Special Deal: Branch Basics Non-Toxic All-Purpose Cleaner

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If you still haven’t found a good natural replacement for all of those toxic household cleaners – one that actually works – then this is for you. I’ll never forget when a friend once said to me, “Most people think of harsh chemical cleaners as having a ‘clean’ smell, but I only think of them as having a ‘harmful, toxic’ smell.” She got me thinking and not long thereafter I cleaned out everything that was under my kitchen sink. Man, she was right, I owned a lot of different conventional very smelly cleaners. My collection included everything from toilet bowl scrubbing solution to glass cleaner to bleach…all products that could inflict harm just from their fumes alone, and can you imagine if someone accidentally ingested one of them (Heathers anyone?)? So, right then and there I decided I was done and honestly gave everything to the very same neighbor who willingly accepted all my processed food not too many months before – no hard feelings attached! What can I say, she wanted it and I hated to waste anything.

Then I went through a period of staring at all the different “natural” cleaners for sale at Target. Who doesn’t love the selection at Target? BUT I was at a loss because I could not decipher this stuff like I can food. Even if I tried to read the ingredient labels none of the long names made any sense to me. So here I was trying bottle after bottle (at $4 or $5 a pop I might add) thinking I don’t even know if this stuff is really any better than what I just tossed.

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Egg Labels: What To Look For

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I’ll never forget my first hunt to find “real” eggs back when we initially made our switch to real food. I’d read in Michael Pollan’s book, In Defense of Food, that “pastured” was the optimal egg label to look for yet when I visited three different grocery stores in our area – including health food stores – everyone basically looked at me like I had three heads. Those days were fun. So, I went back to my research just to make sure I wasn’t confusing the word “pastured” with “pasteurized” (two similar sounding terms with very different meanings!), and I was momentarily at a loss.

Eventually I figured out that the “good” eggs are the local ones found at the farmers’ market. I learned that in most cases pastured chickens not only roam free, but roam on a green, grassy field – or should we call it – a pasture! Unlike cows, chickens do well solely on grains, BUT they are much healthier animals if they eat some greens and bugs as well. And as I’ve shared before, “The diet of the animals we eat strongly influences the nutritional quality, and healthfulness of the food we get from them, whether it is meat or milk or eggs.*”

Healthier chickens (defined by diet and living conditions) = more nutritious eggs!

So, for a couple years now we’ve been almost exclusively buying our eggs from the farmer’s market. And what I’ve noticed is that – no matter what type of grocery store eggs we compare them to – you can see the difference. The color of the yolks from truly pastured eggs are a vibrant orange versus the pale yellow you typically find. And when farmers’ market shopping there is no need to understand the different egg labels since you basically “shake the hand that feeds you” and can simply ask the farmer about the living conditions and diet of their chickens as well as the use (or lack) of antibiotics.

Farmer’s Market Egg vs. Organic Egg – 100 Days of Real Food

In an effort to clear some things up, here’s the low down on some common egg labels (based on information provided by the USDA and Humane Society). Read on to see what terms are actually regulated by the government and what they mean exactly – if anything!

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Misleading Food Product Roundup II: Don’t Be Fooled

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Today I am once again posting a “roundup” of the misleading food products I frequently share on Facebook…just in case you missed some of these or need a friendly reminder (or simply don’t use Facebook). Please don’t let the food industry fool you with these products!

GoGurt
Yogurt seems like a pretty innocent snack, right? Well, take a closer look (at the ingredient list) and you’ll see that these “Strawberry Milkshake” and “Banana Split” flavored yogurt tubes don’t actually contain any strawberries or bananas at all! The flavors come from refined sugar and artificial flavors/dyes. Did you know that artificial dyes are derived from petroleum and require a warning label in some countries stating they “have an adverse effect on activity and attention in children?”

Real Food Alternative: Why not make your own yogurt tubes by filling reusable silicone molds with homemade smoothies, plain organic yogurt (that you flavor yourself), or even applesauce? My kids love the homemade versions!

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Recipes: From Your Freezer to Your Slow Cooker

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A couple months ago I shared a fellow blogger’s From Your Freezer To Your Family: Slow Cooker Freezer Recipes eCookbook and I am not going to lie…many of you went a little crazy over this book! In reality, the concept behind this e-cookbook really is a great idea. You spend one afternoon chopping, assembling and freezing “meal packs,” and then on any given day you pop one into your slow cooker and – voila! – dinner is done.

Many of you had questions about how this method of cooking works exactly, so today I invited the author, Stephanie, to share all of the details with us so you can create your own “Freezer to Slow Cooker” recipes at home. Or better yet you could just pick up a copy of her book if you’d rather someone else do all the work for you…she is currently offering our readers 30% off with coupon code “100DRF”!

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Feedback from our Real Food Pledges

Feedback from our pledges

Lots of readers have signed up to take our “10 Days of Real Food” pledge in the New Year, and this is what some of them say they have learned from the experience… “Doing this […]

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Food Babe Investigates: How Food Companies Exploit Americans with Ingredients Banned in Other Countries

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Thoughts of outrage, unfairness, disbelief, and ultimately grief consumed me while I was doing this investigation. A list of ingredients that are banned across the globe but still allowed for use here in the American food supply recently made news. While I have written about some of those ingredients before, this list inspired me to look a little deeper and find out how pervasive this issue is for us. Are these banned ingredients contributing to the higher mortality and disease rates in the U.S.?

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More Picky Eater Tips (+ $140 Giveaway)!

Picky Eater Tips

Winning over your picky eater is no new topic on this blog, but it’s something that many parents continue to struggle with day after day. So this is why I am super excited to share some new healthy eating tips with you straight from two experts in the field (and both sponsors of our blog)! Cai Dixon, co-creator of the Copy-Kids DVD, and Kia Robertson, creator of the Today I Ate A Rainbow kit, have both created award-winning yet simple resources that get kids interested in – and eating! – their fruits and veggies. Both Cai and Kia are fellow moms who feel passionate about helping other parents overcome the typical struggles they face when trying to get their children to eat a varied diet. Be sure to check out the contest details at the bottom because both of them are generously giving away one of their products along with a $100 Whole Foods (or alternate grocery store) gift card!

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School Lunch Roundup III

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Here’s yet another “round up” of my kids’ school lunches that I routinely share on Facebook. In case you are new here these links might help set the stage for you:

School Lunch Roundup I and School Lunch Roundup II.
Our favorite school lunch supplies including the divided Ziplock container.
Everything you could ever want to know about the pictured, brightly-colored smoothie/freezie pop molds.
Why we don’t track protein or worry about getting “enough.”
Our full recipe index where you can find most (but not necessarily all) recipes pictured below.

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Interview with Robyn O’Brien, Part II (Plus a Book Giveaway!)

The Unhealthy Truth by Robyn O'Brien on 100 Days of Real Food

This is Part II of my interview with Robyn O’Brien – in Part I we discussed food allergies, diet and our food supply. And we are actually giving away 10 copies of Robyn’s book The Unhealthy Truth, which shares the story of “One Mother’s Shocking Investigation into the Dangers of America’s Food Supply – and What Every Family Can Do to Protect Itself.” It’s straight up non-fiction, but as Robyn reveals what she learns through her research it begins reading like a thriller (at least for someone like me who’s interested in food and my family’s health!). At the end of the interview you’ll see instructions for how to enter to win.

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