I NEED THE SPRING!!!
It’s the first day of spring and what did we get? Snow. Again. Not that the white stuff isn’t pretty, but we’ve had so much of it, I’m ready for the weather to warm up. One of the biggest reasons is the food. Yes, I must admit, food is always a big factor in my life, (I think about it all day!), even when it comes to the change of season. The last few months, we’ve embraced the seasonal foods like squash, soups, stews, etc. But now I can’t help but dream about asparagus, peas, leeks and strawberries. These foods are available in the “off season”, but I learned a long time ago that they just don’t taste as good as they do in their “peak season”. And of course when they’re organic, you’re getting the cream of the crop (pun intended). So come on tulips, geese and sunshine! Show up soon and I can make the pasta primavera I’ve been eyeing in my cookbook for the last 30 days.
Looking To The Holidays
I know Halloween hasn’t even passed yet, but as I looked at the calendar today, I realized that it’s exactly 2 months until Christmas. You know what that means. Stores will be packing their shelves with gift ideas, decorations and all the young (and older) kids will begin to compile their wish lists. It’s a wonderful time of the year – as the song goes – but I always wonder if much of it has gone too commercial and less about spending time with family and friends and reflecting on the year that has just passed. As a child, my mother and father decorated the house, put up the tree, and wrapped all of the gifts. But the most vivid and special memories I have are of all of the family coming over and having a huge meal with lots of laughs and fun. And when I say huge meal, I mean huge. Coming from a large Greek family, the focus of our get-togethers was food. The whole day was spent hovering around the kitchen where my mom and aunts would be preparing the meal and the anticipation was extreme. Little nibbles graced the coffee table and kitchen counters until the sit down dinner was ready to enjoy. A lot of what my parents were raised with back in the old country, was what they still cooked and ate. Everything was from the land and organic so to speak, and I definitely think that has had a tremendous impact on how I value organic food and the organic lifestyle today. Everything was always fresh and seasonal. The table was filled with cheeses, olives, fruits and vegetables, meats and fish, breads and of course wine. There was no shortage of choices and everyone got a little bit of everything. It’s a way of life, really: a little bit of everything, and everything in moderation. You hear it everywhere. The Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest and easiest to incorporate into everyday life.
Now that I have 3 children of my own, I have tried to instill this way of eating to them and they enjoy trying different things that their grandparents once cultivated in their younger years. It’s amazing how much they appreciate their roots and acknowledge the traditions. It’s also comforting to know that their way of eating is filled with healthy ingredients and balance. I can only hope one day they keep a little of it and I get to see their children enjoy a piece of spanakopita or they cook with olive oil from Greece. May you think of the upcoming holidays as a time to enjoy the company of your family and be about the customs that you celebrate year after year. And eat some really delicious food too!
Greek Mom of Three
This has been a pretty hot summer and Labour Day weekend is looking to be just as hot. At OrganicFoodDelivery.com we’ve really noticed the effect on produce and in traveling around the city.
If you haven't already had a sunburn this year, there's a fairly good chance you've been mildly singed by toxic sunscreen in the form of nasty, cancer-causing chemicals.
Earlier this summer the Environmental Working Group (EWG) put out their annual sunscreen report. Every year, they remind us that sunscreen contains toxic chemicals, like vitamin A, known to cause cancer, and oxybenzone, a hormone disruptor, and a skin allergen.
The other thing the EWG has revealed is that the SPF gives us a false belief that we're safe from the sun, when this might not be the case. Although most sunscreens pass the minimum standards of the FDA the EWG found that many labels with 15 SPF and higher do not provide adequate protection. More disturbing is that as the SPF level rises in the sunscreen the actual protection may not be higher at all.
What are your options?
Start kidding around
Use sunscreen produced for kids. They gave less fragrance and are less likely to contain the hormone-disrupting chemical Oxybenzone.
Don't take the shortcut
Spray and powder sunscreens can damage your lungs and eyes. Stick to the lotions.
Keep it minimal, mineral
Zinc oxide is an effective and safe (UVA and UVB) mineral that your skin doesn't absorb. It is a sunblock not sunscreen.There are dozens of brands that produce inexpensive, mineral only sunscreen.
Or make your own!
6 tbsp (84 grams) of coconut oil
2 tbsp (28 grams) almond or grapeseed oil
2 tbsp finely powdered zinc oxide (Or less if you want a less white sunscreen)
3 tsp sea butter
2 tsp beeswax pellets
Mix thoroughly with a hand blender to ensure the zinc oxide is distributed evenly throughout.
Get out there and enjoy the last days of hot hot hot!
All the best!