot of boiling water and serve them to the wealthiest guest. The Romans cultivated collards before the Christian era and, it is said, even introduced the vegetable to Britain and France before the 4th century B.C.
But it wasn’t until African slaves came to the Southern colonies that these rather chewy and indelicate-smelling greens became a household staple. Southern cooks boiled their collards with ham hocks, pig’s feet, and sometimes added an array of onions and herbs. In recent times, with people more health conscious, Southerners would use turkey meat in place of ham; but to many, that salty brine just made the collards “sweeter.” Today, beside blackeyed peas, grits and cornbread, the simmered collards take their rightful place in human history. People around the world embrace the collard.
We at GreenAcres love our greens. The greener the better. Our green smoothie and lemony green drink both have kale, spinach and often green apples or avocados. Collards, on the other hand, we prefer to cook.
Midwesterners and Southerners alike associate blackeyed peas and collard greens with good luck and great fortune. So it’s not unusual to see people preparing both these vegetables for their families on New Year’s Day. Some have even taken up the tradition of hanging a collard leaf over their front doors to ward off evil spirits; and turn-of -the-century “believers” would put a fresh leaf on their forehead to cure a headache.
We have no idea if that truly is a viable migraine remedy, as we prefer to simply eat our collards, but if you know any other fun facts or interesting traditions associated with these “fan-filled greens,” let us know.
In the meantime, we proffer this recipe from Food Network cook, Guy Fieri for Spicy Collard Greens:
2 pounds collard greens, rinsed
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup 1/4-inch diced salt pork
1 cup diced onion
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, plus more for serving (recommended: Crystal)
Cut off and discard the tough stems and discolored leaves from the greens. Cut across the leaves into 2-inch ribbons.
In a large stock pot, over medium-high heat, add the canola oil and the diced salt pork, and cook until light golden brown and just crisp. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and let cool.
Add the onion to the pot and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes, then add the red chili flakes, black pepper, and the collard greens.
Stir every few minutes, or until greens have wilted down. Add the chicken stock and the water and cover. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes, then remove the lid, increase the heat to high, and add the vinegar and a teaspoon of hot sauce. Adjust the seasoning, if needed, then put it into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the salt pork and serve with additional hot pepper sauce on the side.
A 2009 piece in the New York Times gives several ways to cook collards and still retain their nutritional value: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/30/cooking-with-collard-greens/
Almondina: the biscotti our customers love!February 18, 2013
We just love family recipes that are handed down from generation to generation, and then one day show up on the shelves of grocery stores. Almondina is just such a success story, once made in a family kitchen, the cherished recipe held secret in “grandma’s heart” until upon her death, then bequeathed it to a beloved daughter, and then eventually into the hands of a musician/entrepreneur grandson, Yuval Zaliouk.
Grandma Dina called her cookie, Petit Gateau Sec (little dry cake); Zaliouk named it Almondina (see the name reference?), and now these no-cholesterol, no preservative biscotti have found their way to GreenAcres Markets in three states.
Grandma and the Zaliouk family would dip theirs in coffee or serve them as an accompaniment to soft cheese after dinner. Today, this delicious cookie is eaten as a snack and accompanies wine, coffee, tea, ice cream…or just eaten as a mid-morning or afternoon munchie. Yes, it’s that good!
Through the years, many more flavors have joined the Almondina product line. Our customers like them because they are non-dairy, kosher, made without added fat and salt and weigh in at only 30 calories a piece. The company prides itself on saying the only fat in its product comes from almonds—and we all know how healthy those little nuts are. To refresh your memory, we offer this link from the Almondina website: http://www.almondina.com/?page_id=28
Almondina makes and sells 200,000 cookies a day in all 50 states and in Israel. Today there are seven flavors in the line including a special chocolate-dipped version of Grandma Dina’s original gateau sec—which is a favorite of our boss, Barbara.
Even without preservatives, a biscotti cooked the perfect way (toasted again after its baked and sliced) will stay fresh and tasty if it is stored in an air-tight container and NOT put in the refrigerator (too humid for a great tasting biscotti.) But don’t take our word for it, try Almondina yourself and see what you think.
We like ours dipped in a hot latte. What’s your pleasure?
Check out this recipe for Almondina Tiramisu
2 packages of Almondina biscuits
6 eggs (3 yolks, 6 whites at room temperature)
2 containers mascarpone cheese (8 oz each)
2 tablespoons Brandy or Rum
4 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup strong coffee or espresso (cooled)
1/2 cup kaluha (or just add an additional 1/2 cup of coffee)
cocoa powder for dusting
Mix 1/2 cup kaluha with 1 cup espresso and set aside in shallow dish wide enough or tall enough to dip Almondina in and set aside.
Heat egg yolks and sugar in saucepan on low heat and stir until sugar is until well mixed and mixture begins to bubble and begins to thicken into a custard (about 3 to 5 mins) Remove from heat and allow to cool before placing in a mixing bowl. In the mixing bowl with the custard, add mascarpone, brandy, and vanilla until well mixed and smooth.
In a separate steel bowl whip egg whites until stiff then softly fold into mascarpone mixture until just blended, do not overblend as you want to keep as much air in the mixture as you can.
Quickly begin dipping Almondina cookies in the coffee/kaluha mixture. Soak long enough that you can tell they are absorbing some of the liquid but not so long that they begin to crumble. Layer along the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan. Then layer half of the mascarpone mixture over the cookies and dust that layer with powdered cocoa.
Repeat dipping the Almondinas and layering them on top of the mascarpone layer then spread the remaining mascarpone mixture over the cookies and dust with cocoa again.
Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to mix and mixture to set.
2 packages of Almondina biscuits
6 eggs (3 yolks, 6 whites at room temperature)
2 containers mascarpone cheese (8 oz each)
2 tablespoons Brandy or Rum
4 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup strong coffee or espresso (cooled)
1/2 cup kaluha (or just add an additional 1/2 cup of coffee)
cocoa powder for dusting
Mix 1/2 cup kaluha with 1 cup espresso and set aside in shallow dish wide enough or tall enough to dip Almondina in and set aside.
Heat egg yolks and sugar in saucepan on low heat and stir until sugar is until well mixed and mixture begins to bubble and begins to thicken into a custard (about 3 to 5 mins) Remove from heat and allow to cool before placing in a mixing bowl. In the mixing bowl with the custard, add mascarpone, brandy, and vanilla until well mixed and smooth.
In a separate steel bowl whip egg whites until stiff then softly fold into mascarpone mixture until just blended, do not overblend as you want to keep as much air in the mixture as you can.
Quickly begin dipping Almondina cookies in the coffee/kaluha mixture. Soak long enough that you can tell they are absorbing some of the liquid but not so long that they begin to crumble. Layer along the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan. Then layer half of the mascarpone mixture over the cookies and dust that layer with powdered cocoa.
Repeat dipping the Almondinas and layering them on top of the mascarpone layer then spread the remaining mascarpone mixture over the cookies and dust with cocoa again.
Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to mix and mixture to set.
If you try the recipe, let us know how you like it!
We’re giving you options—to grab ‘n’ go!February 15, 2013
You’ve probably already noticed--we’re making house-made meals for our customers in a hurry, on the go, or for those who live alone and just don’t find it economical to cook for one. So, GreenAcres is beefing up its hot case, deli and grab ‘n’ go with menu items you’re sure to enjoy--all at affordable prices, with the customary all natural and organic nutrition you’ve come to expect. Check it out!
· We pride ourselves on our house-made hot case meals, made from scratch daily with the finest ingredients. We aim to provide a variety of low-calorie favorites anchored with a choice of fresh veggies and free range, organic chicken and/or beef, pork and sustainable fish. Potpies and bierocks are customer favorites. One bite and you know why!
· Our soups are to die for! We choose from our fresh, fresh produce, beans and protein and whip up old favorites and new combos to satisfy the most discerning customer.
· Salad anyone? We really don’t like to brag, but there isn’t a salad bar anywhere that can compare with ours. Just the condiments alone are worth a trip: fresh, organic fruits, nuts and seeds; olives, scallions and cheese; chicken and tofu; fresh-made croutons, and more. Don’t forget our dressings. They are house-made, too!
· Need a little sweet after you eat? We’ve got you covered. Our house-made baked goods cover the gamut from gluten free cookies, cakes and muffins to low glycemic berry pies, biscotti and nut bars. Our bakers can make the most decadent desserts for your dinner parties. All it takes is a phone call. Give us 48 hours and we’ll create a masterpiece.
The next time you get tempted to pull into a fast-food restaurant, pull into GreenAcres instead. We’ll be waiting for you!
Valentine’s Day—for the lover in us all!February 11, 2013
Filed under: Uncategorized - greenacres @ 6:50 PM
There are so many theories and stories about Valentine’s Day it’s hard to separate fact from fiction.
Some accounts say there really was a Catholic priest named Valentine who existed about the 4th Century B.C. who didn’t go along with the Roman emperors’ demands that everyone worship the Roman gods, and he was thrown into prison as a result.
Legend has it that while in prison, he cured a young woman of blindness—possibly the jailer’s daughter—and that just before he was executed on February 14, he left a note, signing it “From Your Valentine.” After his death, Valentine was declared a saint of the Roman Catholic Church, and while the religious significance of his day has faded into history, the commercial world has embraced it with gusto.
We’ll never know in this life, if the story is true, but the salutation has stood the test of time and today, more than a billion notes with a similar sentiment are sent through the post, by email, passed during school lunch lines, left under pillows, accompanying boxes of chocolate, bottles of perfume, heart-shaped jewelry and of course, red roses.
Love, they say, never dies, it just continues ‘round the world. Be My Valentine, in whatever language it’s uttered, has become universal. Pictures of hearts, flowers and cupids embellish all manner of Valentine’s accoutrement , and there is a perpetual last-minute rush of men throughout the free world to come up with just the right gift or mix of gifts to make their lady love blush and their collective hearts flutter.
About.com on the Internet has this to say about Valentine’s Day: “The ancient Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia, a spring festival, on the 15th of February, held in honor of a goddess. Young men randomly chose the name of a young girl to escort to the festivities, (some writing the names of their chosen one on their sleeves—thus the expression, ‘Wearing your heart on your sleeve.’) With the introduction of Christianity, the holiday moved to the 14th of February. The custom of choosing a sweetheart on this date spread through Europe in the Middle Ages, and then to the early American colonies.”
Another online blog, Valentines History, Symbols, Folklore & Phobias by Brownielocks says:
“St. Valentine's Day did not come to America until 1629 with the Puritans and even here went against some of the church elders. But love prevails, whether openly or publically and the church could not hold back love and passion even in the New World. About 100 years passed before the first Valentine Cards appeared in the United States.
“Margery Brews (England) wrote the oldest known valentine in letter form dated 1477, sent to John Paston. Valentine once meant "sweetheart," and it grew to represent "message of love." On 2-14-1667, Samuel Pepys in his diary described a kind of valentine that he got from his wife. It was a sheet of blue paper in which her name was written in gold letters. This became the forerunner of later valentines. But the custom didn't grow quickly. It took 100 years before it was common to leave a valentine love letter at the doorstep of your sweetheart.
“Although the Catholic Church was not thrilled with Valentines per se, the custom slowly began to grow also in Catholic countries. Surprisingly, the Valentines were made by nuns, appearing really lacy and decorated with hand-painted flowers with the center, not cupid, but often a saint or a sacred religious-styled heart. Germany is credited with providing the expensive paper and elaborate borders to Valentines in the 18th century. But they were not given on Valentine’s Day, but more often on New Year's Day or on a person's birthday. So the fancy German paper was imported to England and they used it for Valentines. But this paper was expensive and soon the English began to make it themselves.
“In America, hand-made Valentines appeared around 1740 and were sealed with red wax and left secretly on a lover's doorstep (or sent in the mail). Commercial cards for the most part took over around 1880's. But people still (and will always) make homemade ones too. Some included trinkets, some locks of hair and in some cases there were checks that were drawn against ‘The Bank of Love’ and valentines printed to look like money. One was so realistic to a 5 pound note it was quickly recalled!”
In our day and age, we prefer to “Say it with Flowers,” after all it is the FTD’s most well-known slogan. We say, “I love you” a million ways, but a single red rose or a dozen red roses seems to say it best.
At GreenAcres, we may be a health food store, but romance is not lost on us! We say it with blooming plants, chocolates, the scent of bath salts, soaps and lotions. In fact, men come to our delis to pick up dinner, grab a bouquet of flowers on their way out and even tuck a perfectly-shaped red heart box of candy under an arm just to make sure the message gets to their lady love in the nicest way possible.
We wish all our customers a happy February 14. Be our Valentines all year long!
GreenAcres customers, be our Valentines!February 07, 2013
It’s time for our annual Customer Appreciation Day in all three GreenAcres Markets. In Kansas City and Jenks, we’re celebrating from 5 – 8 p.m., Tuesday, February 12. In Wichita, we’re starting the party early—from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, February 9.The first 200 ladies who walk through the door in Wichita will receive a long-stemmed red carnation. It’s all about red roses for the women in Kansas City and Jenks. And, please notice, there will be 10% off everything in the store that isn’t already discounted. Can you say, “Bargain?!”
One thing all three stores share in common: there will be food demoes galore and lots and lots of chocolate to sample and buy! After all, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and we wouldn’t be true to our store if we didn’t offer some over-the-top sweets for all our sweetest customers. We can all eat healthily, diet and exercise the other 364 days of the year, but during Customer Appreciation Day, we throw caution to the wind!
Since Kansas City, MO has different liquor laws, customers coming to celebrate in the evening might find themselves with a little vino in hand. All three stores will have products and vendors sampling out everything from free range, organic chicken and beef, BBQ sauces, hummus in all kinds of flavors, cookies, cakes, muffins, chocolate (did we mention chocolate?!), coffees, honey and breads. Lots of our regular and new vendors will be in store--a great chance to meet the people who supply the nutrition up close and personal.
Some of the products will be dairy free; some gluten free; some sugar free; some soy free. But all of the sampling will be delicious. In Wichita, our boss just got back from the San Francisco Fancy Food Show. You should see what she brought back with her (!) How do figs dipped in dark chocolate sound? Yum-O! How about Florentine Lace cookies that melt in your mouth? You’ve got to try crusty croutons made with garlic and seeds, and little breadsticks sweetened with cran-raisins and honey.
The new products will be sprinkled throughout our stores, so we encourage our customers to come hungry and avail themselves of all the new (and tried and true) tastings.
Our store philosophy is, “When we meet, we eat!” We want you to try new things, new foods from our arsenal of all natural, healthy choices that will put a smile on your face and better nutrition into your body. It used to be, not that long ago, that organic and health food meant bland and tasteless—think cardboard tasteless. We’ll, things have changed dramatically since GreenAcres first opened its doors 19 years ago. Thanks to pioneers like Nell Newman of Newman’s Own Organics, Hilary of Hilary’s Eat Well (the veggie burger queen), Pamela of Pamela’s Baked Goods (gluten free flours, cookies and more) and of course, countless others who struck out on their own, determined to create toxic-free, allergy-free, nitrate and nitrite-free products that tasted great, were all natural, and in many cases, gluten free, ORGANIC at last is becoming the norm.
Our customers are better educated today. They want to be and stay healthy. They know their Omega 3 and 6 numbers. They believe in integrated and alternative medicine, combining traditional and naturopathic and chiropractic medicine, and taking what works for them and applying to their daily lives.
We, at GreenAcres, like to think we’ve had a hand in all this. We’ve certainly introduced our customers to the latest science and supplements, pure foods and “health talks.” We’ve spread knowledge in every way we can: through seminars, in-store demoes, a weekly radio show where we bring the experts in natural living right to your living rooms…we want to be healthy and we want you to come right along with us.
So, we take time out on Customer Appreciation Day to say, “Thank You” to all who have been with us since the beginning, and all those soon to follow. Come join us as we celebrate YOU. We want you to be our Valentines!
Honey Republic—it’s a honey of a product!February 04, 2013
Ordinarily, GreenAcres buys only locally-produced honey and honey products. It just makes sense since we know the Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma environments and we trust our farmers to deliver only the purest and best product.
But we tasted (and researched) a honey product from a company that hails from Bulgaria and fell in love with it. It’s called Honey Republic, and the certified organic products are produced and packaged high in the Bulgarian mountains, far from pollution sources in ideal climes with a great floral diversity for bees to feed upon.
If you’re familiar with our Kansas City store, you’ve probably sampled this product. For those of you in Wichita and Jenks, you’re in for a treat. Honey Republic will be demo-ing in Wichita from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., this Saturday, February 9 during our Customer Appreciation Day.
We hope you’ll come hungry to all our stores during (Please note, CA Day is on Tuesday, February 12 in Kansas City and Jenks). There will be hearts and flowers and demos galore in all three GreenAcres Markets, but the Honey Republic people are bringing their best dessert recipe to Wichita Saturday and preparing Mascarpone Mousse for all to taste!
The recipe is simple…and simply delish.
1 8oz. container of Mascarpone Cheese
½ c. Heavy Whipping Cream
½ c. Honey Republic Cocoa Honey
In a medium bowl, combine cream and Mascarpone Cheese and beat with electric mixer at medium speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Add cocoa Honey and beat until fully incorporated.
The company suggests different ways to serve this: in puff pastry, in a pie shell, piped into meringues…but we think mousse is fab just piled into a pretty bowl and served with a dollop of whipped cream on top (be sure to make it organic whip!)
So far, the company makes nine different honeys. In our Wichita store, we carry:
Acacia—an herbal variety, exceptional because it never crystallizes therefore it does not need to be thermally processed. It is produced in an area populated with wild acacia trees. It is light in taste which makes it ideal for a variety of uses. It's very kid-friendly; they love the taste.
Honey with Cocoa—an organic cream honey with organic cocoa powder – the consistency and taste is similar to a chocolate spread.
Strawberry—a honey incorporated with organic strawberry puree.
Wildflower—an aromatic, herbal blend that makes it an excellent ingredient for dressing, sauces and BBQ glazes.
We encourage you to taste test this product whenever it’s demonstrated in one of our stores, and as always, let us know if you like it, and which one you like best. We’re betting you, too, will think this is one honey of a honey.
Meet Tencia, our chief cook extraordinaire!January 31, 2013
Filed under: Deli - greenacres @ 5:03 PM
Eventually we’re going to introduce you to all our chief cooks in all three of our GreenAcres stores, but today it’s Tencia’s turn.
Tencia has been in our Wichita store for two years. She started out helping Vince, our potpie man, bake bierocks, and gradually worked up to salads, mixing up the Vegenaise and the lemon juice and olive oil, making sure the deli looked fresh every day. Tencia was the woman waiting in the wings, happy just to be “the helpful one” in the kitchen, never expecting to be anything other than a sous-chef for the rest of her life.
But Barb, our boss, had other plans. There came a day when Tencia was asked to take over as lead cook. At first, she demurred, “I’m just a helper bee,” she said. “I’m not a chef!” But Barb is never one to take no for an answer. Next we knew, Tencia was pouring over recipes, sautéing chicken thighs, grilling fresh salmon, learning about gluten free cooking. Barb had unleashed a tiger—and a genius in the kitchen! Tencia had become “our very own prize chef” and she took over the reins of the deli as if she were born to the spoon.
In her everyday life, Tencia is married and a mother of five. She learned her craft at home at her mother’s knee and at school. “I always loved home ec,” she says. “I took as many classes I could.” Today, her oldest son, Antonio, works the afternoon shift, helping Kevin in the kitchen. From watching his mom and learning from others, Antonio, who once thought cooking was only “women’s work,” is now helping out at home, peeling potatoes for hash browns, making pancakes and occasionally baking a cake. He still wants to become of pilot or an engineer, but he’s no longer afraid to jump right in at home and help his mom cook.
Tencia’s cooking specialties lie in three areas: Mexican, Italian and Asian cuisine. We’ve tasted her chicken enchiladas (to die for) and her Tusan black beans and her cilantro-lime white rice. But we’ve yet to try her eggrolls and fried rice, which admittedly are labor intensive and maybe take on a few more calories than GreenAcres likes to offer its customers. After all, this is a health food store and we pride ourselves on gluten free, low cal, nutritious menu items. Still, Tencia is a whiz at paring down the calories in a dish and still making it scrumptious. Maybe one day we’ll see egg rolls on the menu.
Until then, Barb’s first instruction:“Make it healthy and flavorful.” And so, everything we offer in our hot case and deli is just that. To help launch our other kitchens in Kansas City and Jenks, OK, Tencia has sent down some of her prize recipes. Have you tasted her beef tips and gravy? Delish! Tencia is known for her tender, moist meats and poultry. The beef tips are actually seared first, then boiled and boiled and boiled. Who knew? The chicken thighs are seared off first, then finished in the oven—usually at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Fish? That’s 350 degrees for 18 minutes. Roasted sweet potatoes? That’s 400 degrees for 20 minutes. How does she know if she’s cooking too long or too short? “By touch,” she says matter of factly, “I just know.”
So what does Tencia like to do for fun and personal enjoyment? “I love to read cookbooks,” she says with a smile. “It’s a challenge to find just the best tasting, low calorie, gluten free recipe, then put a little of my own twist to it to make it perfect.”
We, at GreenAcres-Wichita, are happy to have Tencia and all our great cooks with us, and we hope you, our faithful customers, enjoy our food!
Kombucha: We can’t keep it on the shelves!January 28, 2013
It’s got to be the “drink du jour” because it flies out of GreenAcres daily. What’s so good about it? We’re asking you! It’s fizzy, fermented and tangy—in fact a tad too tangy for some. But for others, it’s got a certain “bite” that’s a mixture of live bacteria and yeast that keeps them coming back for more.
Matt saw an older customer carrying out four bottles last week, and thought he’d ask what he liked about the drink. The man replied, “I don’t know.” Kind of funny, but it shows the customer probably had seen an ad or read something about the product and just thought he’d try it.
It’s been called “mushroom tea” by some, although it contains no mushrooms. It looks like a lava lamp throwback to the 60s—kinda’ sludgy—but it’s the rage, as they say, and those who love it, can’t get enough.
“I’ve just read a lot about Kombucha,” says another customer in her 20s. “It’s got a list of health benefits a mile long: improves digestion, lowers bad cholesterol, fights cancer—what’s not to love?!”
Some of the drinks that get their start in health food stores are now so mainstream, they are becoming Coca Cola (with a whole lot less market share.) People are wiser today. They know a lot about health and health food products. They are the grandkids of the Flower Child set and they don’t want to go down that “drugs and tobacco road.” They want to live vibrantly and maintain the energy as long as they can. They don’t want to get their mojo back—they want to keep it forever! Healthy forty year olds are now really in their late 20s health wise. Who can knock it?! Most of us want to be cycling into our 80s!
Two years ago, when Kombucha really got a foothold, there were Kombucha smoothies, Kombucha “teenies.” Forget the pomegranate and acai berries of yesteryear, bring on the “Gingerade!”
So what is Kombucha exactly? We went surfing the net for this explanation and a little history from About.com:
“Kombucha is generally considered to be a teathat has been mixed with sugar and fermented in a manner akin to the way vinegar is made. On its own, it has a taste that's similar to apple cider vinegar, so it is sometimes called "vinegar tea." For wider appeal, it is often blended with other ingredients, such as fruit juice or unfermented tea.
The exact origins of kombucha are unknown, but it has been consumed in areas like Siberia, Russia, China and Tibet for thousands of years. Although kombucha is considered to be fermented tea today in the West, it may have originated with bread as its base.
After ages of use in the East, kombucha began to make its way to the U.S. It started with home brewers who were primarily interested in its health benefits. In the 1990s, brewers such as GT Dave (of Synergy Millennium) began to offer kombuchas that were brewed in a more controlled (and, thus, safer and more effective) manner. Since 2000, many more kombucha companies have opened and kombucha has shifted from being seen as a "hippie drink" to a fairly mainstream beverage. It's now available in many grocery stores' health food sections, as well as some restaurants, cafes and convenience stores. Flavors range from those with mass appeal (citrus, mango and the like) to those with more limited appeal (red clover, juniper berry and other health-centric ingredients).”
You can even make your own Kombucha if you’ve got the time and ingredients. Here’s a link to know-how.
Of course, it’s far easier to let the manufacturers do the experimenting. We’re not touching that “gelatinous, floating pancake known as a SCOBY (for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast).” We’re leaving that to the experts.
Next time you’re in GreenAcres, check out the health drinks in the cooler and try Kombucha. Then, as always, let us know what you think. You just might be one who flies those drinks off the shelves!
Alaffia Bodycare: A study in the empowerment of families!January 24, 2013
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 5:35 PM
We’ve written about Alaffia before, but it is such a success story, that it’s worth a second look.
It’s more than a celebration of great skin and hair products created from sustainable ingredients, it’s really a tale of justice and fairness and moral responsibility.
The story begins in Togo, Africa, located on the western African coast. The owner and founder of what would one day become Alaffia is Olowo-n’djo Tchala, (shown in the photo above left), was born dirt poor, living in Africa’s often politically–charged and changing times. But there grew in Tchala’s heart the desire to achieve and do well by his fellow neighbors. “I felt morally responsible to dedicate my life to empowering my community,” he has said. He looked around and decided it was the shea nut, dropped from the copious, sustainable shea trees, that would chart Alaffia's future.
He and his wife gathered friends and neighbors and made their case. Together they would start a viable, excellent product that would be handcrafted from natural resources that would eventually spread the culture and pride of Africa all over the world. And so they did. The shea trees grow wild in Tchala’s part of the African savanna and there is never a need to chemically fertilize or use pesticides. Shea butter was always handcrafted in Africa—it was a natural.
Under the umbrella of a Fair Trade commodity, shea butter skin products are bringing income to families in Togo, while bringing indigenous, effective skin care to the global market. The results are nothing less than spectacular. Members of the Agbanga Karite/Alaffia Shea Butter cooperative gain pride as they use their traditional knowledge and skill to support their families. The customer benefits from the great products and 10% of all sales goes back to Togo to enrich the community.
Alaffia uses only unrefined shea butter in all its products which provides maximum protection and moisturization, with no added chemicals, preservatives or dyes. Sometimes the scents of these products are foreign to a world that has embraced fragrance as the number one reason to buy…but we at GreenAcres urge you to give these products a try. Shea butter has a history of providing cell regeneration, capillary circulation and scar tissue refining. Pregnant mothers love smoothing on Alaffia creams to their tummies to avoid spidery stretch marks after birth.
Matt, a GreenAcres owner and Wichita store manager, swears by the Alaffia body wash, and uses it as a shampoo. Many of our market team members have embraced the effectiveness of the products which include, face cleaners, toners, moisturizers, body washes, shampoos and conditioners.
The joy on the faces shown above are reason enough to buy. Ask our Health and Beauty Department market team what they like about Alaffia, and as always, let us know what you think.
There’s power in community action and pride of country. Now that Alaffia belongs to the world, it’s worth giving the products a try!
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder…but especially when we’re talking all natural makeup!January 21, 2013
Some of us are trying a new line of all natural makeup called Mineral Fusion. Just as its name implies, it’s rich in minerals which seem to fuse to the skin and come back glowing.
Mineral Fusion cosmetics are hypo-allergenic and offer natural sun protection and help protect from environmental damage. Lots of antioxidants are included in the formulations—things like shea butter, white and red tea, sea kelp and Vitamins C and E to defend against free radical damage. Who wouldn’t like a moisturizing foundation that contains both pomegranate and licorice root extract. Sounds positively good enough to eat!
The entire line is free of parabens, artificial colors, fragrances, gluten phthalates and talc, so the most sensitive skin stays moist and fresh. The blushes blend beautifully with skin tones from yellow to brown. The lipsticks glide on…and stay on.
The duo concealers come with two tones of color so you can blend to cover under-eye circles and discoloration.
It’s just an all ‘round nice natural makeup that comes with a line of base, contour and brow brushes and a brush cleaner that is a citrus formulation with a high level of natural disinfecting power, a boon to those of us on the run, who seldom remember that makeup brushes should be cleansed as well as our faces!
Some of us like a little community involvement with our makeup. Mineral Fusion has partnered with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence to help raise awareness of a frightenly-growing problem in our communities and our world today. To that end, the company shares a portion of its profits and shares its product with NCADV-sponsored shelters. Can’t do better than that!
In Wichita, Laura Endsley, product educator and a licensed cosmetologist will be conducting a seminar on all natural makeup and choosing one lucky woman from the audience to give a makeover to at 7 p.m., Thursday, February 7. We hope you can all attend. All our seminars are free and open to the public.
Even if your particular GreenAcres Market doesn’t carry Mineral Fusion, ask your market team members in the Health and Beauty sections of your favorite GA store to assist you in finding and trying an all natural makeup that appeals to you. Remember, in the spirit of the phrase, “the liver can only detoxify so much during a lifetime,” it behooves all of us to take a first and second look at all natural makeup. We women glow from the inside out. It’s the nutrition we put in our bodies and on our skin that counts.
Beauty may be in the eyes of the beholder, but we’re more assured to reflect the essence with beauty products that are both safe and nutritious!
Brand new kids on the block: RAAW Juices. You gotta’ try!January 17, 2013
Always on the lookout for all things tasty that represent natural, organic, vegan, kosher and just plain delicious, GreenAcres is constantly bringing in new items and flying them up the flagpole to see if YOU, the customer, like them or not.
Recently, we introduced “It Just Tastes RAAW Juices” into our mix of healthy drinks, and now we want you to come into the store, try them, and let us know if you approve or disapprove.
In Wichita, we’ll be demo-ing RAAW Juices this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. during our annual Health Fair. But our other two stores in Kansas City, MO and Jenks, OK carry the product as well.
Our juice departments are filled with nutritional and energy drinks, usually those made with veggies or fruits. In the case of RAAW Juices, the company has mixed both of those ingredients together to come up with an interesting mix of exotic fruit and, for example, wheat grass! Not everyone can chug-a-lug a shot of wheat grass and go away smiling, so, we think this is a great way to down a ton of nutrition and a sweet juice chaser all at the same time.
The juices come in eight flavors and have such exotic names as: Pineapple Cucumber, Cranberry Ginger, Carrot Lemonade and Raspberry Lemongrass, among others. There are two with wheatgrass in them—Very Berry Wheatgrass and Passion Fruit Wheatgrass. You can definitely taste the wheatgrass…but remember the chaser is there, kicking up a sweet delight in the back of your throat.
RAAW Juices have all the pedigrees. They are gluten free, vegan, non-GMO verified. Free of artificial flavors, added sugar, artificial colors and preservatives. All the juices are flash pasteurized and cold-filled to preserve quality, thereby removing all microorganisms and bacteria at the time of production.
The juices are sealed and stored and delivered cold to our stores. This gives the juices a much longer shelf life and guarantees to pass the taste and quality-assurance test nine months from the date of manufacture. Perfect for those extended camping trips or storage at the vacation house that you only visit occasionally.
Some of the flavors might be a little “potent” for some palates, but if you’re around a GreenAcres Market store when RAAW Juices are being sampled, it’s the perfect time to try all the flavors before you commit.
Here’s a video to wet your whistle and introduce you further to the new kids on the block!
Did you know?January 14, 2013
Filed under: Uncategorized - greenacres @ 3:29 PM
…that GreenAcres Market makes everything from scratch in house daily?
…that we use only all natural, organic or 100% grass fed beef, pork, buffalo and chicken?
…that we use only sustainable fish, including wild-caught salmon, Atlantic cod, halibut and sea scallops?
…that we use only free range, farm fresh eggs?
…that we use organic for everything else whenever possible?
Did you know…
…that frozen is best? Our meats and fish are flash frozen at the source immediately after processing and shipped immediately to all three of our stores.
Did you know…
…that we have gluten free and RAW sections in all our stores devoted to those customers who require gluten free and or RAW living?
Did you know…
…that we have more than 4,000 sale items at any given time in all three of our stores?
Did you know…
…we make a concentrated effort to deal with local, organic vendors, farmers and ranchers?
Did you know…
…that we have a loyalty program of 2.5% off everything you buy including sale items?
Did you know…
…that we give 10% off product every Monday and 5% every day to seniors 65 and older?
Did you know…
…that we have six large events every year?
· January – Health Fair
· February – Customer Appreciation
· April – Anniversary
· July – Ice Cream Social (100% of the proceeds go to a local charity)
· September – Tasting Fair
· October – Gluten Free Fair
Did you know…
…that we give an informational class every Thursday evening from September through May?
Did you know…
…that we do an hour radio show in three Midwestern cities (Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma) called GreenAcres HealthTalk with Brett, Matt and Shannon?
In Wichita – from 9-10 a.m. every Saturday on B98-FM
In Kansas City – from 10 to 11 a.m. every Sunday on KCMO
In Tulsa/Jenks – from Noon to 1 p.m. every Sunday on KRMG
We hope the more you know about GreenAcres Market and how we work, you’re going to appreciate us all the more. We already appreciate YOU!
Salt your chakras…from head to toe!January 10, 2013
We’re thinking Valentines Day gifts with these new products from Indigo Wild. Most women who shop GreenAcres know the Zum products intimately. You can’t miss the wonderful aromas coming from the Health and Beauty aisles, with names like Patchouli, Frankincense & Myrrh, and Dragon’s Blood. Indigo Wild, a great little company out of Kansas City, MO, is the perfect example of why we at GreenAcres like to buy locally.
Indigo Wild has been producing all-natural products “infused with good karma for the body and home” since 1996, including the wildly-popular Zum line. GreenAcres carries Zum soaps, body washes, lotions, body salves and aromatherapy sprays. We especially like that the all natural products are never tested on animals and consistently deliver on performance and price.
Zum’s soaps are made of pure goat’s milk, pure essential oils, herbs, natural glycerin and mineral pigments. When you read the labels, there’s happily an absence of things like “tallow” (beef fat), PEG-6 methyl ether (a thickener) or lard. Yuck, you get our drift.
There are no “bad, un-natural ingredients” in any Zum product. The company prefers goat’s milk as its base in soaps because there is a natural pH balance in goat’s milk that just makes the skin soft, pliable and moisture retaining.
Take as an example Zum Kiss, a lip-softening roll on. It’s made of things you can actually eat, such as organic sunflower oil, organic beeswax, organic grapeseed oil, organic shea butter, organic honey, rosemary and Vitamin E. If those who don’t know the difference between all natural makeup and products as opposed to conventionally-produced lip balms, moisture creams, foundations and more, ever looked closely at what they’re actually putting on their skin, lips and eyes, they’d never buy conventional again.
You can scent your house while you scent yourself. The company sells soy-based candles, laundry soap, baby products, doggie products, household cleaners and more. There’s even a men’s product line called Zar. It’s just the quintessential company that keeps on giving. Try putting just one cake of Dragon’s Blood soap in your powder room. Infusion immediately!
But, back to Valentines Day and two new products that GreenAcres has brought in just for the occasion: GET ZUM roll-on perfume—just roll on your pressure points at wrist and temple and you’ve got that faint scent of “something” that’s never too strong or that has misted onto your clothes. Easy to carry in a purse, and no bigger than a lipstick.
The other product we’re keen on is called ZUM CHAKRA, shea butter bath salts that come in a convenient pouch containing seven tubes of different colored and scented salts you can use one at a time or mix all together.
There’s a kitch-y little explanation beside each tube relating to a chakra. How’s this for va-va-va boom: “Sandalwood Sacral Chakra—Channel you inner sexual siren with sandalwood. Responsible for emotions, sensuality, intimacy and sexuality. (AKA if you want to be a minx in the sack.)” Whew! Sign us up for some of that!
The next time you visit GreenAcres Market, take a walk around the ZUM aisle and check out the new products coming in for Valentines Day. We think you’ll like what you see (and smell). There’s nothing quite like those heavenly scents; and we have testers for you to try on so you get just the perfect scent for you!
Know your numbers!January 07, 2013
If you register to attend only one GreenAcres seminar this year, make it Stuart Tomc’s fascinating discussion on “Know Your Numbers.” Stuart, Nordic Naturals’ educator, worked with our owner, Shannon Hoffmann, to come up with a myth-busting formula for putting Omega 3 and Omega 6 numbers to popular health foods.
What long hours and tons of research came up with is that, with a simple blood test, the consumer can actually know for sure if he’s getting enough Omega 3s in his diet, whether he supplements with fish oil or not. And, he can actually keep ahead of the curve, knowing if he’s out of balance Omega 3-to-6 wise, and by applying Stuarts’ numbers formula to the food he’s eating, he can make choices on a dime and keep the ratio in balance.
Did you know, there are actually more Omega 3s in white rice than brown? Who knew? Even though foods can fall into the categories of healthy, healthier and healthiest, the ratio when eating certain foods actually might tip the scale in a favorable-to-unfavorable direction if you don’t know your numbers.
Balance… it’s all about the balance, Stuart says. If, after you’ve taken the Nordic Naturals Omega 3 blood test, you’ll know, based on your eating habits, whether or not to add more fish oil to your health regimen or whether to change your pattern of healthy eating all together.
Think red meat, eschewed by many as too fatty, too whatever…but organic red meat has more Omega 3s than chicken—nice to know, since for two decades, many of us have eaten so much chicken (free range or not) that we’re beginning to cluck!
The thing to remember about Omega 3s is that they are essential for solid cardio and brain health. You seldom see heart disease in a balanced numbers ratio, so this one seminar, is the one to register for.
Stuart will be in our Kansas City store at 7 p.m., January 23; in our Wichita store at 7 p.m., January 24; and in our Jenks store at 8 a.m., Saturday, January 26.
Mark your calendars now folks. Oh, and bring a pad and pencil along. This is break-through science you’re not going to hear anywhere else!
You don’t actually have to be crazy to drink this water…in fact, it might help!January 03, 2013
What’s so crazy about Crazy Water, you ask? Well, nothing really. In fact, its alkaline content makes it one of the healthiest bottled waters you can drink. So how did it get its name?
Story has it that once upon a time, an old lady, who appeared “a bubble off plum,” sat by a well in a small Texas town called Mineral Wells, begging people to draw her a pail of water. Passersby obliged and soon the town’s populace noticed the crazy old woman wasn’t so crazy anymore. In fact, she appeared to be almost normal!
The woman passed into legend, but the well water, and the town, went on to fame and glory. For years, people would flock to Mineral Wells in search of the water's “curative powers.” A man by the name of Ed Dismuke was one of them. He had a stomach condition which confounded his doctors, so Mr. Ed thought, “what the heck, drinking from the mineral water can’t hurt, and maybe it just might help." Ed began drinking the magic water, and came the day he was miraculously restored to health.
Too good to be true? Nope, Mr. Ed became such a fan of his healing water that, in 1904, he began bottling it for sale and distribution. More than a century later, Crazy Water is found at GreenAcres and at health food stores throughout the nation.
What makes it so special? Well, it’s naturally alkaline for one thing…and it tastes, well, it tastes different. GreenAcres CEO, Barbara Hoffmann, always reminds us that an alkaline body doesn’t get cancer. Reason enough to partake. Many of the commercial sports drinks on the market today, made with sugar and infused with electrolytes, are actually acidic, which we think is ironic since, if you’re sweating and maybe even feeling a little woozie after a hot game of tennis or basketball, the last thing you need is an acidic drink.
Crazy Water is bottled from well water that has naturally-occurring minerals—not synthetic add-ins. And thanks to a healthy dose of high-level natural minerals, Crazy Water is hard to beat. As you can well imagine, Mineral Wells—the town—took off like a shot. At the turn of the 20th Century, Mineral Wells became known as the premier health resort in the South. More than 150,000 visitors and health seekers travelled from all over the country to drink in the healing mineral nutrients.
A decade later, the town had four bath houses, seven wells, two sanitariums and 46 hotels and boarding houses. Happy days were here again!
But as with most things, there’s a beginning and an end. During the Great Depression, mineral water lost its allure and the Crazy Water Company began making crystals that found their way to drug stores, where people bought them, took them home, dissolved them in tap water and made their own brand of crazy drinking water. In the 40s, gasoline was rationed, and so the long lines of cars ceased coming to Mineral Wells. Old Mr. Dismuke eventually died; his widow sold the company and eventually a slew of owners bought and sold the company until its present owners, Carol and Scott Elder saw the “resurrection” possibilities.
Today, once again Crazy Water thrives and Mineral Wells is back on the map. The new owners make three strengths of Crazy Water: No. 2 is light and crisp and is only “a little crazy.” No. 3 has a slightly stronger mineral taste is actually “pretty crazy.” No. 4 is the strongest, full-bodied mineral water that tastes strongly “mineral-ish,” and is the
"craziest," but the company recommends drinking two full glasses daily for restorative health if you can tolerate it.
That’s the sweet story about Crazy Water. But, you give it a try, and tell us what you think. Here’s a Youtube video that demonstrates the ph acidic properties of a couple of well-known bottled waters. It’s a lot less crazy than you think!
It’s not just another day…it’s the beginning of a whole New Year!December 31, 2012
Filed under: Uncategorized - greenacres @ 5:34 PM
Time to make resolutions…promises to do better, be better, make amends, lose weight, quit bickering, stop smoking, start forgiving, begin living (bucket lists)…and on and on. How many of us actually keep the resolutions we make? Who knows? Usually the resolve is strong for the first two weeks. Kind of like joining a gym after the first of the year, only to go back to old coach potato habits when the urge to “renew” loses its fervor.
Where did the tradition to “resolve” come from? Oprah Winfrey once said on national television that she made it her duty to ask God for one thing every New Year’s Eve, and then she tried to practice that “thing” all year long. One year, she asked for patience; another year, acceptance. Still another year, forebearance. But how do these drives to do better, even to the point of re-inventing ourselves, take root?
A variety of bloggers on the Internet seem to put the tradition of making New Year’s resolutions at a fairly recent time, as the world turns. History.com reminds us that the early Roman calendar only had 10 months and 304 days, with each new year beginning a the vernal equinox. Talk about complicated. How ever did the early Romans celebrate birthdays?!
Later in the 8th century before Christ, two more months (January and February) were added to the calendar after a full-blown consultation with the most prominent astronomers and mathematicians of the day. The Julian calendar came into being about 46 B.C. at the behest of Emperor Julius Caesar. “Caesar instituted January 1 as the first day of the year,” notes the bloggist, “partly to honor the month’s namesake: Janus, the Roman god of beginnings, whose two faces allowed him to look back into the past and forward into the future. Romans celebrated by offering sacrifices to Janus, exchanging gifts with one another, decorating their homes with laurel branches and attending raucous parties.” Parties it seems have predated just about everything, including the Gregorian Calendar which was established by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, and is used by most countries around the world to this day.
But even the early Babylonians made New Year’s resolutions. The most popular resolution at the time? “To pay off debts and return borrowed farm equipment.”
Fast-forward several millennia and we are still making resolutions, and adding some traditions of our own. In the United States, what would New Year’s Eve be like without the Waterford crystal ball being lowered over Times Square at the stroke of midnight? Thanks to television and modern communication, millions of people around the world revel with the thousands who gather under New York’s Jumbotron to watch the iconic 12 foot-in-diameter orb, weighing nearly 12,000 pounds descend over the Big Apple. Only in America!
Should anyone resolve to have “luck” in the New Year, he needs only to look at the tradition of the “common folk” who celebrated on farms and in small towns with family and friends, often into the wee small hours of the morning. For early-to-bedders on Dec. 31, there is usually the faint recollection of horns, fireworks and even pots and pans banging in the distance. It was once believed the first visitor of the new day would bring good or sometimes bad luck, causing family members to sometimes peek through the key hole before opening the door.
Many Americans don’t want to tempt their luck, so they consume black-eyed peas and ham as a symbol of “all good things to come in the New Year.” Cabbage is another “good luck” vegetable considered a sign of prosperity; also rice…and of course bubbly beverages.
Champagne sales, the news tells us, have dropped 5% in most countries because of the world-wide recession…but not in the US. We party hardy until our dying day. So, let’s clink our glasses in unison and bid the old year adieux. Let’s resolve this brand New Year to live in peace and harmony; eat better, exercise more and make a difference in our communities doing what we can, one day at a time, for the next 365 days.
At GreenAcres, we’ll be open all day tomorrow just in case you forgot to stock up on black-eyed peas. We raise a glass and offer a toast to YOU our faithful friends and customers:
Happy New Year Wish
My Happy New Year wish for you
Is for your best year yet,
A year where life is peaceful,
And what you want, you get.
A year in which you cherish
The past year’s memories,
And live your life each new day,
Full of bright expectancies.
I wish for you a holiday
With happiness galore;
And when it’s done, I wish you
Happy New Year, and many more.
By Joanna Fuchs
New kids on the block…to block pain!December 27, 2012
Don’t know if it’s too much holiday, or the masses have started back to the gym and find themselves with pain in muscles they never knew they had. But a lot of customers are flocking into GreenAcres with achy, breaky hip, back and shoulder pain. What to do in a pinch (nerve or otherwise)?
Susan, GreenAcres-Wichita’s Health and Beauty Manager, has this to say: “King Bio’s Advanced Arnica actually saved the life of a woman I know who was in a horrific car accident and felt every muscle in her body was somehow disconnected!” Susan has yet to try this new topical cream herself (and Susan prides herself on trying all the products in her baliwick,) but she’s heard some powerful testimonials and believes it’s worth a try.
Bio King Natural Medicine developed the two new products pictured above—Advanced Arnica and Acute Pain Relief—in response to customers who asked for topical creams that would soothe, relieve pain and actually promote healing, naturally.
Advanced Arnica is used for:
· Injuries and inflammation
· Pain, swelling and stiffness
· Soreness after exercise
· Discoloration from bruising
The directions encourage the user to apply to affected areas two to three times daily or as needed. Can be used before and after exercise, and good results are obtained immediately after bathing when the skin is warm, moist and at its most absorbent.
Acute Pain Relife is used for:
· Back and neck pain
· Muscle and joint pain
· Cramps and stiffness
Advanced Arnica incorporates two forms of homeopathic Arnica Mantana in five potencies and Arnica Chamissonis flower extract, making it one of the most powerful pain relieving formulas on the market today.
Reducing inflammation and relaxing connective tissue is what it’s all about when there is an injury. If you’ve ever taken muscle relaxers combined with high-potency pain meds, you know there’s got to be a better way. King Bio believes it’s come up with the answer.
As with everything else, we want to know what you think. If you’re in the market for something soothing and healing for those aches and pains, try either one of these topical creams and let us know what you think.
King Bio has a slew of complementary oral homeopathic sprays as well. Next time you’re in GreenAcres, ask our knowledgeable market staff to "walk you around the block"—the pain relief block, that is. It just might be your ticket to feeling better!
Cold and flu…how do you avoid?!December 21, 2012
Here’s what the doctors and nurses on the WebMD website have to say: “Wash your hands!”
It’s that simple. Clean your hands often and wipe down surfaces. You might be surprised where those flu germs are “hanging:” on banisters, on doorknobs, on railings, on shopping carts (!) They are everywhere.
Doctors tell you to wash your hands often. “I wash my hands or use hand sanitizer before and after every patient,” says Dr. Christopher Tolcher, a Los Angeles pediatrician—sometimes 40-50 times a day.” On the news today in Wichita, a healthcare provider was not buying the hand sanitizer spritz at all. “It just won’t do the job,” this woman had to say. “You’ve got to wash those hands with soap and warm water!” She especially cautioned young mothers and dads who change their babies’ diapers. Sounds like a no-brainer, she said, but you’d be surprised. Again, “Wash those hands!”
The WebMD sight had this directive: “I try to wash for 20 seconds--sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to myself twice,” says Nancy Hughes, MS, RN, director of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Health in Silver Spring, Md. She’s also careful after she washes. “I use a paper towel to dry my hands and to turn off the faucet, especially in public bathrooms.”
So, what else can we do? GreenAcres suggests these four cold and flu formulas if those old bugs come a’calling:
· Source Natural’s Wellness Formula – designed to support the immune system when under physical stress. Its literature says “…it is created to support the immune system when under physical stress. It contains a powerful combination of herbs, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals formulated to boost your well-being. It is uniquely effective because it addresses systems, not just symptoms.
“Wellness is a Bio-Aligned Formula™ that goes deep to the root cause of body system imbalances. It is expertly designed to support interlocking components of the immune system, including mucous membranes, cell-mediated immunity and humoral immunity. It also addresses interrelated body systems that impact winter health: antioxidant defense, stress response, and the respiratory system.”
· OHOC’s Cold Snap - a mega-mixture consisting of 20 herbs employed in traditional Chinese medicine, works to restore "righteous chi," or inner strength and balance. “The ingredients in Cold Snap, such as forsythia, Japanese honeysuckle, burdock and soybean, work as catalysts to help your body do its exquisite healing work. Instead of stimulating the system or eliminating toxins, these natural healers instead nourish and build your chi, which in turn helps fight off ‘unwanted guests’ such as stress, contagious sickness, chills and heat.
· Natural Care Cold and Flu Away - an easy-to-take homeopathic medicine that relieves symptoms of cold and flu such as runny nose, sneezing, congestion, chills, body aches, headache, cough, fever and scratchy or sore throat.
“Formulated in compliance with the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States, Cold & Flu Away contains homeopathic medicines that can safely and naturally relieve minor symptoms of both colds and flu, and shorten the duration of the illness. It comes in quick-dissolving tablets that can be carried anywhere and require no water to take. Just pop under the tongue, let them dissolve, and they begin to work on alleviating those annoying symptoms.
· Nature’s Way Umcka Cold Care – a soothing Homeopathic syrup that is alcohol free, non drowsy and can be given to children aged 2 and up. The strength in Umcka is it shortens the duration and reduces the severity of the typical cough, sore throat and nasal/chest congestion. “It attacks the cause of illness in the sinus, nose and chest rather than just relieve the symptoms. It helps loosen phlegm to make coughs more productive. A natural medicine, Umcka is made from Pelargonium sidoides, a medicinal plant of South African origin.
So there you have a couple of GreenAcres’ suggestions for preventing and lessening the affects of winter’s colds and flues. To have a more in-depth look at some of our suggested supplements, liquids and lozenges, drop any of our stores and ask our supplement market team members to give you a tour of what might work for you!
GreenAcres Health Talk is taking its show on the road!December 17, 2012
Filed under: Uncategorized - greenacres @ 5:44 PM
(From left to right, Don Guidas, producer, Shannon Hoffmann, Brett Harris and Matt Murray, our GreenAcres Health Talk gurus, in a studio planning session, mapping out the new broadcast format.)
We’re growing and crowing as they say because the GreenAcres Healthy Half Hour is expanding to an hour-long program and two extra markets on January 5 and 6!
We’ll be the same health-centered program you’ve come to know…there’ll just be more of us to love and go around.
We’re going to have a brand new name: GreenAcres Health Talk with Brett, Matt and Shannon…bringing you solutions for healthy living.
And we’re going to have some new, interactive segments. We want you, our audience, to become more involved. But more on that later.
For now, those of you in Wichita will continue to tune us in every Saturday at 9 a.m. over iHeart’s B98-FM. We’ll just go an extra half hour longer, until 10 a.m.
Our K.C., MO listeners will hear us from 10-11 a.m. every Sunday over KCMO.
And, our listeners in Jenks and Tulsa will tune us in from Noon-1 p.m. every Sunday over KRMG.
We’re excited about our new programming and want you on board with us. We’ll have a new look in the New Year, bringing you good health…one person, one community, one Midwestern state at a time. Stay tuned!
Guest experts you can expect to hear in the New Year include, Diet Maven, Julia Havey, author of The Vice-Busting Diet and Awaken the Diet Within; Stuart Tomc, Nordic Natural’s educator who will encourage all of us to “Know Your Numbers” and explain the ratio between Omega 3s and 6s and why our heart and brain health depends on it; Dr. Bill Benda, past director and current team member associated with the Big Sur Health Center, a renowned grass roots community health care facility in California. Dr. Benda specializes is animal-assisted therapy for disabled children. You'll want to hear this segment!
Also on the docket will be Nell Newman, daughter of the late, great actor, Paul Newman. Nell has her own brand of organic health food items, including dog food, which sells extremely well all over the nation and kicks back millions to her father’s non-profit charities. And last, but far from least, on Saturday, Feb. 2, you’ll hear from Dr. Michael Roizen, anesthesiologist and internist, and award-winning author and the chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic.
In addition, we’ll have lots of local guest vendors and supplement formulators from all three of our Midwestern markets. GreenAcres has made its mission from day-one to inform and assist personally with your health. GreenAcres Health Talk with Brett, Matt and Shannon just takes it all to the next level. Come along with us; we’re all going to grow together!
Green with envy!December 13, 2012
One of the big things to come out of Victoria Boutenko’s book, Green Smoothie Revolution, was the way the 20-40 age group embraced the green drink in this decade with gusto, preferring to sip their salads through a straw…even for breakfast!
The envy comes from all those over 50-somethings who somehow missed out on this new fad that has taken health food stores and juice bars by storm. But wait, they are about to catch up. At GreenAcres, we sell an enormous amount of green drinks and smoothies—way more than even our popular chocolate energy drink or our carrot/apple drink. It’s green-on-the-go all the way, everyday. And many of those customers are in their 50s, 60s, and 70s and up.
“I just don’t feel quite right,” says a customer, a mother of two, “if I don’t have my green drink at least twice a week. It just gives me a boost. There’s something about instant nutrition…well, I don’t know how to explain it.” We think she explained it just fine. It’s all about energy; changing those Omega 6s into 3s; not feeling guilty if there’s no time to sit down to a big salad. “It’s kind of like a runner’s high,” says one young man. “It just gives me a jolt that lasts the whole day. Better than a cup of Starbucks.”
Boutenko recommends starting a green drink regimen with one cup of greens, plus fruit, plus water, and then working up to several quarts a day. That would be the equivalent of eating most of your meals through a straw—a little severe for most of us, still, there’s a lot of science behind liquid green.
· Greens are the most nutritious foods on the planet. The only nutrient not found in greens is Vitamin B-12.
· Greens are an abundant protein source, rich in chlorophyll and the original source of Omega 3s. They improve assimilation, stomach acid production and pH.
· The chlorophyll in greens has been described as “liquid sunshine” which has a long list of healing properties affecting all of the body’s systems.
· It’s safe to give greens to children and pets…it’s just an all-‘round healthy food.
Boutenko builds her case for greens with an interesting thought: “The dramatic reduction of green vegetables in our diet is by far the most detrimental choice we’ve ever made. Just look at our jaw structures. There’s no room in most jaws for wisdom teeth, and most need braces. The same with earlobes. They’re much smaller than those of our ancestors.” Hmmmm. Never thought of that!
So what’s so good about drinking your greens? Again, Boutenko makes her case:
· Most people have low stomach acid and don’t chew thoroughly, hence many nutrients are lost when taken in conventionally.
· We can assimilate several times more vital nutrients from the small particles in blended greens.
What are the best greens? Boutenko suggests choosing greens, one for every day of the week, from among these: kale, collards, spinach, romaine, bok choy, chard, mustard, radish tops, turnip greens, wheatgrass, lettuce, parsley, watercress…the list is endless.
Each green contains a type of alkaloid that is benign in small quantities. By rotating greens, no single alkaloid builds up in the body. Also, fruit plus greens does not ferment in the system (no gas). And that’s a good thing!
Next time you’re in GreenAcres, ask our deli crew about the green drink or smoothie, and see if you like it. Don’t be envious of your neighbor who looks like he’s got tons of energy. You can too!
Pain, pain, go away…!December 10, 2012
How do we make it stop? There seems to be intermittent pain everywhere these days. We can go to bed well; wake up in pain! Pain in degenerative joints. Back pain. Muscle pain. Headache pain. Carpal tunnel pain. Tendinitis pain. Bursitis pain. And on and on. We don’t need it. We don’t want it. So, again, how do we make it stop?
Supplement founders and formulators feel your pain…in fact, they usually feel their own pain first. That’s what sets them about creating a holistic, all natural supplement to ease the pain. In the 40s, traditional medicine came up with the aspirin tablet. It has been the panacea for all pain, fever and blood clots to this day. “Take two aspirin and call me in the morning.” But there are side effects to aspirin and many can’t take the little, white pill. Tummy troubles, ulcers, internal bleeding and a host of other things come to mind.
Those who believe in naturopathic medicine with the strength and effectiveness of traditional drugs usually wind up at GreenAcres to ask our knowledgeable supplement personnel about “which supplements to take.” Pain is a great motivator for health. Sometimes it’s pain that gets us thinking in a whole ‘nuther way…usually about nutrition (what have I done to myself?!)…or about exercise (if I start going to the gym today, will the pain be gone by tomorrow?!)…or about stress (I’ve got to learn to take it easy!) Any number of self-talk scenarios. Just fill in the blanks that fit.
So, where do we start when looking for relief? There are lots of choices on the all natural market, but we’re going to zero in on Natural Factors MSM being touted in some circles as the natural solution for pain. MSM is short for methylsulfonylmethane, a naturally-occurring organic source of sulfur that is found in the human body.
Clinical trials have proven thus far that MSM is powerful enough to stop pain without being toxic. It lessons inflammation, increases blood supply to the injured area, reduces muscle spasms and softens scar tissue. The scar tissue element is a God-send for any who have had even one operation and know how far into the body scar tissue can spread.
Now before you cry, “But I’m allergic to sulfa drugs,” please note there is a distinction between sulfites (to which many are allergic) and sulfur which is found in every living thing. This is what the Natural Factors folks have to say about sulfur:
· Sulfur is found in every cell and is concentrated in connective tissue, skin, nails and hair.
· Sulfur is found in the amino acids methionine, cysteine and cysteine, considered to be the building blocks of protein. (MSM can enhance these important amino acids.)
· It aids in the production of immunoglobulin to maintain a normal immune system.
· It is involved in the building up of our body substance, the energy that sustains our physical activity, and the neutralization of oxidants and toxins that can destroy our health from within.
· Since ancient times, sulfur has been associated with healing—and was promoted for a time after WWII. (Remember hearing about the benefits of soaking in natural sulfuric springs?)
Getting enough sulfur in our diets today is important since modern methods of farming often strip the soil of important minerals like magnesium, zinc—and sulfur.
MSM’s anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce and normalize swelling giving many people reduction in pain and improvement in range of motion. But the success stories don’t stop there. There are documented cases where MSM has not only helped arthritic patients, but also those who suffer from allergies, gastrointestinal upsets and—believe it or not—snoring which many a spouse might be excited to hear.
And so far, the only known side effect is “increased energy.” Well, we say, sign us up!
As with anything medical, ask your doctor, care provider, naturopathic specialist, even our supplement managers at any of our three GreenAcres stores to explain the benefits, pros and cons before you start a new regimen. They’ll give you the straight scoop, tell you what’s worked for them and other customers, so you can make your own decision if MSM might help you.
Remember, our customers are never a “pain in the neck” to us at GreenAcres. We want to see you well, healthy and happy—it’s our mission. So come in, tell us where it hurts. We’re here to make it stop!
Let’s talk Tofurky!December 06, 2012
GreenAcres has lots of vegetarian and vegan customers, so naturally we stock soy and non-dairy products for them, and we prepare RAW desserts and offer house-made soups and menu items they can eat. Just as we aim to please our gluten-free customers, we embrace tofu and experiment using it in all kinds of menus. Case in point: our eggless tofu “egg salad” flies out of the deli daily in salad or sandwich form. It’s one of our biggest sellers.
Since we’re big on grass-fed beef and buffalo, and only buy free-range, organic chicken and turkey, and sustainable fish, we’re careful about the meatless products we carry in our store, and look for products that are produced by family-owned companies similar to ours.
Tofurky is a relatively-new product that has only been a market competitor since 1995. Vegetarians swear by it and can order it all year long, but especially during November and December. As one of our vegan customers opines, “I used to hate the holidays. No one in my family is vegan but me and wouldn’t even consider my taste in food during Thanksgiving or Christmas.”
That very same customer now buys Turtle Island Food’s Tofurky, jazzes it up with her own experimental herbs, spices and glazes, and takes it with her to grandmother’s house. “I haven’t converted anyone yet,” she says chuckling, “but you’d be surprised how many put some of my side dish on their plates, actually enjoy it, and never know it’s not meat.”
Statistics show that about 6% of the world population is vegetarian—about 400 million people. People decide to become vegetarian or vegan for countless reasons, but mostly it has to do with health, the environment or ethical and political reasons. “In my case,” says our customer, “a college roommate from India introduced me to the world of vegan, and I could never go back to eating the way I did. In fact, just the smell of meat makes me queasy today.”
Turtle Island Foods is located in Hood River, OR, an hour outside of Portland. The company has made vegetarian products for years using only the finest organic and natural ingredients containing absolutely no preservatives. There is never MSG or other artificial ingredients in Turtle Island’s products. Everything is kosher and made with the highest quality ingredients—in this case only organically-grown soybeans and tofu which the company believes is “more environmentally friendly than high tech, hexane-extracted soy powders.”
When the idea of creating Tofurky came up, the family jumped at the chance to make it the best tasting and textured product on the market. Right off the bat, the family decided to use real wood chips in an actual smokehouse (rather than just adding liquid smoke) when preparing its Tofurky jurky and deli slices; and of course, only the best, organic soy and tofu for its rolled Tofurky roasts.
An article in the Washington Times in 2007 had this to say about Tofurky founder, Seth Tibbott.
“Tibbott was just an ordinary hippie living in a tree house when inspiration struck. The year was 1986, and Tibbott had spent the past six years hoping that his small business selling vegetarian meat alternatives in rural Washington state would catch on. Success proved elusive — the treehouse was the only place he could afford to live — until he developed a soy-based version of the traditional Thanksgiving turkey. He called it Tofurky.
“‘It's a name that resonates with consumers,’ said Tibbott, who grew up in Chevy Chase, Md. ‘We're fine with the fact they think it's funny or they get a smile out of it. You remember jokes.’
“Tofurky hit store shelves in 1995, and the meatless bird has become a cultural phenomenon, showing up on TV shows such as ‘Jeopardy’ and ‘The O.C.’ Tibbott's company, Turtle Island Foods of Hood River, Ore., has annual revenue of $11 million. Tofurky sales have grown 37 percent this year, compared with 2006. Tibbott expects to sell 270,000 Tofurkys by the end of the holiday season, which translates to 438,000 pounds of tofu, wheat protein, canola oil and spices.”
“Tofuky,” says Tibbott’s website, “is a pre-cooked vegetarian feast designed to be the delicious centerpiece of your holiday or everyday meal. Made from a revolutionary tofu-wheat protein blend, our famous Tofurky® Roast is known for its incredible, turkey-like texture and flavor. Stuffed with wild rice and whole wheat bread crumb stuffing, this roast carves and cuts just like turkey but without the bones.”
By the time Christmas week is here, the GreenAcres bins of Tofurky will be all but gone in all three of our stores, but don’t despair, the Turtle Island website has lots of tofu recipes to satisfy the most discerning vegan.
For those who like to cook and experiment with a better tasting “turkey,” we offer the following website for what looks like a crust encased turkey and giblet gravy substitute. Who’s brave enough to try what looks like a half-day cooking experience?
If you try it, let us know how you like it. Otherwise, we’ll have Turtle Island Food’s Tofurky here for you!
Got aches and pains? Zyflamend just might be the answer!December 03, 2012
While it’s been unseasonably warm for months, without a drop of rain in sight for most of the Midwest, it has set up something GreenAcres usually sees in colder weather: customers coming into the store with the “I’m achy all over!” complaint. “What should I take?”
New Chapter’s unique herbal formula may be just what the “doctor” ordered. Zyflamend supports a healthy inflammatory response to soar joints and muscles. Even the heart muscle! For what we’ve learned along the way is, it’s not so much the aging process or the wear and tear that weekend athletes put on their bodies, or the inevitable genetic makeup of a person that starts the body “crying out.” It’s improper nutritional balance among some ordinary and extraordinary herbs that gets our bodies out of whack.
It’s inflammation that’s giving us troubles. And it’s good news that a single herbal gelcap that contains a number of essential oils and extracts of some of nature’s most familiar and unfamiliar herbs can help the body in so many ways.
New Chapter’s Zyflamend contains “10 botanicals that promote safe, natural and healthy non-chronic inflammation management.” Many of our customers swear by it, and take the supplement regularly.
The New Chapter literature says “the herbs found in Zyflamend are gently extracted and highly concentrated to preserve their potency and stability. New Chapter's CO2 supercritical extraction process is prion and hexane free and does not contain synthetic additives or chemical solvents. Zyflamend is naturally gluten free.”
“It’s kind of a wonder drug,” says one of our customers who has used it for years. "I never thought about my heart being a muscle that’s affected by inflammation and nutritional imbalance until I came to a GreenAcres seminar. Boy, did I learn something that evening!”
The great thing about formulations like Zyflamend is that they have science and clinical trials backing up what the packaging says. There must be something to it, since it’s the number 1 selling herbal formula in the US.
The following are New Chapter’s Guiding Principles:
· To deliver the wisdom of nature thus relieving suffering and promoting optimal health.
· To advance the organic mission, nourishing body and soul with the healing intelligence of pure whole foods and herbal supplements.
· To nurture and sustain Mother Earth, the source of natural healing.
· To honor and reward personal growth, for enlightened teamwork depends on the vitality of every member of the New Chapter family.
Every year, New Chapter devotes a portion of its after-tax profits to the conservation of tropical rainforests and the sacred seeds that sustain all herbal traditions.
Next time you visit GreenAcres, ask our knowledgeable market team about Zyflamend. It just might stop those achy joints and strengthen your body’s muscles—especially your heart.
GIVE ‘EM THE BOOT! Avoid these Top Five at any cost!November 30, 2012
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 12:07 PM
It’s the holidays, and many of us let our guards down when it comes to wanting to satisfy that “Sweet Tooth.” But if you want to live longer, put way less strain on your liver, and still enjoy an occasional sweet, you might want to think “avoidance” of some of food’s biggest offenders.
Matt, one of our GreenAcres owners, ticked off the “Five Scariest Food Ingredients to Avoid” on a recent Healthy Half Hour radio show. We list them here for a reminder that many of the things on Matt’s list should be avoided all together if you can help it. Your health is too precious to lose over an offending chemical.
In the spirit of "a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips,” and "we should leave day-glo to socks (above), not to our food," we present Matt’s Top Five and welcome you to any GreenAcres Market in three locations in the Midwest, and promise you will not see these offenders anywhere.
1. High Fructose Corn Syrup. Hidden in everything—soft drinks, candy, snack cakes (think Twinkies), catsup, salad dressing and more, this cheap sweetener has been linked to liver disorders and diabetes. Natural sugar, honey, coconut sugar or agave nectar offer the same sweetness without the dangers and side effects.
2. Hydrogenated Fats. And particularly hydrogenated oils found in margarine and so many processed foods. Primarily linked to heart disease and cholesterol, this chemically-altered fat hides in fried fast foods, baked goods and even soups and sauces. Use butter, coconut or olive oil for better choices.
3. Artificial Sweeteners. Whether in the pink, yellow or blue packets on restaurant tables, they are all dangerous. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to cancer in lab rats, plus headaches and neurological symptoms in people. They’re in your diet soft drinks and many sugar-free treats. Safe options would be Stevia herbal sweetener or Xylitol.
4. Artificial Colors. You often hear us talk about eating a colorful diet, but the colors in kids’ cereals, candies, cake decorations and even chewable vitamins can only be found in a chemical laboratory. Often thought to be associated with cancer and behavior problems in children, it is best to leave the artificial colors alone. Pick naturally-colorful foods for the antioxidant power you need.
5. Chemical Preservatives and Additives. MSG--a flavor enhancer can cause nausea, weakness, headaches and chest pain. Preservatives like parabens to prevent mold have been removed from many skin care products. Don’t you think we should get them out of our food as well? How about the petroleum-based preservatives BHT and BHA, thought to be carcinogenic in humans. Finally, fertilizer ingredients like nitrates, nitrites and ammonia to preserve foods.
Let’s eat fresh instead!
A candle in the window!November 26, 2012
Tis the season to put a little light on the subject of “lighting.” And what better way to celebrate the holidays than to have your home or office awash in the scent of Christmas. There are candles that smell like pumpkin pie, evergreen trees, cinnamon, gingerbread—you name it and you can find a scented candle that will conjure up all manner of present-day and nostalgic memories.
There’s just something about candles…they soothe the senses, mark celebrations, enhance romance, define ceremony. In their simplistic form, they make “the place smell good,” and in their most symbolic form, “they light the way.”
Candles have been around for centuries. Some historians date candles from 5,000 years ago. There’s evidence that the Romans were the first to make wicked candles by dipping rolled papyrus in tallow repeatedly until there was enough substance to light their homes or complement religious ceremonies.
Even the Chinese were making a waxy material from insects and seeds and pouring it into molds made of rice paper. Likewise the Japanese who made wax from tree nuts; and the Indians who boiled the fruit of the cinnamon trees.
Candles played a big part in the early Jewish ceremonies. Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, dates to 165 B.C.; and historians attribute Emperor Constantine with calling for candles used during Easter services in the 4th century. The fire from this ethereal product has illuminated many a procession, celebratory function and home—whether it be humble or grand—making the candle something people would mourn the world over if it were ever to become extinct.
With the ushering in of the Moyen Age, beeswax was introduced to candle making, and for the first time, candles burned “clean” without producing a smoky flame. They also smelled light-years better than the acrid odor of tallow…but they were expensive. Few could afford to burn them in their homes.
Early American settlers conceived of boiling bayberry bushes for their sweet addition to wax, however it was so tedious to extract material from the berries, the candles soon went the way of all…wax.
The big idea in candle making occurred during the 1800s when French chemist, Michel Eugene Chevreul, began experimenting with stearic acid and animal fatty acids, which lead to stearin wax candles, still used in Europe today.
But a huge breakthrough came in the 19th century when paraffin, palm wax and other clean-burning substances began to engage the market, along with the technology and engineering to create repetitive candle forms worthy of mass production.
In today’s all-natural candle making, a company by the name of Aloha Bay, which GreenAcres carries and prefers, creates its candles from palm oil. Aloha Bay likes the product because it is sustainable, uses little water in manufacturing, is GMO free and pest resistant.
The company literature says, “One acre of palm trees provides the same quantity of wax as 20 acres of soy beans.” The company finds its wax in Malaysia, Brazil and Colombia, where it is not a threat to rainforests or the ecosystems of the endangered orangutan. The literature goes on to define its product as “steam-distilled; having colors 100% REACH compliant; vegan without the use of beeswax, paraffin or synthetic petrochemical additives.”
One of the dangers of the early candles, and those even made today that are not “all natural,” is that the wicks they used and (in some cases still use) were made of lead. Think about life in the 17th century, when candles were everywhere in the home, seated in the chandeliers, attached to boughs on the Christmas trees, in candle stands of every kind of wood and metal, resting on night stands in every room…and all surrounding the light, breathing in lead.
Yes, we’ve come a long way from the way "things used to be," and now sigh when we hear Elton John’s soulful homage, “Candle in the Wind.” The producers of Aloha Bay travel the globe engaging Fair Trade partners in Pakistan, India, Brazil and Indonesia, sourcing certified organic palm wax for its candles and essential oils. We at GreenAcres encourage you to come in and learn more about the sustainable, Fair Trade properties of our vast assortment of candles.
Think of us as your go-to place that, when you’re looking for health and hope, we’re here—a light flickering in the window.
Tired of talking turkey…let’s talk Brats!November 23, 2012
Lucky Star Farms has possibly the best tasting brats in Kansas or anywhere. Think a little bit spicy with a touch of Oasis beer (yes, beer!) in the mixture. Pure heaven grilled, sautéed, boiled or just roasted in the oven. Our man, Claude, who demos a lot of our food at GreenAcres was getting rave reviews recently with his crockpot full of Lucky Star beer brats, zucchini wedges and tomato halves. Quite a nice combination, kind of like eating meat and a salad all in one dish.
Claude paired his brats with Robert Rothchild’s Cranberry Pomegranate Mustard since it’s still November, and the Thanksgiving spirit is alive and well in our customers who relish taste-testing our food and replicating our menus. The result of this particular pairing was a treat for the taste buds—both tangy and sweet. The Rothchild mustard would be delish as a turkey or roast pork sandwich spread, and could even hold up as a Russian-style salad dressing. A uniquely nice flavor!
We’ve blogged about Lucky Star Beef before. It’s the only authentic grass-fed Angus beef in Kansas where the cattle graze on uncompromised, virgin Flint Hills grasses, and the delivery system to all three of our GreenAcres Markets is immediate. Flash frozen at processing, Lucy Star Beef consistently delivers a stellar product, unmatched, in our opinion, anywhere in the Midwest.
But let’s look at the history of the bratwurst. It’s definitely German in origin. Wisconsin is the go-to state in the USA for anything German, since many of its population settled there from Germany years ago and brought their traditions with them (you may recall all those Milwaukee ales and beers.) People in nearby Detroit, MI, and not-so-close Chicago, IL, would take to the road at a moment’s notice just to bring back “authentic” bratwurst, and often cheaper beer if they could confiscate it undetected in the trunks of their cars.
Whoever came up with the idea of using a pig’s intestine to encase sausage was a genius. In the very olden days, nothing was wasted, not even the blood which was steeped into stews and chilis, or put back into the sausage mixture—thus blood sausage. There used to be a fight between homelands over who made the best sausage. The Germans were only too happy to claim the title as the best cured sausages seemed to come from colder, mountainous regions where the dryer northern winds helped in the curing process.
There was forever a distain for British sausages which those nationalistically inclined would say came with an unhealthy dose of Botulism. The addition of nitrates and nitrites was supposed to quell the bacteria, but better production practices and the advent of organically-raised pig farms have happily left those harmful chemicals behind in the all natural food industry.
A blog on the Internet tells that the first recorded cookbook, Apicus Cookery (approximately 228 A.D.) had sausage recipes in it (even though Apicus was Roman. Go figure.) It appears that as far back as the Middle Ages, there were even equivalents to our FDA enforcers who protected the sausage as a national dish and made sure it was manufactured with only the finest beef and pork. From there, it was up to Germany’s city-states to come up with their own authentic recipes for bratwurst.
· Thurninga, Germany takes bratwurst more seriously than most. These sausages are only bar-b-qued over coals and served on a roll with mustard.
· In Coburg, the brat is grilled over pine cones.
· In the northern part of Bavaria, the brats are made 6-8 inches long and cooked in a broth of wine, vinegar and onions. The broth combination often turns the whiteish brats a slightly bluish color, thus the name Blaue Zipfel.
· In Nurnberg, the brats are short and thin, no more than 3 inches long and a finger thick and often served three to a role.
· In Munich, brats are steamed, never boiled so as to preserve the skin, served in a bowl of hot water. The purists roll back the casing and suck out the insides. The less venturesome, eat them with a knife and fork.
Probably the longest sausage in the world made in North Bavaria is called Mainfränkische Meterbratwurst. It is one meter long (40 inches) and comes to the table coiled on a bed of cooked sauerkraut.
So there you have a snippet of history regarding the tasty brat. However you choose to cook it, try Lucky Star Farms bratwurst with beer and let us know how you like it. We think you’ll gobble it up!
Alkaline coffee??? No way!November 19, 2012
Filed under: Organic - greenacres @ 12:00 PM
We’ve talked about tea, now, let’s talk about the “healthiest coffee in the world.” Food for Life Supreme’s BioCoffee is actually the first and only alkaline coffee on the market thus far. Its main ingredient is wheatgrass (!) of all things, and the rest of the vegetables—yes vegetables—in BioCoffee effectively neutralize acids in the body as they are rich in bicarbonates and other alkaline minerals.
The BioCoffee literature says that “it actually helps to prevent your body from becoming acidic, (Remember, there is no cancer in an alkaline system) and drinking BioCoffee helps ward off inflammation, cancer, heart disease and respiratory disorders.”
The literature goes on to say that BioCoffee is oligosaccharide (admittedly a big word, but what does it mean?) “Oligosaccharides are carbohydrates that have three-10 simple sugars linked together; plants such as Jerusalem artichokes, onions, leeks, garlic asparagus, wheatgrass and more are among these types of plants and root vegetables.” These types of carbs are hard for the body to digest, so they escape digestion in the small intestine, and go immediately to the colon where they function as a prebiotic. In other words, they introduce friendly bacteria into the large intestine, thus pushing out harmful bacteria which promotes disease.
The fiber in the wheatgrass helps to regulate the body’s absorption of sugar and cholesterol from food. And the high magnesium content in wheatgrass can sometimes improve insulin sensitivity, a boon to diabetics.
The coffee is loaded with other ingredients, such as Vitamin A, B complex, C, E, and K, calcium, iron, phosphorous, zinc, cobalt and sulphur (sounds like it might be good for arthritis.)
To seal in freshness and to eschew having to use preservatives, BioCoffee comes in sachet form. You heat up a cup of water and dunk. All there is to it.
Well, all this sounds good, you say, but does BioCoffee taste like coffee? We had to try it. Surprisingly, it’s a bit sweet and slightly thick, and tastes kind of like a cappuccino. But, we want to know what you think. Pondering drinking in those veggies in your morning cup of Joe. Way cool!
Tea…as far as the eye can see!November 15, 2012
Lots of customers at GreenAcres drink tea. A hot cup of tea or chai just seems to do it for them. We see them perusing the tea aisles forever searching for new, exciting brands. But alas, they always resort to the tried and true--that perfect tea that seems familiar and warms the shackles of their hearts.
Tea drinkers can to be divided into four parts: those that take milk with their tea; those that take lemon; those that take honey and those that take it black. “Good tea,” says an avid tea-drinking friend, “doesn’t need anything added to it. Just know the limits to how long you should let it steep. Don’t let it grow cold—use that tea cozy Aunt Suzy gave you. God forbid you use a tea bag (!) That’s for amateurs. And for goodness sake, don’t drink it on the run. Tea is meant to be savored, sipped from a china tea cup, pondered over, revered.”
See what we mean? They’re in love!
“I learned to love tea when I lived in England for a year after college,” says another GreenAcres customer. “The British would literally pull over to the side of the road, get out their thermoses and pour themselves ‘a tea’ at almost the same time every day—usually 3 o’clock.”
“I became enamored—not with the tea so much—as with the goodies that were served with it,” says yet another customer. “Scones and clotted cream…now that’s definitely worthy of a big cup of tea!”
Coffee lovers just don’t see the fascination. Where’s the buzz in tea? Well, certain varieties of tea actually contain as much or more caffeine than coffee (dry weight to dry weight,) but the polyphenols in tea take away the caffeine “sting,” slowing down the drug’s effect, thus rendering the art of drinking tea more relaxing. “Tea won’t keep you awake at night,” says a colleague. “My husband and I enjoy a cup of Sleepy Time Tea every night before bed with a plate of crackers and cheese. I don’t know if it’s proper or not, but I always stir in a tiny drop of brandy and a sugar cube.” Maybe that’s what helps her sleep.
It doesn’t really matter, tea and coffee drinkers will forever be partisan, kind of like Republicans and Democrats. Their taste for one or the other was honed long ago and seldom will one cross the aisle to give the other a try.
Not knowing that much about tea, we went in search of a blog that could give us some parameters. Tvtropes.com had this to say about the various kinds of tea. But first a history lesson:
“According to legend, tea was discovered in China by the first Emperor who was boiling water in his garden and had some of the leaves fall into it. Or, according to another legend, the first tea plant sprung from the eyelids of Bodhidharma, the monk who brought Buddhism from India to China, who cut them off to prevent himself from falling asleep during a long meditation. (Ouch!)
“Whatever the true origin, tea came from China and has risen to the status of the second most popular drink in the world. The first is water. No wonder then, that tea has inspired centuries of myth, legend, folklore, colonization, war, and Internet debates. Whole subcultures around the world have been formed around the 'proper' way of preparing and drinking tea. It’s very serious business.”
Neil Gaimon, a tea blogger writes this:
- Green tea is minimally heat-treated with steam or hot air to prevent oxidation, then dried, retaining the green color of the leaf. White tea and yellow tea can be considered special subsets of green tea - white is even less processed and uses only the unopened buds and young leaves, yellow is dried more slowly.
- Black tea is also called "red tea" in Chinese and Chinese-derived languages, not to be confused with the herbal "red tea.” Its color comes from a process where the tea leaves are bruised and allowed to fully oxidize before drying, resulting in the dark color, stronger flavor and higher caffeine content. Before modern transport and preservation, this was the only way tea could be shipped long-distance, and it remains the most popular style outside of China and Japan. Former colonies India and Sri Lanka (Ceylon), the other most famous tea producers, mainly produce black tea.
- Oolong tea, spelled "wūlóng" in Pinyin, is more oxidized than green but less than black, and can occupy any point along that spectrum. It's the most popular drinking tea in China and Taiwan.
- Post-fermented tea such as pu-erh teas are made from green or oolong tea leaves aged to allow fermentation and additional oxidation, producing a dark brown tea. This is what is called "black tea" in China, though "dark tea" is an equally valid translation. It is usually sold in compressed form as bricks, discs, or even more distinctive shapes like bowls and mushrooms. The ideal duration of the aging process is widely disputed.
- Scented tea is tea that has been infused with the scent of aromatics such as jasmine, rose petals or other flowers, in a complex process that results in the leaves naturally infused with the scent, without actually having the flowers left in the cup. Flavored tea is tea blended with any form of flavoring, such as herbs, spices, oils and extracts. Scented tea might be called flavored but never vice versa. Blended tea is any combination of different (usually regional) tea varietals which may or may not be flavored/scented afterward.
- Chai is simply the Hindi word for tea. Masala chai is the proper name for the popular tea drink flavored with spices (and, conversely, chai masala is the blend of spices used to make it).
- Matcha is high quality, powdered green tea best known for its use in the Japanese tea ceremony, but lately popular mixed into a variety of other drinks and even desserts.
- Tea bags are an affront to most serious tea drinkers, because they contain lower-quality tea, processed smaller so the air exposure leads to deterioration of the flavor, crammed into a space too small for the water to diffuse through properly. Larger "pyramid bags" and "tea sachets" with better tea in larger pieces aren't perfect but fare somewhat better.
So now we both know something about tea. Whatever your preference, GreenAcres has tea galore, from just about every country in the world. Ask our knowledgeable market team members to help you make a flavorful choice. It’s 3 o’clock somewhere in the universe. Time for a spot of tea!
So what’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish?November 12, 2012
We’re looking for unique here, so we went to our trusty GreenAcres Market team to find out what their favorite Turkey Day side is. Barb Mainz in our Supplements Department was the first to respond. Here’s what she had to say:
“I like to make stuffing, probably because it is the classic Thanksgiving side everyone looks forward to year after year. At my house, stuffing is always gluten free. I have experimented with various gluten free adaptations to old family recipes, but this year, I’m trying something new.
“I’m making a gluten free, Paleo adaptation that will be protein-rich with hazelnut and almond flours. Who wants to kick off the long holiday season with carb-rich, belly-bloating grains? NotI! The recipe I’m trying is called Sausage and Apple Stuffing and it can be found at http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread41573.html
“Since I celebrate this great family day by cooking, relating and relaxing, I will be making this dish a few days ahead so I’m free on the big day to enjoy family and friends.”
Hazelnut Bread Cubes
Recipe by Healthy Living How To
Makes 120 cubes
- 1/2 c. Bob’s Red Mill Hazelnut Meal/Flour
- 1/4 c. Bob's Red Mill Flaxseed Meal
- 1 tsp. Rumford Baking Powder
- 2 pinches Celtic Sea Salt
- 2 Large Organic Eggs
1. In small bowl scramble eggs with a whisk.
2. In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients.
3. Add eggs to dry ingredients and mix.
4. Pour into a mini-loaf pan sprayed with non-stick spray.
5. Bake at 350° F for 22 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
7. Slice bread into 9 slices and then each slice into 12 cubes.
8. Return to oven for 15 minutes to dry and crisp.
Sausage & Apple Stuffing
Recipe by Healthy Living How To
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
- 1 lb. Fresh Ground Pork Sausage (Mild)
- 4 Stalks Organic Celery, Chopped
- 1/4 c. Organic Onion, Chopped
- 1/2 Medium Organic Fuji Apple, Chopped
- 1 Recipe of Hazelnut Bread Cubes
- 2 tsp. Poultry Seasoning
- 1 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt
- 4 Tbsp. Unsalted Organic Butter, Melted
- 2 Large Organic Eggs
- 1/3 c. Organic Chicken Broth
1. Brown pork sausage with celery and onion. Drain.
2. In mixing bowl, add bread cubes, sausage, apple, poultry seasoning and salt.
3. Whisk together eggs, butter and broth then pour over stuffing. Gently mix.
4. Bake stuffing in covered casserole dish at 350° F for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
Don't wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy!
The man on the beach is Mark Sisson, a decorated triathlete in a former life, now spreading Paleo health and the benefits of becoming and staying fit throughout the world. Matt, one of our owners, and Barb, above, are big Paleo diet followers. The recipe above comes from Mark's blog. And, with all the recipes we post that have been adapted to healthy living, the ingredients you find in them can be found right here at GreenAcres!
To learn more about the Paleo Diet, we post a link to a Mark Sisson interview. Lengthy, but worth the time.
Got Milk? MOOve over. Local dairies have the market covered!November 08, 2012
GreenAcres Market exists in three Midwest states: Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. In all three locations there’s one family-owned dairy that just seems to stand out, enticing all manner of customers to try down-home goodness in a glass bottle. Hildebrand Farms in Junction City, KS fills the bill for GreenAcres Wichita. In K.C., MO, it’s Shatto Milk Company. And in Jenks, OK, it’s LOMAH Dairy out of Wyandotte County. Without a doubt, these three dairies present to rave reviews from customers who enjoy the rich, creamy goodness of a cold glass of milk.
While GreenAcres Jenks offers LOMAH’s whole milk only, the other two stores carry a variety of Hildebrand and Shatto dairy products with chocolate and strawberry milk standing tall against their paler companions. Ever hear of Root Beer Milk? Well, Hildebrand and Shatto both make it, and both offer other eggnog and milk flavors as well as unsalted butter and ice cream to many of their dairy customers.
What all three dairies have in common is “history:” start-up families who worked the farm, started small, raised grazing cows, and taught their children and grandchildren the rudiments of hard work and just reward. In the case of Hildebrand Farms, the family patriarch immigrated from Switzerland. At first, Arnold Hildebrand worked as a machinist for the railroad, but eventually moved his family to Junction City through a work transfer, and eventually onto the farm. It was there in the rich Kansas grazing land that the family hobby started to take root. Arnold and his wife, Rose, bought four Holstein cows and started delivering fresh milk in glass bottles door to door.
Soon their seven children (one boy, six girls) were making their way to ever-wider neighborhoods with milk in hand. Arnold and Rose eventually moved to Idaho with their young daughters so that Arnold could complete his work on the railroad and collect retirement. Carl stayed behind to run the family dairy. Today, his sons, David and Alan, and their wives continue the family legacy which includes 150 cows, a bottling plant, lab technicians and contracts with more than 40 stores that sell their dairy products throughout Kansas and the heartland.
Shatto Milk Company has been working the farm for a century, with the dairy coming into play 60 years ago. The family prides itself on raising cows free of recombinant bovine somatotropin (bovine growth hormone) and delivering its milk from cow to store in as little as 12 hours. Freshness at its freshest! is the company motto. To prove it, the family invites one and all to tour the dairy and see first hand how the cows are treated and the milk is processed.
As with Hildebrand, Shatto has always preferred using glass bottles to waxed paper containers. “The milk just tastes better, and glass can be washed and reused. Besides, it cuts down on recycling and lowers the amount of material dumped into area landfills.” Well, we all like that!
Today, Shatto’s milk products consist of whole, 2%, 1% and skim, plus a yummy variety in flavors of chocolate, root beer, strawberry, orange cream, banana, eggnog and a blue-hued mixture called “cotton candy.” Add orange drink, iced tea and fruit punch; ice cream in two flavors; and cheese curds in three flavors, and you’ve got yourself enough variety to please just about anyone, but especially the youngest milk drinkers in your family. Remember the “Dreamsicle” of yesteryear? That orange cream might come pretty darn close!
LOMAH Dairy is located in Wyandotte, OK, about 50 minutes from Downtown Bentonville. Every Saturday, Stan and Donna Johnson and one of their three children make the commute to provide cheese to the Bentonville Farmers Market. GreenAcres Market Jenks carries only LOMAH's whole milk—but there’s hardly anything better. Fresh as the prairie breeze; and the Jersey cows (pictured above) are just as content to graze all day except for two hours out of 24 when they mosey over to the restored barn to look for food and get milked.
The dairy brochure tells us: “The barn is a classic red and white restored dairy barn. The Johnson's have a store at the front of the barn that is based on the honor system. There are coolers in the front with product, a log of names and items bought, and a hole in the wall to drop your money.” Only in the heartland could a company run on the honor system!
LOMAH which stands for “the land of milk and honey,” offers artisanal cheeses (Havarti and Monterey Jack) to area restaurants along with its pasteurized milk. Stan Johnson is a graduate of veterinary medicine from OSU, and his wife, a vet grad from MU. Donna has always had a special love of making cheese, and Stan prefers working with the animals. They are a great partnership.
The couple makes “VAT pasteurized milk (low heat) as well as their cheeses from a small herd of cows which graze on 200 acres of chemical free pastures and drink spring water. All products are made from happy cows’ milk utilizing a wood fired boiler and spring water for chilling.”
All this talk of milk has made us hungry. Please pass the Oreos (or a healthy equivalent) and we’ll get on with the work at hand. Moo!
The smoking gun…it just won’t go away?November 05, 2012
For the last 37 years, the American Cancer Society has marked Nov. 15 as the Great American Smoke Out, trying to encourage men, women and sadly, children (!) to take charge of their health and quit the nasty habit. So, in all these long years, are Americans heeding the call? The answer is a pitiful “NO.”
Today, 45 million Americans continue to puff away, affecting at least another 20 million who inhale their smoke “second hand” in homes, pubs (where it’s still allowed), private clubs and well, just about anywhere you find people gathered at parties, on campuses (both high school and college), on subway terminals, in front of restaurants, anywhere and everywhere. Nicotine, it’s been said, is a more powerful drug than heroin…and twice as hard to quit.
The American Cancer Society reports that of the millions of Americans who smoke, more than half have attempted to quit for at least one day in the past year. We have a customer at GreenAcres who finally ditched the habit and says his health has improved immensely, but he tried to quit off and on for 30 years before he was successful. Finally, he decided to go “cold turkey,” and he tucked a pack of Marlboros into his car visor and dared it to get the best of him. He won, but the experience was excruciating.
Tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US. But many of those who have given up cigarettes find their way to cigars, pipes, electric cigarettes, chewing tobacco and now hookahs. As of 2010, there were 13.2 million cigar smokers and 2.2 million who smoke pipes in the US. While most recognize cigarettes as a leading cause of throat and lung cancer; more people die because of smoking from emphysema, stroke and heart attacks. Did you know that tobacco is a major cause of blindness, baldness and bladder cancer, not to mention cataracts, ankle fractures, early onset menopause, ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous abortion and erectile dysfunction?
In his book, Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition, Stanford University author, Robert Proctor, builds his case that cigarettes kill millions of people every year while the cigarette industry continues to prosper.
His book debuted in 2010, but not without a trail of lawsuits and legal fees from the tobacco industry trying to quash his research before the book ever came out. Proctor tells a dire tale: “Because of the long-term effects of cigarettes,” he says, “if everyone stopped smoking today, there would still be millions of deaths a year for decades to come.” Moreover, he continues, “six trillion cigarettes are smoked every year – that's 6,000,000,000,000—three quarters’ way to our national debt--enough to make a continuous chain from Earth to the sun and back, with enough left over for a couple of round trips to Mars."
What about "Low-tar" cigarettes, “Light,” More filters…all the things the tobacco industry wants you to believe? “Hogwash,” says Proctor. “Today’s cigarettes are deadlier than their predecessors. Half the people who smoke will die from their habit.”
Proctor goes on to say, “Cigarettes are the deadliest artifact in the history of civilization– more than bullets, more than atom bombs, more than traffic accidents or wars or heroin addiction combined. The industry has spent tens of billions designing cigarettes since the 1940s – that's from the industry's own documents.”
Have you noticed the resurgence in smoking in the movie industry? Almost every movie this last decade has someone inhaling and exhaling. No doubt the tobacco industry loves it. Where else can you find the perfect profit model? A cig costs a penny to make, sells for way more, and by creating the perfect “smoke curl” of chemistry and addictive drug, the industry can’t lose. Only its users.
This week on the Healthy Half Hour, Darcy Buehler, PhD, a Wichita psychologist honors the Great Smoke Out by telling our audience how she quit smoking 25 years ago and has helped myriad others see their addiction vanish like so much smoke. Strike up your smart phone, go to iHeart radio and download the B98 app to listen to the GreenAcres-produced program at 9 a.m. this Saturday, CST.
If you’d like to hear our past broadcasts, please go to our website http://www.greenacres.com/, click on “Radio Show.” The Healthy Half Hour brings you a world of health news every week. In the spirit of “the more you know…”, we at GreenAcres wish you who smoke will have success this year in your attempts at quitting once and for all!
Dry skin—it can be an “Itch!”November 01, 2012
Winter’s in the air and that means low humidity outside, dry heat inside, and for many of us, itchy skin.
Everyone experiences dry skin to some degree, but for those of us who naturally have dry skin, or those who suffer from an underactive thyroid, those on drying medications or those who have any number of skin conditions, “the winter itch” as it’s sometimes called is no fun. In fact, it can keep you awake at night and make your life miserable.
Dry skin can occur in people of all ages, and it can come one winter out of the blue and stay a lifetime. In the normal wear and tear of time, fine lines become more visible on the skin’s surface. And in more advanced stages, dry skin can cause a fish-net appearance—kind of like cracked porcelain, with or without flaking or dull red patches. Dermatologists have a name for dry skin: xerosis or asteatosis. Repeated scratching can produce thickened skin and painful cracks or fissures and can result in dermatitis where the skin becomes red (inflamed) as well as dry and scaly. In a phrase: It’s a mess!
Too much antibiotic soap in the shower, hand sanitizer at the gym, hereditary immune disorders, disease—all can contribute to “the itch.” So, what do you do about it? First things first: identify and tackle factors that may be causing dry skin. Check with your doctor about medications and illnesses that may be causing problems. Next, look at your bathing ritual. Too much hot water removes normal, protective skin oils. Are you moisturizing after showering and are you using effective products?
Brings us to another caveat: Soaps can dry out skin, even with regular moisturizing use. If you’re into all natural products, ask for assistance in finding what soap and moisturizer works best for you. Then, use the products religiously…within three minutes of getting out of the shower. Any later and the skin seals off with greasy creams or oils riding on top of the skin. Not good.
If you want natural products, you’ve got to do your homework. READ LABELS, and refuse to settle. Remember half measures avail us nothing; so look for the chemicals in moisturizers and lotions that can actually acerbate the problem, rather than help.
If you shop at GreenAcres, ask a Health and Beauty Department market team member for the Natural Ingredients Dictionary by Aubrey Hampton. Maybe you can find it online. Aubrey, a man, was born on an organic farm in rural Indiana, and by age nine was helping his mother make herbal cosmetics. He’s another one of those formula founders that have made such a difference in the lives of those who seek “natural beauty and wellness.” Aubrey’s booklet discusses the dangers in the 10 synthetic cosmetic ingredients to avoid. Chemicals like Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and Ethyl Paraben are anathema to those of us who want to live healthily. Aubrey says, “They might be good for your car, not your skin.”
Here are some products that are proven to work on dry skin and contain none of the dangerous ingredients Aubrey warns about in his booklet.
- Shikai’s Borage Therapy – promotes healing at the cellular level; is non-greasy, non irritating; clinically proven and doctor recommended.
- NOW solutions sweet almond oil – preferred by masseurs as they can rub it into the skin for hours and it doesn’t lose its moisturizing effect. It’s easily absorbed into the skin, won’t clog pores, vegetable-derived from pressed almonds and dates back to Biblical times.
- Africa’s Secret – an unscented multi-purpose skin cream made from handcrafted shea butter, virgin coconut oil, beeswax, African wild honey, bee pollen and royal jelly (sounds almost good enough to eat!)
- SKIN by Ann Webb – a face and body lotion that hydrates, soothes and heals with comfrey, hyaluronic acid and rosemary.
Talk to our supplement men and women before you venture into the HABA department. “Sometimes,” cautions Susan, head of HABA in our Wichita store, “it’s actually your Omega 3 to 6 ratio that’s off kilter…”
And, that will be a discussion for a whole ‘nuther time!
To brine or not to brine…October 29, 2012
If you watch the cooking network at all, you’ll see chefs brining meat and poultry. They say it keeps the juices in while cooking, and flowing out when carving oven-baked or grilled protein. Some of us have never tried it, but this might just be the year.
At GreenAcres, we have lots of customers who swear by Simply Organic’s Turkey Brine. In fact, every year, we run out of it right before Thanksgiving. The directions are simple enough: empty contents of the jar into a gallon of water, stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Then, you’re instructed to place a 14-16 pound turkey into a large container; add the brine mixture; make sure the turkey is completely covered with water (might have to add some) and put in the fridge overnight.
The next day, you rinse off the brine and pop the turkey (or brisket or pork back) into the oven and you’re assured of a juicy piece of meat. Good enough guarantee for some of us who always manage to present a slightly-dry turkey to family and guests on the big day. Some people swear by the brown bag method; others like their turkey deep fried. No thanks to both methods; this brine thing seems worth a try.
As luck would have it, the Chicago Sun Times did a feature story today on brining. Lisa Shames interviewed some of Chicago’s top chefs and this is what they had to say:
- “We brine almost every piece of meat that comes into the restaurant.” (listing pork, chicken, goat, lamb and especially things like roasts as examples.)“It helps maintain so much moisture and gets the seasoning all the way to the core without having a salty outside. Generally speaking, everything comes out tasting so much better after it’s brined.”—Chef Chris Pandel, of the Bristol on Clark Street
- “We brine pretty much every day. It brings out the natural umami flavors of the meat.”—Chef Susan Goss of Chicago’s West Side Tavern, (who’s known for a killer pork tenderloin.)
- “Once you brine, you don’t have to worry about overcooking. You can take something ordinary like chicken or a less-accepted cut of meat and make it surprisingly special and fun.”—Chef Rob Levitt of the Butcher & the Larder on Milwaukee Avenue.
How does brining work? “…It involves two basic scientific principles,” explains Lisa Shames in her feature article. “Diffusion and osmosis, which occur when meat is submerged in a saltwater solution. To maintain equilibrium between the substances, the brine is absorbed into the meat.
Once there, the salt unravels the meat’s protein cells, making even more room for the liquid to enter. Add in other ingredients — sugar, molasses, rosemary, vinegar, garlic, onions, etc.—and that’s when the fun really begins. While the process itself may sound complicated, the actual work to make it happen isn’t.”
Shames goes on to tell how some of the chefs get really creative. One adds sweet tea and Calvados liquor to his brine; another, apple cider vinegar. It’s the yen-yang (sweet to acid) that teases the tongue and sets the mouth watering.
You can mix your own brine using a mixture of garlic, rosemary, black peppercorns, sugar and salt…but why bother when you’ve got an organic mixture you can buy in a bottle? Also, it gets tricky if you’re experimenting on a great piece of poultry or meat and you get the sugar to salt ratio out of kilter. Sugar burns fast, so think honey instead.
Come to think of it, honey, soy sauce, black peppercorns, fresh ginger and star anise might make a great Asian take on a roast turkey. Chef Bobby Flay looovveees star anise. He’s always grilling with Asian pork seasonings and star anise is usually the star of his rub.
But for this year, some of us will be reaching for the bottle of Simply Organic and seeing if we can make our own turkey the star the simple way. Here’s to happy brining. Let us know if you try it!
It’s Halloween! Half the fun is making it healthy.October 25, 2012
Filed under: Recipes - greenacres @ 5:10 PM
You don’t have to give your kids, your family or your friends a sugar rush to ensure they have a happy Halloween. In fact, hosting a “healthy” dinner party or presenting your family with an extra special “spooky, playful meal” before donning costumes and heading out for a neighborhood Trick or Treat might be more novel than the traditional bobbing for apples or eating a ton of commercial candy.
With the convenience of the Internet, you can look no further than cooking blogs and web pages for ideas. We googled “healthy Halloween treats” and came up with some fun wholesome recipes. All can be made even healthier by adjusting some ingredients, choosing organic produce, for example, or trading sugar for honey or agave syrup; swapping out regular for organic cream cheese or using Vegenaise instead of mayonnaise.
You already know all this, because you shop with us. Just let us know if you try any of these fun recipes or let us know how you’re planning to make Halloween a healthier, happier event.
"Yolkensteins" (shown above) from TLC Cooking website
small tomato slices
- Cut thin slice from wide end of egg so it stands upright.
- Slice egg horizontally, about 1/3 up from bottom.
- Place tomato slice on bottom piece of egg. Insert toothpick upright in middle of tomato slice and egg for "spine." Reattach top piece of egg.
- Using dabs of mayonnaise, attach slices of olives for "eyes" and peppercorn for "nose." Attach parsley for hair and stick 1 whole clove on each side of egg under tomato slice for "bolts."
- Pipe mayonnaise "teeth" on tomato slice just before serving. Repeat for all eggs.
Try serving these frightfully good treats to your kids for Halloween breakfast! Put out tiny plates of seasoned salt, sesame seeds, grated cheese, and celery salt for dipping the eggs.
"Terrifying Tamale Pie" from TLC Cooking
tablespoon vegetable oil
cup chopped onion
cup chopped red bell pepper
clove garlic, minced
pound ground turkey
teaspoon chili powder
teaspoon dried oregano leaves
can (14-1/2 ounces) Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
can (15 ounces) chili beans in mild chili sauce, undrained
teaspoon black pepper
package (8-1/2 ounces) corn muffin mix plus ingredients to prepare mix
cups taco-flavored shredded cheese, divided
Green and red bell pepper, pickle slices, pimiento pieces, chopped onion, chopped black olives and carrots for decoration
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook until crisp-tender. Stir in garlic. Add turkey; cook until turkey is no longer pink, stirring occasionally. Stir in chili powder and oregano. Add tomatoes with juice; cook and stir 2 minutes, breaking up tomatoes with spoon. Stir in beans with sauce, corn and black pepper; simmer 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced by about half.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 1-1/2- to 2-quart casserole. Prepare corn muffin mix according to package directions; stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Spread half of turkey mixture in prepared casserole; sprinkle with 3/4 cup cheese. Top with remaining turkey mixture and 3/4 cup cheese. Top with corn muffin batter. Decorate with assorted vegetables to make monster face. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until light golden brown.
There are many more recipes to choose from. Just keep it simple, make it fun and remember to put "healthier" into the ingredients and you'll have a winner. HAVE A HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
Sugar…it’s not nearly as sweet as you think.October 22, 2012
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 4:24 PM
Civilization has certainly progressed through the centuries, but in some ways, it hasn’t gotten any smarter. Case in point: sugar. Is it something we’ve just grown up with and learned to love (make that crave)? Or is it our nemesis, waiting like a stealth bomber to destroy our health? Research says “yes” to both questions. Sugar, it seems is taking a huge toll on our collective health.
Look around you; visit a school yard; look in the mirror. Most of us are too fat. And, according to many nutritionists, it’s not fat that’s causing us to be obese, it’s sugar. The single largest source of our caloric intake today, research tells us, comes from high fructose corn syrup. Just look how it’s changed our eating habits:
· In 1700, the average person consumed about 4 pounds of sugar per year.
· In 1800, the average person consumed about 18 pounds of sugar per year.
· In 1900, individual consumption had risen to 90 pounds of sugar per year.
· In 2009, more than 50 percent of all Americans consume one-half pound of sugar PER DAY—translating to a whopping 180 pounds of sugar per year!
Sugar, it seems is everywhere. It’s “giant-sized” in our soft drinks. It’s a main component of fruit juices and sports drinks. It’s hidden away in all processed foods. It’s processed into baby formulas—in fact infants are consuming as much sugar as in a can of Coke from the first day they start taking formula. No wonder our children are becoming more obese by the century.
Dr. Mercola, an online researcher and medical doctor who writes a popular wellness newsletter has this to say:
“Today, 32 percent of Americans are obese and an additional one-third are overweight. Compare that to 1890, when a survey of white males in their fifties revealed an obesity rate of just 3.4 percent. In 1975, the obesity rate in America had reached 15 percent, and since then it has doubled. Carrying excess weight increases your risk for deadly conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes. In 1893, there were fewer than three cases of diabetes per 100,000 people in the United States. Today, diabetes strikes almost 8,000 out of every 100,000 people.”
Dr. Mercola goes on to define sugars and sweeteners:
· Dextrose, fructose and glucoseare all monosaccharides, known as simple sugars. The primary difference between them is how your body metabolizes them. Glucose and dextrose are essentially the same sugar. However, food manufacturers usually use the term "dextrose" in their ingredient list.
· Table Sugar is half glucose and half fructose.
· High fructose cornsyrup (HFCS) is 55 percent fructose and 45 percent glucose.
· Ethanol (drinking alcohol) is not a sugar, although beer and wine contain residual sugars and starches, in addition to alcohol.
· Xylitol, glycerol, sorbitol, maltitol, mannitol, and erythritol are neither sugars nor alcohols but are becoming increasingly popular as sweeteners. They are incompletely absorbed from your small intestine, for the most part, so they provide fewer calories than sugar but often cause problems with bloating, diarrhea and flatulence.
· Splenda is NOT a sugar, despite its sugar-like name and deceptive marketing slogan, "made from sugar." It's a chlorinated artificial sweetener in line with aspartame and saccharin, with detrimental health effects to match.
· Agave syrup is often 80 percent fructose. The end product does not even remotely resemble the original agave plant.
· Honey is about 53 percent fructo but is completely natural in its raw form and has many health benefits when used in moderation, including as many antioxidants as spinach.
· Stevia is a highly sweet herb derived from the leaf of the South American stevia plant, which is completely safe (in its natural form). Lo han (or luohanguo) is another natural sweetener, but derived from a fruit.
Our bodies are fueled by glucose. Every living thing on earth relies on glucose for energy. But in today’s world, we are relying on highly-refined fructose as our sugar of choice, and that is why our waistlines keep growing and diseases like heart disease, cancer and diabetes are becoming the plagues of this century. Our bodies metabolize fructose in different ways from glucose. Just ask your over-worked liver since the entire burden falls on its metabolizing structure.
We also have to contend with politics and the fact that the lobbyists for agri-corporations are jockeying to be world-power players by manipulating our food all in the fear of over population (read greed.) Not that corn syrup fructose isn’t bad enough, now it’s GMO corn fructose. And since all of the fiber has been removed from processed foods, so that we no longer have any nutritive value in them, the very foods most rely on to “make them lose weight” are the very ones containing high fructose. You get the picture.
Here’s what Diabetes-Warrior.net suggests:
Eat ALKALINIZING FOODS--We need to eat foods which will actually heal the body. We need to go back to the garden and eat live foods like leafy greens, foods which are high in chlorophyll. Eat salad for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eat dark green and yellow vegetables, root vegetables, freshly juiced vegetable juices, foods with high contents of chlorophyll, nuts like almonds or hazelnuts which are more alkaline. Almonds are high in oxygen especially after they have been soaked for 12 hours. Sprouted grains and beans like alfalfa, mung beans, clover and radish, seeds, essential fatty acids from flax oil, borage oil, and virgin olive oil, soy products like tofu, grains from spelt, millet and buckwheat, herbs, spices, seaweed, lots of onions and garlic and distilled water. Fruits like avocados, lemons, limes and grapefruits are low sugar, therefore less likely to be fermented.
You can find all these recommended foods, produce and ingredients right here at GreenAcres. Next time you find your body craving sweets, think salad. In the end, it’ll be sweeter on your system.
To hear what Dr. Mercola thinks about Splenda as a sugar alternative, click on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5Db-VSqn88
Ladies, let’s talk towelettes!October 18, 2012
A customer opines, “I hate trying to take makeup off with soap and water, or even creams. It just seems to smear around my face, or I end up looking like a raccoon with dark, blurry circles under my eyes from eye makeup. And those blurry circles aren’t easy to erase. What do you suggest?”
Susan, our Health and Beauty manager in our GreenAcres-Wichita store has this to recommend: “Have you tried any of the “cleans-and-hydrates” pre-moistened tissues we have in stock? They are organic, biodegradable, ultra soft and remove makeup comfortably.”
Susan should know. She tries every product she orders into her department and studies the ingredients on the package and in the pamphlets as if she’s going to be quizzed—which actually she is. Our customers know their stuff. They know the science behind a lot of products, and they want to make sure they’re living clean and not endangering the planet. Clean and green is what they like, and we in all our GreenAcres stores try to accommodate.
So what’s the scoop about the little towelette?,
· Giovanni has a D:Tox System purifying and exfoliating facial cleansing towelette. It draws out toxins to revitalize tired-looking skin; and is actually made with volcanic ask that gently opens pores and removes dirt. The product is hypoallergenic, dermatologist tested, clinically tested, ophthalmologist tested—we think it’s safe to safe, it’s tested to the max—and it’s alcohol and oil free.
· Alba Botanica offers a deep-pore purifying towelette that contains pineapple enzymes. It’s a 3-in-1 makeup remover, cleanser and toner, based on the science that the towelette removes makeup; fruit enzymes break through the oil and grime; and finally aloe and awapuhi tone and balance the skin without tightness. The company does not test on animals and guarantees 100% vegetarian ingredients. Excellent for sensitive skin types.
· Burt’s Bees Sensitive has a towelette for ultra sensitive skin made with a cotton extract to soften, rice extract to moisturize and aloe to soothe. No need to rinse; just wipe off makeup and you’re good to go. The manufacturer guarantees no parabens, phthalates or petrochemicals. The package comes with a little plastic “door” that opens and the towelettes pop out. Easy peasy, as they say.
· Giovanni’s Refreshing Facial on the Go is great for all skin types, but oily skin especially. It’s made with citrus extracts that refine the skin’s texture and cucumber extract that soothes and hydrates.
These are but a few of the cleaning towelettes we offer at GreenAcres. Ask our market team members to give you a run-down on what might be best for your skin. The good thing to know is that they all work; they are super easy to use; and they leave your skin feeling smooth, clean and moisturized.
We’ve talked them up; now we invite you to try them. Let us know what you think.
Bad cholesterol—it’s a sticky issue!October 15, 2012
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 5:51 PM
Almost everyone approaching 50 will hear from his doctor sooner or later that he or she has high cholesterol. And right after that announcement, the prescription pad will follow with the word “Lipitor” or “Zocor” or some such on it. It’s estimated that one in four Americans over the age of 45 are taking a group of drugs the pharmaceutical companies have made famous (if not necessary) called “statins.” But are they safe…and moreover, are they effective?
We’re not here to argue drug merits, nor do we suggest you stop taking prescription medicine. Absolutely not! We urge you always to consult your doctor before making adjustments or changes to any medical regimen.
We offer the statin drugs merely as a case in point. For sure, the statins have reduced high “bad cholesterol” in most users. Still, there are unanswered questions: Is bad cholesterol really the cause of heart disease? Are the side effects of cholesterol-lowering drugs worth the success of lowering the bad cholesterol in the first place? Does a dependency on cholesterol-lowering drugs take the onus off people making healthy or not-so-healthy food and exercise choices? These are big questions you need to ask yourself and discuss with your doctor for sure.
We on the health-food-store end of things love to hear both sides to all kinds of issues—both the questions and the answers—from customers, medical doctors, naturopathic physicians, nutritionists, all manner of people, clinical trials and research. Then, we take that information, process it and pass what we’ve learned on to you. We don’t know it all; in fact, we’ll never know it all. It’s the process that makes life worth living. After all, we’re all in search of a better life, and we like to share what’s worked for us, and we want to know what’s worked for you.
At GreenAcres, we’ve got a little extra advantage: We get to hear about natural alternatives to prescription medicines from the manufacturers and formulators of natural supplements all the time. For all kinds of reasons, particularly those that impact our own health, we like what we read, research and hear. It’s getting back to the basics, choosing the right lifestyle, educating ourselves constantly that sets us free of the stereotypical response to what ails us. Treating the symptom is one thing; treating the cause is everything.
But getting back to the statins…they are in fact classified as a “pregnancy category X medication, meaning they shouldn’t be taken by pregnant women or those planning to become pregnant as they can cause birth defects.” Scary enough, but now we hear there is a bold move by the pharmaceutical industry (before patents run out) to bring to market a chewable, “kid friendly” form of Lipitor which will target our youngest members of society. Some school systems are calling for universal testings to find those youngsters “in need of treatment.” Is this the kind of public health we want or need? Like Big Pharma and GMOs, politics, it seems, is in everything!
What are the side effects of statins? Here are a few:
· Muscle pain and damage. We have a customer that wasn’t aware of the debilitation until she tried to get out of a chair one day. Another customer had always enjoyed a weekly game of tennis until, in his 60s, he realized he had developed such severe tendonitis, he couldn’t play anymore. Once he pinpointed the problem and quit his statin drug, the pain went away and he once again picked up his tennis racquet.
· Liver Damage. You’ve got to have regular blood tests when on statins (and other medications as well) to see if the liver is functioning properly. Although liver problems are rare, your doctor will likely order a liver enzyme test before or shortly after you begin to take statins as a precaution.
· Digestive Problems. Some people may develop nausea, gas, diarrhea or constipation after taking statins. Some people tolerate them well. Depends on the system.
There are other side effects, but we don’t want to scare you to death. And you should always talk to your doctor before taking or quitting a drug or going on an alternative regimen.
How do you lower your cholesterol naturally? To find one answer, we went to Dr. Joseph Mercola’s newsletter. Dr. Mercola is often mentioned on the Dr. Oz show and is a popular name in the alternative medicine field. This is what he had to say:
1.Make sure you're getting plenty of high-quality, animal-based omega3-fats. I prefer those from krill oil. New research suggests that as little as 500 mg may lower your total cholesterol and triglycerides and will likely increase your HDL cholesterol.
2.Reduce, with the plan of eliminating, grains and sugars in your daily diet. It is especially important to eliminate dangerous sugars such as fructose. If your HDL/Cholesterol ratio is abnormal and needs to be improved it would also serve you well to virtually eliminate fruits from your diet, as that it also a source of fructose. Once your cholesterol improves you can gradually reintroduce it to levels that don't raise your cholesterol.
3.Eat the right foods for your nutritional type. (Apparently, Dr. Mercla has a free test for that.)
4.Eat a good portion of your food raw. (Raw foodies are going to like this one!)
5.Eat healthy, preferably raw, fats that correspond to your nutritional type. This includes: Olive oil, coconut and coconut oil, organic raw dairy products (including butter, cream, sour cream and cheese), avocados, raw nuts, seeds, eggs (lightly cooked with yolks intact), organic, grass-fed meats and poultry.
6.Get the right amount of exercise. When you exercise you increase your circulation and the blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of fighting an illness before it has the opportunity to spread.
7.Avoid smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
8.Address your emotional challenges.
Too good to be true? “Hardly,” says Dr. Mercola. “For the vast majority of people, making a few lifestyle changes causes healthy cholesterol levels to naturally occur. As always, your health really is in your hands. Now it's up to you to take control -- and shape it into something great.”
We, at GreenAcres, couldn’t agree more.
We can’t grow the Coconut Palm in the Midwest…but we can drink its nectar!October 11, 2012
…Thanks to coconut water drinks--bottled, canned and delivered almost daily to all our GreenAcres Market stores. Coconut water is refreshing to some, not nearly sweet enough to others, but no matter, customers buy our coconut water as if it were going out of style.
This past summer we saw an increase in our senior population stocking up on coconut water. Many in our 80-year-old population were getting dehydrated in prolonged, scorching hot weather and they didn’t know it until they began to have stroke-like symptoms of slurring speech and disorientation.
Rather than reach for day-glo-colored sports drinks (that are often infused with preservatives and other extraneous ingredients not always good for you), our senior customers came looking for coconut water as a quick way to replenish electrolytes to their systems. Some even said their doctors recommended it (!) Music to our ears. Nutritionally speaking, coconut water is instant hydration. Naturally fat free and low in sugar, a cup of coconut water contains about 10 grams of natural sugar at only 45 calories. It’s also replete with potassium, calcium and magnesium, and low on sodium—only 40-60 mg. per 16 oz. can--great for a population that often has blood pressure problems and needs to limit salt.
In Africa, India and South America, water from the tender, immature coconut is a natural alternative to tap water. After the coconut vendor splits the coconut for its water content, the delicate, sweet coconut meat is given to children who are big fans and beg for their favorite treat. But, alas, here in the Midwest, we rely on our coconut water vendors and our produce vendors to supply us with this nutritious liquid and fruit. Judging from our customers, it looks like runners and bikers are the coconut’s biggest fans. “Don’t forget tennis players,” says one coconut water lover, “I used to get so dehydrated during a long game, I’d literally have to make a trip to the emergency room to get an IV to re-hydrate. Once I discovered coconut water, I never had to make that trip again!”
So what are the health benefits of coconut water? This is what one blogger on the Internet has to say:
- Research studies suggest that cytokinins in coconut water showed significant anti-ageing, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-thrombotic effects.
- Coconut water has been generally offered to patients with diarrhea in many tropical regions to replace the fluid loss from the gastrointestinal tract and reduce the need for intravenous therapy (just what our tennis customer had to say!)
- Coconut water is composed of many naturally-occurring bioactive enzymes such as acid phosphatase, catalase, dehydrogenase, diastase, peroxidase, RNA-polymerases etc. In effect, these enzymes help in digestion and metabolism.
- Despite very light consistency, its water has much better composition of minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, and zinc than some of the fruits like oranges.
- Its water is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are essential in the sense that the human body requires them from external sources to replenish.
Here’s a Youtube link to a group of friends from Bengladesh showing the correct way to sheer the head off a coconut and share the bounty within: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqsmuYk-GEE
Yogurt—Fewer calories, better for you!October 08, 2012
Filed under: Recipes - greenacres @ 5:17 PM
Which do you prefer: sour cream or yogurt? Sour cream is made from pasteurized cream to which a starter culture of bacteria is introduced to start the fermentation process. The bacteria cultures have scary names like Streptococcus and Leuconostoc dextranicum—they sound like antibiotics (!) But they are only allowed to grow to produce acid, flavor and to add thickness. The resulting cream is then re-pasteurized to kill the bacteria and stop the process from going further.
Yogurt is also fermented, and is produced by introducing bacterial culture to milk—you can gauge the difference in fat percentage contemplating cream to milk (sour cream contains between 15-20% more fat than yogurt), but sometimes recipes just call for a richer dairy product—however they are different cultures, and re-pasteurization is not needed when making yogurt.
Yogurt has been around for thousands of years, and today is a preferred snack item when mixed with veggies for dips or fruit or jams for a sweetened treat. Yogurt is highly nutritious, rich in protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. It’s also known to boost the immune system.
There are hundreds of yogurt products on the market. Which ones are best? If many taste pretty much the same to you, how do you make a wise choice? Aside from taste, you’ve got to look at ingredients. And with the escalation of GMO products these days, it’s good to know your manufacturer and that means knowing the farm and the animal that’s producing your dairy products.
One of GreenAcres favorite yogurts is Cascade Fresh. The company has partnered with us for years. We know the farm. We know the people. We trust the products. A look at the Cascade Fresh website tells it all: “Not all yogurts are created equal, starting at the source. Our cows enjoy lush, green pastures and are humanely treated from sunup to sundown. The result is luscious, wholesome milk that's always 100% free of rBGH.”
Since we’re a family-owned company, we like to work with other family-owned companies. Since they put stock in the family circle, they work together as a team and don’t have to appease others who might just be looking at the bottom line, and might be tempted to sacrifice quality for profit.
Cascade Fresh likes to say its stockholders are the cows and the boardroom is its kitchen. Since the owners are accountable only to themselves and their happy cows, and have an ethical business philosophy that guarantees their products, we prefer to stock their yogurts and recommend them to our customers. Besides, we think Cascade Fresh is just about the best tasting yogurt around. Every single batch contains real fruit, all natural ingredients from hormone-free cows, with zero preservatives, artificial sweeteners and refined sugars. Our kind of folks!
But as with everything else we do, we encourage you to be the judge. Pick up a carton of Cascade Fresh—only 110 calories--and tell us what you think about the yogurt.
Here’s a yummy, easy recipe from Cascade’s website you might want to try:
Baked Zucchini Fries
medium zucchini, cut into long, thin pieces
Buttermilk-Yogurt Ranch Dressing
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. In a shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, dried herbs, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Coat the zucchini in the egg/milk mixture, then in the breadcrumb mixture. Arrange the zucchini in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes, flipping the zucchini once.
Vega One—a whole lot of shakin’ going on!October 04, 2012
Filed under: Gluten Free - greenacres @ 5:12 PM
If you’re looking for optimal health from a plant-based, whole food shake, look no further. Vega One, a product of Vega, a Canadian company that has a manufacturing plant in the northwestern US, may be just what you’re looking for. It’s got 15 g. of protein; enough probiotics in the mix to equal a cup of yogurt; nearly three servings of Omega 3s; as much “green” nourishment to equal three servings of vegetables; plus fiber, antioxidants…oh and did we mention just 150 calories?! It’s a wonder powder, and it tastes great.
There are other “shake” powders on the market that are excellent, but none contain the fiber and green component of Vega One—it’s really that good! Just blend a packet or a scoop into ice and water and you’ve got yourself energy for the entire day. But if you want to guild the lily, add a frozen banana and a handful of blueberries—the calorie count won’t go up that much and the shake will stay with you till dinner time. Just be prepared if you’re not used to a high fiber diet. This shake has lots of fiber, enough for four servings of whole wheat bread. One could safely throw out the morning vitamin pill by substituting Vega One, it’s that rich in essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fiber and phytonutrients.
Western culture has managed to solve none of the questions about obesity and malnourishment which have oddly existed simultaneously since the 40s. Enter diet drugs, fad diets, refined sugar and caffeine…well, you get the picture: a yo-yo on steroids. Up and down weight, over stimulated, stressed out beyond belief. We’ve done a number on ourselves, but there’s hope out there yet. From the Vega website: “Studies have shown a linkage between an alkaline-forming diet and accelerated growth, development and metabolism, helps to provide a platform upon which optimal health can be built.” And our founder and CEO at GreenAcres always reiterates: “There’s no cancer found in an alkaline body.”
While we sell Vega One in all three of our GreenAcres stores, our Wichita store is spotlighting Vega One this month at our drink and smoothie station in the deli. A packet of Vega One sells for $3.59; if you want our man, Ritchie, to whip you up a Vega One Smoothie with your choice of milk and fruit, the price is $6.99. There are several flavors available. We like the French Vanilla (blended with a frozen banana in water and ice.) But whether you take a packet home, or try a Vega One shake here at GreenAcres, we want to know how you like it!
Balance, it’s all about the balance, and Vega One keeps tweaking its product to get that perfect balance of nutrients to energy. Made gluten free, soy free and dairy free, with low glycemic carbs, just about anyone can engage. “Drink your fruits and vegetables” should be the company mantra. Not a bad way to start the day!
RAW—is it better?October 01, 2012
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 3:25 PM
It’s not documented how many RAW food followers there are in the country, but judging from those who come into GreenAcres, it looks like there are quite a lot, and there are subcultures within subcultures to boot. Some we encounter believe going completely “fruit diet” is the only way and the wave of the future. There are those who eat only fruits and vegetables, juice with the rinds and outer skins of their favorite produce, drink tons of water to move the waste through the body, and may or may not allow themselves a few nuts and grains.
Then there are those who espouse raw fish and certain raw meats. Sashimi comes to mind, but raw meat…that’s harder to figure. From the Internet: “Included in raw animal food diets are any food that can be eaten raw, such as uncooked, unprocessed raw muscle-meats/organ-meats/eggs, raw dairy, and aged, raw animal foods such as century eggs, meat, fish, shellfish and kefir, as well as vegetables/fruits/nuts/sprouts/honey, but generally not raw grains, raw beans, and raw soy. Raw foods included on such diets have not been heated at temperatures above 104 °F (40 °C). Raw animal foodists believe that foods cooked above this temperature have lost much of their nutritional value and are harmful to the body. They also believe that raw meats should come from sources such as raw, grass-fed meats or raw wild game rather than raw grainfed meats.” We certainly concur on the grass-fed beef philosophy.
No matter which group the raw foodist falls into, we have observed with certainty they all say they feel more alive eating live food. Matthew Clagg, a young foodist who has demonstrated his considerable RAW culinary skills in our GreenAcres seminar kitchen, has made some extremely tasty recipes with raw ingredients. Matthew will be preparing a pumpkin smoothie and a raw salad for our seminar attendees later his month—but he is adamant in wanting raw pumpkin, and not that which comes in a can!
Still, it’s not always easy making the commitment to go RAW. Diets of fruits, salads and dairy are a no brainer, but some foods require considerable advanced planning. Rice, for example, requires sprouting or soaking to become digestible; nuts and seeds may need soaking to activate their enzymes or deactivate their enzyme inhibitors. The raw foodist sometimes needs a support group to get him started on this new adventure, and considerable appliances to make his food choices work: blenders, food processors, juicers, dehydrators.
Then there’s the whole non-pasteurized vs non homogenized/raw milk, cheese and yogurt science. You get the picture. Former Surgeon General under the Reagan administration, C. Everett Koop—still alive and continuing to add to medical knowledge at the age of 95—pondered the question of food continually during his tenure. He thought if the food we eat can get us into the chronic disease troubles we have today, certainly better food choices can get us out of these troubles.
It’s estimated that 60% of disease is caused by the Standard American Diet (note the pyramid above.) The old adage, “We are what we eat,” bodes true, and since we eat food both for nutrition and because it satisfies us on several levels, how do we make eating what’s good for us a priority? The raw foodist feels cooking destroys nutrients and enzymes…but if we aren’t taking food directly from the earth or vine during peak growing seasons, how can we be assured we’re getting the right vitamins and minerals even from RAW?
Says one raw aficionado: “I know from experience that when I am eating at least 80% raw, I have more energy, more mental focus, and all of the pesky things that irritate me on a daily basis, like acid reflux and my daily aches and pains, dissipate. I also know that I am feeding my body what it needs to thrive, not just survive.”
Hard to argue with that!
Eat your greens…mother says!September 27, 2012
All these little “adultisms” handed down from generation to generation. Where do they come from and do they have merit? Well, greens it seems hold a wealth of nutrition in some very large leafy, almost plant-like leaves that embody a whole subculture of eating. There are collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, spinach, chard, kale. It’s endless, the variety of greens you can buy and eat.
We in the middle of the United States may not have grown up with greens. Spinach, maybe, but never collard greens, unless you came from a Southern heritage. The Midwest, to this point, has always been meat and potatoes, “pass the butter, please, and don’t forget the bread.” In recent years, words like “all natural” and “organic” and “healthier” have crept into our vocabulary and our society bringing a whole array of “new” fruits and vegetables and recipes to go with them.
Collards have always been part of the Southern tradition; but did you know they actually date to prehistoric times and were well regarded even then as staples in the family larder and believed, as we confirm today, to be chock full of vitamins, minerals and to contain a sort of healing property to ward off disease?
Greens originated in the eastern Mediterranean, but it wasn’t until the first Africans arrived in Jamestown, VA in the 1600s that America got its first taste of the often bitter dark green leaves. History tells us greens were among the limited vegetables black slaves were allowed to cook on their plots connected to the plantations. Over time, the smell of cooked collards became all too familiar. Today, Southern whites and blacks alike prepare a “good luck” New Year’s dish of simmering greens, ham hocks and black eyed peas, and just the smell of that good luck charm boiling in broth sends the Southern mouth watering.
In the deep South, a large amount of greens served to the family is commonly called “a mess o’ greens.” The traditional way to cook them is to boil or simmer them slowly with salt pork or ham hock to soften up the leaves so they’re not so chewy. Southern families serve up big slabs of corn bread to go with them, and it’s not uncommon to see the men in the family pour hot sauce on their greens to give them more flavor.
It’s been recorded that, “Though greens did not originate in Africa, the habit of eating greens that have been cooked down into a low gravy, and drinking the juices from the greens (known as "pot likker") is of African origin. Pot likker is quite nutritious and delicious, and contributes to the comfort-food aspects of the dish.”
When the slaves were emancipated in the 1800s, they took with them long years of cooking skills and recipes, and today, in the 21st century, many a young cook is just discovering what Southerners and Africans knew for years, “there’s a powerful nutrition in those greens.” And, it behooves us all to take note.
At GreenAcres, we incorporate organic greens into lots of our daily menus. Spinach, chard and kale are our favorites, but almost every variety of the green family is finding its way into green drinks and smoothies. The adventuresome find that drinking their salad through a straw is the best and fastest way to build energy and to get live nutrition into their systems.
So how do you cook greens? Here are two recipes from the Food Network to get you started:
Brown 4 slices diced bacon in a pot; drain on paper towels. Add 1 cup diced onion to the pot and cook 3 minutes. Add 1 pound collard greens, 1 cup chicken broth and water to cover; simmer 20 minutes. Stir in the bacon; mound with a couple dollops of butter; salt and pepper. Serve.
Spicy Collards and Pork
- 3 slices bacon
- 1 bunch collard greens - rinsed, trimmed and chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 (6 ounce) smoked pork chop, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
- 1 (12 fluid ounce) can beer
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add bacon, and fry until crisp. Remove bacon, and drain off excess fat. Add the onion; cook and stir until slightly browned. Add the pork chop, and season with cayenne pepper. Cook until pork is browned.
- Add the collard greens, and pour in the chicken broth and beer. Cook over medium-low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, until collards are tender. Crumble bacon on top, and season with salt and pepper before serving.
Dinner impossible? Try “frozen” in a pinch!September 24, 2012
You’ve got parent-teacher meetings, football and soccer games, cheerleading practice, PTA fundraisers, game-night tailgates...too much on the plate? The family is going every which way, and there’s no time to put a decent meal on the table. What’s a body to do?!
Not to worry, GreenAcres “frozen food and cold case entrees” to the rescue. While fresh is best, don’t pass up the organic/often gluten free/all natural frozen foods section in GreenAcres Market. Many of these heat-and-serve dinners are prepared and flash frozen immediately at peek goodness and flown into the store ready to eat. Through the year, we’ve been offering moms and kids samplings of the following “fast food” entrees to rave reviews and everyone’s satisfaction. If the kids like them, and all mom and dad have to do is pop them into the oven, they get an A+ and go immediately on the shopping list.
All of the nutrition and none of the guilt, as we say. Don’t overlook frozen entrees and snacks. They are not the 1950s brand of “TV dinners” that had way too much salt and fat, and hardly any flavor. Here are some frozen, all natural--and in some cases, gluten free—dinners you might want to stock in the freezer just for that moment when things get too hectic, but everyone’s got to eat.
· Amy’s No Cheese Pizza – For the dairy free family, this pizza is chock full of shitake mushrooms, sweet onions and roasted red pepper on Amy’s new thin crust. In other words, full of flavor, none of the fat.
· Amy’s White Pizza – Spinach, broccoli (the foods some kids might not like, but in pizza form, oh yeah!) mozzarella, parmesan and ricotta cheeses on regular crust. Absolutely no GMOs, and absolutely delish.
· Amy’s Cheese Pizza—Made with a rice flour, gluten free crust, tangy tomato sauce and gluten free cheese.
· Gluten Freeda has a great gluten free Chicken and Cheese Burrito made with all natural ingredients and completely kid friendly. Other favorites we’ve sampled in the store to the kids’ satisfaction: Vegetarian Bean & Cheese and Vegetarian & Dairy Free (Bean, Rice and Tofu.) There’s even a Breakfast Burrito (who says you can’t serve breakfast for dinner?) All have excellent taste and texture. Just pop into the oven to heat. The burritos are already fully cooked.
· Red’s Buffalo-Style Chicken Quesadillas made with all natural white meat chicken that contains no antibiotic toxins. Gluten free cheese is tasty and weighs in at a respectable 240 calories.
· Applegate Chicken Nuggets are hands down kids’-voted favorites. They’re gluten free; contain no nitrates, from free range chickens raised without antibiotics. (Parents have been known to grab a frozen box to put in the freezer for just the right party or tailgate function.)
· Niman Ranch’s Pot Roast and Beef Meat Loaf entrees are a huge hit with parents and kids alike. Niman takes its all natural, sustainable beef and creates an excellent meal in a box that is fresh, not frozen, comes refrigerated and ready to heat and eat.
Think "frozen" the next time it’s dinner impossible and make it easy on yourself.
Our customers babble about Babka!September 19, 2012
They can’t seem to get enough of that chocolaty, cinnamon goodness that reads like an Easter bread for the Czechs and the Poles, but more like an every-day cake for the Jews. The Czechs, Hungarians and Ukrainians made Nut Roll—layers of pastry, brushed with butter, dusted with pecans, raisins and cinnamon sugar, then rolled into a loaf and baked in the oven till the whole house smelled of sugar and spice. The Jews made Babka—a delicious concoction of pure kosher ingredients (eggs, sugar, cocoa, Chocolate Liquor, vinegar and orange rind) all rolled into one delectable, craved-for treat.
It was a tradition in many middle eastern households, to choose which mother, grandmother or aunt could make the best Babka or Nut Roll. The recipes were handed down, but it was that special “touch” that made the difference in texture and taste. Either you had the God-given talent to replicate the best ancestor’s recipe or you didn’t. If you made the grade, however, it might be a feather in your cap, but it most likely was the bane of your existence. Because forever afterwards, YOU would be the designated Babka or Nut Roll baker, and with the longevity that we enjoy today, tradition could translate into years!
Today, most of those who enjoy a Babka heritage, order online from a NY or CA bakery, or they search out a natural food store in hopes of sampling the best ready-made has to offer. In the case of GreenAcres, Lilly’s Homestyle Bake Shop (operating out of Brooklyn, NY) is the place to go for great Babka. It comes into our stores by plane, fresh out of the oven and contains nothing but all natural ingredients; is low in saturated fat (Canola oil) and has zero trans fats.
The Lilly story tells us there really was a Lilly, who spent all her love and baking abilities pleasing a family that never grew tired of her homemade Babka. There was always something wafting from the oven, “…sometimes a rugelah, other times a cookie, a fresh slice of Babka or honey cake...she was always mixing a batter, kneading a fresh dough, and adding a dash of love to a new batch of soon-to-be freshly baked goodies. The tantalizing aroma of chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla would all blend together, calling out to all what Lilly herself would say to visitors, ‘come in and eat something’.”
Over time, the round-the-clock baking of Lilly's scrumptious homestyle treats evolved into a serious bakery business, capitalizing on modernity and the advent of state-of-the-art baking equipment. Add big business know-how and a crew of specially trained bakers and the Lilly’s of yesteryear may not look the same, but it tastes pretty darn close. The baking methods (making from scratch daily) and the ingredients (only the freshest and best) remain the same.
But lest we babble on to boredom, we encourage you to try Lilly’s Babka, black and white cookies and other delicacies and let us know what you think about one of the best and more endearing bakeries on the East Coast, now a powerhouse shipper of Lilly’s legacies all over the world.
In case you’d like to try a Babka recipe yourself, here’s a Youtube “how to” to get you started: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2qHEbUDcfw
Is life really greener…if you eat grass?!September 17, 2012
We’re not talking back yard grass, we’re talking harvested grasses that are diligently planted, captured whole, dried, ground fine and end up in supplements, or in powder form in your Green Drinks and Smoothies.
For example, Garden of Life’s Perfect Food brand of green superfoods uses only RAW and USDA Certified Organic grasses in its supplements. The grasses are grown only in the Southwestern United States by family farmers who have passed down the techniques of four-season planting in rich, volcanic soils. The cereal grass farmers must be committed to re-investing in the harvesting of grasses that meet stringent Garden of Life standards. No “big box” foreign or domestic conglomerates for Garden of Life. It’s strictly, “grow small or no go.”
Harvesting the grass you ingest is big business, but it’s got to be done right. Some companies harvest their grasses like you would the grass in your yard: the tops are clipped and bagged…but as the season progresses, the blade loses strength…and that kind of “mowing” would not do for the nutrients we want in our green drinks.
Garden of Life harvesters pluck the entire blade, leaf and all, so that all nutrients stay intact. This translates into pure vibrancy inside the body. “After all says Barb,” one of our GreenAcres supplement team members, “whole grass is live food. When you eat or drink it in whatever form you choose, the digestive system doesn’t have to work as hard. You have renewed energy and strength. It’s amazing how good a little grass will do you.”
In a recent issue of Extraordinary Health, published by health guru and supplement formulator Jordan Rubin, Garden of Life lists the properties in grass that make them beneficial to you.
· Barley Grass – A powerful nutrient that dates back 3,000 years. Contains vitamins A,B,C,E and K, and traces of another 50 or so vitamins and minerals.
· Alfalfa Grass – While technically a legume, alfalfa has a leaf that contains tons of amino acids, calcium, magnesium and potassium as well as vitamins and chlorophyll.
· Kamut Grass – Contains more protein than wheat grass and has higher levels of minerals such as selenium, zinc and magnesium.
· Oat Grass – Rich in antioxidants due to its huge supply of chlorophyll, protein and amino acids.
· Wheat Grass – Chlorophyll is the biggest component in wheat grass, along with ample amounts of Vitamin E.
When you use powdered cereal grass, the nutrients are concentrated—more punch to the ounce. We’ve asked our Green Drink and Green Smoothie customers why they prefer liquid green.“It just makes me feel better,” they continue to say. “Hard to put a finger on it, but if I don’t have my Green Drink at least once a week, I just don’t feel well.”
Green for Life, a book that capsulizes the Green Smoothie revolution, by Victoria Boutenko, looks to the Chimpanzee diet for clues in defining optimum nutrition. “In our world,” says Boutenko, “we brought illness to the animal. Why can’t we turn that around, study the creatures closest to our DNA and learn from them?”
In researching for her book, Boutenko went to Jane Goodall and her life-long study of the Chimpanzee for both the questions and the answers. “I discovered the Chimp’s eating wheel looked something like this: half the pie was live fruit; three quarters of the remaining half was live greens (not root vegetables)—leaves, blades, flower blossoms. The rest was seeds, bark and insects. To learn that greens composed almost half their diet was a revelation to me. It led me to conclude that humans are supposed to eat far more greens than I originally thought.”
Boutenko’s observances sent her on a love affair with green that will never abate. She recommends eating two quarts of Green Drinks or Smoothies a week, mixing fruit and seeds into the VitaMix. She and her family consume a Green Smoothie once or twice a day and seldom find they crave their old way of eating. In fact, Boutenko eschews food after 6 p.m. and finds she awakes refreshed and eager to meet the day. Colleagues and friends say she looks years younger, and she certainly feels that way. Boutenko describes going on a hike with her husband after she discovered Green Drinks and began salivating as she passed the green foliage growing along the path. She knew then that she had become a convert.
“The extraordinary ability of all living organisms to repair themselves is the only power that can heal any illness,” says Boutenko, “by ingesting live food, we nurture our bodies along. And since deficiency and toxicity are the main causes of disease, it’s best if we both nourish and cleanse our bodies. For the sake of fiber and elimination, drink your Smoothies regularly.”
So, is there more life when the grass is greener? It would appear so!
What do you use to bake gluten free?September 13, 2012
So you’re determined to go gluten free, but you don’t want to give up baking to do it, and you certainly don’t want to spend your life reading labels, or searching out restaurants you can count on to serve gluten free meals. What to do?
GreenAcres has some ideas and products in store to get you baking in the right direction. First of all, do not get discouraged and never feel alone in your plight. It’s one of the reasons we’re in business, because we learned the hard way that the enticing little wheat kernel can cause a world of hurt and frustration in the population at large…not to mention the millions of people worldwide that suffer from Celiac Disease or have Celiac symptoms.
Many of our GreenAcres market team members are gluten free, and we have customers who dine with us daily because they know they can trust the products we serve to be gluten free if we say they are.
It won’t be long before the holidays are upon us, and you’ll want to show off your baking skills and please your family and friends with homemade goodies. Our stores carry a variety of flours to make your gluten free baking an easier adventure. Stop in and let us give you a tour of our gluten free aisles. There are lots of choices when it comes to gluten free baking; you just have to know your way around the “flour” shelves to feel secure. For example:
· Pamela’s is a brown rice flour that is the most popular among our customers and is the most user friendly price wise. Pamela (she doesn’t publicize her last name) grew up in a health food family that established baking products for those with allergies that she considered somewhat tasteless. When she tried to suggest to her parents to add flavor, she was told “people with allergies think this is just fine.” So after college, in 1988, Pamela went out on her own to form her own form of gluten free baking products. She has successfully married necessity with taste and continues to lead the industry with award-winning, delicious gluten free foods.
· Bob’s Red Mill is a flour company built on tapioca, garbanzo bean and potato flours—all gluten free. Bob Moore started his business 30 years ago, and then before he retired permanently, gave the entire operation over to his employees in an Employee Share Ownership Program. (Kind of shows the measure of the man, doesn’t it?!) Bob started out in Redding, CA, but retired (for the first time) after several years and moved to Oregon. There, on a walk one day, he serendipitously spied an old mill for sale and fell in love. He was determined to stone-grind flour the old fashioned way until his second and final retirement; and now his employees follow in his footsteps.
· Chebe is a flour company that makes its products with manioc (a tapioca-based) flour. Dick Reed, and his wife Ju, a Brazilian, fell in love with a unique bread product called pao de queijo. It was actually a street bread that the common folk loved, so when Dick fell in love with Ju, he inherited her preference for the crispy crusted, chewy street bread and decided this was his future. Dick didn’t start out with gluten free in mind, but when Ju began to experience health problems connected with gluten, a star was born, and the decision to produce simple, natural products just made sense. Today Chebe products are made simply, with as few ingredients as possible, and the resulting breads, cakes and cookies are always delicious.
GreenAcres Market team member, Jeff, simplifies the process and breaks down the flour companies like this:
· Brown rice flour is heavier and crumbly in texture
· Namaste is sweet brown rice flour and better tasting (in his opinion)
· Tapioca, garbanzo bean and potato flours are lighter and finer in texture
· Manioc flour is the lightest and finest of all
Says Jeff, “Remember when converting recipes to gluten free, you may have to adjust for moisture using extra egg white, extra fat and in some case sugars to replicate the elasticity that gluten affords but is no longer in gluten free flours.”
Feel a little more comfortable? Then get baking!
Newman’s Own—the company that keeps on giving!September 10, 2012
Paul Newman died this month in 2008 at the age of 83. But his legacy of movies, sports car racing, salad dressing and philanthropy lingers on. While in college, but before attending Yale’s drama school, Newman owned a Laundromat for a year and enticed his student customers to bring in their dirty clothes by offering them free beer. Princeton University honors his “24 in 24”, encouraging the “sporting” to down 24 beers in 24 hours, all in the name of a movie-star hero who proclaimed to enjoy “a good brew” up to his dying day.
For sure, Paul Newman was bigger than life and made a decision from early on to live his life exactly as he wanted to. He put in time helping with the family sports store business, but eventually left to join the Navy to see the world and to learn to fly. Short lived was that experience, when it was discovered he was color blind. (Imagine, the man swooned by women the world over because of his baby blues, couldn’t tell red from grey!) Later he would take up auto racing with a vengeance, racing mainly Datsuns (rebranded Nissans) in the Trans-Am Series, with well-publicized success. He became the oldest driver to be part of a winning team in a sanctioned race in Daytona at the age of 70, and continued to engage in the sport until the year before his death.
Newman once said his experience as a young man in a combat arena shaped his philosophy of “luck.” “The benevolence of it in my life, and the brutality of it in the lives of others…it just motivated me to do something about the imbalance. I got into the food business (with writer and friend A.E. Hotchner) for fun, but the business got a mind of its own. In racing, you can be certain to the last thousandth of a second that someone is the best. But in film as with a recipe, there is no way of knowing how all the ingredients will work out in the end.”
We know today, his “cooking” in the form of the Newman’s Own Foundation has funded thousands of causes around the world, more than $350 million of net-after-taxes royalties mostly from salad dressing (McDonalds packet salad dressings are made by Newman’s Own), cookies and spaghetti sauce. Three years before his death he set up the foundation to ensure his personal commitment to the world would continue, and so it has. As of 2012, the Foundation has supported causes in all 50 states and 31 countries around the world.
Today, Newman’s Own Foundation has trimmed down charitable funding to reflect four “high impact areas:”
- Organizations that promote the practice of philanthropy and/or rely on philanthropicsupport to fulfill their missions.
- Organizations that enhance the quality of life for children with life-limiting medical conditions, and for whom the experience of childhood has been disrupted by circumstances beyond their control.
- Organizations that empower people to overcome extraordinary adverse circumstances, and/or provide equal access to human rights and contribute to the development of a civil society.
- Organizations that implement model solutions to issues of hunger and nutrition for underserved communities.
At GreenAcres, we carry Newman’s Own products, but there is another line, Newman’s Own Organic which is not as well known but actually contributes to Newman’s Own Foundation through name licensing fees. It is owned by Paul Newman’s daughter, Nell. Newman’s Own Organic focuses on products Nell loved as a kid: organic pretzels, chocolate bars and fat-free fig cookies. Thanks to the cooperation of Kraft Foods, Fig Newman’s was the first in the division’s cookie line made completely with organic flour, organic figs and without hydrogenated oils.
You’ll notice in our doggie department, we carry a variety of dog-friendly organic foods which contain natural chicken, raised without growth hormones or antibiotics, fed only an all natural, all vegetable diet; a highly-palatable essential fatty acid: chicken fat; organic soy, brown rice, barley, flax seed, oats, carrots and peas. The elements that go into Newman’s Own Organic dog food make man’s best friend more fully nourished than half the children in third world countries—thus the importance of individual foundations like Newman’s Own.
The next generation continues to build on a food philosophy bringing a present-day dynamic to the table that even a movie star—but especially a proud dad—would approve.
Grab that apple, instead of sugar, to give you a “boost!”September 05, 2012
You may not know it, but eating fresh fruits and veggies can have a positive effect on the immune system. We’re coming into the cold and flu season…and actually, we’re already seeing customers in the store with the sniffles and kleenex heading into the vitamin and supplement aisles looking for relief. “Help, Matt,” we’ve heard them exclaim. “I’m all stuffed up and I don’t have time for this nonsense!”
On the Healthy Half Hour radio show which GreenAcres produces each week over iHeart’s B98-FM station, Matt Murray, one of our owners and one of our HHH gurus gives our listeners his TOP FIVE (important things to do to stay healthy.) On a past program, Matt talked about building immunity and reducing allergies. From time to time, we’ll replay some of his sage advice for those who might have missed the broadcast. The following is his Top Five To Stave Off the Flu:
1. Immune system supplements. Get to know these: Vitamin C, Quercetin, Vitamin A, Vitamin D3, Zinc, probiotics and more.
2. Watch your diet. Sugar, certain fats and oils and alcohol can have a devastating effect upon immune function. Food like dairy, red meat and even eggs can be difficult to digest, so eat less during allergic times. (Remember, we had a mild winter last year—maybe not enough frost to kill allergens, and we’ve had a very hot summer. Those mold spores are lurking!) Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables. Then, add immune boosting spices and herbs to your meals: garlic, ginger and turmeric.
3. Reduce stress. Get plenty of sleep—at least 7.5 hours a night. It sounds simple, but sleep is more important than we all realize and getting a good night’s sleep is restorative beyond what we know.
4. Stay clean! Wash your hands before touching your face or eyes. Use your nasal irrigation device like Nasopure. Don’t bite your fingernails or rub your eyes. Avoid spreading more germs to yourself!
5. Exercise! Thirty minutes of pulse-elevating exercise four times a week will greatly boost your immunity and help you fight off allergies.
Simple suggestions? You bet, but take heed, they work. Our man, Matt, practices what he preaches. And if you get that cold, you might consider starting the Echinacea right away. It can save you a trip to the doctor for antibiotics that may be actually rendering those giant germ bugs more potent and effective. Try Matt’s TOP FIVE first. See if that doesn’t give you all the boost you’ll need!
Our goal is to Educate…both YOU and US!September 02, 2012
Any excuse to delve into holistic medicine, all natural living, healthy alternatives to the foods we’ve “grown up with,” is a quest we love. There are so many fascinating people out there who have devoted their lives to learning about healthy lifestyles and the science behind them.
Most of the great nutritional supplement formulators started their quest for health because of their own health challenges. Some of them were even at death’s door, when, with just a little more persistence, they discovered “the secret.” Those are the secrets we want to share with you.
At GreenAcres, we’re honored to have Dr. Karen Masterson back for “classes” in all three of our stores. Karen will be with us on the following dates:
· At 7 p.m., Wednesday, September 26 in our Kansas City store
· At 7 p.m., Thursday, September 27 in our Wichita store
· At 8 a.m., Saturday, September 29 in our Jenks store when we have “Breakfast with Roger,” our new Jenks Supplement Manager
Karen is our go-to expert on herbs, naturopathic medicines, and just plain, “a better way.” Karen’s latest book, “Beyond Gluten Intolerance—GIS Gluten Inflammatory Syndrome” is really a treatise containing personal testimonies and explanations about why people are not being properly diagnosed by doctors. It’s more than a “health book,” more like a health bible, which delves deeply into gluten and why in her opinion it actually can shorten life itself.
You won’t want to miss anything Karen has to say. Sign up today for one of her classes. You’ll be glad you did.
Got Digestive Issues or Failing Health? Karen recommends Aloe Vera Juice
Yes, you can actually drink the nectar of the Aloe Vera plant when it’s distilled according to formula with natural juices. At GreenAcres, we’ve even named a cocktail after our store! It’s called the GreenAcres cocktail and it’s a shot glass of Aloe Life Aloe Vera Juice Concentrate and a teaspoon of Nordic Naturals Omega 3 fish oil.
Inflammation is killing us, says Dr. Karen Masterson, “Diseases are increasing in the world we live in at an alarming rate!” According to Karen’s book, Beyond Gluten Intolerance, gluten is one reason for the inflammation that is invading the body and destroying our health. Her book highlights include:
- Digestive Relief plus the “Secret to Regularity”
- Energy, Mental Health & Sound Sleep
- Youthful Skin & Body for All Ages
- Healthy Weight & Superior Athletic Performance
Can’t wait for Karen to come into your store…talk to one of our knowledgeable market team members about our favorite cocktail. It just might save your life!
Grillin’and chillin’…it’s what’s on the Labor Day menu!August 30, 2012
Never too hot to grill you say? Well then don’t put away the smoker or the cooker for at least another month. It’s going to stay hot right up to the end of summer, and since grilling is considered an art by many, it’s really never too early or too late in any season to fire up the gas or throw on the charcoal. Just make sure it’s Woodstock lump charcoal, made without chemicals and fillers for non-toxic smoke.
Need to add a “flavor” to the grill, try soaking Woodstock’s Apple or Mesquite Wood Chips in water and tossing them on the coals before you set your burgers, steaks or dogs on the fire. We have a customer who swears by Woodstock charcoal and always includes beer brats on his holiday menu. It’s his tradition, and he hasn’t waivered in his taste for those succulent brats in more than 40 years.
What’s his secret to a tasty brat? “I sweat lots—I mean lots--of white onions in butter,” says Will. “Then I pour in a bottle or three of Stout, lay my brats over the top and let them steam first in a Dutch oven. When the grill is right, I lay on the brats till a dark brown crust forms and the casing starts to split.” That’s when he knows they’re “done.” Will always serves them on a hoagie-type bun with lots of whole grain mustard and of course the onions which take on the look of caramelized jam. (Will, himself, takes on a far-away look just talking about his favorite dish; and everyone within earshot starts to drool.)
If you can’t find brats, or just don’t like them, you might try Niman Ranch’s Kentucky Bourbon Uncured Sausage or Applegate’s Fire Roasted Red Pepper Chicken or Turkey Sausage. Or, just grill plain old Applegate Organic All Natural Hot Dogs. (According to Will, it’s really the sautéed onions and dark beer that make the dish, so your own choice of dog or sausage will fill the bill nicely.)
Here’s a recipe from Allrecipes.com to get you planning.
- 4 (12 ounce) cans beer
- 1 large onion, diced
- 10 bratwurst
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon garlicpowder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat. When hot, lightly oil grate.
- Combine the beer and onions in a large pot; bring to a boil. Submerge the bratwurst in the beer; add the red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook another 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the bratwurst from the beer mixture; reduce heat to low, and continue cooking the onions.
- Cook the bratwurst on the preheated grill, turning once, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with the beer mixture as a topping or side.
Too hot to grill in 95 degree weather? Try this cold and yummy 7-layer Pasta Salad (from the Food Network kitchen. We edited it a bit to make it “healthy.”)
- Kosher salt
- 8 ounces whole wheat farfalle (bow tie pasta) (about 4 cups)
- 2 stalks broccoli, cut into florets
- 1/2 cup Vegenaise
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- Juice of 1 lime
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 avocados, diced
- 1 12-ounce piece all natural ham, sausage or leftover chicken, diced (about 2 cups)
- 8 ounces GreenAcres Jack or Colby cheese, shredded
- 1 small head romaine lettuce, sliced
- 2 tomatoes, diced
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (about 2 minutes less than the label directs), adding the broccoli during the last 4 minutes of cooking. Drain the pasta and broccoli and rinse under cool water; shake off the excess. Remove the broccoli and pat dry.
Whisk the Vegenaise, yogurt, 1/4 cup chives, the parsley, half of the lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Toss the pasta and a few tablespoons of the dressing in a medium bowl.
Assemble the salad: Toss the avocados with the remaining lime juice in a large glass serving bowl and season with salt; arrange in an even layer. Top with layers of the ham (cold sausage or chicken,) broccoli, pasta, cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Drizzle some of the remaining dressing on top and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon chives, or cover and refrigerate the salad and dressing separately up to 6 hours. (Bring to room temperature before serving.)
Whether you're grillin' or chillin', GreenAcres wishes you a happy and safe Labor Day holiday!
Udi and Rudi…what’s in a name?August 27, 2012
These two bakeries may share roots in the same state, but that’s where the “alliteration affiliation” ends. Except, both companies make excellent products that sell amazingly well at all three of our GreenAcres stores.
So what’s their story? First up: Udi’s. What started as The Sandwich Man diner in Denver, CO, 18 years ago, developed far beyond the dreams of Udi Baron and his wife Fern. Today, Udi’s is the umbrella name for six different companies (cafes, restaurants, catering…) all run by Udi and next-gen family members who have a passion for food and believe totally in excellent customer service.
GreenAcres subscribes to Udi’s artisan bread division; and we have customers who shop our stores just for Udi products: gluten-free breads, hamburger buns, bagels and crunchy granola.
Udi saw a niche in making bread the old fashioned way and brought in artisan bread baker, Maurizio Negrini, a third-generation baker from Italy, to direct the bakery products and put a certain old-world taste quality on the breads that’s impossible to replicate. In Colorado, the breads come fresh from the ovens twice daily with the suggested result: “Be a hero, bring home a warm loaf of bread!”
Typical of product founders that just can’t find the “perfect product to satisfy them,” Rudi’s organic bakery that began in 1976 in Boulder, CO, had an instant following and served the families and neighbors who lived by the original store. How could it miss, just think of the “old days,” when bakeries were prolific and that wonderful scent of “mother” just wafted through the neighborhood.
For the Rudi’s organization, homemade bread was synonymous with “happy,” and why not make it “healthy as well?!” And so Rudi’s was born and thus thrives today. The company continues to say its holistic approach to bread baking was the “biggest innovation in bread…well, since sliced bread.” That passion to make bread and bread products the right way is alive and well, and shows itself in the way GreenAcres customers continue to buy the products.
Rudi’s Organic has always been about living free – free of artificial ingredients, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, trans-fat and genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and that fits right in with GreenAcres philosophy.
So, you can’t go wrong with either Udi’s or Rudi’s. We carry both companies’ breads, bagels, tortilla rounds, hamburger and hotdog buns, Jewish rye, English muffins, gluten free cookies, granola. We love their bread lines, if you pardon the pun. What’s in a name, you ask? Everything…everything good.
Aristotle said it first: “The end of labor is to gain leisure!”August 22, 2012
Americans have taken that quote to heart. For more than 100 years, we’ve put down our tools of the trade and celebrated Labor Day. It is still argued today who was the first to suggest a day of leisure at the beginning of September each year—whether it was an assembly-line machinist, or a Central Labor Union officer--but rest assured, hardly anyone cares, as having a day off from the daily grind is a welcome retreat no matter who gets the credit.
It was President Glover Cleveland who made Labor Day a national holiday, and it has come to be celebrated by most Americans as the end of summer. In another era, women put away their white shoes and men parked their straw bowlers, but today it heralds the beginning of the Fall sports season, particularly the NFL and high school and college football season, as millions of Americans clean out their trunks and get ready for the traditional tailgate party.
And speaking of tailgating, we’ve got some suggestions to make those parties-in-a-collapsed- seat special:
· Niman Ranch Kentucky Bourban Uncured Sausage (no nitrates, nitrites, added hormones or antibiotics)
· Applegate Sweet Italian Chicken and Turkey Sausage
· Heartland all natural, Angus Beef Sirloin and Ribeyes
· Lucky Star grass-fed, all natural Beef Patties
· Good Shepherd Beer Brats
· Heritage Farm Ground Chicken for burgers or chili
Can’t do meat, chicken or turkey without grilling marinades or sauces!
Check these out to make those dogs and chops even more appealing:
· Dulcet dipping sauces—particularly the Lemon Mustard Dill sauce makes a great accompaniment to steak fondue. It’s great on grilled shrimp and perfect on fish tacos.
· Salvy Sousa Mushroom Marinade. One of our customers slathers his flank steak with this marinade before he puts it in the slow cooker (!) He says it tenderizes the flank and the crock pot makes it easy to take to tailgate functions.
· Earth & Vine Mango, Tequila, Jalapeno sauce—great with just about anything and it’s low in sugar, with absolutely no sodium!
· Henry Humdingers “Gumpy Grandpa”—yeah, the name is too silly to resist! It’s a spicy red pepper and raw honey marinade that’s a big hit with the 20/30-something set.
· Grill Side Suburban Sweet BBQ Sauce. Yummy, low sodium and enough grams of sugar to bring a smile to those ribs.
So, even though much of our work isn’t really a labor of love, but rather a labor of necessity, we can all agree on one thing, when Labor Day rolls around, we’re ready for leisure!
*We've paired our labor day meat suggestions with two Somerset Ridge wines you might enjoy: Flyboy Red and Traminette.
Migraine—it’s a headache!August 20, 2012
…And no laughing matter. Many of us know at least one person among family or friends who suffers debilitating headaches. At their worst, migraines can send their victims to bed or to the hospital for days and sometimes weeks at a time. It’s proven extremely hard to get a handle on chronic, recurring head pain, especially that which has its genesis in injury, allergies or genetics.
The Migraine Research Foundation whose only mission is to assist sufferers by providing information and support to end debilitating migraine pain, says “Migraine ranks in the top 20% of the world’s most disabling medical illnesses.” Working under the adage that “only those who live with it can know,” Migraine sufferers number one in four American households. More than 90% of those are unable to work or function normally during their attacks. While most sufferers might experience Migraine attacks as often as once or twice a month, some have excruciating headaches daily. In other words, the throbbing and ocular symptoms that might accompany the headaches never abate.
It’s interesting that 18% of American women suffer as opposed to only 6% of men, but 10% of children suffer as well. Over the years, understanding of the illness has evolved first from medical doctors dismissing complaints as psychiactric in nature to today’s research that links the disorder to nerve pathways and brain chemicals. The study of Migraine is still very much a work in progress.
So, what to do about it naturally?
Dr. Kelsey Klausmeyer, a naturopathic doctor from Wichita, KS, will be GreenAcres’ guest on the Healthy Half Hour radio show at 9 a.m. (CST) this coming Saturday, August 25. Dr. Klausmeyer is a hands-on physician with lots of experience with Migraine, and no doubt he will have some interesting news for us on natural cure. He offers a link to new research being done by the American Academy of Neurology that may represent a breakthrough in the way traditional medicine looks at Migraine: http://www.aan.com/press/index.cfm?fuseaction=release.view&release=1062 .
“It’s now recognized,” says Dr. Klausmeyer, “that pain meds for Migraine headache used too frequently actually can send a patient into ‘chronic Migraine,’ not to mention other toxic effects of traditional medications. Instead of just relying on pain meds for acute Migraine, the AAN outlines what should be used to prevent Migraine.”
Dr. Klausmeyer continues: “Most neurologists now recognize Magnesium and B vitamins (especially the use of B-6) as big helps in the prevention of the headaches in the first place.” But he cautions, in severe cases, since the naturopathic supplements might not work as fast as medications, working the two together may be warranted.
For those who want to explore the world of GreenAcres and what 20 years of listening to customers and vitamin and supplement experts, such as Dr. Klausmeyer, have done for our knowledge to this point, you might want to check out these natural Migraine relief supplements:
· NaturalCare’s Migraine for Men and Women (Belladonna, Bryonia Alba, Cimicifuga Racemosa among other ingredients)
· Enzymatic’s Petadolex Pro-Active (releases blood vessels in the head)
· Quantum Health’s MigreLief (a combination of Feverfew, Magnesium and Riboflavin—NOT recommended during pregnancy)
· Sun’s My-Grastick, a roll-on safe for pregnant women who have migraines associated with hormonal fluxuations and who have experienced immediate relief by massaging it onto their temples.
As you can see, there are no “smoking gun” remedies for Migraine, but as research continues, and there are more natural paths to symptom relief, a cure in our day and age may be just around the corner!
Everything is new to somebody (!)August 15, 2012
We love it at GreenAcres when the harvest comes in from market—we’re talking the big food market in Chicago. You never know what Matt, Joe and Rick will find for their particular GreenAcres stores, but you can bet our customers in all three states will give the new kids on the block a try, a taste-test and a look-see before they ever commit long term. After all, it’s one of the endearing things about the GreenAcres family: We want you to sample our products before you buy. That way you’ll know if your dollar is well spent…and you’ll come back to us again and again.
For example, Wichita and Kansas City now carry private label GreenAcres cheese in Mild Cheddar, Colby Jack and Pepper Jack. All natural and made from milk from happy California cows, that are raised without added hormones on grasses that contain no pesticides or toxins, the new GreenAcres label is value-priced at $4.99 a pound-wedge, and all three cheeses taste great!
A big deal with athletes and people who want to lower their cholesterol naturally is a new superfood made by Sunwarrior called Barley. Carried in both the Wichita and KC stores, the product takes its history and science from the Gladiators of ancient Rome who fueled their bodies during training and before battles. Modern research shows barley plays a significant role in lowering cholesterol and in controlling insulin levels. Good news on both counts! But it’s the inflammation-fighting antioxidants that really sell the product. Sunwarrior activates the barley by using a low-temp steam method adopted from the Swedes. This way, the barley is taken to the brink of germination just before packaging, thus preserving the best mix of protein, fiber, enzymes and slow-burning carbs. An ideal food for marathoners (and cardiac patients)!
Since all our stores are always looking for interesting local products, Kansas City carries a decadent ice cream created by a local chef called Glace…to die for! The names of the flavors tell you everything you need to know about the product
- Farmer Bob's Sweet Corn
- Fleur de Sel Caramel
- French Lavender
- Goat Cheese & Cherry
- Lemon Curd
- Peanut Butter Chocolate
- Pineapple Cilantro Sorbet
- Salted Pretzel
The company’s website bears the slogan “When Joy Freezes Over,” and guarantees there are“no fake flavorings, no disappointing textures or kitchen-sink combinations. Just intensely pure, all-natural ingredients and deliciously surprising flavor pairings that bear the unmistakable signature of its creator, Christopher Elbow.”
GreenAcres Jenks is finding its own home-grown products in the Tulsa and Fairview areas of Oklahoma. Farrell Family Farms has revived the art of artesian bread baking with the use of organic whole wheat flour that is gently milled and stored immediately in freezers to preserve the nutrients. “Slow, cool fermentation allows the dough to develop flavor naturally, without added sugars or flavoring agents. Hearth ovens produce a crispy, caramelized crust by injecting live steam during baking.” Getting hungry yet?!
It looks like Oklahomans love their coffee…especially if it comes from a company in Tulsa called Topeca. Slow roasted from Columbian coffee beans transplanted over decades to El Salvador… just to smell this coffee wafting through GreenAcres Jenks is a pleasure indeed. Check out the interesting history of the family that brought this lovely coffee to Tulsa becoming one of only a handful of companies that controls its product from “seed to cup”: http://www.topecacoffee.com/about/history/
Hope that gives you a small overview of what you can expect from all three stores after our own GreenAcres warriors travel to market and bring back the harvest!
Can you tell we’re simply nutty over nut butters?August 13, 2012
If we’ve got one nut butter in all three GreenAcres stores, we’ve got dozens! Everyone from kids on up loves our nut butters. Afterall, we all grew up on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches—although the peanut butter you find at GreenAcres is a whole lot healthier than what mother used to buy!
Nut butters are the original comfort food, and they supply a whole lot of nutrition on a “champagne or a beer budget,” as the saying goes. As college kids, when we found ourselves short on cash and low on food, a trip to the grocery store for peanut butter saved the day. And in these waffling financial times, the tried and true “nut butter” still saves the day when we’re running low on cash, the kids are hungry and foraging through the fridge for something to eat.
At GreenAcres, we grind our own peanut and almond butter, with the freshest, unsalted, raw nuts available. We stock our shelves with a variety of peanut, almond, cashew, coconut and soy butters, all made with organic nuts, rich in flavor, antioxidants and protein…low in carbs, sugar and salt.Just look at the variety (and this is only a partial variety at that!): . Dastony Coconut Butter– 100% organic, raw and stone ground. It’s creamy smooth, made the old fashioned way: one batch at a time with fresh, raw coconut flakes, and it tastes great on crepes, toast or stirred into milk.
. Field Day Peanut Butter– Comes in smooth unsalted or chunky unsalted. The company uses two kinds of organic peanuts with high oil content for extra richness.
. I.M. Healthy Soy Butter– Sells a net 1 carb soy nut butter that is 100% peanut free (for those with life-threatening allergies to peanuts.) The product is gluten free, dairy free and roasted with non-GMO soybeans. No refrigeration needed after opening.
. Ziegelmeier’s Toasted Pecan Butter– EXPENSIVE, but delightfully tasty. $17.99 a jar. Oil rises to the top, so you have to stir to combine. Gluten free, high in antioxidants and available in smooth or crunchy. Despite the price, customers swear by it, and at least one of our customers puts it on her carmel-pecan pie every Thanksgiving for an extra pop.
. Peanut Butter & Co. Cinnamon Raisin Swirl and Dark Chocolate Dreams– Needs no introduction, really. The names tell us everything! Rich, creamy peanut butter blended with rich dark chocolate or cinnamon and raisins. Kids love them. No stirring needed. $5.99 a jar.
. Maranatha Dark Chocolate Almond Spread– Smooth as silk, and the company suggests the perfect way to serve it: slightly warmed over ice cream. Sounds good to us!
. Walden Farms Whipped Peanut Spread – For the diet conscious, carb conscious, sugar conscious customer. Made without carbs, sugar, calories…just peanut flavoring and peanut extracts.
So, that gives you just a sampling of our nut butters and what’s in store when you shop at GreenAcres. There are a lot more to choose from, even a peanut butter powder you can mix into drinks or smoothies. A peanut buttertini? You bet. We’ve got an adventurous customer that puts our PB2 powder in gin and drops an almond olive into it. Not for everyone, mind you, but in the world of peanut butter it’s devil-may-care. Almost everyone it seems is nutty about nut butters. <cheers!>
Health and Beauty—it comes by us “naturally!”August 08, 2012
It might seem strange that a whole department store of cosmetics might exist in a chain of health food stores. But there it is, HABA, as the department is called at GreenAcres Market, features a whole array of beauty, bath and hygiene products, all toxin free and carried with the caveat that “the liver can only detoxify so much over a lifetime,” it behooves all of us to look especially at those products we use every day.
GreenAcres stocks its shelves in three stores in three states with only the best, all natural, completely-effective products that both enhance and protect everything from skin, hair, nails, teeth and gums. There are moisturizing creams and lotions, shaving gels and face cleansers, deodorants, lip balms, lipsticks, cosmetic foundations, all natural hair dyes, toothpastes, mouthwashes and more.
And since GreenAcres’ entire philosophy is to spread health from the inside out, education about the products, what they do and how they work is a big part of what the GreenAcres Market team is prepared to impart to the customer. The women who work the HABA aisles walk the walk, as they say. They use the products and can explain to the customer exactly what’s in them and why they are effective and healthful.
For example, there is an excellent toothpaste on the market from Zionhealth called ClayBrite that is made with a magnetic clay. It’s montmorillonite, edible clay, and it’s actually brown! Don’t let the color fool you—ClayBrite whitens like no other toothpaste on the market. It’s completely safe, natural and pulls bacteria from the tooth and gum surface. People who use it are amazed how clean their mouths feel, and they’ve noticed, there is hardly any halitosis in the morning.
Alaffia Authentic African Black Soap is a product rich in shea butter that moisturizes beautifully, leaving the skin and delicate underarm area silky smooth and resistant to razor irritation. The Alaffia oils are hand crafted and shipped to Olympia, WA for distribution. All of the products are made with unrefined, natural ingredients free of harmful chemicals such as parabens and petroleum derivative products. The Shea trees grow wild and plentiful in Africa, requiring no chemical fertilizers or pesticides, so they become a sustainable source for Alaffia products. And since Alaffia is part of the Fair Trade product structure, all peoples working in the business are paid a good wage, with a percentage of all profits going back to African communities.
Booda Butter is another organic product that takes its moisturizing properties from the Shea tree. Rich in shea butter, cocoa butter, jolalia oil and more, the salve is perfect for scarring, stretch marks, sun burn and razor irritations. Customers swear by it and will rub a tiny bit into their palms patting it onto hair and skin. Pregnant women love it!
Customers unaccustomed to shopping in a health food store might be surprised what every-day cosmetics and hygiene products they’ve used for years are actually doing to their bodies and the environment in terms of ingesting and absorbing unwanted chemicals and toxins. GreenAcres Market offers a better way.
It’s rug-cutting time!August 05, 2012
The doors to the Jenks’ GreenAcres Market are just about to open. And we can’t wait to welcome you!
Just so you’ll feel a little more comfortable as you travel through the store and get to know our organic produce…our all natural food—everything from raw, vegan and sprouted…our free-range chicken and turkeys…our grass-fed beef, buffalo and pork…our sustainable fish, flash-frozen the day it comes in from the sea and flown to us the next day…our pristine nutritional supplements, vitamins and fish oils…our naturopathic sprays, tinctures and drops…we’re going to give you a sample of some of our vendors so you get to know a little better what to expect from your new GreenAcres Market.
We can’t begin to list them all here, but this will allow you to recognize some product names as you navigate the store:
Cascadian Farms –A Canadian consortium of organic farmers committed to providing the best of the best organic produce, grown without the use of synthetic pesticides, chemical fertilizers or genetically-engineered ingredients (GMOs.) The company stakes its livelihood on growing crops just as Mother Nature intended, without chemicals in the soil and thus no chance ever of a chemical run-off into nearby streams and rivers. The produce is shipped at its freshest right to our doors.
Organic Valley – A Wisconsin-based farm cooperative whose mission is to produce the finest, all natural eggs and dairy products based on the health and welfare of the consumer, the animals and the earth. OV eggs are still hand gathered every morning from chickens that roam their territory freely and feed off earth that has never met a pesticide. The dairy products and cheeses are without par from cows that roam the range and feed on native grasses. The coop is driven by its mission to promote regional farm diversity and economic stability by the means of organic agricultural methods and the sale of certified organic products.
Knudsen & Santa Cruz – A fresh-pressed and blended juice company out of California delivers the best, all natural juices, nectars and concentrates without artificial flavors, preservatives or added sugars. The company’s commitment to developing health-conscious fruit products based on consumers’ needs has led to the introduction of many refreshing ideas, including sports fruit and vegetable drinks, bubbly spritzers and interesting combinations of fruit nectars. And it all started with the Knudsen family’s love affair with the concord grape.
Rustic Crust – A wheat-free, gluten-free, all natural, organic pizza crust in a bag. For the gluten intolerant who don’t want to give up their Friday night pizza, this crust fills the bill. It heats up beautifully with just the right amount of crispiness at the edges, softness in the center and creates a perfect flatbread for filling—preferably with its own pizza sauces and any organic ingredients you want to toss onto the pie.
Cascade Fresh –A family-owned yogurt company committed to providing the freshest ingredients containing no preservatives, refined sugars or artificial sweeteners. The wholesome, fat-free milk is produced from cows free of rBGH (Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone) that graze all day on lush pasture lands and are handled humanely at every level of processing. The yogurts are sweetened with 100% all natural peach and pineapple fruit juice, with zero-added sugar. A 6 oz carton of Cascade Fresh contains 7 grams of protein and only 110 calories.
So this gives you an overview of some of GreenAcres products. Now you can recognize some names and know you’re in health-friendly territory!
What’s your favorite summer food item, and how do you prepare it?August 03, 2012
Filed under: Deli - greenacres @ 4:25 PM
We decided to go into the store and ask our employees about their favorite summer dish, and here’s what they had to say: (Pictured left to right, Tien, Tencia and Bianca.)
Cheryl:“Our family loves bacon-wrapped asparagus and green beans. We brush with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, wrap bundles in bacon and grill. With the beans, we blanch first to soften.”
Kira: “I adore grilled fresh pineapple. I peel and core, then slice into rounds, toss in brown sugar and grill till grill marks appear. I put slices on beef burgers with gruyere cheese. Yum.”
Manu: “Organic peaches are my favorite. Just wash and eat. I love them in Greek honey-vanilla yogurt for breakfast. And I also love the ground lamb that GreenAcres carries. I mix my patties with a little mint, feta cheese, salt and pepper and toss on the grill. I serve my burgers with a yogurt/mint/cucumber sauce—just like Kevin does on the grill here. So good!”
Cate: “My dad and I love to make guacamole, so avocados are my favorite summer produce item. We put avocado, red onion, tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro and lemon juice in a bowl and mash it up till smooth. Serve with El Milagro chips.”
Juan: “At my house, we love tomato gazpacho made just the way we make it here—with tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, bell pepper, parsley, celery, garlic, salt and pepper, a little olive oil and red wine vinegar. Ceviche is another favorite dish. I make it with tilapia, lime, cilantro, jalapenos, tomatoes and white onion. I coat it with lemon and let it sit in the refrigerator for three hours. Then I spread mashed avocado over a tostada and spoon the ceviche over it.”
Tencia:“My favorite recipe is simple—cucumbers and tomatoes tossed in sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper and celery seeds. Sometimes, I put a little horseradish in it and a few crushed red peppers. Makes a very refreshing salad. I could eat it every day!”
Bonnie:“I look forward to kale’s first showing. I make a great green drink each morning with kale, fuji apples, 2 handfuls of spinach, 1/2 cucumber, juice of 1 lemon and 1T. chia seeds.”
Tien:“Strawberries! My family loves strawberries. My daughter, Tristen who is eight, makes a yummy chocolate fondu. She dips the strawberries in chocolate than puts them in the refrigerator to firm up. She’s so proud of herself when she presents them to her dad and me after dinner.”
So there you have some of our employees’ favorite dishes. We’d like to know what you like, or what you’d like to see in our deli or hot case. “Like” us on Facebook and post what you’d like to see our cooks cook!
Diary of a mad scientist!August 01, 2012
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 3:52 PM
If you tune into the Healthy Half Hour radio show each Saturday morning at 9, you’ll hear GreenAcres owner and HHH guru, Matt Murray, give us his “Top Five Ways To…” It’s different each week, but there’s a world of info in this tiny, little segment.
We made him pose as “American Gothic” in this photo, but Matt’s serious about his health and yours! Matt’s been in the health food biz a long time—practically since birth. His mother was an organic home cook and baker long before the word “organic” became popular. He tells a story about being invited to a schoolmate’s home to play, when he tasted his first store-bought cookie for the first time. “Hard to believe,” Matt says chuckling, “but I had never tasted anything like that in my life. It was cardboard! And as embarrassing as it sounds, up it came. Needless to say, I was never invited over again.”
He and GAM CEO, Barb Hoffmann, have researched the industry within an inch of their lives. Collectively, they probably know more about vitamins, minerals and nutritional supplements than practically anyone—even the famous Dr. Oz! So, in a nutshell, when Matt speaks, we listen.
From time to time, we’ll blog about some of our listeners’ favorite Top Fives. This week we’ll give you Matt’s notes on Non-Toxic Living.
1. Start by looking under your kitchen counter. How many cleaning products do you have? Now, how many do you need? What are the warnings on the labels? Are there skin irritation warnings, or warnings to not splash in your eyes, or poison if ingested, or beware not to breathe the vapors? Maybe you can start there.
2. What about cosmetics, skin care items and even paper products? They can be filled with irritating chemicals that are easily absorbed into your skin, polluting your body! And I’m not going to even mention hair coloring dyes—scary stuff. Read the labels.
3. What about your food? Unless you eat 100% organic, you probably are ingesting some fertilizer and pesticide residues that are potentially carcinogenic. What about the artificial colors, dyes, preservatives and sweeteners that can lead to behavior problems in children?
4. Can low-level radiation from cell phones, Wi-Fi, microwave ovens, plasma TVs, electric blankets or fluorescent lamps cause health risks? There’s a ton of research out there that says they do. Some say heart disease, Alzheimer’s, impaired immunity can be caused by EMF (electromotive force) in the environment. Choose where you eat. Put your cell phone in your purse. Don’t use the microwave. Distance yourself from as many electromagnetic rays as you can!
5. Take an inventory of your home and your lifestyle. If you suffer from allergies, breathing difficulties, skin irritations, lethargy or even red eyes—you could be living in a toxic environment. Take stock of your surroundings and start making the necessary changes to detoxify your outer world.
Good health begins at home, so it behooves all of us to take heed.
To find out how one guy sanitizes his tiny space, check out this blog from the Internet: http://tinyrevolution.us/2012/04/13/keeping-air-fresh-in-a-tiny-home/
It’s Party Time in all three GreenAcres stores!July 27, 2012
Filed under: Classes & Events - greenacres @ 3:10 PM
And have we got reason to celebrate!
We’re opening a brand new store in Jenks, OK in 10 days (!) We’ve managed to face the challenges of a bridge closing and water leak at our Kansas City store (and we’re still smiling.) In Wichita, we’ve survived the initial rush to a new store in town, only to applaud the pendulum swinging back and bringing us even more customers than we had before. We definitely have reason to party!
Monday, August 6, is our “soft opening,” in Jenks--meaning we still have a few extra days to iron out the kinks before we swing wide the doors and let the fun begin. Angie and Rick from our Wichita store have moved to Jenks to be the store manager and produce manager respectively. They’ve been at our Wichita store for several years, so “they know the drill,” as we say. We hated to lose them in Wichita, but we’re so happy to have seasoned, responsible managers in our newest store. And the people they’ve managed to hire in Jenks are terrific. A welcomed addition to the GreenAcres team! We hope all our customers will eventually have a chance to meet them.
We’re going to have celebrations in all three of our stores, so don’t feel left out if you can’t make the drive to Oklahoma. We’ll have all natural cheese samplings on gluten free crackers; we’ll have veggies and dips; we’ll have something totally fabulous from our “absolutely-no-refined sugar” bakery. Just because we’re “all natural and organic” doesn’t mean we can’t deliver 5-star fare. And we’ll have lots of product and nutritional drink demos going on as well.
The grand opening in Jenks ( and in our other two stores) will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on August 11. But there’ll be big sales, food demoes, product classes and seminars going on in August, September and October in all our GreenAcres stores.
Like us on Facebook; check out our website; tune into our Healthy Half Hour radio show; watch for our e-newsletter; our newspaper tabloid and our in-store newsletter for all the surprises in store for YOU, our loyal customers. It’s definitely cause for celebration!
Just 5 little drops every morning?!July 23, 2012
Osteoporosis is becoming a huge problem in our aging population. You can see the effects on people who are bent over at the waste and trying to propel themselves forward. Have you ever noticed a car travelling toward you or behind you, but you can’t see the driver? Chances are the driver has suffered from Osteoporosis for years and has lost spinal inches due to the infirmity. It affects both men and women, and along with cancer and high blood pressure, has been called “the silent killer.”
Often there is no advanced warning, but tiny fractures are incurring in the skeletal system. Doctors sometimes refer to it as the “swiss cheese” factor—the bones are becoming porous with tiny holes. Genetics plays a big part in Osteoporosis as it affects tiny-boned, white or Asian people, and usually those with a history of smoking/ and or drinking. People with asthma or arthritis who have taken corticosteroids are at risk as well.
Most women who have gone through menopause have a dexa scan every few years that helps monitor osteoporosis. Men should have it, too. And there are other tests that look at the pituitary and adrenal glands. It’s always a good thing to have a yearly “tune up” to see how the old body is faring. Take your list of questions to your family physician, internist, naturopathic doctor and get his or her recommendation for the tests you should have to keep well. Studies show that one in four women and one in eight men over age 50 already have Osteoporosis. And in our lifetime, 50 isn’t even considered old anymore. So it’s good to stay on top of things.
There’s a woman at GreenAcres that we’ve noticed for years for her beautiful skin and thick shoulder-length hair. This woman is in her 60s, and has nary a wrinkle! What’s her secret? “I’ve taken BioSil, which you sell in this store, for 11 years. I attribute my excellent bone, hair and nail strength from just five tiny drops in juice every morning.”
We had to check it out! This is what the literature says: “BioSil™ turns on the body’s actual collagen-generating cells, known as fibroblasts. Because BioSil™ works through your body’s natural pathways, the collagen it generates has your own DNA fingerprint. BioSil™ has been tested in rigorous double-blind placebo controlled trials for both efficacy and safety.”
It’s important to note that BioSil is not made out of collagen, but generates collagen. There’s a big difference. When you ingest collagen, the human body breaks it down and uses it as food. By contrast, BioSil helps your body to generate its own collagen to provide support for healthy and thicker hair; stronger nails; fewer fine lines and wrinkles; denser and more flexible bones.
We won’t kid you, BioSil is very bitter tasting, so try it, not on the tongue, but with juice. The manufacturer warns, “Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not apply to the eyes or on broken skin.” As always, we want to know what you think. Feedback is encouraged in our business. Please comment below.
Dress ‘em up or down, we’ve got your delicate greens covered!July 18, 2012
Some prefer to make their own salad dressings; others rely on the tried and true organic bottled dressings to make their tossed salads extra yummy. Whichever way you roll, you might try our Grateful Harvest Organic Dressings in six flavors: Ranch, Balsamic Vinaigrette, Bleu Cheese, Sun Dried Tomato, Classic Caesar and Raspberry Vinaigrette.
Our favorite is the Classic Caesar, which has a creamy consistency and is only 130 calories for two teaspoons, which is enough to coat a single salad serving. A customer in our Wichita store swears by the Balsamic Vinaigrette. He only uses it as a steak marinade, but what the heck. If it works another way, great! “The acid in the dressing perfectly tenderizes a flank steak,” says Paul. “If you’re out of the Balsamic, I just use red wine vinegar and mustard and slather that over the meat.” Hmmmmm. Good to know.
It looks like Ranch is the best seller so far in our Kansas City store. You just can’t beat a good Ranch dressing. But why buy bottled in the first place? Isn’t all bottled dressing about the same? “No!” says a customer. “It’s hard to find a good bottled dressing anywhere,” says Jaime. “And even harder to find an all natural, organic one. My fridge is filled with half-empty bottles of dressings my family has decided it doesn’t like. I think the majority of them have too much salt and fat, and yet at the same time, somehow still manage to taste, well…tasteless. I’ve got five kids…none of them feel the same way about anything, much less salad dressing. So you see, I can’t buy one-size-fits-all. I’ve got to constantly have a variety of everything in the house!”
So Jaime has decided once again to try a new bottled dressing, and this time she’s going to try Grateful Harvest. We’ll have to wait for the sequel to find out how the dressing fared in Jaime’s household, but one thing for sure, if it’s Grateful Harvest, you know it’s healthy.
Grateful Harvest takes its all natural ingredients from premium, regional growers committed to providing artisan, organic produce and natural fresh foods from a conglomerate 100,000 acres of farmland under the Grateful Harvest label. Its philosophy: “In our business we are always most grateful for the harvest. It is not something we ever take for granted, nor do we underestimate its impact on our lives. Very few things in life can match the magic and mystery that occurs between a farmer and his land.”
GreenAcres understands the sentiment exactly. We can never take our customers or their preferences for any product for granted. If you’ve discovered something out there that’s healthy and nutritious and you want us to take a look at it and see what we think, we’re here to listen. In the meantime, when it comes to organic, bottled salad dressings, we’ve got you covered!
Finding the beauty within with author Kat JamesJuly 16, 2012
This week on the Healthy Half Hour radio show, our gurus will interview Kat James, an award-winning author and syndicated-radio host who wouldn’t let an addiction to food and a near-fatal liver ailment ruin her life. Instead, she became empowered to figure out what diet worked best for her. It actually was the realization that “nothing worked” that led her to transform herself on sheer guts alone. “It took tremendous courage and lots of soul-searching,” she says. But she was willing and open to change.
The result of Kat’s life journey has led her beyond the 10 dress sizes she lost, beyond chronic eczema, beyond reversing a serious liver disorder, beyond what doctors said she could and could not do. Today, Kat is the envy of every woman who wants a trim body and beautiful, smooth, unblemished skin. She actually glows from the inside out.
For a woman who admits she had gone years without baked goods (“even the whole grain ones were too high-glycemic to allow for my program’s full benefit,” she says), she learned going without was not the answer. Kat set about experimenting with different flours, first coconut floor, then other grain-based flours. Eventually, she settled on foods with no flours at all—rather seed-based cakes and breads and documented her discovery to help the gluten-free crowd break their carb habits. Her book, “The Truth About Beauty” describes her findings about herself and about her work on behalf for others.
In a series of interviews online, Kat says this about her transformation: “At the end of the day, it was my own journey of having nearly killed myself (literally) with the help of all of the low-fat (and non-fat), and even whole grain diets, with fleeting weight loss benefit — and zero elimination of the insane, drug-like relationship I had with food — that prompted me to venture outside my comfort zone and ultimately question my once-sacred low-fat allegiance. In fact, intrepid trial and error spanning years, convinced me to gradually phase out my beloved grains completely, almost fifteen years ago, before I’d ever read anything negative about them. And my resulting reversal of near-fatal liver disease and physical transformation was beyond my imagining.”
You won’t want to miss this Saturday’s 9 a.m. program on B98-FM if you live in Wichita or via iHeart radio by Smart phone if you live in Kansas City. Kat will give us a rare personal perspective in getting what’s best for each one of us and what it takes to overcome personal demons.
Who says GreenAcres doesn’t have it all—especially for kids during the summer?!July 11, 2012
Start at the front door. There’s fresh fruit galore: organic peaches, pears and mangoes--sweet, juicy and delicious.
Cruise down the dairy aisle. All natural yogurts, string cheeses, CHOCOLATE AND STRAWBERRY MILK! There are tasty protein drinks, mint-flavored waters, coconut water beverages with fizz. It’s a virtual kids’ paradise.
Round about the deli and the grab ‘n’ go. Check out the “always fresh” house-made tuna and chicken salad on gluten-free or wheat berry breads. Don’t forget the salad bar for those choosey kids who love to pick through the healthy “condiments”—black olives, sliced water chestnuts, fresh strawberries, gluten free croutons, nuts, seeds…there’s so much to choose from (!)
Come through the dried snacks aisle. Just Tomatoes puts out a product that tastes just like it says: Just peaches…Just peas…Just all kinds of vegetables and fruit you can eat out of the bag. And it’s all natural. No preservatives. Nothing added.
Don’t forget the dried fruit bins—beautiful slices of fresh dried pineapple, bananas, mangoes and papaya—without any extra sugar! Check out the raw, organic trail mixes made with cashews, almonds, raisins, dried pineapple and more. Kids love to keep those in plastic baggies and stuff them into a pocket, bike rack or back pack for extra energy.
There’s really shelf after shelf of kid-friendly goodness—freshly-ground nut butters, all natural hot dogs, gluten-free fish sticks, soy free ice cream bars. We could go on forever. So, as you plan your summer menus and snack times with kids in mind, think GreenAcres. We really do have it all.
Aloe Life: Bringing health in drinkable form to YOU!July 09, 2012
Who knew the aloe vera plant contained so much health! We’ve heard for ages about its skin-care properties and its remarkable ability to prevent scaring when applied to sutures, burns or cuts, but it’s new to many that you can actually ingest aloe when it’s processed in drinks and blends in well-researched and documented formulas, particularly those offered by the Aloe Life Company.
Aloe Life is a family owned business, started 14 years ago by clinical nutritionist researcher, Karen Masterson, and a world-renowned yacht builder-entrepreneur, Terry Koch. Together they brought the myriad health properties of the aloe vera plant to light, proving over time that aloe drinks of a certain strength and formulation can aid in healing any number of ailments, particularly those of the immune system, allergy sources and bowel.
We in the business of bringing all natural, organic foods to market know this, but it’s always good to hear it from an expert: “If you don’t have your health,” says Karen Masterson, “it’s challenging to have anything else! People need answers to health questions. Most people are confused about what keeps them healthy, including physicians.” Karen has made it her life’s goal to answer many of health's most tenacious questions. Before she launched her company, Aloe Life, Karen spent 20 years working with health professionals, including medical doctors, acupuncturists, chiropractors and hospital dietitians. A natural-born researcher and questioner about any and everything involving health, Karen eventually became known for her pioneering work with vaccines and health support for cancer patients.
GreenAcres had Karen on its Healthy Half Hour radio show last Saturday, July 7, as a guest expert, and Karen shared then the impetus that led her into the field of medicinal herbs, specifically the aloe vera plant. “Food is your medicine,” says Karen, “and herbs are food!”
Here are some often-asked questions and answers about aloe vera juices:
Q: Why are Aloe Life Aloe Vera Juices the best available Aloe Vera on the market?
A: Using the entire Whole Leaf of the plant, cold processed concentration 3:1, along with fresh juice not powdered reconstituted- with NO WATER ADDED, certified organic Aloe Life gives the consumer the strongest Aloe Vera product for the best price! The flavored concentrates are delicious for children and adults. The quality of the juice taken determines the results achieved. Satisfaction Guaranteed!
Q: Are the flavored Aloe Life juices therapeutic?
A: Most definitely! The Cherry Cranberry, Whole Leaf Aloe Vera Juice Concentrate, was actually the first product introduced onto the market from Aloe Life. This was because Mrs. Masterson wanted all people to be able to enjoy the value the Aloe Vera plant has to offer and many people would not drink the natural Aloe juice. The potency is only 7% less Aloe and tastes delicious. Flavors do not contain sweeteners.
To learn more about Aloe Life and if it could be an answer to what ails you, ask our knowledgeable market team members for help the next time you're in GreenAcres!
“Tell Matt he saved my life!”July 05, 2012
True story. This happened at a Fourth of July celebration. A young woman shouted across a country club dining room: “I didn’t know what I was going to do, I was in so much pain. I’d been to the doctor, and because of my spinal disability, no one wanted to operate…and of course, I didn’t want that either. But I told my mom, near tears, I just didn’t know if I could take the pain anymore!”
Carrie, the young woman who has been on crutches practically from the day she was able to walk, was suffering terribly from rotator cuff pain because of her nearly 40-year battle having to rely with all her weight on the crutches. The pain was becoming excruciating; and seeing her daughter in so much distress motived the mother to come to GreenAcres for help.
As luck would have it, Matt, one of our GreenAcres owners, suggested Zyflamend. Carrie consulted her physician, and the physician was game to try. “Almost immediately,” said Carrie, “the pain subsided. I’ve been using it ever since.”
New Chapter’s patented Zyflamend is considered a real breakthrough in eliminating pain from inflammation. It has been researched extensively and takes its science from Chinese medicine and time-tested herbal extracts blended into one pain-relieving concoction. It’s got herbs like ginger, turmeric, green tea, holy basil, rosemary, hu zhang (resveratrol found in red wine), Chinese goldthread, barbeery, oregano and Baikal skullcap, a unique phytonutrient complex that promotes healthy inflammation respone. Most kitchens have many of these same ingredients in spice jars, but it’s the mix that does the trick.
Dr. Oz has discussed it on his show. Here is a link to discover for yourself, if Zyflamend might help you: http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/supplements-natural-pain-relief As with everything medicinal, check with your doctor and/or pharmacist to make sure Zyflamend doesn’t interfere with other meds you may be taking. This is just one young woman’s story, but we print it here to help YOU.
Who put the “brain” in Nawgan Brain Health Drinks?July 02, 2012
Sounds New Age, but there really is a scientist out there who’s been studying the brain and how it functions for years, all along asking himself, “There seems to be everything else on the market, why isn’t there a drink that supports brain function?” His name is Dr. Robert Paul, a Ph.D. board-certified Neuropsychologist and founder of the Nawgan Alertness Beverage which comes in Berry, Mandarin Orange, Strawberry Kiwi and Red Berries flavors. After spending most of his adult life advising companies, and never seeing his beverage materialize, he decided to stop complaining and simply create one himself. He pulled his team together so he “could do it right,” and Nawgan was born.
What’s in it that makes the drink special? Cognizin for one thing, natural Vitamin E for another, Caffeine (in some cans; not in others.) it’s an interesting drink—not overly sweet, in fact not very sweet at all. No effervescence…but Dr. Paul says it packs a “memory punch,” and he recommends starting out your “brain” regimen by drinking one can of alertness a day, gradually going to two.
Here’s what the company says about Cognizin which is branded under the name of citicoline:“Choline is available in many foods that we eat (e.g., potatoes and cauliflower) but cytidine, which is critical for brain function, is not widely available in foods consumed in Western diets. Cytidine is converted into uridine and when combined with choline the two create CDP-choline. CDP-choline is important for normal brain function. CDP-choline is ultimately converted into acetylcholine and phospholipids and both of these substances are necessary for thinking and healthy brain function. Published research studies reveal that individuals who consume citicoline daily experience better performance on tests of attention than individuals that do not consume citicoline (McGlade et al, 2011). Each can of Nawgan contains 95.5mg of choline which is 17% of the Daily Value (550mg).”
There you have the science, but you’ll have to try the drink to see if it works. The caffeinated beverages have about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, “but without the bitterness left behind,” notes Dr. Paul.
To see Dr. Paul in the flesh and hear what he has to say about his new beverage, check out this link and let us know what you think: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofLUNsDF0JQ
Rumiano Cheese—all natural, organic and made from happy cows!June 27, 2012
Filed under: Organic - greenacres @ 4:24 PM
GreenAcres is proud to carry Rumiano Cheese Company products produced by the oldest family-owned cheese company in California.
Rumiano is well known in the industry for its entire organic cheese line which was first to achieve the Non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) Verification, a distinction of the Non-GMO Project, a non-profit organization created by the US and Canada natural and organic products companies. It is the philosophy of that organization—and of GreenAcres as well—that You, the consumer, should decide whether or not to choose genetically-modified foods.
Our commitment at GreenAcres is NOT to offer such products, and to carry only the freshest all natural produce and products in both of our stores—soon in all three of our stores when our new GreenAcres Market opens in Jenks, OK in August.
But back to Rumiano and the early days of cheese making. The Rumianos emigrated to the US from Italy at the turn of the century. The brothers were tired of working in the gold mines and decided to buy a small dairy farm. Fast forward several decades, and the brothers and their descendants found they had created the largest cheese company in California. With success came pressure to sell. And so the brothers did—but not the entire company, and today, the small portion the brother’s reserved for themselves has grown again ten fold and is still run by family members.
The company prides itself on its cheese and butter production, receiving 300,000 pounds of milk a day from third and fourth generation family-owned California dairies and contented Jersey cows. Good sanitation practices, and constantly-improved and updated equipment has sustained the company through good times and bad. The present generation of family owners continues to guarantee that its cheese products are free of all artificial hormones.
GreenAcres Market-Wichita carries both the Rumiano bricks and slices, while the Kansas City store carries wedges only. We encourage you to try the mild, medium and sharp Cheddar; the Pepper Jack, Monterrey Jack, and Colby. Let us know what you think. Anytime we can find an all natural, organic cheese that tastes great, we’re in 7th heaven—not unlike the contented Jersey cows of California!
Let’s honor Old Glory and our national bird with family and fun!June 25, 2012
We celebrate July 4th in commemoration of our independence from Great Britain, when our great nation stepped out on its own to meet its destiny as a young United States of America. Massachusetts was the first state to celebrate Independence Day, and Bostonians continue to party in a big way with the USS John F. Kennedy sailing into the harbor while the Boston Pops annual concert is televised the world over from the banks of the Charles River. Can you hear the Star Spangled Banner and the 1812 Overture booming over the water?!
The tradition of a national holiday didn’t take root until 1870 when Congress made July 4th a federal holiday. But in 1941, in opposition to and in spite of an even more treacherous world-wide war, a provision to give paid leave to all federal employees sent picnickers and BBQ-ers scurrying forever after to get out their grills.
Today, the Fourth is celebrated in homes, on the banks of rivers, in back yards, in parks…anywhere family and friends decide to congregate. To make the holiday meaningful and to engage the youngest patriots in the family, we checked in with that DIY maven of making every moment memorable, Martha Stewart.
How about a Star Spangled Bicycle Parade?
Martha dug through her ideas and came up with a suggestion from yesteryear. Baby Boomers will remember jumping on the old Schwinn Racer and tearing down the street sans helmet. Well, times have changed and bikers old and young are encouraged to wear their “biking hats.” But decorating the tires and making noise has never gone out of style. Think winding red, white and blue crepe paper through the spokes, attaching—what else?—the old card and a close pin (if you can still find one) to the back wheels—and letting the kids click and clack outside to their hearts content. Yes, it still makes the same noise it did when we were kids, and nothing spells Kid Parade like a “summer soundtrack.”
So what do the kids have to say about celebrating the Fourth?
We did a quick GreenAcres Market survey (translation, we asked kids coming into the store.) Here’s what they had to say: “I’m going to be a butterfly,” said one four-year-old ballerina. “I’m going to wear my princess outfit and crown.” Cool! Another said, “We’re going to do races. My dad and my uncles are going to do three-legged races,” said a joyous young man. No surprise, the girls wanted to put on brightly colored tutus and butterfly wings and prance around the yard. The boys were looking forward to organized games—ones they could play with their parents and family. “No girls,” they said. But, guess what, the girls immediately wanted in. The kids like the old egg on a spoon race, Dodge ball, if the boys don’t throw too hard, and both sexes wanted to play badminton or any kind of ball.
What about special treats? Try this for a fun presentation from the Disney Family Fun e-magazine:
1. Melt 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips according to the package directions.
2. For each bird, drop a large marshmallow into the melted chocolate, using a spatula to coat it well.
3. Remove the marshmallow from the chocolate and roll it in finely shredded coconut, leaving one end uncovered.
4. Immediately set the marshmallow, coconut free end down, atop a chocolate sandwich cookie.
5. Let the chocolate set a bit, then use a toothpick to make a hole in the side of the marshmallow and insert a cashew for a beak.
6. Finally, add black decorators' gel eyes.
Here’s what GreenAcres suggests to make the Eagles “healthy”:
· Sunspire all natural chocolate and white chips
· Dandies air-puffed all natural marshmellows
· Let’s Do Organic shredded coconut (unsweetened; no sulfites.) GreenAcres cooks say if everything else is sweet, you don’t need sweetened coconut. A little trick: toast the coconut just a bit and the natural sweetness comes out.
· Raw organic cashews for the beaks
· Vegan carob chips for eyes
· For the cookie pedestal, select any all natural “Oreo” substitute, or dip gluten free cookies in all natural chocolate and let set up in the fridge.
So those should give you some ideas to make your holiday special, but not fussy. Have a relaxing and safe day, and we’ll meet you back at GreenAcres after the Fourth.
Chef Michael Symon shares his easy-rider recipe for Grilled ChickenJune 20, 2012
Some of you may be familiar with Chef Michael Symon, a staple on theFood Network’s Iron Chef America and a co-host of ABC’s The Chew. Symon is the laid back chef with a ready smile whose easy going attitude defies his success. If truth be told, Symon is all over the nation, all the time, overseeing five restaurants, performing on TV and travelling back and forth to Cleveland, Detroit and New York 90% of the time. One would think that owning four popular restaurants in his hometown of Cleveland, OH alone, would be enough to keep him hopping. But not Symon. He loves the thrill of the chase.
And chase down the accolades he does. Named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine in 1998, Symon’s star in the chef world has risen higher and higher. His signature Cleveland restaurant, Lola, was chosen by Gourment Magazine as one of America’s Best Restaurants, and his two B Spot burger places made it to the top of Bon Appetit’s “10 Best New Burger Joints” in 2010.
Symon published his first cookbook, Michael Symon’s Live to Cook: Recipes and Techniques to Rock Your Kitchen, in 2009, sharing easily-prepared menus that draw on his Sicilian and Greek heritage. When the man isn’t cooking or jetting around the country, Cleveland neighbors see him riding his motorcycle around the city, gardening, golfing and hanging out with his wife, Liz.
Michael Symon’s Grilled Chicken
- 4cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1/2cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 6sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
- 1(4 to 4 1/2 pound) chicken, cut in 1/2
- 4portobello mushrooms, brushed clean and stems removed
- 2small heads radicchio, halved
- Watercress, to serve
· Put the garlic onto a cutting board and sprinkle it with about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Using the side of a large knife, slowly mash the garlic into a paste. Put the garlic paste into a small bowl and blend in 1/2 cup olive oil, parsley, and thyme leaves. Pour half the mixture over the chicken and season it with salt and pepper. Set the chicken aside to marinate while you prepare the other ingredients for grilling.
· Heat the grill to medium high. Drizzle half the remaining marinade into the mushrooms and half onto the cut side of the radicchios. Season both with salt and pepper and place them on the grill over indirect heat. Grill until the mushrooms and radicchio are soft, about 10 to 15 minutes; set them aside to cool while you cook the chicken
· Put the chicken on the grill and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes per side, or until cooked through and juices run clear. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
· To serve, cut the chicken into pieces, cut the mushrooms into quarters, and cut the radicchio into wedges. Gently toss everything together with some fresh watercress and an extra drizzle of olive oil.
Granola—when just a little dab will do ya.June 18, 2012
The trouble with granola is, once you start eating it, sometimes you can’t stop. Take for example filling a bowl with granola—homemade or otherwise—adding cold, sweet Blue Diamond Almond Milk (which isn’t really milk at all, its ground almonds and water so pressurized, the “milk” (without lactose and cholesterol free) tastes so good you just find yourself needing another round.
Or, perhaps you like your granola sprinkled over yogurt—thick, farm-fresh, sweet-cream Noosa Yoghurt, made with 100% natural milk from happy, free range cows that graze on alfalfa and corn that has never been touched by harmful pesticides. Or maybe Brown Cow Yogurt, a favorite of customers who serve it religiously for dessert. Or, how about a GreenAcres can’t-keep-in-stock yogurt: Cascade Fresh. Getting hungry?! So you scoop granola on top of all that goodness…and goodness (!) the calories start piling up. What’s the answer?
Willamette Valley Granola has come up with a solution: light and airy granola chips. They’re 100% natural, made from oats, barley, amaranth (kind of like rice, introduced by the Aztecs and cultivated for 8,000 years), quinoa, blueberry and cranberry powder and mixed fruit berries for flavor and color. Six granola chips eaten right out of the package yields only 110 calories. Sprinkle four on your carton of yogurt and you’ve got a satisfying snack at a fraction of the calories of other granolas with far less sugar.
The Willamette Valley Granola Company has been making chips since 1973 in Willamette Valley, OR. Ski and hiking country aside, the Oregon people practically invented granola. Healthy lifestyles yield quests for healthy foods, particularly snacking foods you can toss in a backpack or in a drawer at the office. Willamette Valley uses only all natural, non-GMO ingredients, and has carefully crafted a light, crispy granola medallion GreenAcres can hardly keep in stock.
The chips come in four flavors: Honey Nut, Butter Pecan, Wild Berry and Vanilla Bean. Danna, a GreenAcres Market team member says, “I love the Wild Berry chips the best, but as you can see, we're already out of them! They fly off the shelves as fast as we put them out.”
We invite you to come into the store and see which flavor tastes best to you. We can always have too much of a good thing, but if the good thing is satisfying from the get, we just find we don’t need as much!
Summer Snacking: How do you keep it healthy?June 13, 2012
The kids are coming in from the pool in a ravenous state. What do you do? The easy way is to just hop in the car and turn into a drive-through. But your heart and head tell you, NO! There’s a better way. Make snacking an adventure says Dana Soloman, a guest parent on this Saturday’s Healthy Half Hour radio show at 9 a.m. on B98-FM. Dana is a mom dedicated to her family’s health. She says, “Pile the kids into the car and take them to GreenAcres. Let them choose what they like—it’s all healthy—and they want that freedom of choice.” A better endorsement we could not have. Thank you Dana!
What kid wouldn’t like to choose a sandwich from the grab-and-go and order a favorite fruit smoothie to wash it down. If a sandwich is too much “dinner” before dinner, how about introducing your child to some out-of-the-box nibbles. For instance,Just Tomatoes, Etc., has a huge array of freeze-dried veggies and fruits which kids can pop into their mouths or crumble and put on top of a cup of yogurt. Absolutely no sugar added…in fact there’s nothing added to these little bites of goodness. Just perfectly-ripened fruits and vegetables.
Good Shepherd, a local, Kansas company, makes a product called Slim Jims, all natural chicken and beef sticks, which both parents and kids love. They’re great to munch on when you’ve got the munchies but don’t want to spoil your appetite. Lucky Star Farms has an uncured beef jerky that is smoked without the unhealthy nitrates and sulfates. And Tanka Bites has a buffalo, gluten free, no MSG jerky that contains less calories and is a favorite with the purists.
Cheese and crackers fills the bill? Try Raincoast Crisps and a slice ofHenning’s cheddar. Let the kids loose on the fig and olive crisps; or how about the rosemary, raisin and pecan; or check out the slightly sweet and salty cranberry and hazelnut crisps. And, if there’s no time to go anywhere, but the kids are rummaging through the fridge, stock plenty of seasonal fruit, lots of Organic Valley string cheese in the Colby Jack or Mozzarella varieties and any number of GreenAcres bottled and fruit-flavored waters.
It’s summertime. Living should be easy. Make it healthy as well!
It took 50 years, but dad finally got his due!June 11, 2012
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 5:04 PM
Wikipedia tells us Father’s Day was founded by a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd in 1910 after she heard a sermon in church on Mother’s Day and got inspired. Sonora wanted to honor her dad who was a Civil War vet and a single father who raised six children. But the holiday didn’t catch on right away. The populace was leery that it was just another commercial attempt to get people to open their wallets and pander to the “trade.”
Sonora wouldn’t give up. In fact she got the trade organizations behind her, but it wasn’t until two decades later that Father’s Day started to take hold. Time continued to pass, and still no real recognition, however with most everything, politics finally won over. In 1966, with a little nudge from the late and distinguished Senator from Maine, Margaret Chase Smith, who shamed her fellow Congressmen in Senate chambers for ignoring the “other family member,” Father’s Day was proclaimed a day of celebration. Six years later, under President Richard Nixon, a permanent national holiday was signed into law.
At GreenAcres we honor our fathers this year with a contest asking our customers to post on Facebook why their “hero” should win a $100 gift certificate. We know not everyone has a dad in the home, and some dads have long since passed from this earth, but we still want our customers to tell us about the men in their lives who hold a special place in their hearts.
Along with gift certificates, GreenAcres offers a wide variety of men’s products and gifts. Jason’s has a thin-to-thick hair conditioning and styling line the men love. Mychelle’s So Clean, Splash and Smooth products and Bert’s Bees natural skin care and after-shave moisturizers are a big hit with male customers. Giovanni has great hair products and lotions for sensitive skin. There’s a popular triple-blade razor called Preserve that’s hard to keep in stock. Check out the myriad astringents, body bars, hand lotions, fine wooden-handled brushes, combs and more.
Come in, take a tour, and let us help you make your Father’s Day a special one!
The First Fruits—here’s how they roll!June 07, 2012
Filed under: Organic - greenacres @ 1:25 PM
Beginning in June, the first harvests of the summer start coming to market from the Southern states—Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas. That’s when the stone fruits, like peaches, plums, avacados and apricots are at their best and ripe for the picking. Right now, GreenAcres has Carolina peaches that smell and taste divine. Our produce men say “the softer to the touch, the sweeter to the palate.” If the peaches are still a bit too firm, leave them on the counter to ripen further.
Never put fruit in the refrigerator. Buy just what you can consume in a few days and come back for more. “Once you put fruit in the refrigerator,” says Mark, one of our produce team members, “you stop the development of the fruit and kill the flavor.” That includes avocados, onions and above all, tomatoes!
In six weeks, the Colorado peaches roll in. Some say these are bar-none the best peaches anywhere. But just now, it’s Carolina peaches and berries, berries, berries. Driscoll—a company that produces both conventional and organic fruit—is considered the Cadillac of all berry production. GreenAcres has huge, juicy Driscoll strawberries, raspberries and blueberries at excellent prices. You might want to grab a little organic whipped cream in the dairy case while you’re picking up fruit…just in case shortcake is in the offing.
Now for produce, the first fruits we see are asparagus, beets, cabbages and greens. GreenAcres carries four varieties of beets—some red, some yellow, some in between. Beets are best peeled and steamed, say our GreenAcres cooks, and sprinkled with a little salt and cracked black pepper. Left over cold beets are wonderful in salads! Corn will debut a little later in the season, but the green beans, cauliflower, eggplant, bell peppers and tomatillos are in now and delish!
Tammy, a customer who lives across town, comes as often as she can to stock up on greens: mustard, kale, chard, parsley, whatever is in store. “We juice,” says Tammy, “and GreenAcres produce department has the most nutritious greens anywhere.” Tammy mixes apple, cucumber, kale, spinach, celery and lemon in her “nightly cocktail.” “I love the taste of liquid salad,” she says emphatically. “When the kids went off to start their own lives, my husband and I got real about our health.”
So, when you’re tooling past our produce aisle, this hopefully will give you a guide to the way our produce rolls into the store and make your choices that much easier!