Veggie Box

Veggie box full
Today I’m gonna talk about one thing that Nathalie and I both do. It’s the veggie box.
Actually she was the one who told me about: She started to buy this veggie box every single week and told us about. I though that would be a great idea to help us eating more vegetables and it is also a great way to support the local farmers.
vegetables_Vh

It is an easy way to have fresh and organic vegetables, and it’s super easy to get it. You  just need to log in on their website and pay $21.80 for a small box and it’s good for 2 persons, but if you have a big family you can ask for the big box and I think it’s good for 4  persons or more.
Veggie box empty

Also, you can ask for extra veggies or fruit and pay the extra, but I think with this way we save money. 🙂 You don’t have to go so far to pick up your veggies, you can chose the closest place to get your fresh veggies.

This is the website: http://www.abundantharvestorganics.com/

So, that’s it for today, and hope you liked it. 🙂 Have a great weekend everyone.

Lili

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Is it possible to live a healthy lifestyle in the USA?

Hi guys,
Renatah blog

My name is Renatah, I’m 21 years old and I’m from Horta – Portugal. I have known Lili for a few years now, although we’ve never met in person, we are great friends and our love for music was what brought us together. Now I live in South Windsor, Connecticut and I absolutely love it! New England is a great traditional place to live in!

Like many other people when I first moved to the United States, I was so overwhelmed by all the foods that I never seen before and I wanted to try everything, but for me it didn’t last long, my appetite became different and my taste buds weren’t very happy with my eating habits.

I am a vegetarian by choice and this is a very important subject to me. To me being a vegetarian it means more than respecting all living things, it is also about my health, meat is not good for our type of bodies. When humans in the past moved from the Equador to Northern Regions of the Globe, it was very hard to find food during the winter and that is why, men started eating meat to SURVIVE. But in our days, we go to the supermarket and there are no seasons, everything is available and she should take a little advantage of this commodity. We can pretty much eat anything without eating animals.

So the answer to my question is yes! We can totally live a healthy long life while living here,

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and let me say that it is very hard, but it pays off in the long run.

And here’s why. Take cattle for an example, these animals are given growth hormones to make them gain weight and grow faster, and the public consuming dairy products and meat are exposed to many health risks, like increased risk of cancer. Milk here in America is genetically modified and contains genetically engineered bovine growth hormones (rBGH) and it is very dangerous for our health and it was banned in Canada and Europe.

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What should we do?

When shopping for milk look for “No rBGH” and Organic Milk. You can also look for healthy alternatives like Coconut Milk (great source of protein), Almond Milk (10% of daily recommended Vitamin D), Soy Milk (8% iron).

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When shopping for meat I recommend buying a few alternatives that are much healthier, cheaper and tastier like Tofurkey Italian Sausage which is a vegan product that is cholesterol-free, with 8 grams of fiber, 29 grams of protein as opposed to traditional pork italian sausage that contains 65mg of cholesterol.

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(See how tasty this tofurky pizza looks?)

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Produce is also something we should pay attention to.

Here in America more is always better, so it was necessary to start giving pesticides and genetically modified organisms to our produce, and this is very bad for our health, because pesticides are absorbed and cause cancer and birth defects.

I recommend that when shopping for produce you should look for 100% organic USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) approved produce which are free of any chemicals and have way more nutrients and taste so much better!

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The bottom line is that organic here in America is the key, if you consume organic you shouldn’t worry about any kind of health problems, and your energy levels will be so much higher.

Here are some brands I love and once you try it I guarantee you will not want to go back to your old eating habits:

Nature’s Promise

Organic Valley

Amy’s Kitchen

Newman’s Own Organic

and of course you wanna check out your local farmer’s market!

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Where to find all of these products?

Whole Foods Market

Trader Joe’s

Safeway

Stop and Shop

It was a pleasure sharing some of my thoughts food related with all of you, this is a very important matter to me and even though sometimes it might be a little more expensive it pays off in the long run, IT’S OUR HEALTH!

If you have any other tips or ideas please share because I would love to add some new ideas to my plate!

Renatah 😉

6 Tips to Reduce your Plastic Use

Source: lovelygreenlifestyle.blogspot.com

Source: lovelygreenlifestyle.blogspot.com

Is your life too plastic? That’s the question the documentary Bag It keeps asking. I watched it months ago and I have to say, it changed the way I see things.

I have to confess that I couldn’t care less about the environment before. When I moved to the U.S., I had the opportunity to read and see different things. I didn’t have access to Netflix in Brazil (now they finally have it!), so I’d just watch cable; and there were only TV shows, sitcoms or reality shows, never documentaries.

I think Bag It was the first documentary that had an impact on me. Plastic bags always annoyed me, but for the wrong reasons. I hated them because of the irritating clutter: thousands of bags stuck somewhere in the house. It never ended!

As I watched the movie, I began to realize that the problem was much deeper. According to it, Americans use 60,000 plastic bags every five minutes. After a short period of time, they throw them away without much thought. The question is:  where is “away”? I found the answer later on. These disposable bags end up in a place that affects the environment, marine life and even human health.

Our trash ends up, obviously, in the ocean. There’s no magic; it doesn’t disappear. Now imagine millions of bottled water and disposable bags going to the trash every day. Still according to the documentary, two million plastic bottles are consumed in the U.S. every five minutes, and less than 25% are recycled. Note: a plastic bottle takes 1,000 years to decompose, while plastic bags take 100 year. So, yes, the debris can stay a long time in our oceans.

Source: http://earth911.com

“But what’s wrong with that?”, some people might ask. In the decomposition process, the plastic is broken up into tiny pieces. Marine life thinks that these little things are plankton – fish food –, and there is 40 times more plastic than Plankton in some parts of the ocean. In this way plastic enters into our food chain. The largest ecosystem on Earth is in a place called North Pacific Gyre, located in the northern Pacific Ocean. This place is also known as The Great Pacific Garbage Patch because of its enormous quantity of plastic and other debris swirling around the gyre. It is so big that it’s believed to be more than twice the size of Texas.

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Oh, and get this: it is estimated that 100,000 marine mammals and sea birds die each year from becoming entangled in or ingesting plastic debris. Yes, very very sad.

Here’s another huge concern. Plastic bags are made of fossil fuels, as petroleum and natural gas are, which are non-renewable resources. So one day this source will end and we, humans, will be miserable.

After all these things, should I say more to convince someone that reducing plastic use is good?

Okay, just one more thing. Plastic contains toxins that affect our bodies. It’s scientifically proved that things like BPA, substance found in plastic bottles and containers, affects the brain and the nervous system (causing depression and anxiety ); causes low sperm count and other diseases, like cancer.

We have enough reasons to get rid of plastic. Not completely, but let’s make sure to do our best to avoid the use of this material. Here are some tips to help you:

6 tips to reduce your plastic use:

1. Carry reusable shopping bags

When shopping (for groceries, clothes, or whatever), always carry a reusable bag with you. I always keep some in my car, this way I never forget them. I used to forget to bring my bags all the time, so I ended up buying new ones at the grocery store. So, yes, I have a lot of them. 😛

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2. Ditch bottled water

You can help the environment in a very easy way. Just begin using a water jar with filter. It can be made of plastic, but be sure it is BPA free. We ditched bottled water nine months ago, I think. Believe me, you’ll save a lot of money too.

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3. Choose milk in returnable glass bottles

Look for local dairies that provide milk in returnable glass bottles. I actually do this at Whole Foods. I just return the empty bottle and they give me U$1.50 back. I do this with heavy whipping cream too.

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4. Buy from bulk bins

You can find rice, beans, and other dry foods from bulk bins. I know a few grocery stores that have that option and it’s great. It’s also cheaper, since you don’t have to pay for the packaging.

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5. Avoid buying meat packed in plastic material

I recently began doing that. Now our meat is packed in paper.

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6. Reuse plastic produce bags or make cloth ones

I have to confess that I need to work on that. I always forget to bring my plastic produce bags; I never throw them away so I can use them again. You can make cloth ones too, using old t-shirts.

If I kept going, my post would become a book! There are other things that you can do to reduce your plastic use; read, search and use your creativity to help you and your family, as well as the planet where you live. 🙂

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Important announcement: we are on Facebook now! ‘Like’ our page to never miss a post 😀 The link is on the right side bar.

Gabriela

Irvine Regional Park

Carolina and me went on the other day with Bolt to this park, and I had the pleasure to take some pictures to show you guys how beautiful this park is.
I didn’t expect that, but when we got there, I just felt so good. There are some ducks, horses, peacocks, old things about mining, a touristic train, a little cascade, etc.

The only downside is that you have to pay $3 per car for entrance, but since you spend quite a bit of time there, you feel that those $3 were nothing. 😀 Check out those photos I took. 🙂

For more info, you can check out their website http://ocparks.com/parks/irvine/

Ducks Horse Mine cart Peacock Train Wheel water
BoltTo see more photos I’ve taken of the park, visit my Flickr page. 🙂 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lilianasousa/sets/72157632916249101/

Hope you all have a great weekend and have time to get there. Enjoy the sun people! 🙂

Lili

Get Out!

Get out 1

I know we are spoiled here in Southern California with the beautiful weather no matter which time of year! And believe me I enjoy it to the fullest.

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This is just a little post to still motivate you to get out and get fresh air with your beloved ones. I remember back in Europe sometime a walk in the cold and wet winter weather could be very enjoyable because the reward of grabbing a nice big bowl of hot chocolate to warm you up would be even more pleasant!

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You’ll hardly ever regret a walk outside and its vivifying impact! Have a beautiful weekend and get some fresh air wherever you are! And I’ll send you some Californian winter sun!

Get out 3

 

Nathalie

Let’s talk about meat

Since I moved to the U.S., I’ve been finding it difficult to eat real good food. Of course, on my first days here I was amazed by the burgers, fries and other types of fast foods; everything looked so delicious. After a month or so, I started feeling a little bit sick after eating these foods and I was begging for home-made meals.

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In-n-Out burger, yumm!
(Source: http://www.seriouseats.com)

I didn’t know how to cook, but under these circumstances I learned pretty fast! In Brazil the meals are simple, but the food is always great. So I remember what my grandma, father-in-law and mother-in-law used to cook everyday (my mom hates cooking) and tried to do it by myself, always asking for their advice  of course. And yes, in Brazil we eat beef on a daily basis, so I started buying ground chuck, beef and stew meat.

Everything was great, I was cooking almost every day and the food tasted very good. But something weird was happening: my face, especially the chin area, was covered with pimples. I found this very strange, since I’ve never had acne in my whole life. So I had to buy special soaps and creams (combined with a great foundation) to see if I could get my skin to look good again. Nothing seemed to work, so I had to dig deep to find the root of my problem.

I analyzed my eating habits. Was I eating too much fried or oily food? I don’t think so, as I was cooking at home and controlling these things better. One week I noticed that we didn’t eat much red meat, just fish and chicken. That’s when I saw my pimples healing and my chin was quickly getting better. I didn’t want to believe that and thought that was just a coincidence. One night we had meat for dinner and on the next day there was a new pimple in my face.

Well, then I was sure that this meat was not good for me. I also noticed that my husband’s skin was not so great either, but the impact on me was bigger. The two of us began searching for information about supermarket meat and we’ve found some disturbing facts about beef here in the U.S.

To make beef more affordable, the majority of meat producers build factory farms, or “concentrated animal feeding operations” (CAFOs), to manufacture meat more quickly and in greater quantities. So the cows can get fat faster, the producers feed them with corn. However, these animals are ruminants by nature and designed to digest grass. Since the stomachs of cows are naturally pH neutral, a corn-based diet creates an acidic environment that contributes to many health problems. Corn-fed cattle can have diseases as bloat, diarrhea, ulcers, liver disease, and a weakened immune system. To combat these health problems, the producers give them constantly antibiotics, which leads to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (source).

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An unhealthy cow is unhealthy meat, too. With the factory-farm industry, the beef is way cheaper. But at what cost? Also, these cows are confined in very small and crowded spaces. Although I’m not vegetarian, I think about how the cattle are treated. I support the use of stress-free environments, which provide natural behavior and socialization.

After reading all these things, we decided to buy only grass-fed beef. I could decide to become a vegetarian too, but after reading Nourishing Traditions, I strongly feel that meat (all kinds, including red meat) is essential and healthy for us. But this is subject for another post, let’s focus here.

Why grass-fed beef? Corn-fed beef contains far fewer nutrients than grass-fed beef. Recent researches found grass-fed beef to be significantly higher in calcium, magnesium, beta-carotene, and potassium than corn-fed beef. In addition, grass-fed meat is higher in healthy omega-3 fats and vitamin E (source). Plus, we don’t want to eat meat full of antibiotics and hormones, things that probably caused me acne.

Source: thecouponproject.com

Source: thecouponproject.com

Yes, grass-fed beef is more expensive than regular ones, but it’s definitely worth it. We usually shop at Whole Foods, but I’m looking for local farms that sell meat, I’ve read that it’s cheaper. You’ll also begin eating less meat since the good kind is pricey, which can be good, too. You get more creative in the kitchen!

If you also want to eat quality beef, always look for the “grass-fed” label. Be alert: grass-fed and organic are not the same thing. Animals treated organically were likely fed less grain than the “normal” industry, but they may still come from feedlots where they were fed grain. Look for meat labeled both grass-fed and organic.

Source: bobgarontraining.com

Source: bobgarontraining.com

It’s been almost two weeks since we’re eating grass-fed beef (not everyday, of course) and my skin is a lot better. I love being in this country, but I pass these Frankenstein foods!

Keep healthy and always make sure to eat real food! 🙂

Gabriela