Food Fraud: Lawn Grass in Tea Bags

Tea bags. Photo: SXC
Yesterday morning Good Morning America gave a shout out to buying whole foods. Why? Because food fraud is on the rise.

A report and investigation conducted by the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) unveiled practices that don't seem too surprising: juices diluted with sugar, water and other juices and olive oil thinned with less expensive oils.

But, what caught my eye was the discovery of lawn grass and dried ferns in tea bags. Yuck! Thank goodness I take the time to make my own herbal tea blends at least 50 percent of the time.

Did you miss the report on Good Morning America? Watch it here:
EXCLUSIVE: Group Finds More Fake Ingredients in Popular Foods

If you've ever needed a push to buy whole, fresh unprocessed foods--this report might just be it! Are you working toward a healthier diet this year? Please let me know in the comments below how you're overhauling your grocery cart!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living


Eating Clean: My "S" Lunches

Photo: Beglip, Morguefile
The point of following a whole foods diet is to eat clean. Since I avoid preservatives and processed foods, this means cooking from scratch a lot.

Often I'm asked how I can do this without being in the kitchen for hours each day. Well, I try to keep breakfast and lunch simple. Breakfast is usually a mix of fruits, soy milk and juice blended into a smoothie.

At lunch, I stick to my favorite four "S" lunches:

1. Salads
Salads are so fast to put together. Start with a bed of dark leafy greens such as romaine or baby spinach. Then I chop whatever vegetables I have on hand, add a little cheese and chopped hard boiled egg (made ahead of time) for protein. Lunch is ready in 10 minutes or less. If you're not a vegetarian, add cubes of cooked chicken or turkey.

2. Soups
My go-to lunch soup is usually potato. I put a cup of water and a thinly sliced potato in a small pot. While it boils I chop up a bit of red onion. After the potato is softened and most of the water has evaporated, add a cup of milk and use a stick blender to make the soup creamy. Finally toss in the onion, some shredded cheese, a little seasoning and lunch is ready. This usually takes 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Steamed
Lately I've been on a Brussels sprouts kick. I've been buying them fresh and experimenting with how to cook them. Today I washed, cleaned and sliced in half a big handful of the little green cabbages. I tossed them and a thinly sliced potato into the steamer and five minutes later they were soft. I sprinkled on some sea salt, fresh ground black pepper and a pat of real butter. Yum!

4. Sauteed
Ok, when I have a little extra time, I fire up the rice cooker and saute a bunch of vegetables on the cook top. While the rice cooks, I slice onions, broccoli, carrots, tofu, mushrooms, bell peppers and really any other vegetable I want to add. Add a little extra virgin olive oil to a skillet and caramelize the onions and brown the mushrooms. Finally, I add the other vegetables and cook them just until they are warm and slightly softened. Serve over a bed of brown rice with a splash of soy sauce or liquid aminos for a healthy lunch in about 30 minutes.

What are your go-to, whole foods lunch favorites?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living


Gluten-Free Dunkin' Donuts Coming Soon?

Dunkin' Donuts. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Ok, so doughnuts aren't healthy or a whole food.

But, if you're gluten-sensitive or have Celiac Disease you eat healthy most of the time, right? I do! So, it's ok to want to splurge on a sugary treat every once in awhile. (Hey, I'm human!)

Dunkin' Donuts is taking a proactive approach and reaching out to folks following a gluten-free diet. The company temporarily added two new items to store menus in Boston and Miami to see if customers are interested in having gluten-free treats, according to the Miami New Times.

Individually wrapped blueberry muffins and cinnamon sugar donuts are now available. You can read more about the menu change in my news commentary article on Gather News.

Do you live in Miami or Boston? Have you tried these treats? I'm curious! Many pre-packaged gluten-free items I've tried are dry or have a tough texture. Since a Dunkin' Donuts is opening in my neck of the woods soon, I'd love to have a gluten-free option to enjoy.

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

PS: Did you miss these posts? Check out these gluten-free topics!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins that Actually Rise!

Gluten-Free Soy Sauce Alternative: Liquid Amino Acids

What Is Xanthan Gum?


It's January! Foodie New Year's Resolutions

Illustration from Stock.xchng
Hello, 2013!

The new year is upon us and with that comes New Year's resolutions. For 2012 I vowed to reduce unnecessary chemicals in my life. My aspirations went far beyond the dinner plate.

My resolution included:
  • buying organic foods when affordable
  • cooking from scratch to avoid preservatives and fillers
  • overhauling my makeup choices to reduce chemical exposure
  • making natural household cleaners
  • using natural and organic beauty products
This year I plan to continue my healthy crusade and add financial health to the mix. Although having your own business has its perks (I am working in lounge pants and slippers today!) it also comes with unpaid holidays and vacations. For 2013, I will plan for these events not only based on deadlines and client needs, but also with a planned-out financial schedule. (Tips and ideas welcome!)

Do your New Year's resolutions for 2013 relate to your diet, health or overall well-being? Please share in the comments below and inspire other readers!

Happy New Year!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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