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Why Cold Extracted Honey Is Best

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My great-grandfather was a beekeeper. I am not a fan of bees, at least in the insect-buzzing-around-me-ready-to-sting-at-any-moment sense. My dad is allergic to them so I’ve always had this healthy fear extreme paranoia of getting stung.

For as long as humans have been around, we’ve been braving angry, buzzing bees — and the occasional angry bear — to get a taste of nature’s own sweet gold: Honey. In fact, the ancient Romans and Aztecs valued it so much that they used to pay their taxes with honey, instead of gold! So smart.

Honey is not only sought after for it’s sweet flavor and nutritional value, but recent scientific studies show that honey contains potent antimicrobials and antioxidants, provides a rich wealth of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and flavonoids — all of which speed healing and promoting overall health. It’s no wonder honey is known as a superfood!

All that, and it tastes great on toast, yogurt, ice cream, stirred into tea, and in just about everything else, too.

I’ve been shopping at Green Polka Dot Box for a while, but I’m really excited to try a product that they carry: Living Honey’s 100% Cold-Extracted Honey.

What is Cold-Extracted Honey?

So what’s the deal with cold extraction?  Isn’t one type of honey pretty much like every other type of honey? The answer is  NO WAY! To understand why cold extracted honey is better — taste-wise, nutrition-wise, and health-benefits-wise — let’s explore how honey is created.

The Bees Do it Better

When it comes to making honey, bees in a hive are grouped into different categories of worker, each with its own set of honey-related tasks. So-called foragers fly about from flower to flower, drinking nectar and storing it in their crop, also known as a honey stomach. When the foragers get back to the hive, they pass the nectar along to a processor bee, who hangs out at the front of the hive. They are so smart!

The processor bee then carries the nectar up to the top of the hive where the honeycomb sits in all of its glory. After depositing the nectar in a honeycomb cell — along with a dose of invertase, a natural enzyme — the nectar is left to ripen. During ripening process, the invertase breaks down the nectar’s original sugar content — sucrose — into glucose and fructose. The bees in the hive help the ripening process along by drying out the honey; the ingenious little creatures create drying airflow by flapping their wings.

Over time, the nectar loses almost all of its water content. No water means no chance of bacteria or other microbes like fungi growing in the honey. When it’s completely ripe, the bees create a little wax cap, sealing off the cell of the honeycomb.

Another interesting honey fact: The flowers that bees collect nectar from determines the fragrance, taste and color of the honey, from the lightest, almost white-yellow to the darkest, deepest amber. For instance, orange blossom, alfalfa, sage and clover honey tends to be light in color and taste, while honey from wildflowers, pine trees and buckwheat tends to be darker and richer. As a general rule, the deeper and darker the honey, the more antioxidants, antimicrobials and other good stuff it contains.

And speaking of all that good stuff, that’s where cold extraction comes into play.

bee Why is Cold Extracted Honey Superior?

Here’s a little known fact: 99.9% of the honey you buy at the supermarket is ruined. That’s right: Ruined.

Why? Because commercially processed honey is heated, pasteurized and filtered within an inch of its life, leaving virtually nothing behind but a sticky syrup that’s really almost no better than corn syrup. All of those amino acids, all of those B and C vitamins, all of those anti-oxidant flavenoids, carotinoids, enzymes and ascorbic acids, and all of those nutrients that the little bees worked so long and carefully to product? Gone, thanks to the heating process.

So, you’re probably asking, if honey is naturally antimicrobial, why heat it at all? The answer is simple: Money.

It all comes down to packaging costs. Cold honey is thick and rich, filled with all of the natural goodness the bees put in, so it moves very slowly — which means that bottling process moves slowly, too.

By heating the honey up to at least 130 degrees, it moves faster and can be pumped into bottles by machines, enabling processing plants to make more product quickly, thus aiding their bottom line. And buyer beware: Even products that say “Raw” on the label still usually heated up to 115 degrees, and when honey hits a temperature of 107 or above the digestive nutrients become “stressed,” which degrades the substance, causing particles to separate – and changing the taste, too.

In contrast, the cold-extraction process used by Living Honey leaves all of the natural goodness, nutrients and phytochemicals in the honey, along with all of the health-promoting properties they deliver.

Plus, Living Honey only uses acid-proof containers to store honey, as it can leach moisture, chemicals and flavors from its surroundings, contaminating the purity and adulterating the flavor. Living Honey knows that their customers tend to have discerning palates, so they make sure their honey always taste just as good as it should and contain nothing more than the nutrients nature intended. There’s just no comparison to the “honey-flavored” stuff you find at the supermarket.

It’s easy to get all of the health benefits and deliciousness of honey in this simple, addicting recipe. Simply drizzle honey over your favorite cereals or granola. Stir until small balls form, then pour in bit of milk for a fast, simple breakfast. You can also pour a bit of honey over biscuits while they’re still hot from the oven, then allow them to them sit overnight. The baked goods absorb the honey, taking in all of that sweet goodness without leaving a sticky feeling.

*** DID YOU KNOW that you can even make your own honey sports drink that delivers the electrolytes, vitamins and minerals you need to replenish your body, without all of the high fructose corn syrup and synthetic colors and flavors you’ll find in most commercial sports drinks? Simply add ¾ cup of honey to 8 cups of water, add a dash of salt and a squeeze of lime, and mix well.

How about you? Do you use honey? Do you have a favorite brand?

Me? I’m shopping for it RIGHT NOW at Green PolkaDot Box. Check them out!

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“Kids Eat Real Food” book review and sale!

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kidseatrealfood_with-border How would you love to help your Kids Eat Real Food without power struggles, whining or bargaining (from them OR you!)?

One of the main challenges I hear most often about Real Food (other than the time and money it can take) is how hard it is to get their kids to actually EAT Real Food.

Well, Vanessa from Natural Family Today has a GEM of a book for those of you that might struggle with this!

I was able to write a “review” for her and I meant every word I said:
“Kids Eat Real Food” is a wonderfully practical book of tips, tricks and encouragement for parents who desire to feed their kids nourishing, real foods! While Vanessa suggests that the parents own attitude towards food will affect how they teach their kids on the subject, she also offers tips to help kids learn the value and enjoyment of Real Food.

Not only does the book contain many delicious recipes, but also ideas for making food more appealing to kids! Teaching kids where their food comes from, taking them to visit farms and helping them to grow produce in a family garden can all be effective tools for making Real Food “stick” for your family.

Vanessa is not only knowledgeable on the topic of Real Food, but her personal experience adds depth and validity to what she is sharing. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed to have this useful book (filled with yummy, kid-friendly recipes) as a real food reference!”

pages-recipes-160x160 I had a chance to read the whole e-book and it’s really helpful – so many practical tips for helping your kids to learn to really LOVE Real Food. I can’t wait to try some of the recipes she includes!!! They look very kid-friendly and simple.

She has meal plan recipes for every meal and 29 recipes that kids will love!

Whether you have babies or toddlers and want to know how to get them started early on loving Real Food, or whether your kids are a bit older and new to Real Food, she has tools to help.

Vanessa approaches Real Food from every angle, even addressing your OWN views of food and how it can impact what you are teaching your kids. I love her ideas for getting kids involved in sourcing the food – knowing where it comes from and even growing some of your own.

Order Now button Take a look at some additional details and see her special introductory pricing (PLUS see my face and my review on her site!) by CLICKING HERE or the “order now” button above.

 

Related posts/resources:

Resources for Planning Your Garden  (to help your family have a garden of their own – your kids will LOVE it!)

Tower Garden Aeroponic Vertical Gardening (for those of you lacking room for a garden!)

Mountain Rose winner, Tropical Traditions FREE Shipping, a NEW book tomorrow.

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Organic herbs, spices, teas and oils.

Mountain Rose Herbs Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered the Mountain Rose Herbs giveaway! One lucky person won the set of 3 products – the Himalayn Pink Salt, Lemon Pepper and a bottle of Avocado Oil. Was it you? I emailed the lucky person and am waiting to hear back, but just in case she reads this first…………

KRISTEN PATTON – YOU WON!!! Please contact me at melissa @ realfoodeater. com with your mailing address so I can give that to Mountain Rose Herbs! Congrats!

For everyone else, hopefully I at least introduced you to a great new option for organic teas, spices, essential oils and SO much more. Whenever you shop with them, would you consider using the link on my  page for their site (just click on one of my banners)? I earn a small commission for referrals and income like that helps me keep things running around here. :-)

 

free shipping Free Shipping over at Tropical Traditions – TODAY ONLY!

My favorite Coconut Oil Company, Tropical Traditions, is having FREE SHIPPING on select products until Midnight EST tonight! It’s the perfect time to stock up. They also have baking and food items, non-toxic cleaning products for your home and skin care! Use coupon code 14331 at check out!

One of their on-sale items is their Powdered Dish Detergent – it’s 50% off. I’ve never tried it before so if you do, would you mind stopping back over here and letting us know how it is? THANKS!

SHOP AT TROPICAL TRADITIONS HERE!

IF you have never shopped with them before, you will receive a FREE book all about coconut oil which also contains 85+ recipes.

Disclaimer: Since they are an affiliate of mine, if I refer you there, I also receive a gift certificate. So thanks again – this helps put GOOD food on the table for my hubby and 4 kids!

 

Helping your Kids Eat (and LOVE) Real Food

If you struggle with knowing how to do this, be sure to come back tomorrow. I’ll be introducing a great book from a great blogger on how to do just that. She has a special introductory price AND I even got to write a review and am quoted in it. FUN!

I’m also working on the series of “Real Food Roadblocks”, addressing some of the hold-ups when trying to feed your family Real Food. I figure her book fits in great as a kick-off to that. So stick around and keep learning – it’s all about taking small, baby steps towards the goal of eating mostly Real Food. Your health and your body will thank you!

Never miss a blog post – SIGN UP HERE.

Receive my MONTHLY NEWSLETTERS HERE.

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Why I Love Juice Plus!

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Organic healthy vegetables and fruits I’m not a big fan of multi-vitamins.

But, I do know that sometimes we aren’t getting all of the nutrition that our bodies need from what we are eating.

This might be because we aren’t eating a big enough variety of foods to get the whole range of nutrients we need. Or, it could be because the foods we are eating are being grown in soil that is depleted of nutrients, affecting the nutrient value of the food. (Plus, did you know that the USDA currently recommends that we should all have 7-13 servings of fruits/vegetables per day?)

A friend introduced me to Juice Plus last year and I am really grateful. Our family has been taking/eating it and are really loving it and the results we’ve experienced. Our daily immune-boosting routine includes Juice Plus, Elderberry Syrup and Cod Liver Oil.

Here are the main reasons why I feel confident recommending Juice Plus capsules/chewables to others:

(And yes, I am a Rep for Juice Plus so certainly I am biased in favor of this particular product. If you use something else and it works for you, then GREAT! I have just appreciated the things listed below and the health results we’ve experienced in conjunction with eating Real Food).

1. It’s made from Whole Foods.

They start with high-quality plants and seeds and the best mid-size family farms. Then they juice the WHOLE fruit or vegetable (including peels, seeds and leaves whenever possible), to ensure  the greatest nutrition. That’s all – just good, whole food ingredients.

Juice Plus isn’t designed to take the place of fruits and vegetables, but rather it helps “Bridge the Gap” (<–great video) between what we SHOULD be eating and what we ARE eating.

2. The foods are all non-GMO, pesticide-free and are carefully preserved.

All plants/seeds are GMO-free. They also test all of their batches for any trace of pesticides or chemicals. And when they dehydrate the fruits/veggies, they do so gently, at a low temperature so the enzymes remain intact. CLICK HERE to see how it’s made!

Juice Plus studies 3. It’s backed up by scientific research.

Unlike most multivitamins out there, this whole food nutrition has been proven to actually be absorbed by your body. (i.e. No fluorescent yellow pee.) <——-Come on, you know what I mean, right?!

Since it’s whole food and is in a form our bodies know what to do with, it can absorb them and utilize it. And, there are published medical studies proving that Juice Plus works at the cellular level to make our bodies healthier. You can check out the Medical Journals it is published in here.

Here’s a summary of what the medical journals and studies found to be true of Juice Plus:

  • Delivers key antioxidants and other phytonutrients that are absorbed by the body
  • Reduces oxidative stress
  • Reduces key biomarkers of systemic inflammation
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Helps protect DNA
  • Supports cardiovascular wellness
  • Supports healthy skin
  • Supports healthy gums

4. The Children’s Health Study.

This is one of my favorite parts. Basically, when an adult is using Juice Plus they can sponsor a child for FREE. That child (between the ages of 4-18 or who is a current undergraduate student) can get their Juice Plus for FREE for up to 4 yrs. At different intervals, they will receive a short questionnaire to fill out about the health of that child to see the difference Juice Plus is making for them.

We really love this part and enjoy that our “kids eat free”!  *IF YOU’D LIKE SOME FREE SAMPLES for your kids to try, let me know by contacting me using one of the icons near my picture. (sorry, but I need to limit mailing samples to those of you in U.S. and Canada only!)

jp-heart 5. It carries a Food/Nutrition Label rather than a Supplement one.

Because….it only has foods!  Of course, in my opinion it is better than a multi-vitamin because it has the nutrients and food in their WHOLE form (minus the water!). Some people think they really need to be taking vitamins, not a capsule with “whole food”. Well, whole foods contain all of those vitamins our bodies need! Keep reading…

For example, an apple contains Vit C, E, A, B1, B2 and B3. It also contains pectin, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, flavonoids and is high in boron. They can help to increase bone density, mental alertness, lowers cholesterol, aids in diabetes management, increases teeth and gum health and aids in digestion. And that’s just an apple!

How about kale? Well, it is rich in magnesium, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. It’s also high in the Vitamin B’s, A, E and K, plus B-carotene, lutein and iron. It helps to move toxins, is crucial for cell replication, and helps to reduce the risk of 5 cancers (bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate). It also contains anti-inflammatory properties.

The other 14 fruits/veggies in the basic combine for great results!

6. It’s NSF approved.

The NSF is an outside certification organization that ensures that what the label says is in the product is actually IN it. They also test for contaminants which would include pesticides or herbicides. Not all supplements or raw food products contain this certification, but it carries a lot of weight – and ensures you are actually getting what the label says you are!

I really love that the price point is comparable to the more high-quality “vitamins” that are out there….but with the confidence knowing my body KNOWS what I’m taking in and can use it to build a stronger and healthier me!

If you’d like to know more about Juice Plus products, please email me using the email icon on the right side – and visit my Juice Plus Website to learn more! (You can order directly on there as well, UNLESS you want the FREE kids’ version with the adult….then I need to put the order through for you). The products are mailed to you in a 4-month supply but you pay for them monthly so the cost is spread out. It comes out of our grocery budget as it’s FOOD!

 

P.S. Do you enjoy sharing the message of good nutrition with others?

How would you like to team up with me to reach even more people with the message of good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle?

I’m looking for a few good people to join my team with Juice Plus. (Wait, I know you might be skeptical. I was too. But, with a background as an RN, I have been immensely impressed with the number of leading doctors, naturopaths and  chiropractors who recommend Juice Plus capsules/chewables to their patients. Plus, the audio lectures and nutrition talks that are available through Juice Plus have been top-notch. Not to mention the actual Juice Plus studies that are published in medical/scientific journals).

If extra income, a supportive team, no minimums/quotas and WORKING WITH ME appeals to you, shoot me a message at melissa@realfoodeater.com and we can chat as to whether it is a good fit for you!

 

 

 

A Few Exciting Things!

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cropped-header.png Just a quick update for you all!

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you’ll know I’ve attempted the “Monday Meal Plan and Recipe Share” on Mondays – sharing my own weeks’ meal plan and having others share their favorite recipes.

For the first couple weeks I got a few submissions, but the last few weeks I’ve gotten NONE. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Please don’t worry, I’m not mad or upset, just realizing that I probably should waste my/your time by doing this on Mondays, that’s all!

Real Food for Real Life So, a change will be rolling out. To keep with my theme (Real Food: What it is, Where to Get it and How to Cook it), I’m going to be focusing each Monday on the “Where to Get it” portion.

Sometimes these will be books or sources (with discounts!) that I think you’ll all love. Other times it will be a giveaway from one of my sponsors. I have a few GREAT ones coming up soon! And only a couple times a year it will be a carefully selected “bundle sale” of books and services.

(P.S. There is one such bundle coming up on Oct. 7th. You’ll want to be sure to stay tuned and read my blog that day – this bundle is HUGE, valuable and will be a great price). Save up your weekly coffee and/or lunch money and use it on this instead. I promise it will be worth it!)

We’ll be kicking it off this coming Monday with a book I know a lot of you will love, at a cost of 25% off the regular price – and no, it’s not the one pictured above, but that one is a great one too – you can click on the picture to read more about it. Come back and visit Monday to see the details…

Also, I hope it never feels like I’m trying to “sell” you something…please know that when I do choose books/services/bundles to share with you all, I do so because I think they are valuable and helpful. I don’t just jump on any ‘ole book bandwagon!

And yes, I DO earn a small commission for affiliate links and/or promoting books, but know that it’s not a whole lot. It’s just enough to keep things running around here (web hosting, anti-virus software, yearly fees, etc, etc). All the yucky stuff that is part of blogging.

I continue to love this little outlet I have for sharing recipes that I think up, books and resources I come across and info that I learn along the way on the topics of Real Food and Healthy Living.  And I’m thankful that I have a couple thousand people to do it with each month.

I hope you’ll stick around for a bit. Come learn along with me as we navigate this Real Food journey!

And if you are a new(er) reader, I’d love to have you comment below and tell me more of what you’d like to see!

Blessings!

Melissa

 

This post contains affiliate links which, when clicked, might earn me a small commission. Thanks!