Living Clay—the sequelDecember 16, 2013
We’re so excited about this new product, we just have to share information when we get it.
Some of our GreenAcres employees have jumped head first into detoxing with Living Clay. Some are using the Bentonite clay in hot bath water; some are using the delightfully scented soaps; some are sold completely on the wrinkle release magic of the various face creams. Some, like our boss, Barb, are even drinking away toxins in the body. Remember, it’s so pure, you can actually drink it.
Ran Knishinsky, author of The Clay Cure, is an advocate of eating or drinking the clay daily. He reports that people who have read his book and tried the product have attested to improved intestinal regularity; relief from what was to some chronic diarrhea, indigestion and ulcers.
Men and women have lauded the results of brighter, clearer complexions; whiter eyes; healthy gums; greater alertness; even emotional uplifting. Yes, says Cindy, our Health and Beauty buyer who uses Living Clay herself for health reasons which we’ve mentioned in another blog, “Once you start using it, it becomes a lifestyle. The clay is so detoxifying, it draws infections and unwanted organisms out of the body, and can even be a help to those with anxiety and depression.”
Cindy keeps a book titled Living Clay by Perry A~ in a drawer by her station so she can whip it out and show customers what it says about the health problems they are having.
Since we know many of our illnesses start in the gut and flourish in a body that is acidic, it’s not surprising that Living Clay has much to say on pH balance. Case in point: “A healthy body maintains about a 7.4 pH,” says author Perry A~. “In an acidic environment (less than 7.4) disease becomes rampant. Calcium Bentonite clay has a pH as high as 9.7. To change the pH of your body from acid to alkaline, simply get the clay in you and on you.
“The clay has a favorable effect on every function of your body. Drink 1-2 ounces of clay daily. Take 2-3 clay baths weekly. Do one full body wrap weekly.”
Those are Perry’s recommendations. You can test your pH levels with easy-to-use saliva test strips. Then you can adjust the amount of Calcium Bentonite clay your body needs to maintain a good alkaline level.
Remember, as we cautioned in a former blog, the detoxifying effects of clay are so powerful, you don’t want to overdue. No more than 15-20 minutes sitting in a hot, hot bath of the recommended dose of clay (2 cups of powdered clay) is quite enough for anyone.
We recommend that you come into GreenAcres and visit with Cindy, our in-house expert in Wichita (other HABA employees will assist you in Jenks and Kansas City) and get the scoop from someone who uses it daily. We like it when our GreenAcres Market team members actually walk the walk.
This is a new product for us—but it’s been around for years, hiding from environmental toxins under the earth for centuries.
We want so much to share this good news with you. Come on in and learn more!
Breakfast—the most important menu of the day (to some!)December 05, 2013
So what do the “successful” eat for breakfast. We took a tour of the Internet and found out some interesting facts. Many believe in jump starting their morning with a protein shake of some kind; some eat two breakfasts; some hardly eat breakfast at all.
We think you’ll agree that the “physically fit” eat organically and for nutrition and to feel good, while others not so fit (appearance wise) eat what they like and/or what they are used to. Still, please note, that the brains over brawn types who ruled counties typically ate (or didn’t eat) exactly what they liked, hang the nutrition.
So what is the point we’re getting at here? It’s probably that while breakfast rules in many a household, it probably doesn’t amount to a hill of beans for those destined for stardom. Take a peek at a few preferences and see if you don’t agree.
The “TODAY” weather forecaster has had his troubles with food intake, and has had his stomach stapled and has fallen off the food wagon several times only to get back up on his breakfast menu and start anew. For the time being, Roker drinks a protein smoothie made with protein powder, fiber powder, almond milk, berries and ginger. He sweetens this concoction with a dash of agave nectar and sometimes throws in a scoop of almond butter. (Not unlike many of our own GreenAcres Market team.)
The man who started it all—Whole Foods founder John Mackey—has a smoothie every morning of his life that includes almond, oat, rice of soy milk, fresh fruit, kale and spinach leaves.
An energetic young man who has successfully segued from music man to drama guy, Timberlake told Bon Appetit magazine last year that he actually ate two breakfasts, one before workout, one after. The first consisted of waffles with flaxseed, almond butter and a scrambled egg. The later, another egg or protein shake.
THE IRON LADY
The late, great first female prime minister of Great Britain, Margaret Thatcher, preferred a light menu of grapefruit and coffee, if she had breakfast at all. She said in a 1979 interview, “I don’t intend for breakfast to give me energy for the rest of my day.”
So there you have it. The Breakfast of champions is really all over the map and menu. Still, if you want excellent health and vitality, we at GreenAcres recommend you go the protein smoothie or Paleo (egg, meat and fruit) route. And, as always, we’ll be here to help you make the choice that’s best for you!
The Doctors are in: Roisen and Oz practice what they preach.December 02, 2013
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 4:13 PM
Most people interested in good health know the names of Dr. Michael Roisen, Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, and Dr. Mehmet Oz, popular host of the Dr. Oz TV show and an accomplished cardiothoracic surgeon, lecturer and author.
The two doctors together have appeared on every major network television show and have co-authored five New York Times best-selling “YOU” books, including: You: The Owner’s Manual; You: The Smart Patient; You: On a Diet; You: Staying Young; You: Being Beautiful, and one other, Healing from the Heart. Both doctors are considered to be globe-trotting geniuses, each contributing to the wellness of us all in different ways.
Dr. Oz continues his message of getting and staying in optimum health through his daily television show, thanks in great part to a nod from Oprah Winfrey who hired him as a health expert on her show for five seasons before helping him launch his own Dr. Oz Show on TV and a weekly talk show on Sirius XM radio.
Dr. Roisen, an anesthesiologist and internist, has to his credit 14 US patents, has served on the Food and Drug Administration advisory committee for 16 years, and co-invented a drug called Methylnaltrexone, which relieved those having to take opioid drugs from debilitating side effects of constipation and withdrawal.
In this decade, Dr. Roisen has come to the attention of millions for developing the Real Age concept, encouraging Americans to eat nutritionally and exercise their way to healthier (younger) lives. (You can go online and find and take the Real Age test and see how you do.) And he has come under scrutiny for predicting that by following the laws of nutrition and exercise, the human species might live to 160, but with the same quality of life as a 40 year old.
So, that said, how do the two doctors lead their lives so that they walk the walk? From various sources on the Internet, we present the good doctors' life styles:
Dr. Michael Roisen (from Spryliving.com)
Health philosophy: “Your choices in food, exercise, stress management and exposure to toxins controls whether each of your genes is turned on our not; you might as well take advantage of that.”
Vitamins/supplements: Roizen takes what he’s dubbed “The Fab 5”: A combination calcium/magnesium supplement (600 mg/400 mg); 2000 IU vitamin D3; 800 mg DHA ( oil) on even days/1000 mg on odd days; a probiotic capsule (Culterelle); and a multivitamin (half of one pill in the morning, half in the evening.)
Favorite workout: Competitive squash.
Favorite healthy dish: Walnut-crusted salmon.
Secret weapon: A buddy. “Someone you can confide in, be vulnerable with, talk things over with. Stress is the leading cause of aging; talking releases stress.”
Favorite brown-bag lunch: A big smoothie. Roizen suggests tossing in any vegetables you have on hand – spinach, celery, kale – plus fresh apple slices, frozen blueberries, a few or a scoop of why protein powder, psyllium husks (or Metamucil) for fiber, plus water and ice. Blend, pour in a thermos, and go!
Dr. Mehmet OZ
Stretch first thing in the morning
"Stretching for 10 minutes every morning has a variety of benefits, including decreasing risk of heart attack, alleviating stress, and improving circulation. You can feel the effects in just 10 days. My morning stretch starts with my hips. If I can't touch my toes, I know I'm too stiff. Then I loosen up my neck, because that's where I store tension...A lot of times I'll think, I'm too tired to do my sit-ups today. But after stretching for 15 seconds, I have the energy for them."
Show up early
"Being 5 minutes late is a small thing that creates big stress, which in turn can cause chronic inflammation and high blood pressure. So many of us are hypertensive, but it comes from external stressors we place on ourselves, and those are adjustable...So the mantra should be 'If you're not 5 minutes early, you're late.' That way, when unexpected things happen, you have a cushion."
Harness your energy
"I have a lot of natural energy. In the classic Ayurvedic approach to healing, there are three categories, or doshas—vata [characteristics include a tendency toward overexertion, enthusiasm, easily tired], pitta [medium energy, enterprising, sharp intellect], and kapha [solid, calm, steady energy]—and many are a mixture of all three. I'm overwhelmingly pitta, which means I'm the kind of person who likes to move. But sometimes that urge borders on being unproductive because it turns frenetic. That's when my wife, Lisa, will pull me back and say, 'No, do these 10 things right and leave the 11th alone.' "
Be a balanced eater
"If you're really craving a specific food, practice portion control. Acknowledge to yourself that the first taste is the best taste. Have a few bites, and then wash them down with a big glass of water. Get the taste out of your mouth, or else that drive to have more will continue."
"So many of us run from intimacy by using hobbies, a job, or events that, on the larger scale, you know deep in your heart aren't nearly as important. Instead, try a new habit that links you. Write a thank-you note every night to someone—a teacher, a coworker, a doctor, a friend, or your spouse."
What to do with the “remains of the day”November 29, 2013
If you had any kind of a feast at all on Thanksgiving, you’ve got leftovers. Now, what creative thing are you going to do with them?
We went to our old friend, “Google,” and came up with some interesting recipes—leaning to the healthy side of things—you might want to try.
Except for maybe Brie cheese, pita bread and Greek yogurt, we bet you have most of the ingredients below in your pantry. And if you don’t, GreenAcres has you covered.
In our house, we had turkey in gravy the second day and turkey hash the third, and by then, we were turkey-ed out. We could never think of anything new to do with sweet potatoes, so we just warmed them up again…and again.
As for cranberry salad…well, we just ate it as is. But now that we have this keen thing called the Internet, we can scour recipes from around the world. It’s amazing what you can put together using leftovers and a few staples you have in house.
Pumpkin pie leftovers? There never are any, ever. But we offer some recipes below in the hopes that the remains of Thanksgiving will be even tastier a day or two later. Enjoy!
Curried Turkey Pita
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
3 tablespoons fat-free plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons sliced green onion
1 tablespoon mayonnaise or reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 teaspoons fat-free milk
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup chopped, cooked turkey breast
1 tablespoon slivered almonds, toasted
1 (7- to 8-inch) round whole wheat pita bread
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel (optional)
In small bowl stir together celery, cranberries, yogurt, green onion, mayonnaise, milk, curry powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add turkey and almonds. Toss until combined. 2. Spoon onto pita bread. Sprinkle with orange peel (if desired). Wrap pita around turkey mixture. Serve immediately.
Cranberry-Brie Grilled Cheese
2 Slices sourdough or whole wheat bread
1 Tablespoon butter, softened
1/4 Cup cranberry sauce
1 teaspoon whole grain mustard, plus more to taste
1-2 Ounces brie (or to taste)
1 Small handful arugula
1. Butter one side of both slices of bread. Top the unbuttered side of one slice with cranberry sauce. Coat the other unbuttered slice with mustard, and then top with brie. Use the rind of the brie too, if you like, or cut it off and discard. Top with arugula, and place the cranberry-topped bread over the brie-arugula slice.
2. Grill sandwich in a heated non-stick skillet over medium-low. Flip when it’s golden brown, and then grill the other side. Let rest for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Savory Sweet Potato Pancakes
In a large bowl, whisk 2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes, 2 tbsp melted organic unsalted butter, 1 egg and 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk. In a medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1 1/2 tsp finely minced fresh rosemary and 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper. Whisk flour mixture into potato mixture until smooth. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsp olive oil on medium. Working in batches, add mixture to skillet in 1/4 cup increments. Cook until edges bubble, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until golden. If desired, top with caramelized onions.
What’s with the green bean casserole mystique?November 25, 2013
The history of the Thanksgiving Day traditional green bean casserole is simple. It was first created in the test kitchen of the Campbell Soup Company and somehow just took off like a rocket. Fast forward to 2013, and people all across the nation are still serving some version of the original recipe at their holiday tables.
Thirteen years ago, the recipe card, now yellowed and dog-eared, was enshrined in the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, OH, ensuring for time immemorial that the “created on a shoe string” casserole would be preserved for all eternity.
The original recipe called for Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup, milk, soy sauce, green beans and French’s French Fried Onions. For those of us who helped our mothers prepare Thanksgiving dinner lo those many years, if there were any onion rings left after we opened the can, they’d be lucky to get on the casserole. It’s a good thing you can only find those onion rings around holiday time!
There’s just something about the casserole than bears repeating year after year. Today, most organic and health conscious families don’t even stock Campbell’s soups, much less French’s onion rings. But that doesn’t mean they don’t offer some version of the comfort food casserole.
GreenAcres brings in pounds and pounds of organic green beans during November just so the health conscious will have enough of everyone’s favorite side dish. Purists prefer to just blanch the beans in kosher-salted water and serve with a dollop of sweet cream butter. But others throw caution and calories to the wind and still serve up a credible casserole.
One customer who wishes to remain nameless actually gilds the lily with melted Velveeta cheese (can you hear the arteries clogging?). Other customers prefer to experiment with similar casseroles they find online.
Food Network cook Alton Brown has a great recipe for those who want to make it from scratch. We’ve provided a link to a video on his recipe page that makes it seem simple and easy.
We offer his recipe below for those who want to try it.
For the topping:
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Nonstick cooking spray
For beans and sauce:
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 pound fresh green beans, rinsed, trimmed and halved
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 12 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 cup half-and-half
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
Combine the onions, flour, panko and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss to combine. Coat a sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray and evenly spread the onions on the pan. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake until golden brown, approximately 30 minutes. Toss the onions 2 to 3 times during cooking. Once done, remove from the oven and set aside until ready to use. Turn the oven down to 400 degrees F.
While the onions are cooking, prepare the beans. Bring a gallon of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil in an 8-quart saucepan. Add the beans and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain in a colander and immediately plunge the beans into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in a 12-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms begin to give up some of their liquid, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and nutmeg and continue to cook for another 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute. Add the broth and simmer for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium-low and add the half-and-half. Cook until the mixture thickens, stirring occasionally, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in 1/4 of the onions and all of the green beans. Top with the remaining onions. Place into the oven and bake until bubbly, approximately 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately.
If you try Alton’s recipe, let us know how you like it. And, if you find yourself in a pinch and rushed for time, remember the cooks at your very own GreenAcres Market can actually make a great casserole to please even the most discerning cook. Bon Appetite, and have a great Thanksgiving Day!
Great Christmas gift idea: Skin care in a box!November 22, 2013
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 4:26 PM
Now is the time to start thinking about Christmas and that perfect little “something” for the women in your life.
Dr. Hauschka cosmetic line has a handy, little tin “daily face care kit” for $24.99 that might be just the thing to slip under the tree or give to best friends as they leave a just-for-gals’ annual Christmas lunch. It’s a great way to sample new skin care products in small batches. The tin holds:
1 cleansing cream sample
1 cleansing milk vial
1 facial toning liquid
1 moisturing day cream
1 quince day cream
1 rose day cream
The quince day cream is for normal skin; the rose for dry. There are other protocols for oily skin.
Dr. Hauschka has become a popular health and beauty item at all three GreenAcres Markets. We love the fact that Dr. Hauschka works with local Fair Trade communities around the world to cull the finest botanical ingredients for its skin care products.
The company has helped establish a shea butter cooperative in Africa, purchasing ingredients from two villages at above-average prices and giving long-term purchasing guarantees. The cooperative provides 350 women and their families with a secure source of income and gives Dr. Hauschka a lasting source of shea butter for its products.
In addition, the company supports rose growers in Afghanistan and Ethiopia establishing a reliable source of both rose petals and rose oils which it uses in its cosmetics.
Dr. Hauschka, a German company, is not new—it’s been around for more than 40 years, but it is new to GreenAcres. Our CEO, Barb Hoffmann, discovered it on a market trip and became a “believer.” She’s been using the products herself ever since. Barb doesn’t recommend anything she hasn’t tried herself. So, when she finally buys into a product line, you know it carries her personal stamp of approval.
Did you know in Dr. Hauschka’s world the most efficient way to balance oily or acne-prone skin is by applying oil to the skin? In another blog about acne, we talked about the drying effects of some soap-based products that can actually accelerate acne outbreaks. Dr. Hauschka concurs. “Applying a light, clean layer of pure plant oils and botanical extracts signals the skin that it now has all the moisture it needs, balancing excessive oiliness while soothing and minimizing the appearance of blemishes and irritation.”
A big advocate of NOT using a night cream, Dr. Hauschka encourages customers to “give up using night cream for two weeks and see how well your skin adapts to the change.” That might be a stretch for some with very dry skin, but worth the experiment all the same. Dr. Hauschka says, “…used regularly, night creams can compromise the skin’s natural processes so it becomes dependent on nightly moisturizing products just to appear “normal.” That’s why there are no night creams in the Hauschka arsenal.
Now is a great time to take a tour of GreenAcres Health and Beauty Department. Come in, talk to our knowledgeable market team and find out if the Dr. Hauschka line is for you. Even if you’re not ready to commit yourself, the Daily Face Care Kit might just be the perfect gift for girlfriends during this happiest of seasons!
Living Clay—so pure you can drink it!November 18, 2013
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 5:55 PM
If you want a great detox that literally pulls toxins from the body, please come into GreenAcres-Wichita and visit with our new Health and Beauty buyer, Cindy Pritchett. She’s our expert on Living Clay and what it can do for you.
Cindy, as our HABA department lead before her—Susan—is a natural born researcher. She won’t recommend anything until she has thoroughly researched everything about it. Living Clay passed Cindy’s scrutiny with flying colors.
Once diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, Cindy balked when the doctor said “wheel chair-bound.” Immediately, she started looking for naturopathic solutions. That’s when she discovered Living Clay, a product mined in Death Valley, CA, that hasn’t seen the light of day for literally 43 million years. The clay has been out of reach of environmental toxins, hidden under a layer of crystalline zeolite, and excavated for cosmetic purposes, winding up in tooth pastes, makeup foundations, face masks and more.
Cindy became alarmed when she saw her arthritis moving from her hands to her feet, and was motivated enough to go in search of something that would throw her into remission, if not heal her completely. Living Clay became her panacea, and today Cindy has only the tiniest symptom of the disease in a single foot.
Living Clay, a brand new product to our GreenAcres arsenal, has just come into the Wichita store. Soon our customers in Kansas City and Jenks will be able to buy it as well. So just what is it, and can you actually drink it as the headline says?
Living Clay is a powerful detoxifying agent (negative ions) actually made from fallen volcanic ash rich in trace minerals and the source of natural Calcium Benonite. Yes, you can drink it.
There are some caveats: You need to go easy on de-toxing. The body has to adjust. Cindy recommends putting no more than two cups into your bath water and soaking for just 20 minutes. (This, Cindy says, is because the blood circulates every 10 minutes, and too much “pulling” would be—well, just too much.) The clay takes impurities from the body in a ratio of 30 to 1, so it behooves us to go slow and listen to our expert!
While our other two stores will have to wait until product comes in, we encourage our Wichita customers to visit with Cindy and find out all about Living Clay. It just sounds like a winner to us!
Vitamin D: So necessary for a healthy immune systemNovember 14, 2013
You might be surprised to learn that Vitamin D is not really a vitamin, but actually a hormone that affects nearly 3,000 of your 25,000 genes, making it a star player in your immune response.
People who suffer from cancer, depression, bone diseases and more can look to Vitamin D deficiency as a probable cause. Those of us who live in apartments, or who haven’t been uncovered in the sun for years, might want to have a health provider test for Vitamin D.
Several years ago, there was a big push from the medical community to test middle-aged women and women on Medicare for just such a deficiency. Almost everyone tested came back so low in this vital hormone that doctors were prescribing Vitamin D like crazy—a series of five tablets. Then, nothing. There was no follow up to determine if a supplement might be in order.
Dr. Ron Hunninghake, Chief Medical Officer of the Riordan Clinic in Wichita, and a frequent speaker at GreenAcres’ popular “Breakfast With” seminars, says that Vitamin D needs a chaser to get it where it does the most good in the system, namely K2. (But that’s a subject for a whole ‘nother blog. Today, we’re zeroing in on Vitamin D.)
Vitamin D is produced in the system as a pro-hormone in your skin after it is exposed to sunlight. Then, once absorbed, it is converted to the potent hormone acting as a nutrient to your bones and a miracle nutrient for your immune system.
We have several GreenAcres customers who swear by Vitamin D. They attest to its ability to keep them healthy in the midst of the cold and flu season. But the hormone does so much more. A recent study conducted at Oregon State University concluded: “…one key part of the immune system, the ability of vitamin D to regulate anti-bactericidal proteins, is so important that it has been conserved through almost 60 million years of evolution and is shared only by primates, including humans – but no other known animal species.”
Another study—this one from Japan—showed school children taking Vitamin D supplements were 58% less likely to catch influenza A. Dr. Joseph Mercola, whom we quote often in our blogs, says in one of his newsletters “that’s a higher effectiveness than any flu vaccine can claim, and doesn't come with a barrage of potentially devastating side effects! And there are numerous studies like these, showing the superior effectiveness of natural strategies like vitamin D in the prevention of disease.”
Exposure to the sun is our best source of Vitamin D, and this is where Dr. Mercola explains our “sunless situation” so well: “Unfortunately,” he says, “it's been suggested that only about 30 percent of Americans' circulating vitamin D is the product of sunlight exposure, which is an unfortunate byproduct of public health agencies' misguided advice to stay out of the sun to avoid cancer (when in fact vitamin D from sun exposure will prevent cancer). Another obvious reason is the majority of us work indoors, and when not working, do not spend enough time enjoying outdoor recreation.
Occasional sunlight exposure to your face and hands is insufficient for vitamin D nutrition for most people. To optimize your levels, you need to expose large portions of your skin to the sun, and you may need to do it for more than a few minutes. And, contrary to popular belief, the best time to be in the sun for vitamin D production is actually as near to solar noon as possible. Ultraviolet light from the sun comes in two main wavelengths -- UVA and UVB. It's important for you to understand the difference between them, and your risk factors from each.
First there is UVB, the healthy wavelengths that help your skin produce vitamin D. Then there is UVA, which is generally considered the unhealthy wavelengths because they penetrate your skin more deeply and cause more free radical damage. Not only that, but UVA rays are quite constant during ALL hours of daylight, throughout the entire year -- unlike UVB, which are low in morning and evening, and high at midday.
So to use the sun to maximize your vitamin D production and minimize your risk of skin damage, the middle of the day (roughly between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.) is the best and safest time. During this UVB-intense period you will need the shortest sun exposure time to produce the most vitamin D.
As far as the optimal length of exposure, you only need enough to have your skin turn the lightest shade of pink. This may only be a few minutes for those who have very pale skin.
Once you have reached this point your body will not make any additional vitamin D and any further exposure will only result in damage to your skin. Most people with fair skin will max out their vitamin D production in just 10-20 minutes, or, again, when their skin starts turning the lightest shade of pink. Some will need less, others more. The darker your skin, the longer exposure you will need to optimize your vitamin D production.
If sun exposure is not an option, a safe tanning bed (with electronic ballasts rather than magnetic ballasts, to avoid unnecessary exposure to EMF fields) can be used, or alternatively as a last resort, a vitamin D3 supplement can be taken orally.”
And this is where GreenAcres comes in. We have many Vitamin D3 options for those who have tested deficient or those who believe they are since they never take the sun. Come in and ask our supplement market team which Vitamin D in which price range and pill form might be best for you.
The scent of holiday goodness helps make a house a home!November 11, 2013
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 5:53 PM
Have you ever walked into a friend’s home and immediately wondered, “where does that lovely scent come from; and how does she achieve it?”
A GreenAcres customer who owns a flower shop answered that question this way: “She probably uses a combination of candles, room fresheners, aromatherapy sprays, even certain cut flowers to sweeten the environment.” It helps if the person doesn’t have a bunch of animals as well. Still, it takes a certain touch to layer those scents and keep them in harmony to spread “fresh” around the rooms.
GreenAcres carries a variety of all natural candles, sprays and laundry and kitchen cleaners that leave a lasting, spring-like odor throughout the house. During the holidays, there are giant rolled cinnamon sticks and scented pinecones to sprinkle about. Be careful, though, too much of a good thing in a small space can be overwhelming. And it’s never a good idea to use scented candles on a dining room table when you’re serving food. Remember half the taste is in the smell. Good, nutritious food does not need candle competition!
Our Health and Beauty Department team has some great suggestions for creating those special smells when you’re entertaining during the holidays.
· Buy small scented candles, put them glass jars and then place one in every room of the house—bathrooms, bedrooms, the foyer, parlor and family room. Make sure they are placed where tiny hands can’t reach them; and be sure to blow out the candles after guests leave and you’re off to bed.
· There are carpet deodorizers you can spray on your rugs, then vacuum up before guests arrive. But if you don’t want to do that, just sprinkle baking soda all over carpets and vacuum up. (We saw this on a room makeover on HGTV…and apparently, it really works!)
· Fresh flowers, even plants can brighten up the ambiance. Eucalyptus, freesia, pine bows come to mind. That same florist we consulted earlier once decorated her own Christmas tree with tiny white lights and cut gardenias. Her guests will never forget that wonderful, pungent scent that wafted throughout her living room.
· Have you tried “boiling” up a scent? Put cinnamon sticks, cloves, allspice, peppermint or vanilla in a pan of simmering water, then put on low to “season” the whole house. Just be watchful that it doesn’t boil away. Many a homeowner has learned that trick when he’s tried to sell his house.
· And last, sometimes all you have to do to air out the house is to open all doors and windows for 15 minutes and let the fresh air do its job.
Don’t forget, little windowsill herbs can add flavor to your kitchen, and you can’t go wrong if you bake a pumpkin or apple pie during the holidays. Your family will thank you!
Take a tour around the aisles of any one of our three GreenAcres Markets and see what captures your imagination. There’s a new Aura Cacia scent called Candy Cane that has peppermint and vanilla (at once invigorating and calming), and if you’re inclined to earthy scents, our HABA team suggests Heritage Store’s Aura Smudge, reminiscent of the Juniper Sage smoke the native Americans use to this day to purify an area of the home or field.
As always, let us help you with your choices. GreenAcres has lots of wonderful smelly things to choose from. We can turn an ordinary house into a holiday home in no time.
Acne: It’s tough to control, but with dedication, you can do it.November 07, 2013
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 3:37 PM
One of the most heartbreaking problems we hear customers lamenting about is acne. Either they are experiencing eruptions on their skin due to a life-long battle with the condition, or they are going through the change and hormones have played havoc with their pores, or their teenage children are beginning to show signs and they immediately fall into sympathy and begin to panic.
First, as the Hippocratic Oath reminds us, “Do No Harm.” Do not immediately run to a doctor who might prescribe antibiotics. They might not be necessary. Try the natural way first and see if you can get a handle on it.
GreenAcres has a customer who, with the first sign of a pimple, scheduled her 15-year-old son for a facial. The lad was none too happy about having to walk into a “ladies place,” but the mother insisted, and through regular facial cleansings, acne never developed and the boy, now a man, praises his mother’s wisdom.
At GreenAcres, customers have had great success with a line of skincare products developed by a woman by the name of Myra Michelle Eby, who started MyChelle Dermaceuticals 25 years ago. Myra, herself, had acne that has taunted her most of her life. She got into the skincare business to help herself, and as with many formula founders, she was able to keep the eruptions at bay.
Myra explains, “An acne lesion starts with increased oil production and a blockage in the hair follicles. The blockage is made up of sebum (an oil substance) and dead skin cells. The combination literally plugs pores and shows up on the skin as whiteheads or blackheads. Enter a bacteria that can then cause the infection or inflammation to manifest into blemishes the young call zits. And these eruptions are not confined to the face. They can crop up on the neck, cheek, back, shoulders and upper arms." Not a pretty sight.
There are five types of acne, the most severe of which are Nodule Acne and Cyst Acne. These two types can be extremely painful and leave unsightly scars forever. No one has ever discovered why some people get acne and others don’t. As with many diseases, family history and genetic makeup contribute, but at the end of the day, the cause rarely matters. It’s the cure that most of us are interested in, or at least the containment.
Good nutrition is the first line of defense, and we can help you with that at GreenAcres. Hydration is another thing to watch. Many lotions and cleansing agents leave the skin dehydrated, a big contributor to acne. A clear skin routine is a must and should be followed religiously, with a couple of “dos and don’ts:”
-Do clean your face twice a day.
-Do protect your skin from harsh environmental factos (sun and wind.)
-Do shampoo your hair daily.
-Do keep your hair off your face.
-Do change your sheets often.
-Don’t use rough washcloths or loofahs where acne is present.
-Don’t scrub your face vigorously.
-Don’t go to bed without washing away first, oil and makeup.
-Don’t hold your cell phone against your face.
-Don’t squeeze or pop blemishes.
MyChelle products are formulated for those suffering from acne. Ask our Health and Beauty market team members to walk you through the line of products you’re looking for. There’s Clear Skin Cleanser, Skin Clarifying Pads, Clear Skin Spot Treatment, Clear Skin Balancing Moisturizer.
If you religiously follow the MyChelle’s cleanse routine, we can promise you results. For some, the scarring will always be there, but the outbreaks will be less and less, until one day, you’ll realize something wonderful has happened. Give natural a chance and check out MyChelle Dermaceuticals, found in all three of our GreenAcres Markets.
BULK up. Save the planet!October 28, 2013
GreenAcres shoppers have been helping themselves to our bulk department for years; but newbies may not even know a bulk section exists in any of our three markets.
Take a stroll along the back wall and you’ll find plexiglass bins containing all manner of bulk items from rice and quinoa to beans and nuts. There are candies and snack items, dried fruits and gourmet salts. It’s a whole new world of yummy things you can purchase by the ounce or by the box! What’s your pleasure?!
Customers might not be aware there is a whole science behind buying in bulk. The first is environmental; the second is economic. For example, did you know natural and organic foods from the bulk bins costs an average of 89% less than packaged goods? Those fancy foods that attract from a plethora of colorful boxes and logos don’t come cheap. Also, if you buy in bulk, you don’t contribute to the environmental mess that eventually finds all those pretty cartons and packages in landfills all over the United States (biodegradable over time or not).
There’s an efficiency in buying in bulk. You can buy exactly what you want and need; nothing goes to waste or gets dated. Also, little baggies of bulk items fit easily into any size pantry (think an ounce of Himalayan pink salt instead of a whole carton.) Buying just ounces of certain items lets you try more things for less money which is a huge savings, especially for those samplers of life that prefer to “try” a new product before committing to it.
Key organic bulk categories that one can expect significant savings are:
· Coffee and tea
· Grains and flour
· Dried fruit
Also, customers might not know there exists a Bulk Is Green (BIG) Council that is a non-profit organization that encourages consumers to cut down on food waste, and grocers to provide bulk bins and buying sources for their customers. Just two weeks ago, BIG celebrated its annual national bulk food week, now in its third year.
From a recent BIG’s newsletter we learn that “up to 40% of the food supply in the US goes to waste (that’s shameful!), translating to 34 million tons of food waste a year.
We in the business of natural living want to leave our environment cleaner than we have enjoyed it so that the next generations will hopefully follow in our footprints and leave the planet in even better condition.
GreenAcres offers a wide variety of bulk foods. We invite you to peruse our aisles and take advantage of the savings. Everything is fresh and kept fresh. And, as always, let us know how you like!
Ditch the cola and up the sun if you want to prevent breast cancer!October 21, 2013
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 12:53 PM
Dr. Joseph Mercola spells it out pretty well today in his daily column: If you want to give yourself the best odds to escape breast cancer follow his simple lifestyle changes for maximum protection.
When you look at his suggestions, they are really fairly easy. The more we get used to eating to live instead of living to eat, the easier these suggestions become.
For many of us, the hardest thing to do is getting rid of sugar in the diet. The next: reaching one’s ideal body weight. Even with exercise, that’s a toughie. However, Dr. Mercola has a youtube demonstration of his Peak Fitness Program online. Check it out. (Looks exhausting, but he says it works well for him.)
Advance in baby steps—that usually works well for most people. Eliminate the 7 a.m. frappuccino and the 3 p.m. chocolate chip cookie. It may sound drastic, but it’s at least a first step. Then add Vitamin D 3, K2 (or lots of safe tanning) to your regimen, and sleep. Don’t ignore the shuteye. Try these and when they feel comfortable, try a few more .
Our health, mental, spiritual and physical, is really the one big thing we’ve got going for us. Let’s vow marching into the holidays to try a least one of Dr. Mercola’s suggestions, and then try one more!
10 Simple Lifestyle Strategies to Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer
· Radically reduce your intake of sugar/fructose and processed foods. Normalizing your insulin and leptin levels by avoiding sugar and fructose is one of the most powerful physical actions you can take to lower your risk of cancer. Unfortunately, very few oncologists appreciate or apply this knowledge today. Refined fructose is especially dangerous, as research shows it actually speeds up cancer growth.
· Optimize your vitamin D level. Ideally it should be over 50 ng/ml, but levels from 70-100 ng/ml will radically reduce your cancer risk. Safe sun exposure is the most effective way to increase your vitamin D levels, followed by using a tanning bed that has an electronic ballast instead of a magnetic one. Either of these methods is far better than taking a high-dose supplement, which would necessitate increasing your intake of vitamin K2 as well, either from food or a supplement.
· Make intermittent fasting part of your lifestyle. Intermittent fasting will help your body shift to burning fat instead of sugar as its primary fuel. There are only two types of fuel; your body can burn carbs/sugar or fat. Nearly everyone who has cancer is burning carbs as their primary fuel. Since cancer cells thrive on sugar this is something you want to avoid.
Intermittent fasting involves timing your meals to allow for regular periods of fasting. To be effective, the length of your fast must be at least 16 hours. This means eating only between the hours of 11am until 7pm, as an example. Essentially, this equates to simply skipping breakfast, and making lunch your first meal of the day instead.
· Maintain a healthy body weight. It's important to lose excess weight because estrogen is produced in fat tissue. Fortunately, this will come naturally when you begin eating right and exercising. Intermittent fasting is also extremely effective for weight loss and weight management. As for exercise, I strongly recommend incorporating high-intensity burst-type activities, which are part of my Peak Fitness program.
· Get plenty of high-quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as those from krill oil. Omega-3 deficiency is a common underlying factor for cancer.
· Drink a pint to a quart of organic green vegetable juice daily. Please review my juicing instructions for more detailed information.
· Avoid drinking alcohol, or limit your drinks to one a day for women.
· Watch out for excessive iron levels. This is actually very common once women stop menstruating. The extra iron actually works as a powerful oxidant, increasing free radicals and raising your risk of cancer. So if you are a post-menopausal woman or have breast cancer you will certainly want to have your Ferritin level drawn. Ferritin is the iron transport protein and should not be above 80. If it is elevated you can simply donate your blood to reduce it.
· Get proper sleep, both in terms of enough sleep, and sleeping between certain hours. According to Ayurvedic medicine, the ideal hours for sleep are between 10 pm and 6 am. Modern research has confirmed the value of this recommendation as certain hormonal fluctuations occur throughout the day and night, and if you engage in the appropriate activities during those times, you're 'riding the wave' so to speak, and are able to get the optimal levels. Working against your biology by staying awake when you should ideally be sleeping or vice versa, interferes with these hormonal fluctuations.
· If you have children breastfeed exclusively for up to six months. Research shows this will reduce your breast cancer risk.
When Dr. Oz talks, the whole world must listen!October 17, 2013
At least our customers do. As soon as he mentions a supplement, nutrient, weight loss gimmick, fad food—well, just anything—and people come streaming in the door of GreenAcres Market ready to buy, if we have it.
His biggie this week has been the dried mulberry. And wouldn’t you know, our Bulk and Florist team member, Danna, would place a bulk order for mulberries. Can’t keep the customers waiting, you know!
Not knowing anything about the mighty mulberry, we’ve gone to our friend Google to find the facts.
From Nutrition and You.com: We present the health benefits of mulberries
· Delicious, fleshy, succulent mulberries are low in calories (just 43 calories per 100 g). They contain health promoting phyto-nutrient compounds like polyphenol pigment antioxidants, minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
· Mulberries have significantly high amounts of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals called anthocyanins. Scientific studies have shown that consumption of berries have potential health effects against cancer, aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes, and bacterial infections.
· The berries contain resveratrol, another polyphenol flavonoid antioxidant. Resveratrol protects against stroke risk by altering molecular mechanisms in the blood vessels; reducing their susceptibility to damage through decreased activity of angiotensin (a systemic hormone causing blood vessel constriction that would elevate blood pressure) and increased production of the vasodilator hormone, nitric oxide.
· In addition, these berries are an excellent source of vitamin-C (36.4 mg per 100, about 61% of RDI), which is also a powerful natural antioxidant. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin-C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents, counter inflammation and scavenge harmful free radicals.
· Further, the berries also contain small amounts of vitamin A, vitamin E and in addition to the above-mentioned antioxidants. Consumption of mulberry provides another group of health promoting flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin, ß-carotene and α-carotene in small but notably significant amounts. Altogether, these compounds help act as protect from harmful effects of oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various disease processes.
· Zea-xanthin, an important dietary carotenoid selectively concentrates into the retinal macula lutea, where it thought to provide antioxidant functions and protects the retina from the harmful ultraviolet rays through light-filtering actions.
· Mulberries are an excellent source of iron, which is a rare feature among berries, contain 1.85 mg/100 g of fruits (about 23% of RDI). Iron, being a component of hemoglobin inside the red blood cells, determines the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
· They also good source of minerals like potassium, manganese, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
· They are rich in B-complex group of vitamins and vitamin K. Contain very good amounts of vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin and folic acid. These vitamins are function as co-factors and help body in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
That should give you a little food for thought. The next time you’re in the bulk section of any one of our three GreenAcres Markets, check out a pint of dried mulberries. You can put them in smoothies; crush and toss them on a salad; sprinkle them on yogurt; mix them into muffin batter. You most likely can come up with more ideas for recipes.
And as always, if you try them, let us know how you like and give us your suggestions for using mulberry nutrition in unique and creative ways!
Noosa: Yoghurt with its inspiration from the Land Down Under.October 14, 2013
If you’ve ever visited Noosa, a resort coastal town in Australia, you’ll know immediately why the Aussie founders of Noosa Yoghurt sought to name their inspiration after the creamy sands which stretch along Queenland’s Sunshine Coast.
Imagine precious koala bears lounging in the gum trees; undulating rivers and lush rainforests and then transfer those thoughts to luscious, all natural Noosa yoghurt so thick you can plunge a spoon into it and it will stand upright…get the picture? It’s one of beauty, goodness and rich, velvety taste.
Although Noosa Yoghurt is made in Denver from the milk of 600 happy cows, the Australian coastline is never far away. It’s definitely yoghurt you remember. Both tangy and sweet, Noosa is only three years old and has already grown its business from 200 retailers to 5,000, yet it hasn’t even begun to touch its market share.
GreenAcres is pleased to carry the product in all three of its markets, and invites you to try the product that is blended in small batches at its Morning Fresh Dairy (a family owned and operated dairy farm) and infused with Colorado clover alfalfa honey and all natural fruit purees.
Our customers are partial to both the honey and peach flavored Noosa, but any of the fruit blends are outstanding.
Co-founder Koel Thomae first tasted what would soon become Noosa when on holiday in her native Australia. In her country it’s called Queensland Yoghurt. One bite and she was smitten. The Noosa website says: “She immediately sought out the owners of Queensland Yoghurt and proceeded to bring their family recipe to the U.S. to be manufactured and sold under the name Noosa Yoghurt. Today, Noosa is available in Honey, Blueberry, Mango and Raspberry flavors, as well as the award-winning Strawberry Rhubarb and Peach.”
Today, in all three GreenAcres Markets we’re offering a free Noosa Yoghurt with every purchase of Milk & Honey Granola. Ask a market team member to share what he knows about both products. We think you’ll be hooked as we. If granola is not your thing, we encourage you to pick up a tub of Noosa, priced at $2.39 each and let us know how you like it.
Sit back in your favorite chair, grab a spoon and imagine yourself on the white beaches of Noosa. There’s nothing more delicious!
Argan Oil: It’s the hottest thing in cosmetics!October 10, 2013
Derived from a tree nut grown from an endangered tree, under the protection of UNESCO, that grows wild in Morocco, argan oil is probably the most sought after nutrient by cosmetic companies in this decade, and still may be processed the ancient way by grinding and cold pressing to leech every ounce of the precious oil.
Wiki tells us that before modern day, the Berbers of Morocco collected undigested argan pits from the waste of goats which actually climbed the trees to eat their savored fruit. But not to worry, modern times have made harvesting directly from the tree a much more palatable venture. Machines do most of the breaking down of nuts, not the goats.
The unroasted oil (roasting makes the oil smell too nutty for modern noses) is used in both culinary and cosmetic products; but for those who want silky, clear skin and shiny hair, almost any product with argon oil on the label is a sure seller. The companies using the coveted oil in their cosmetic blends grew from just two in 2007 to 100 four years later. Today the Moroccan government knows it has a winner and is planning to increase production for export 1000 fold.
Argan oil is sometimes mixed with pomegranate seed oil just to kick up the antioxidant contents. The oil also contains saponins which naturally control the growth of bacteria. In Morocco, it’s still considered a great deterrent to teenage acne, and for wrinkled, dry skin, it’s “the bomb,” to use American slang.
At GreenAcres, we’re featuring a new product called “Everyone Face for Everyday.” There’s a cleanser, moisturizer, exfoliate and toner in the line, and it’s just been put out on the shelves. Besides argan oil, the product containes hyaluronic acid which goes to the cell level to retain moisture; also, kombucha, an active version of fermented black tea which produces a lipofilling effect that actually smoothes lines.
But, as always, you be the judge. Our Health and Beauty Department in all three GreenAcres Markets have testers you can apply to your skin to see if it suits you. Be sure to ask our HABA market team for help when you’re in any of our stores. The organic cosmetic industry has always been cutting edge when it comes to beautiful skin and hair. It has science and actual nutrition behind it—not just chemicals and scent. We’re in the business of healthy beauty. Let us know if you try any of the new FACE products.
Grab your whisk. It’s cider time!October 03, 2013
One of the great things about Fall, besides a visit from the Great Pumpkin, is the smell of apple cider wafting through the house on a cool October day. In fact, several of our Real Estate customers will fill a pan with one of our Fall staples—Knudsen’s Cider & Spice—and put it on the stove to welcome visitors to an open house. There’s nothing like the aroma of a hot apple pie or simmering cider to say “WELCOME HOME.”
But cider isn’t just for drinking anymore. There are lots of things you can do to recipes with the addition of apple cider. There’s a webpage on the Internet where people write in telling what they do to enhance the Fall experience with cider. Here’s what a few home cooks have to offer:
· Replace chicken stock with cider (Mango Peach, maybe) when making chicken recipes. Cinnamon-flavored Cider & Spice goes great with Mediterranean dishes of chicken and lamb. Add a hearty, hot quinoa salad or couscous or Jasmine rice, and you’ve got yourself a company dish the whole family will enjoy.
· Have you ever thought of making cider syrup? Just boil any of the Knudsen ciders to a reduced syrup and pour over waffles or pancakes. Yum!
· How about brewing a “tea” made of cider syrup and a brewed tea of your choice, letting it cool, adding ice and chilled soda or sparkling water for a refreshing drink?!
· A pork chop is so much more than a pork chop when you bake it in Cherry Cider, and then top it off with cherry preserves mixed into sour cream or yogurt.
· Apple cider chicken is a great family dish. Brown chicken breasts and thighs; deglaze the pan with Mango Peach Cider. Serve with a salsa of mango, garlic, chopped red onion and cilantro.
· Pour warmed Apple Cider over hot-out-of-the-oven pound cake; let it cool; slice and serve with a side of stewed apples.
Just to show how excited we at GreenAcres get when Apple Cider time rolls around, we asked Donna, one of our extraordinary Wichita deli cooks to come up with an original salad dressing using Cider & Spice apple cider.
Donna’s recipe was a winner! It’s an aromatic concoction of Cider & Spice, Apple Cider Vinegar, Blue Agave, Garlic, Oil and Salt and Pepper. Tencia, our head cook, is going to put together a green combo of kale, sliced apples and other veggies and we’re going to try it out on our customers.
But you don’t need to wait till you come to GreenAcres to try our super duper Fall dressing. Just pick up a couple of bottles of your favorite Knudsen ciders and experiment along with us. Besides, Cider & Spice is on sale this week for $2.99 a bottle. It’s the season after all, and the great aroma of cider is in the air!
The Great Pumpkin has arrived!September 25, 2013
There’s just something so enticing about pumpkins. They’re versatile. You can eat their flesh as soup or pie or as a veggie baked with maple syrup. They’re fun. You can carve them into practically anything. They’re sustainable and they grow prolifically in almost any soil, with their trailing vines flowering into more pumpkins than the average home-planter wants or needs!
After the Fall season has come and gone, pumpkins leave their seeds to be planted anew or toasted lightly in the oven with a drizzle of oil and spices, then dried on the countertop for munching well into the holidays. Pumpkins, in a word, are just plain “cool.”
The early settlers are said to have embraced them with gusto. In their travels throughout the new land, if it weren’t for squash, beans and pumpkins, many would have starved. There is a poem on the Internet that is testament to the Pilgrims’ plight:
For pottage and puddings and custards and pies
Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies,
We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon,
If it were not for pumpkins we should be undoon."
Pilgrim verse, circa 1633
The Pilgrims were innovative if anything. They found with the addition of persimmons, hops and maple sugar, they could make a tasty if not dizzying pumpkin beer. And some Pilgrim wives and mothers used the dried out pumpkin shells as templates for perfectly round haircuts. Not a pretty picture; but pumpkins served the purpose of the day. You recognize the name “pumpkinhead?” Well, now you know where it came from.
If you google “pumpkin history” you’ll learn this: “References to pumpkins date back many centuries. The name pumpkin originated from the Greek word for ‘large melon’ which is ‘pepon.’ ‘Pepon’ was nasalized by the French into ‘pompon.’ The English changed ‘pompon’ to ‘Pumpion.’ Shakespeare referred to the ‘pumpion’ in his Merry Wives of Windsor. American colonists changed ‘pumpion’ into ‘pumpkin.’ The ‘pumpkin’ is referred to in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater and Cinderella…”
We, in America, love our pumpkins carved into Jack-o-lanterns. With the aid of carving instructions, turning Pumpkinhead into “Jack” is a lot easier than it used to be. Memories of the slippery pumpkin flying off the carving board and splattering onto Mom’s newly-washed floor comes to mind. Now, carving pumpkins comes with templates and drills and all manner of tools that even kids can get into the act without fearing the loss of tiny fingers.
We don’t know for certain how “Jack” got his start in folklore, but some say it had to do with the Irish who used their religious superstitions to call out the devil and trick him over a pint of gruel. Early European settlers carved out “Jack” and lit him up with hot, glowing coals. Today, we use lighted candles or fake, battery-driven candles, or tiny led lights. And our carving endeavors can be quite artistic. Halloween would be so much less without the presence of “Jack.”
At GreenAcres, we celebrate the season by bringing in carving pumpkins, pie pumpkins and baby decorative pumpkins and gourds that march up and down our dining tables and make us thankful the hot, hot summer is finally behind us.
Our cooks also do the pumpkin justice by making pumpkin soup (so sweet, one could eat it for dessert), pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie and pumpkin cookies (both regular and gluten free.) Our customers love pumpkin. Ever notice, we sell our famous pumpkin and chocolate chip muffins year ‘round?
GreenAcres Market, in all three cities, will be having its traditional Trick or Treat for Kids celebration when the staff hands out healthful goodies for all the little shoppers dressed in costume and who spend some time with the Great Pumpkin working on their own, special arts and crafts project.
Watch Facebook for time and day:
Wichita – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 26
K.C. – 4-6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 31
Jenks – 4-6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 31
Until then, we invite all our customers to dine with us on pumpkin goodies we’ll have through the holidays. The Great Pumpkin is here and we want to share him with YOU!
Who needs a probiotic?September 19, 2013
There’s a section in the book, Boost Your Health with Bacteria, by Dr. Fred Pescatore, that has the reader answer certain questions that pertain to his health.
· Have you been on an antibiotic within the past year?
· Have you been diagnosed with a serious illness in the last 12 months?
· Have you had a urinary tract infection within the past three months?
· Do you ever experience heartburn, gas or bloating after eating?
· Do you have a family history of heart disease, diabetes or cancer?
You get the picture. If you answer YES to at least 7 of the 15 questions in the book, you need a probiotic.
This weekend, Suzy Cohen, affectionately known as America’s Pharmacist, and a stalwart on TV talk shows, has written a book called Drug Muggers where she carefully dissects what certain prescribed medicines do to the body and the enzymes and nutrients that might be impacted by these meds.
Suzy is 100% for taking a probiotic daily and cautions all to not go on the cheap when finding a good one. It’s the microbes that do the job in regulating the gut. Just as anything else, bad microbes in, bad results out and vice versa. So choose wisely when buying a probiotic.
In Boost Your Health with Bacteria, Dr. Pescatore (whom we’ve had on our radio show as well) cautions against “flooding the system with flora.” Too much flora can overwhelm the immune system setting up a whole host of problems that can lead to autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or multiple sclerosis. So mind your flora and your choice of probiotics.
Barb Hoffmann, founder and CEO of GreenAcres Market, has said many times: “Sickness starts in the gut.” Dr. Pescatore reiterates: “A properly functioning digestive system plays a critical role in our overall health and the prevention of serious illness. All of the nutrients needed to sustain life are absorbed through our gastrointestinal tract. If there are problems anywhere along the route, we are not getting the nourishment we need to be healthy.”
Of course it’s not enough to just take a probiotic and think everything is hunky dory. Dr. Pescatore points out the obvious, but it’s always worth repeating:
· Eat more fruits and vegetables.
· Avoid processed and preserved food.
· Eat probiotic foods – including yogurt (without sugar), kefir, miso and tempeh.
· Eat enough fiber – between 25-30 grams daily.
· Rotate your diet based on the change of seasons.
· Eat more cold-water fish to boost your Omega 3s.
· Drink plenty of pure water.
There’s lots more in this book; we’ve only scratched the surface, but if you listen to the GreenAcres Health Talk this weekend, you’ll hear what Suzy Cohen has to say. And, you’ll also hear a promotion from Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics that may interest you.
To learn more, “like” us on the GreenAcres Health Talk Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/GreenAcres-HealthTalk/519643431394374?ref=hl and check out what Suzy has to say, and learn what the Dr. Ohhira’s promotion is all about.
SOLD OUT!September 09, 2013
Customers have been asking what were the big sellers during our Tasting Fair last Saturday. This was our Wichita store’s 20th Tasting Fair and about the 200th tasting in-store experience in as many years. Our other stores in Kansas City and Jenks will be having their own tasting celebrations this coming weekend which they are calling their Fall Festivals.
It’s the GreenAcres Market way of letting you taste our organic, all natural products before you commit to buying. Takes the guess work out of a buying experience and it saves you money. It also tells us what YOU like; and when we go to market, we can stock up on your favorite things.
There’s always lots going on during these “tasting parties” and the GreenAcres Markets get so crowded people can hardly navigate the aisles. Our biggest tasting fair comes in two months when we have our Thanksgiving celebration and the cooks pull out all the stops to offer house-made turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie and more.
People line up at the crack of 11 a.m. that day, and the food is served until 3 p.m. No one goes away hungry! This gets everyone in the holiday mood, but mostly it shows what we can do to offer our customers an easy, delicious way to serve the Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. Let GreenAcres do it for you! After all, we’re here every day until 9 p.m. anyway. We can cook an entire meal for you, your family and your guests, or cook just some of it—say the turkey, or the pumpkin or apple pies. Whether you’re a family of one, or a corporate crowd, we’re here to serve!
But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s talk about last Saturday. Hundreds of people came through the flagship store. We started off the morning at 9 a.m. with a Breakfast with Matt free meal (spinach and egg frittata, fresh fruit, yogurt and coffee cake), followed by a live taping of the GreenAcres Health Talk radio show. You’ll be able to hear the show the weekend of Sept. 14-15 in three Midwestern markets, and later we’ll post a youtube presentation for those who couldn’t be here.
Dr. Ron Hunninghake, Chief Medical Officer of Wichita’s Riordan Clinic, was our guest expert and he held court for 20 minutes talking about the new science and research discoveries behind Vitamin D 3 and K 2. (In a nutshell, we need both; and K 2 supplies the circuitry for D 3 to get through the system in the right way.)
Beginning at 11 a.m., customers came streaming into the store. Most popular sampling stations:
· Tony Duran’s Joly Jalapa! spicy bottled hamburger mix that he and his girlfriend, Kathryn, mixed into a huge roaster full of grass fed burger meat to make one heck of a “Holy Sloppy Joe.” It was dished out on organic corn chips to rave reviews. At the stroke of 3 p.m., the roaster was bare, and Tony had sold 28 bottles of his prized, original recipe.
· Verda, our Barlean’s Greens demo go-to gal, mixed Barlean’s Coconut Oil into the yummiest frosting you’ve ever tasted and spread it on brownies for everyone to sample. We might be prejudiced, but spreading anything on a brownie works for us!
· John’s Pita Bread—a huge seller at just $2.99. Ten whole pitas in a bag—can’t beat that with a stick. At the end of the day, our 20 bags of pitas were all gone.
· Garden of Life—had a novel way of showing what fun flax seeds can be. The demo gal, Deb, mixed the flax seed powder with bananas and some other stuff and folks lined up 10 deep it tasted so good! A great way to get fiber into your diet, like it, and not even know it!
· Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil—poured over freshly popped corn and wow (!) one tasty way to get your Omega 3s.
So there you have the rundown. We’ll have to wait till after this coming weekend to hear what the big sellers were at our K.C. and Jenks stores. One thing for sure: if you’ve never been to a Tasting Fair, you’ve missed out…but not to worry, another one is just around the corner!
Labor Day—a universal day of leisure!August 26, 2013
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!
ADHD: Is it a real condition, and how can we treat it?August 22, 2013
Doctors and educators have vacillated on both the cause and the cure of a child’s series of symptoms that looks to the outside world as if he or she is just an undisciplined, ornery kid.
In fact, whether ADHD is actually a bonafide condition or not is still up in the air in some circles. But just ask a parent of a child that’s “out of control,” and you can’t help but know something has got to be wrong.
Dr. Andrew Weil, a Harvard-educated, world-renowned educator and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, says this about ADHD:
“Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the diagnostic term for a group of related conditions that affect a person's ability to sit still, focus, pay attention, finish a task and control impulses. It is considered a disorder of the brain that is present at birth or develops shortly afterwards. ADHD used to be called attention deficit disorder or ADD, but the name was changed in 1994 to better reflect the physical manifestation of frequent, intense, unproductive movement that often characterizes the condition.
“Although there is considerable and ongoing controversy, ADHD is estimated to affect between three and 12 percent of school-aged children and appears to be about 10 times more commonly diagnosed in boys than in girls. It is also increasingly diagnosed in adults.”
A blog on the Internet has this to say about ADHD: “It is a real disorder. It isn't caused by bad parenting or bad teachers, or anything a child has done. The exact origin of ADHD is unknown, but researchers think the disorder may be caused by one or more of the following factors:
· Brain chemistry--ADHD is thought to be caused by an imbalance of two chemical messengers, or neurotransmitters, in the brain. Researchers think that these chemicals might play an important role in ADHD.
· Genetics--Research suggests that ADHD tends to run in families. However, this does not mean that all children in a family will have the disorder.
· Environment--Certain external factors, such as smoking during pregnancy or complications during pregnancy, delivery, or infancy, may contribute to ADHD.
Studies show that 25 percent of close relatives of children with ADHD also have the condition. Some researchers have also linked ADHD to environmental toxins and smoking during pregnancy, but more studies are needed to confirm such causal links.
How is the condition diagnosed? Again, Dr. Weil has this to say: “Physicians initially rely on detailed questionnaires that have been filled out by parents and teachers, and then personally observe the child's behavior. ADHD is usually diagnosed after a parent or teacher notices its symptoms and refers the child to a doctor. Although these behaviors are more frequent and severe in ADHD, most children without ADHD also exhibit these behaviors at some time, and your child's physician should first rule out normal development, behaviors consistent with a bored or gifted child, as well as conditions that can cause or mimic ADHD-like symptoms, including seizures, middle ear infections, anxiety, depression, major life changes or stress, and learning disabilities.
ADHD is best diagnosed by a specialist, such as a child psychiatrist or psychologist, developmental/behavioral pediatrician, or behavioral neurologist, who will create a behavior profile of the child based on his or her symptoms. For a formal diagnosis, the behaviors must have lasted at least 6 months and affect at least two areas of a child's life, such as school, friends, and family. In adults, the symptoms must have started in childhood and been persistent and ongoing.”
So, once diagnosed, now what? Dr. Michael T. Murray, an educator, lecturer and researcher, who has studied natural and interactive medicine for years and who is a close friend of Barb and John Hoffmann, founders of GreenAcres Market, is a big believer in EPA + DHA supplementation. He explains his findings below:
“Numerous studies have now shown that children with ADHD have lower tissue levels of the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) when compared with kids without ADHD. Omega-3 (EPA+DHA) supplementation in ADHD has now been studied extensively and is considered a sensible intervention even by many mainstream physicians. Of particular importance is the recognition that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation improves many symptoms of ADHD including impulsive-oppositional behavior, a symptom not typically helped by the pharmaceutical treatment of ADHD.
“To determine the effects of fish oils on literacy and behavior in children with ADHD, 90 children ages 7 to 12 years old were given for four months either four 500-mg capsules per day containing an EPA-rich fish oil providing EPA 1,109 mg and DHA 108 mg, a DHA-rich fish oil providing EPA 264 mg and DHA 1,032 mg, or a safflower oil providing linoleic acid 1,467 mg/d.
“The major finding was an increased red blood cell level of DHA was associated with improved reading and lower parent ratings of oppositional behavior. Furthermore, when they examined a subgroup of 17 children with learning difficulties: an increased red blood cell level of DHA was associated with improved word reading, improved spelling, an improved ability to divide attention, and lower parent ratings of oppositional behavior, hyperactivity, restlessness, and overall ADHD symptoms.
“This study indicated that raising DHA levels was the key factor. However, it may not be necessary to focus on a high DHA to EPA product. A fish oil providing a more balanced level, e.g., 2:1 EPA to DHA ratio may have shown similar results to the high DHA oil. A dosage of 3,000 mg of such a ratio would provide the same dosage of DHA used in the study.”
And again, Dr. Weil suggests the following when treating this sometimes difficult-to-get-a handle-on condition:
“First, make certain that the underlying cause of your child's disruptive behavior really is ADHD, and that he or she isn't acting out difficulties at home or expressing frustration with a learning disability. Be sure to rule out hearing or vision problems, allergies, depression, learning disabilities, or even boredom in a gifted child. In addition, try these measures:
- Take a supplement that contains omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fats are critical for normal, healthy brain development and evidence suggests they may be present in lower levels in people with ADHD.
- Consider food sensitivities. While there's no evidence that a dietary approach helps in all cases, a 1993 Cornell University study found that eliminating dairy products, wheat, corn, yeast, soy, citrus, eggs, chocolate, peanuts, artificial colors and preservatives seemed to decrease ADHD symptoms. An even earlier study showed that a low-allergen diet supplemented with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamins produced favorable results.
- Make sure that basic nutrition is sound. Starting the day with high-sugar or highly processed foods can lead to hypoglycemia in mid-morning and ADHD type behavior.
- Check the levels of ferritin (iron), zinc, and magnesium. Deficiencies of all of these have been shown in some studies to worsen ADHD symptoms.
- Explore Neurofeedback.. This technique helps people learn to control their own brain waves and can teach people with ADHD how to improve their brain wave patterns.
- Exercise: Working out on a regular basis has a natural calming effect; it also raises levels of norepinephrine and dopamine, which facilitates the ability to focus attention. Martial arts including tai chi and karate can improve self-discipline, boost concentration and slow the restless cascade of intrusive thoughts.
- Meditation: Mindfulness meditation refers to the various forms of practice that involve focusing on body sensations, especially breathing. A preliminary study at UCLA trained participants in meditation, and required them to conduct mindful sitting and walking sessions over eight weeks. Result; cognitive tests revealed participants had increased ability to focus even when other stimuli were competing for their attention.
- Make sure your child is getting the appropriate accommodations at school. Sometimes relatively simple school interventions can make a big difference.
- Employ consistent and positive behavior management at home. Children with ADHD are often subject to almost constant ongoing criticism. Focus on what they do well, not just the areas of difficulty.
- For a comprehensive guide, see ADHD Without Drugs by integrative pediatrician Sanford Newmark, M.D. Dr. Weil strongly recommends the book to all parents, relatives, and friends of children with ADHD.
This weekend on the GreenAcres Health Talk radio show (broadcast weekly in three Midwest markets), Dr. Michael Murray addresses the importance of brain health supplementation as kids go back to school. We invite you to listen in on any of these three stations:
Wichita: 9-10a.m. Saturday 99.7 Lite FM
KC: 1-2 p.m. Sunday on KMBZ
Tulsa: Noon-1p Sunday KRMG
And ask our knowledgeable market team members about Nordic Naturals children’s vitamins with DHA+EPA, and don’t forget baby with Baby’s DHA formula—you can’t help those young brains too early on a path to great health!
Organic Chakra Aromatherapy—energy you just roll on!August 19, 2013
Aura Cacia, one of our respected aromatherapy companies that has quite a following at all three of our GreenAcres Markets, has come out with a set of chakra roll-ons that makes trying out these lovely essences simple and easy.
First off, the mystical beauty behind healing chakras and energy flow, is about as foreign to me as feng shui--that allusive amalgam of science and folklore thousands of years old that has everything to do with balance of energy, compass points and uncluttered existence.
That’s about the best I can glean from everything I’ve read about home decorating with feng shui in mind. I’m not sure where I stand on the colliding of energy fields, I do believe, if I just rearranged my bed to face the north, I might sleep more soundly. But then, I’d have to give up a window near my bed…oh well, as Charlotte said, “Tomorrow is another day…”
That said, I’m kind of excited about trying these new chakra roll-ons. For one thing, I don’t have to guess at the myriad aromatherapy oils we offer at GreenAcres. We invited a charming young woman who really knows a lot about the business of healing oils to be on our radio station a couple of months ago. Charlynn Avery, an Aura Cacia educator, has worked with these lovely-smelling oils for years—even before she went into the business. Charlynn just knows aromatherapy, the combinations for healing oils, what they do for the body and the senses and the amount to use on a daily basis. I was in awe of her knowledge. But looking at those tiny bottles of oil all perfectly aligned on our aromatherapy shelf, my head starts to spin…where does one begin?!
I’ve decided to roll with the chakra roll-ons. They’re easy; I can buy one at a time; don’t have to think about mixing oils to get the right scent or feel. So what exactly are the chakras? A blog on the Internet explains: “Chakras are our energy centers. These openings allow our life energy to flow into and out of aura. The seven major chakras are associated with physical, mental and emotional interactions. The first chakra (root) actually hangs outside of your body. It is located between your thighs, about hallway between your knees and your physical body.
“The seventh chakra (crown) is located on the top of your head. The remaining chakras (sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat and third eye) are aligned in sequence along your spine, neck and skull. Chakras are invisible to the human eye, but they can be seen intuitively by trained energy workers.”
Hmmmm. That’s asking a lot of a skeptic, still I’m game to try Aura Cacia’s Organic Chakra Balancing Aromatherapy Roll-ons. I know from our time spent visiting with Charlynn Avery, Aura Cacia buys its produce and pure organic ingredients only from reputable farmers and communities. In fact, Aura Cacia gives back 1% of sales to the very farms it buys from. I like that. I like fair trade. I like knowing the suppliers that fuel the industry. So, I’m going for the chakra that “opens the heart.” I think everyone can use a little more heart, so that’s my start.
If you care to join me, don’t be shy, let us know how you like your own adventure into the mysterious oils of emotional and spiritual energy!
RAW—It’s the thing to keep you pumped!August 15, 2013
More and more customers are looking to GreenAcres for RAW packaged foods, RAW snack foods, RAW house-made deli items, just anything RAW that’s tasty and appealing.
We’ve accommodated the discerning customer in GA-Wichita by hiring April, our RAW food cook, who makes the yummiest “zucchini and red pepper pasta with a cashew cream, fresh basil, crushed walnut and lemon pesto sauce.” We don’t like to brag, but it’s delicious.
Then, all three of our stores have stocked up on RAW packaged snacks that meet the needs of the “into yoga and spurt exercise generation.” Those fit customers grab bags of dried fruit and veggie snacks and a fairly new product from Navitas Naturals which features a whole line of organic, freeze-dried and low temperature processed superfoods that boost energy and increase health.
The taste of these products is, like beauty, in the palate of the beholder. But kids, yuppies and even some game seniors love these products which are not loaded with fat and totally non-GMO.
Going to the website, we see that Navitas is Latin for energy. Makes perfect sense. The product was developed at the beginning of the 21st century when superfood snacks were just debuting in America and bringing a whole new vibe to the way North Americans snacked.
“Superfoods,” says the website, “come from ancient cultures around the world where they are traditionally used for both nutritional and medicinal purposes. Health-conscious people choose our nutrient-dense superfoods because they are an abundant whole-food source of antioxidants, protein, essential fats, vitamins, minerals and other key nutrients.
“A superfood is a nutrient-dense fruit or vegetable that contains a high content of antioxidants, protein, omega-3, minerals, fiber or other essential nutrients that have proven health benefits. Nutrient density is the ratio of calories to micronutrients – the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that are essential to health, wellness and feeling great. Nutrient-dense foods, like most vegetables and fruits, have a high amount of valuable micronutrients and a low amount of calories. To protect the ‘super’ quality and nutrient integrity, a superfood must be certified organic.” (Which the Navitas line is.)
The repertoire is vast: There are powders (for smoothies), berries and nuts for snacking, seeds (like chia and hemp) for sprinkling on salads or adding to recipes. You just have to come into a GreenAcres store and take a tour of the RAW aisle with one of our market team members. You might be surprised at all the nutrition we have in-store for you!
Still not certain what to do with all these Navitas superfood offerings?
We present this Brain Food Shake, taken from the Navitas Facebook page, to give you an idea of how good a superfood can be.
Brain Food Shake
A creamy, smooth drink made with cashew milk, sweetened with low glycemic, low calorie mesquite powder and yacon syrup, and packed with omegas, antioxidants, vitamin C and protein to keep you strong and healthy. Enjoy this drink every day for breakfast, pre- and post-workout, on your next hike, or on your next marathon and endurance event.
1½ Cup Water, to desired thickness
¼ Cup Navitas Naturals Cashew Whole Nuts
¼ Cup Navitas Naturals Sprouted Omega Blend
2 Tbsp Navitas Naturals Chia Seeds, soaked overnight in 2 Cups Water
2 tsp Mesquite Powder
2 tsp Navitas Naturals Antioxidant Superfruit Blend
1 Tbsp Navitas Naturals Yacon Syrup, + 1 tsp
2 tsp Navitas Naturals Cacao Powder, optional
1 ripe, organic Banana
Into your high-speed blender, place soaked Navitas Naturals Chia seeds (do not strain), Cashews, Mesquite, Tropical Twister and Sprouted Omega Powders, Yacon syrup, banana and 1 cup water. Blend until smooth.
Add more water if you want a thinner drink, and if you’d like your drink cold, place
1 cup ice in last, and blend until mixed well. Serve immediately.
Give Navitas a try. Can’t hurt, might even help; and as always, let us know how you like!
Farmers in the Dell!August 12, 2013
What would we do without our prairie farmers? We couldn’t exist, that’s for sure. Our very life depends on our beloved farmers and all the wholesome nutrition they bring to our family tables.
Last week on the GreenAcres Health Talk radio show, when our guest vendor, Greg Cole who manages the GreenAcres-Wichita Farmer’s Market from 3 – 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday, said there was a farmer’s market every day in Wichita during the summer, we were astounded. Who knew? We’ve come to rely on the farmers who park their tents in our parking lot, and simply save our pennies until Tuesday rolls around.
The Wichita GreenAcres Market has vendors that bring grass fed pork and beef; artisan baked goods; homemade herbal jams and jellies; homemade salsas (and chips!); homemade soaps that smell divine. There are tons of heirloom and home-grown tomatoes (even tomato starter plants); summer squash, melons, potatoes, peppers, eggplant, pickling cukes and more.
Our sister stores in Kansas City, MO and Jenks, OK have bragging rights as well.
The Farmer’s Market in Jenks started last year with a handful of vendors, just after that store’s grand opening. Well, just imagine what a little marketing and a lot of hustle can do. Now, 40 + vendors set up shop around the store every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It’s become such a big deal that they’ve renamed it the Jenks Saturday Market.
There are vendors of every kind: produce, bakers, jams and jelly makers, candlestick makers (!) There are people who sell local honey; will tutor your children in school; people who give acoustic massage (?); bands that play professionally in local night clubs; men who turn balloons into fascinating toys; jewelry makers who work in metals, stones and buttons; mattress companies who show their wares. There’s even a vendor who sells probiotic popsicles. It’s a total happening and it continues to grow and grow.
At the Briarcliff Village Farmers Market in Kansas City, you'll find more than just your average fruits and vegetables! While the market has a wide variety of those, Briarcliff prides itself in providing other unique items and special events! There are homemade salsas and jams, baked goods, local grass-fed beef, honey, locally-roasted coffee, gifts and much more.
Says Joel, store marketing assistant and event coordinator of GreenAcres-K.C., “Treat yourself to a grilled-to-order Buffalo or Lamb burger on the GreenAcres Patio (we also have Grilled Portobello Caps)! Relax and listen to our live musical guests as you sample wine and cheese. Peruse the store and enjoy food and supplement demos, many of those local as well! Make sure to check the calendar for monthly special events, when we bring out the Bounce House, invite local face painters, caricaturists and more! It's the most interactive Farmers Market in the City so we'll see you each Thursday from 3-7 through September."
See what we mean about enthusiasm! But see for yourself. These photos of our collective Farmer’s Markets give you an idea how a good idea has turned into something sought-after, needed and magical.
“OK, Susan, what’s your biggest seller?”August 08, 2013
That’s what I asked Susan, manager of the GreenAcres-Wichita Health and Beauty Department. Was I surprised to learn it’s a healing oil in a little bottle that women just have to have in their medicine cabinets.
Miracle Oil is an antiseptic oil made by family-owned Earthly Body. GreenAcres carries the Miracle Oil and a Tattoo Tonic that is especially popular right now. If you explore the Earthly Body website, some of the other products might make you blush. There are edible oils and an edible candle that’s made to drip over the skin…well, you get the picture.
We feel Miracle Oil is the best one for our store. The product is a combination of hemp seed oil, avocado oil, Vitamin E and Tea Tree oil all mixed up into one dynamite antiseptic, antifungal, germicide and antibacterial oil that expedites all kinds of skin healing. It’s sometimes called, “A medicine cabinet in a bottle!” And loyal customers buy into that 100%.
Miracle Oil is said to heal cuts, burns, razor bumps, cuticle tears, athlete’s foot, sunburn, insect bites, scars, fungus and more. The company uses no mineral oils, dyes, sulfates, propylene glycol, phthalates or parabens. It is also on PETA’s coveted and highly regard “No Test List,” and is vegan, drug-free and cruelty-free.
So what is it good for? Here’s the list:
Soothes skin on the bikini line after waxing or shaving.
Prevents ingrown hairs.
Disinfects minor cuts and burns and keeps scarring at bay.
Moisturizes cuticles and adds shine to nails.
Gets rid of pimples (!)
Calms itch and redness of eczema, psoriasis and other skin disorders.
Alleviates the irritation caused by jewelry rubbing against skin (earring and ring rash.)
Softens and moisturizes cracked heels, dry knees and sandpaper elbows.
Prevents stretch marks.
Relieves dry, itchy scalp and keeps dandruff in check.
Cleans external body piercings.
Brightens the colors of tattoos.
So there you have it. The little oil that works like a Miracle.
Fix-ahead lunchbox options your kids will love!August 05, 2013
In perusing GreenAcres Market and making a mental list of all the good things moms and dads could find to put into their children’s lunchboxes, it occurred there might be some extra special menu ideas on the trusty Internet.
Google inhabitots, a cool organic blog with tons of healthy lunch suggestions, (bingo!) it’s all right there—easy as a veggie rollup. Great lunches moms and dads who both work could fix a day ahead and be ready to go when the school bell sounds. Check these out:
#1: Roll it Up
Wraps are great for kids because they are highly customizable and are perfect for kids of all ages. Whether it is a whole-wheat or vegetable-based tortilla – adding loads of fresh vegetables and a yummy dip makes for a great lunch. Think of it as a salad rolled up into a sandwich – what could be better for you than that? Another option is a Mexican themed wrap, think beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese – a burrito of sorts. (Better yet, grab a Breakfast Burrito from our daily hot case the day before and have your child reheat it in the microwave at school!)
#2: Healthy Lunchables
Many children like the lunchables type meal – the problem is that store-bought prepackaged lunches are packed with artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Not to mention, the waste associated with the packaging. Instead, pack a yummy assortment of organic whole-wheat crackers, cheeses and spreads, and then pair with a fresh fruit and vegetable and you have a great lunch that any child will devour. (Cut off a hunk of Brie cheese that melts naturally in a lunchbox until noon; add a bunch of dark red grapes—so juicy right now; maybe a piece of dried pineapple and a handful of almonds. Getting hungry?!)
#3: Vegetable and Fruit Muffins
Who doesn’t like a muffin? A great way to add extra fruit and vegetable servings to your child’s meal is by adding it to your favorite muffin recipe. You can pack almost any type of fruit inside a muffin and many vegetables too – our favorites include yams, carrots, broccoli and mushrooms. And when you can make a couple of muffins into a lunch entree, it’s a great thing! (We’ve got a couple of great options for kids who have to watch their wheat intake: a gluten free pumpkin muffin; a stick of gluten free Daiya Cheese; a lean slice of deli nitrate-free ham; a few cut-up organic raw carrots and celery. You get the picture!)
#4: Pita Pockets
Pita Pockets are perfect for school lunchboxes, they are compact and can be packed full of all kinds of yummy ingredients. And when I say Pita Pockets, I don’t mean the frozen, highly processed versions – I am talking organic whole wheat pitas stuffed with cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and any of your favorite veggies. You can add whatever veggies your child enjoys for a lunch that is sure to please. (Try butter lettuce cups with our GreenAcres house-made tuna or chicken salad with some olives, pickles or fresh pineapple for quick and easy lettuce wraps.)
#5: Panini Sandwiches
Panini sandwiches are great because they melt all of the ingredients together in a tidy little sandwich. We like to press avocado and cheese sandwiches or avocado, strawberry and goat cheese sandwiches. At lunchtime, your child can heat it up quickly or eat it cold, either way they are delicious. Lunchtime perfection! (GreenAcres has a huge variety of regular and gluten free breads—even English muffins—to make those gooey sandwiches!)
#6: Pick Your Own Cup of Soup
My son is a huge fan of soups, the homemade kind, not the canned variety. To ensure that we have soup ready to go on school mornings, we make large batches of our favorite soups and store them in mason jars in the refrigerator. Each morning, we simply remove a jar of soup from the refrigerator, heat it up and put it in his thermos. (GreenAcres has a new 3-soup menu everyday. Buy extra soup when we have your child’s favorite and freeze until ready to pour into the thermos.)
#7: Make it a Sampler
If your child gets bored by the same foods, try packing a sampler. I like to pack an assortment of fresh vegetable and fruit sticks, whole-wheat pita triangles, nuts, seeds, and a few dips that can be used together. For example, a homemade tzatziki is perfect for dipping fresh vegetables and pita triangles, then a sweet yogurt dip that is great for fruit. I like to choose fruits that won’t brown overnight – my son is a huge fan of citrus! (We can’t keep tzatziki in stock at GreenAcres. Kids love dipping their veggies in it or spreading it on a leftover house-made meatloaf sandwich. Always a winner!)
If I am not feeling creative or just don’t have the energy to make a prepared school lunch, I will purposely make extra dinner and send my son leftovers for lunch. To be honest, this is probably one of his favorite options – he loves to open his lunchbox to find a large slice of vegetable lasagna, a manicotti roll or two, a serving of spaghetti or rice and vegetables. Whatever meals your child enjoys for dinner is sure to please at lunchtime too!
What do you prepare ahead of time for your child’s school lunchbox?
The word of the day: AHA!August 01, 2013
If Dr. Oz utters it, whether true or not, nearly everyone believes it. So what has the good doctor been touting this week: Alpha Hydroxy Acids—natural skin care ingredients that fight wrinkles. And what woman worth her age wouldn’t believe in a product that does just that?!
GreenAcres Market has carried Nonie of Beverly Hills AHA! cleanse, tone and moisturizing line for years. Susan, our Wichita Health and Beauty Department head, swears by it. Cutting to the chase, AHA! is nothing more than the acid from sugar cane and citrus fruits with moisturizing agents from molasses and milk. Only in this case, to keep the products vegan, the manufacturer has chosen the milk from bilberry instead of the cow.
Remember the stories of Cleopatra’s famous milk baths? Polynesians used these same ingredients to soften their skin. We could, too, if we only knew the proper ingredient concentrations; because too much acid on delicate skin could leave it burned and too little could have no effect whatsoever. (Best always to trust the formulators.) Besides all that buying of ingredients and mixing it up every time you decided to take a bath or give yourself a facial…well, forget it! This is the 21st century when convenience comes is a box or a bottle.
Nonie of Beverly Hills explains the reason her products work in this video: http://youtu.be/96DZ3MfPJTw Watch it when you have time.
The whole science behind her products comes together behind the fact that our skin cells are bound together by intercellular fluid. “As one ages,” says Nonie’s product information, “this glue-like substance binds the cells more tightly and densely—kind of like connective tissue does when it grows tighter to the bone. Dead skin layers build up, and unlike young skin, natural exfoliation becomes difficult. Researchers confirm and validate what the ancients knew about natural acids: they have a unique ability to loosen the intercellular fluid, allowing the top layer of dead skin to slough off more easily, leaving the skin a soft and moist as a new-born babe’s.”
Women who have regular facials know this already, and the results are usually nothing short of phenomenal. The skin tone and texture is revitalized; the wrinkles reduced; dead skin build up loosened. Don’t be surprised if you experience a tingling sensation as your skin adjusts to AHA! That’s why it’s good to consult one of our HABA market team members who can help you choose the products best for your skin type.
The history of using acids for skin rejuvenation is interesting. Check it out:
- Use of aged wine in France as “Youth Cream” over 200 years ago.
- Use of lemon and other fruit in skin tonics, Hungary, and other European countries.
- Use of naturally occurring non-toxic acids in other fruits, vegetables, sugar cane and sour milk.
- Acid based peels with AHA concentrations over 20% and used for over five minutes, are administered by Doctors (with local anesthesia and with heart monitoring for cardiac irregularities if over 50%) to help with severe acne and skin rejuvenation.
- Cosmetic industry use increases – with chemists manufacturing AHA product approved by the FDA.
- Because the base of AHA originates from natural substances, the government considers AHAs as cosmetics and do not require stiff federal regulation. As a result, beauty parlors now perform AHA peels.
- By 1993, over 50 new products containing AHAs were introduced into the U.S marketplace.
Stop in to a GreenAcres Market near you and ask to learn more about AHA! We think you'll be glad you did!
Stop in to a GreenAcres Market near you and ask to learn more about AHA! We think you'll be glad you did!
Suja—the latest cleanse for those in the knowJuly 29, 2013
Wherever do the young find these things?! Suja, an organic cleansing drink developed by a RAW chef and his partner, a woman who wrestled with autoimmune skin disease as a teen, is becoming the rage of those who take getting and staying in shape seriously.
Founders Eric Ethans and Annie Lawless have a passion for helping people “feel better” by transforming the way they think about food and nourishing their bodies. As a youngster, Eric was immersed in gardening—especially organic gardening; and Annie spent her youth dealing with food sensitivities so that she never felt “quite right.” Each set out on his own path, meeting at a yoga studio years later and conversing over—what else?—juice!
Their relationship evolved, and so did their mutual desire to found “the perfect juicing” formula that would both cleanse the body and restore vitality. The couple set upon developing a cold-pressed (as opposed to centrifugal) juicing production that would “draw in air and produce friction heat and static electricity, preventing oxidation, and yielding a higher amount of juice that is both clean and crisp to the taste.”
Other juices are produced with a flash pasteurizing method; but Ethans and Lawless wanted their juices created with Hydrostatic Pressure which is applied to all sides of the plastic-bottled juice to kill pathogens.
Each of the 5 juices GreenAcres carries contains roughly 2-3 pounds of organic produce—that’s a lot of roughage! StyleWatch magazine says, “The only thing trendier than carrying a St. Laurent bag right now in California is carrying a bottle of Suja, preferably a green juice!”
So how many calories are in a typical cleanse? Suja says an average 8-oz. drink contains 90 calories. A one-day cleanse of six juices has about 1200 calories total. The drinks were not created as a weight-loss gimmick, but rather as a health aid where the body can detox and repair to give the system time to acclimate to a better way of consuming nourishment.
Since kale is a huge ingredient in the Green Supreme drink, and is a favorite veggie of one of its founders, it’s no wonder Annie Lawless uses it to make her favorite dinner salad. We offer her famous Seaweed Kale Salad below.
Says Annie: “Kale is the king of greens and I can't get enough! Rich in iron, chlorophyll, beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, and calcium, there's no reason not to love this versatile and easy to prepare leafy green. Along with drinking Suja Green Supreme regularly, I like to incorporate it into at least 5 or 6 meals per week. Dulse is a powerhouse seaweed with an earthy, salty flavor that is a great source of vegetarian B12 and B6 along with iron and many other vitamins and minerals. A simple and fast kale salad without an overly rich, heavy dressing is my favorite and most fuss free way to consume both of these fabulous foods and here's how I do it with no added oils, dairy, or sugar.”
· 1 head lacinato kale (I prefer the flatter leaf, but you may use curly if you like)
· 1 avocado
· 1 handful of dulse seaweed
· 1 large carrot, julienne
· 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
· 1/4 red onion or scallions for a more mild onion flavor
· 1T Dijon mustard
· 1 tsp garlic powder
· 2 tsp tamari
· Juice of half a lemon
1. Finely julienne the kale or run through shredder attachment of a food processor. The smaller pieces help the kale tenderize when we massage it and make it easier to eat.
2. Peel the carrot into ribbons with a vegetable peeler.
3. Add the handful of dulse, more if you like a saltier flavor.
4. Dice the onion and cube the avocado, adding them to the bowl.
5. Next, squeeze the lemon juice and add it to the bowl along with the tamari, Dijon mustard, and garlic powder.
6. Now it's time to use your hands! Massage all of the ingredients together for 3-5 minutes, tenderizing the kale and making sure everything is well combined.
7. Last, halve the cherry tomatoes and add them to the salad.
We carry Suja at all three of our GreenAcres Markets, and as always invite you to try it at your convenience. Skol!
A Kansas Cow Girl gives us the skinny about good, nutritious beef!July 23, 2013
This weekend, GreenAcres Health Talk radio interviews one of our favorite vendors, Tonia Rupe, owner (along with her husband) of Lucky Star Farms, which raises the finest grass-fed cattle and hogs anywhere in the nation.
The Rupes have spent years developing and caring for family-owned ranch land in Greenwood County, Kansas. Lucky Star sets the benchmark for humanely-treated animals and perfectly marbled meat. GreenAcres Markets in all three locations (KS, MO and OK) offer this fine beef and pork to its customers. After you’ve cooked a Lucky Star black Angus steak or grilled a Lucky Star pork chop, you’ll never go back to eating “regular grocery store” meat again.
To get us ready for Tonia’s trip to our recording studio, we asked her the following questions, and this is how she responded:
Q. How did you happen to find your animal grazing fields? Did you inherit the land or did you just come upon it one day?
A. Most of the land that our animals are grazing is part of the Rupe family's ranch. My husband used to raise and sell registered Saler cattle on the ranch. The family at one time owned more than 7,000 acres of grassland and farm ground in Greenwood county but sold some here and there as most of it was leased out to other ranchers and farmers in the ‘80s and ‘90s after the cattle and farm markets dropped. When Randy saw that the grass was being overgrazed and poorly managed, he decided to move back out to the ranch and start taking better care of the land himself. We are very fortunate to have one of the most untouched ecosystems left in the world--the Tallgrass Prairie right here in Kansas.
Q. Tell us a little about the benefits of having beef flash frozen at the site and then driven to the store, rather than having freshly cut meat in the store?
A. Our beef is dry aged for 21 days at a constant temperature just above freezing and then cut and packaged and immediately frozen at -10 degrees. Meat flash frozen in this way preserves nutrients which are concentrated by the dry-aging process. The cell walls in the meat are preserved ensuring texture and moisture remains in the cells. What this means to the customer is flavorful juicy meat. Vacuum sealing in BPA free packaging allows you to see the quality of the product and prevents contamination from environmental bacteria during transportation and storage. Meat that is stored at refrigerated temperatures has a very limited shelf life as well as the potential for bacterial contamination and growth. In addition, much of the refrigerated meat sold in stores has been previously frozen and thawed. Our frozen products will last a year or more stored at 0 degrees in your freezer. A flash frozen steak thaws more quickly than conventionally-frozen meat and looks, feels and tastes almost exactly as it did before being frozen. The flavor, the nutrients and the texture of our meat retains farm-fresh quality.
Q. Do you worry about cross contamination of grazing fields with GMO seeds blowing in the wind?
A. Not with the grasses and native pasture. The most prevalent GMO crops in the US are corn, soybeans and canola. We don't grow these crops ourselves and use local, organically-grown soybeans in our food for poultry and pigs. We have chosen to focus on raising milo as a feed for our pastured poultry and pork and stay away from corn and wheat and the risk of contamination.
However, the FDA did approve genetically modified alfalfa for planting in the US last year, and this is a crop that we grow organically and is theoretically subject to contamination from GMO fields. At this time there are no farms using genetically-modified alfalfa seed near us, but it could happen in the future. Fortunately, alfalfa is a crop that is challenging for even bees to pollinate; they get frustrated with the flower structure, so this makes contamination less likely, but still possible.
It's really important for consumers who care about the genetic modification of our food supply without long term studies and observation on the effects on health and the environment to join forces with the millions of other consumers worldwide and foreign governments to say no to the expansion of genetic modification of crops without oversight and demand labeling of GMO foods at the consumer level. We need to contact our legislators and let them know how we feel and vote with our dollar by purchasing only certified organic foods and foods locally raised by producers that we know and trust.
Who put the Oomph in “Cocoa ZICO?”July 22, 2013
A guy by the name of Mark Rampolla, once a volunteer with the Peace Corps, is the man behind the Oomph in ZICO Chocolate Coconut Water, just the best tasting chocolate drink that both satisfies and gives enormous energy.
Rampolla, an avid athlete, loved drinking coconut water after running and hiking. As with most coconut water devotees, he noticed he felt instantly better after re-hydrating with water from the coconut than with plain tap water, bottled water or super-sweet sports drinks like Gatorade. So he left his fast-track corporate career one sunny day and created ZICO, which has given oomph to sports men and women worldwide.
A definite success story, but, of course success is never quite that easy. Selling his idea was harder than making it, but Rampolla persevered. He sold his first product out of a van to members of New York yoga studios. Soon both athletes and non-athletes were lining up for more.
If you’re not a natural coconut water lover, going chocolate and ZICO is the way to go, say GreenAcres customers. Put ice in a glass and pour in ZICO Chocolate. Yum! It’s tasty, refreshing, full of potassium and hydrates instantly. All the athletes and coaches “in the know” swear by coconut water as a way of replenishing electrolytes. In fact, those barely in the know, already know something about coconut water and its properties. Matt, one of our GreenAcres Market owners, says “It’s becoming such a rage, it’s unreal. Everyone from Dr. Oz on down is singing the praises of coconut water.”
The good folks at ZICO are no exception. They claim they drink ZICO every day at work, and few will even hint that they stop at Starbucks on the way into the office.
“Our natural, premium coconut water,” they say, “is loaded with 5 electrolytes and is a good source of potassium. ZICO Chocolate is a naturally gluten-free, lactose-free and dairy-free beverage—making it one of the most delicious forms of replenishment this side of the tropics.”
The ZICO website declares, “Our water is loaded with 5 electrolytes: sodium, magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. These work together to support your body with what it needs to stay hydrated and to help it perform at its best. ZICO contains as much potassium as a banana, which helps to prevent cramping. Plus, ZICO is gluten-free, lactose-free and dairy-free.”
For those who lean just a little to the left of being a couch potato, a ZICO Chocolate-tini might just be your thing:
1/3 Cup ZICO Chocolate Premium Coconut Water
½ Cup Ice
¼ Cup Chocolate Vodka
½ Tsp. Instant Coffee
Finely Chopped Toasted Coconut
Whew! Top that with whipped cream, and you’ve got yourself dessert. But don’t take our word for it, give ZICO a try—especially the chocolate ZICO, and as always, let us know if it gives you the “oomph!”
Visiting with a dynamo in the office…and in the kitchen!July 19, 2013
This weekend, GreenAcres Health Talk radio interviews guest vendor, Dr. Alison Levitt, co-owner of Dr. in the Kitchen’s flax seed crackers, Flackers. Since Alison is in such great shape, presumably because she eats Flackers, we just had to ask her a few questions about her background, how she happened upon flax seeds as the choice seed for her product, and what daily regimen she followed to keep slim, trim and focused.
Here’s how she responded to our questions:
Q. Give us three best things you learned in your travels around the world
and the understanding you gleaned from learning about centuries old medicine.
A. I lived at a healing center in India where I discovered the amazing virtues of yoga, meditation and eating for optimal health, longevity and balance. It was incredible knowledge to come by in my early 20s, before I went to medical school, and it framed my entire career. I discovered how what you eat can affect your mood and energy and hormone levels. I learned exercises for calming the mind and relaxation techniques.
I was taught about how to use food as medicine; certain herbs and spices to heal, increase energy, soothe an ailing stomach, and calm a headache.... This was my introduction into the world of food as medicine, into the world of healing with herbs, lifestyle, whole foods and natural remedies. It was the foundation that lead me to this path I am on now, so I am grateful for it!
I also discovered how wonderful it is to blend the best of modern medicine and ancient healing practices. I discovered that while Modern medicine is targeted, specific; thus very effective, herbs have a built-in wisdom, balance that does not necessarily exist with modern drugs. Take the lowly dandelion for example, most Americans consider this a weed to be removed from their gardens, yet it is quite a wonderful diuretic, it grows almost everywhere in the spring when it is a great time to cleanse. It also contains potassium to balance out the potassium loss. Generally, if you take a diuretic medication you usually also have to take another pill to give the body potassium. So I learned how to appreciate plant medicine with its built in wisdom and now I am able to use both and see the value in both.
Q. Why flax seed? What is it about flax seed that you wanted to share with the retail world?
A. When I think of food as medicine, flax seeds simply shine! Flax seeds contain a goldmine of nutrients, many fabulous health benefits, excellent and inexpensive whole food medicine—all in this tiny little seed. They taste great and can improve overall health and vitality just by adding a little to your diet every day. For years I have been recommending flax seeds to all of my clients who are seeking optimal health, good sugar balance, weight management and improved heart health.
Flax seeds are nutritionally high in alpha linoleic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that is heart healthy and also a source of anti-inflammatory precursor molecules. They contain soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps to maintain normal cholesterol, optimal blood sugar levels, so great for diabetics and they promote optimal bowel function. Also they are a rich source of anti-oxidants and many vitamins and minerals. This tiny seed is a healthy, wonderful nutritional gift in a very small delicious package.
Q. You’re in great shape. Give us a peek at your daily exercise and eating
A. Thank you for that by the way!
I do love the feeling I get from eating well and also from being in shape. Fit and firm always feels fabulous to me! I exercise daily, sometimes twice a day if I can, and I usually try to walk or bike to my destination if I can.
I love to keep my exercise routine versatile and typically outdoors: I run, skip, dance, fast walk (this would be one type of workout mix) or else jump on my trampoline and then perhaps do a little yoga. In the summer I love to bike everywhere and I try and swim every day.
My food habits may be considered slightly unique…. I stopped eating traditional breakfasts a long time ago because cereal is just too many low-nutrient carbs, and I found that it was not energizing or filling enough for me. So now I start my day with a warm glass of water and then I mix up a very green beverage /smoothie sometimes with fruit, some flax seeds, chia or hemp seeds to keep me feeling full and then coffee, (yes, I do love my coffee!). Then, I am off to exercise.
When I am done working out I usually have a super salad with wild salmon, sprouts, seeds and dinner again similar to lunch: wild salmon, greens sometimes organic eggs, I love making soups and sprouted bean dips which of course I eat with Flackers. I try to eat about 60-70 % raw, mostly organic, no gluten and tons of wild salmon and sprouts. All my seeds, grains and beans are usually sprouted. I do try and mostly eat the foods that I know are super healthy and the most nutritious but I am human and love to enjoy so I do give into my guilty pleasures of coffee, chocolate, anything with coconut, and I confess popcorn.
Hail his majesty the sun! But do we dare let him kiss us?!July 15, 2013
Such a dilemma. If we take the sun, we risk sunburn, skin damage, premature wrinkling or worse. If we don’t get any sun, will we have enough Vitamin D to support a healthy immune system and ward off the colds and flus of winter?
We went online to search for some ideas that made sense and weren’t too scientific for our readers to consider. Here’s what we found: A great little “cheat sheet” from the W.S. Badger Company which makes excellent sun screen and bug repellent products which GreenAcres carries in all three stores.
The Badger Company was started by a carpenter who couldn’t find products on the open market to soothe his rough, chapped, cracked hands. So, as with many formulators, “Badger Bill” sat down, put chemical formulations together, and finally came up with a product that did the trick.
The result is a body of products made with all natural ingredients by a company that stands firm on ethical and charitable principles.
Badger is one of the leading organic personal care companies on the market today, and wouldn’t you know, a few steps ahead of the competition. The company put together cliff notes in dealing with the sun and posted it online, called The SLOW SUN MOVEMENT. We reprint it below for your education and interest.
The SLOW Sun movement is rooted in six simple principles:
#1 Be mindful: Know your limits and practice moderation in the sun.
#2 Practice simplicity: Sometimes the simplest solution is to wear a wide-brimmed hat and other protective clothing.
#3 Seek shade: Especially during the peak sun hours of 10-2. Think Siesta!
#4 Choose wholesome solutions: Choose organic or natural mineral-based (zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) sunscreens with antioxidant ingredients that protect and benefit skin. Avoid sunscreens with questionable chemicals like oxybenzone.
#5 Apply enough sunscreen: Take ample time to apply your sunscreen right: at least two tablespoons to cover your body thoroughly. Under-application of even the safest sunscreen will drastically reduce your level of protection.
#6 Protect yourself and our planet: Choose protection measures that are sustainable and biodegradable or reef safe. Even the smallest choices you make have a big impact on the world we live in.
The Slow Sun Movement philosophy is simple--“Go slow. Be mindful.”
“If we are more conscious in our choices,” says the company, “we can appreciate the incredible gift of sun without causing harm. SLOW Sun is not just about sunscreens, it’s about a more holistic approach to respectful sun worship.”
Want to have some fun with your food?!July 11, 2013
Check out our newest line of non-toxic food coloring and sprinkles by Maggie’s Naturals. Customers have been asking us for months: “When are you going to bring in cookie toppings and food coloring that don’t contain scary carcinogens?”
Well, we’ve been listening, and finally our boss, Barb, found them at a recent food show.
Maggie’s Naturals are now in store and ready for your inspection. Maggie’s makes its sugar sprinkles with yams, Gardenia Extract, Organic and non-GMO Cane Sugar that has a natural one-year shelf life.
The company is family owned and located in Portland, ME. Kiwi magazine, The Reynolds Mom and other “health-style” publications and bloggers have critiqued Maggie’s Naturals to rave reviews.
Here are some photos that might get you as enthusiastic as we are about this new product. Check it out when you have time and, as always, let us know what you think.
For the kid in all of us, we share the kid-friendly Wiggly Squiggly Jelly Fish Lunch (too fun not to try!)
Spaghetti and Hot dogs never looked so cool!
1. Cut hot dog into approximately 1" pieces.
2. Insert uncooked spaghetti into one end of each piece.
3. Boil a small pot of water for each color. Add a teaspoon
of Maggie's Naturals food coloring to boiling water. We suggest using blue, purple or green.
4. Cook according to the spaghetti's instructions.
Curiosity got the cat—and the cola!July 08, 2013
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 5:21 PM
What’s in a name, or a logo, or the shape of a product? Apparently, everything. Take a look at our brand new find: Fentimans’ Botanically Brewed Beverages. Getting a little rush at GreenAcres where customers have been taste-testing today in the Wichita store, and already on the shelves at all three GreenAcres Markets.
So what do flowers have to do with brewing? They, along with roots, bark and other natural plant ingredients, are placed into Fentimans’ brewing liquid to “infuse” it with multiple botanical characteristics. The liquid is allowed to age in a sealed container undergoing fermentation for seven days until boiled and bottled and ready for the masses.
Ahhhh, refreshing is what some customers have said. Others, tasting the Mandarin and Seville Orange Jigger, exclaim: “With a little Champagne, we’d have a Mimosa!” Definitely an endorsement.
Victorian Lemonade is made with 1 ½ real lemons and blended with fine ginger root, speedwell and juniper extracts. Tasty with a kick!
Curiosity Cola comes the closest to a real live Coke, but without the sugar and caffeine. Our biggest seller so far among our senior customers is the Dandelion & Burdock drink, infused with dandelion leaves and burdock root, sweetened with peer juice and spiced with a touch of anise and ginger. It’s a classic throwback to yesteryear when these same ingredients were remedies for heart problems. Our oldest seniors remember!
So here’s the story from the Fentimans’ website:
“In 1905, Thomas Fentiman, an iron peddler from Cleckheaton, England was approached by a fellow tradesman for a loan. A deal was struck and a recipe for botanically-brewed ginger beer was provided as security. The loan was never repaid, so Thomas became the owner of the unique recipe.
“Thomas began using the recipe and producing ginger beer which he delivered door-to-door using a horse and cart for transport. His ginger beer was stored in handmade stone jars known as ‘grey hens’ which were stamped with an image of Thomas’ pet dog ‘Fearless’ who had won awards for obedience at the famous ‘Crufts’ dog competition.
“Fentimans’ ginger beer quickly became popular and the rest is history. The business is still in the Fentiman family and is owned by the great grandson of Thomas Fentiman. The company still makes beverages by the time honored method of botanically brewing the finest natural ingredients. The production processes has been updated through the addition of mild carbonation to replace the carbon dioxide lost during pasteurization, which gives the product a longer life.”
We invite you to come in and try a Rose Lemonade (made from the world famous Rose Valley flowers in Kazanlak, Bulgaria) or perhaps a premium hops and barley malt Shandy, brewed and fermented for three weeks to create a smooth, full bodied British soda that is 70% beer and 100% delicious. And, of course, let us know how you like it.
Until then, we say bottoms up, but be aware, that while all Fentimans beverages are classified as non-alcoholic by the FDA, there is a trace of alcohol, for those who eschew it all together. Less than 0.5%--still, even that much makes a difference to those recovering from alcohol addiction. Just so you know.
Patriotic Pie and other fun fare for the Fourth!June 27, 2013
Filed under: Natural Living - greenacres @ 3:41 PM
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, we’re going with photos today. Whether you’re staying at home or traveling, have a safe and fun-filled Independence Day. Remember the reason for the day and raise your flag high. America, even in turmoil, is still the greatest country on earth.
We go to an Internet blog, She knows parenting, for some advice on keeping the kids informed about this special holiday:
“Before you start talking to your kids about Independence Day, brush up on your history. Considered America's birthday, Independence Day marks the anniversary of the day the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress — July 4, 1776. That means that this year — 2013 — marks America's 237th birthday. The first Independence Day wasn't celebrated on the 4th of July but rather four days later on July 8, 1776 in Philadelphia.
“Teach them about the flag. Young kids can learn about Independence Day by coloring the different patriotic symbols such as the American flag, the Liberty Bell, Uncle Sam and more. With older kids, read the Declaration of Independence together and talk about what it means. Create a special declaration for your own family — a set of rules, standards and ideals to live by. Print it out and have everyone in the family sign it.
“Take a trip to a historical landmark. If you are fortunate enough to live near one of country's great historical landmarks, plan a visit — even if not on Independence Day. Don't live close by? Don't worry, you can take a virtual trip online. The internet offers pictures, videos and information about a variety of historical landmarks and places from the Revolutionary War. This offers a terrific opportunity to teach young kids about how to research on the internet. Learn about the freedoms we were fighting for and what life was like before the American Revolution.
“Even when teaching your kids about the historical aspects of Independence Day, keep things lighthearted and fun.”
When it comes to preparing the holiday meal, check out these menu items for some great ideas.
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 cups marinara sauce
- 2 cups fat-free cottage cheese
- 1 pint fat-free ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- 16 ounces cooked whole wheat lasagna noodles
- 8 ounces part skim shredded mozzarella
For the topping:
- Black olives, chopped
- 1/2 cup marinara sauce
- To prepare the lasagna, cook ground turkey and onions in a large pan over medium-high heat until ground turkey is browned, about six minutes. Add the pasta sauce (starting with 1-1/2 cups, adding more if necessary) and heat another two to three minutes. Remove from heat.
- In another bowl, mix together the eggs, Parmesan cheese, ricotta and cottage cheese.
- In a large, greased 9 x 13-inch jelly roll pan, begin the assembly of the lasagna. Place one layer of meat sauce, then on top of that, layer with lasagna noodles. Add one layer of the ricotta cheese mixture, then one layer of mozzarella. Repeat the layering until all ingredients are used, saving about one-half cup mozzarella for the top. Once layers are done, sprinkle remaining mozzarella on top to create an even layer.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, cover and bake for about 40 minutes. Remove cover and bake another five or 10 minutes to lightly brown the cheese. Remove from oven and let cool a bit.
- Before serving, place chopped olives in the upper left hand corner of the lasagna to make the "stars" of the flag. Then, using a small spoon, carefully make strips with the remaining sauce, starting at where the olives are and moving toward the end of the pan. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Nuts: They’re a mixed bag.June 17, 2013
So what’s the scoop on nuts? Good for us or not? Paleo regimen followers pride themselves on a healthy diet of animal and plant protein, fresh fruit, seeds and nuts. After all, they’re what our ancestors ate when there appeared to be little-to-no weight problem among the gentry at the time.
Flash forward a few thousand years and nuts to 21st century man can be…well…confusing. To indulge or not to indulge, that is the question. There’s a store in Wichita called the Nifty Nut House. It’s expanded through the years to contain every assortment of nut, candy and seed. There’s no slowing the growth of that place. People who left the city ages ago come back to stock up on bags and bags of their favorite nuts every time they return to town for a visit. It’s one of those sacred cows found in every city. Visiting the nut house is just one of those rights of passage. Gotta’ do it.
Same here at GreenAcres. We sell a boat load of nuts in bulk, smoothies, protein bars, trail mixes—you name it. The most popular nuts right now in our stores are Marcona Almonds (a product of Spain) and Walnuts—big with customers who swear by them for lowering cholesterol and warding off heart disease.
We bake with a wide assortment of nuts. Think cashews when contemplating ordering RAW cheesecake. Many of our protein drinks and smoothies are made with Almond Milk (not really milk at all; rather almonds soaked in water and pulverated to a creamy consistency that looks and functions like a dairy product.) We have pumpkin seeds and pecans on our salad bars; sesame seeds and nuts in our cookies. We offer a killer pecan pie every now and then. GreenAcres has got to be one of the nuttiest places on the planet!
But are nuts really good for us? There’s a guy on the Internet named Chris Kresser, who is a licensed acupuncturist and practitioner of integrative medicine. He warns of the phytic acid associated with eating too many nuts.
“Phytic acid,” Kresser writes, “interferes with enzymes we need to digest our food, including pepsin, which is needed for the breakdown of proteins in the stomach, and amylase, which is required for the breakdown of starch. Phytic acid also inhibits the enzyme trypsin, which is needed for protein digestion in the small intestine.
“As most people following a Paleo diet will probably have heard by now, diets high in phytate cause mineral deficiencies. For example, rickets and osteoporosis are common in societies where cereal grains are a staple part of the diet.”
Yikes, autoimmune disease, right? Not necessarily. Let’s look at what Dr. Andrew Weil has to say. He’s a man who also has a tremendous following on the Internet and is a fairly big advocate of nuts in general.
Says Dr. Weil is a recent column: “In case you had any doubts about the benefits of eating nuts, three new studies indicate that including them as part of your diet can lead to lower weight as well as better health. The investigations all focused on the consumption of tree nuts, which include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts. One of the studies, which included more than 14,000 participants, found that those who ate more than ¼ ounce of tree nuts daily weighed less, had lower systolic blood pressure (the top number), higher HDL ("good") cholesterol and had lower intakes of sugar, saturated fats and sodium than those who didn't eat nuts. A second study, from Canada, found that when individuals with type 2 diabetes replaced a portion of the carbohydrates in their diets with two ounces of tree nuts daily, their total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, blood pressure and 10-year risk of coronary heart disease all declined. The third study, from Loma Linda University in California, found that eating one ounce of tree nuts per week was associated with a lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome, a combination of risks factors that can lead to diabetes and heart disease. All three studies were presented in April 2012 at the Experimental Biology Meeting in Boston.
“My take?,” Dr. Weil continues, “I enjoy nuts, eat them frequently and also use them in cooking. I buy mostly raw, unsalted varieties and store them in the refrigerator until I need them. You can toast nuts yourself by stirring them about in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, tossing them occasionally until they are done to your liking, or by spreading them on a baking sheet placed in an oven at 350 degrees. Use them up quickly. Unsaturated nut oils oxidize quickly on exposure to heat, light and air, creating rancidity that makes them smell and taste bad (like oil paint). Bear in mind that despite their health benefits, nuts are relatively high in calories, so enjoy them in moderation. I usually eat a handful per day - my favorites are cashews, almonds and walnuts.”
And so, in most things in life, moderation is key. Look to the good, but be aware of the bad. When in doubt about which nut to crack, come visit us at GreenAcres. Our market team members will give you a tour of the bulk and trail mix aisles and impart what knowledge they have about this tasty confection that can drive us all a little nutty!
What do you worry about?June 10, 2013
A survey conducted last year asked just this question…and then one more: Who worries more, men or women? The survey conducted by Polaris Marketing Research found both sexes worried, but men tended to worry more about work and finances, and women worried about “almost everything else.”
The conclusion was a “work vs. life” thing and both men and women used different mechanisms to cope with their worries. Men, the survey showed, tended more toward the gym experience and working out to relieve stress; women had a whole cache of ways to make themselves feel better.
Men also leaned more toward the bottle to shrug off the day (as in drinking); women preferred to journal, pray, go talk to a friend, take a hot bath, surf the “net,” eat comfort foods. The survey pointed out that men felt it was OK and manly to talk about work troubles, less so to acknowledge they worried about relationships. Women weren’t bashful at all about talking about their troubles, even those of a sexual nature. Women just felt that women understand “these things,” and can take it if a friend starts to lay it all out. Men, on the other hand thought it unmanly to reveal too much to anyone, kind of the same way they tend not to ask for directions if lost.
At GreenAcres, we asked some of our women customers what were their biggest worries today. Here’s what they said:
· “Tornadoes. I can’t help getting Moore, OK out of my mind. I don’t even live near there, but somehow I just identified with all the loss. Heartbreaking.”
· “Boyfriends. Hate to admit it, but I keep choosing the wrong ones. I wonder if it’s because my parents were alcoholic.”
· “I don’t worry. I ask myself, ‘Can I do anything about it? Is it my problem?’ If I can’t and it isn’t, well then, I don’t worry about it.”
· “The world today. It’s so different even than it was five years ago. Things are changing too much, too fast.”
· “Aging. I’m watching the frailty in my friends and family and I keep wondering if this growing older thing will be too much when it finally hits.”
· My children. I’m always worried about my children. One of my son’s is 45 years old and I’m still worrying about him. I think I’m addicted to worry.”
So, the worries today probably aren’t much different than the worries of yesteryear. At GreenAcres our customers with stress tend to swear by the following supplements to help them over the rough patches of life:
1. A good B Complex vitamin (The benefits of B vitamins are great):
-- Eases Stress
-- Treats anxiety and depression
-- Aids memory
-- Relieves PMS
-- Reduces heart-disease risk
2. Ginseng (both in tea and supplement form)
--Aids in type 2 diabetes
--Helps with weight control
--Benefits stamina and sexual function
--Helps relieve menstrual cramps
3. Ashwagandha supplements by Nature’s Way
--Helps with restlessness
--Aids older patients with mental agility, cognitive ability and memory
--Helps cold and cough symptoms
--Has amazing anti-aging benefits
So, the next time the worries get you, don’t stew. Come on into GreenAcres and unload on one of our supplement market team members. They can handle it, and they can point you in the right direction for some much needed soothing.
Remember, if all else fails, there’s comfort food galore at any one of our GA stores. Potpies and chocolate also can do you a world of good!
SALT: Has it gotten a bad rep?June 06, 2013
Those with high blood pressure have been leery of salt for years. But just imagine trying to cook both savory or sweet dishes without that ubiquitous “pinch of salt.”
There is an old fairy tale regarding an aging king who wished to divide up his kingdom among his three daughters. So he asked the question: “Which of you love me the most?” The first daughter said she loved her father more than her finest silk gowns. The second said she loved her father more than her gold and bejeweled bangles and beads. The third daughter said, “I love you more than salt.”
The king was taken aback. He felt rejected and misunderstood and decided then and there to divide his kingdom between the first two daughters and banish the third from his castle with nothing more than a sack of salt slung over her shoulders.
As the story goes, the banished daughter drags the salt to another kingdom, finds work as a scullery maid in a far-off castle. Because this daughter is good, gentle, loving and beautiful (and because the story is a fairy tale), the prince of the castle falls in love with her and asks her to marry him.
In the meantime, the two ungrateful daughters have split the king’s spoils and kicked the king out of his own castle, where he wanders the earth as a beggar…until he comes upon a castle in the throes of wedding plans and begs at the castle gates to be allowed to eat the scraps from the table.
Well, you can guess what happens next. The daughter recognizes her father at once, and immediately orders the cooks preparing the wedding feast to make everything without salt. The guests are not pleased as everything tastes bland. As soon as the beggar king tastes the soup, his eyes are opened. He realizes what is missing and salty tears well up in his eyes.
He misjudged the words of his youngest daughter who reveals herself and tells her father: “My love for you was like salt—invisible, but ever present in everything worth having, and an underlying element that gives both savor and joy.” She could no more imagine living without loving him than she could imagine eating soup without salt.
Forgiveness abounds. Father and daughter are reunited. The unsavory food is thrown out and a new menu brought forth, this time with love and SALT.
Flash forward several hundred years and the salt we cook with today is not given good press. Those with heart trouble eschew it; those with brittle bones blame it; those with kidney stones suspect it. To eat it or not to eat it, that is the question.
Comes the contrary opinions: “Salt is good for you if it’s mineral salts,” say the purists. “Modern table salt is a no-no, but consider the richness of the Himalayan rock salt, or the Celtic grey salt—both pride themselves on refusing modern refining methods of heating, and brag on traditional methods of harvesting. And, guess what, they actually have flavor!”
It’s been reported that unlike the sodium chloride we find in most grocery stores, unrefined rock salt contains more than 84 different minerals. Says Dr. Barbara Hendel, a researcher and co-author of Water & Salt, the Essence of Life, “We have salty tears and salty perspiration. The chemical and mineral composition of our blood and body fluids are similar to sea water. From the beginning of life, as unborn babies, we are encased in a sack of salty fluid.
“Moreover,” Dr. Hendel continues, “without mineral salts, there would be no movement, memory or thought…and your heart would not beat.”
Dr. Hendel explains that salt dissolves into mineral ions that conduct electrical nerve impulses that drive muscle movement and thought processes. The simple act of drinking water requires millions of instructions that come from mineral ions. Salt is also needed to balance PH levels in the body.
Some academic naturalists believe too little salt—not too much—is the cause of many health problems. It’s not so much that salt has changed as the human diet has eliminated many of the foods high in minerals (nuts, fruit and veggies) substituting processed and highly refined foods which supply mineral-empty calories.
The key to health, the folks at GreenAcres believe, is healthy eating. And to that end, the health food store has staked its mission: education.
If you visit any one of our three markets, check out the interesting mineral salts available in the bulk section of our stores.
· Grey Sea Salt
· Applewood Smoked Salt
· Hawaiian Red Salt
· Hawaiian Black Salt
· Fleur de Sel
· Himalayan Salt
Each has a different flavor and different properties that are good for your health. You might try incorporating some of these salts into your cooking. As always, if you do, let us know what you think. We’re all charged to be “The Salt of the Earth.” We’d better get on with it then, and why not make our first step in this direction to GreenAcres.
Let’s ask the expert!June 03, 2013
The expert in this case in Market Team member, Danna, who has worked at GreenAcres for four years, works checkout among myriad other jobs, and just knows what products customers ask for.
Since we’re concentrating on multi vitamins today, we went looking for Danna. So which ones do customers clamor for? “That’s easy,” says Danna. “It’s New Chapter’s Every Man’s One Daily Multi, Every Woman’s 40+ One Daily Multi, and my fave, Perfect Energy Multi.” Of course, Danna failed to mention that every time Matt sees her in one of her “over the top” moods, he recommends another New Chapter supplement called, “Calm.” But we’ll save that story for another time.
Why do you like the New Chapter line of vitamins? Says Danna, “They are made with pure ingredients, seem easy on the system, have tablet sizes in large and small in many cases and, in the case of my particular daily vitamin, it just gives me energy. I’ve tried other vitamins, but with Perfect Energy Multi, I notice a difference!” Good enough for us.
Here’s what the New Chapter website has to say about its vitamins:
All of New Chapter’s Multivitamins are probiotic and whole. The nutrient needs of men and women can be vastly different – the same can be said for people under forty versus over forty. New Chapter’s formulation team takes exacting care with each nutrient and herbal blend in all of our targeted daily multivitamins to benefit the specific needs of the individual. New Chapter multivitamins are also Non-GMO Project verified and made with organic fruits and vegetables.
And specifically about the Woman’s 40+ One Daily:
· Organic herbs and cultured whole-food complexed vitamins and minerals promote optimal health and condition-specific benefits, not just address nutrient deficiencies.* Each tablet delivers safe and sound potencies of 23 vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E.
· Whether you’re a woman over 40, over 50, or beyond, this whole-food complexed multi-vitamin is formulated specifically for your needs.
· For holistic women’s health support, a blend of organic Broccoli, organic Kale, and other organic cruciferous sprouts supports breast health and a healthy hormone balance.*
· Six whole-food complexed B Vitamins—and whole foods like organic Oregano and Fenugreek—support heart health, eye health, and digestive health, and also help address stress.*
· Convenient one a day multi-vitamin formula is easy to take, easy to digest and can be taken anytime—even on an empty stomach.
Danna likes Perfect Energy because it “lifts” her. She’s high energy, but she’s prone to burning the candle at both ends. She has two energetic youngsters at home; helps with the family farm; works a fulltime job.
The website points out: As individuals, we differ not only in what we perceive to be stressful, but in how we experience stress. Some people experience stress in the form of worry, tension, irritability, inability to focus and/or difficulty sleeping. These people are clearly in need of more calming influences, however, sometimes the people who need more calm don’t even realize it. On the other end of the spectrum are individuals who experience stress as fatigue, low energy, lack of motivation, and/or muscle soreness. These people have burned the candle at both ends for too long and are experiencing an energy deficit. Although they may be tempted to reach for stimulants like caffeine, they will only feel worse when they experience the crash that comes later as their energy deficit worsens. These people don’t just need more energy, they need sustained energy support that can only come from an improvement in mitochondrial function.
So how do you know what you need and where to start? Well, we recommend visiting with our supplement experts in any one of our three GreenAcres Markets. Most of them use our products and are quick to make suggestions that fit your needs. Your health provider is a good place to start as well. And a good pharmacist can help.
Sometime it takes a couple of “wrong choices” before you get it right. Don’t worry, it’s only money, as they say, and your health is worth every last cent. Persist in getting it right. GreenAcres is here for you!
Carrageenan—a seaweed extract worth monitoring!May 28, 2013
If you listened to the GreenAcres Health Talk radio show last week, you heard Sharon Sherman of Pet Guard tell us she never uses carrageenan in her pet food products. She’s a purist and doesn’t believe in anything processed or adding emulsifiers or gums to her all natural preparations. She believes as we, that our pets are worthy of the same treatment we want for ourselves, and that includes proper nutrition.
But if we look at even some all natural products, we’ll see that word carrageenan pop up along with xanthan gum, cellulose gum, locust bean gum, agar, and so on. Processed food producers say carrageenan is similar to gelatin or corn starch. Well, why not use those two binders instead of carrageenan which is a seaweed extract and is scrutinized pretty carefully by the organic food industry?
The “gums” the industry talks about are chemicals which do the following:
· They thicken things like ice cream marshmallow fluff, pancake syrup, etc., all benefit from thickening.
· They emulsify things: They help liquids to stay mixed together without separating.
· They change the texture: Generally, a gum will make something thicker or chewier.
· They stabilize crystals: A gum might help prevent sugar or ice from crystallizing.
The processed food industry uses these things frequently. It’s to preserve the state of food as it travels across country from hot to cold climes and vice versus, or sits on grocery store shelves for an indeterminate amount of time. Ice cream can melt; cookies can go stale; liquids and cheese can separate. You get the picture.
Still, carrageenan and other chemicals like it are not getting the red light in the organic foods category. In fact, red flags continue to go up.
New Hope 360, a watchdog consumer blog, has this to say:
“The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) urged the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) to ban the use of carrageenan in all organic products, according to a recent release. The controversial emulsifier, made from seaweed, is a common food additive and has been allowed in organic foods. Some research, however, has suggested the stuff causes gastroinstestinal inflammation and higher rates of colon cancer, according to the OCA.
Under NOP rules, carrageenan's approval is scheduled to expire, or sunset. The NOP is recommending another five years of approval for the ingredient. The action is inflaming the folks at OCA and at the Cornucopia Institute, who have been warning the public about carrageenan for years.
‘Carrageenan should not be allowed in infant formula or any other organic food,’ said Ronnie Cummins, National Director of the OCA. ‘And we can't allow the organic program to be constrained by the opinions of the FDA on food safety. After all, this is the agency that insists it's okey to eat olestra, saccharin, trans fats, aspartame, MSG, nitrates and parabens.’”
Pretty direct, we’d say! It’s something to be aware of and to consider.
We at GreenAcres will continue to do our research and look at natural and organic food products still using this ingredient. Our mission is first and foremost to educate both you and us. Let’s continue to keep on top of legislation about additives, GMOs and any other food caveats that might interfere with excellent nutrition.
We can’t have corporations, lobbyists with deep pockets or poorly-informed decisions of the government fooling with our food sources. Together, we can make our own educated choices based on research and facts, and fight back through letters to our Congressmen and by exercising our duty and privilege to vote when we think we’re being taken advantage of. Good health is everything, and certainly it reflects life worth living. Let’s stay on top of this issue!
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.
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.
If you like what you see, remember us the next time you plan an event! Call Bethany at 316-634-1088.May 03, 2013
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
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/
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!