BOW for the Ladies
An hour before a Ladies Night, I’m scrambling to finish up the food samples, load my car, and check final details. Somehow I always manage to forget a detail. This time it was the chips and salsa. That’s my springboard for talking about genetically-modified foods.
But no worries. There never are.
Every ladies night is the same: full of energy, smiles, laughter, and beautiful women. After every night, I leave feeling so fired up. Little by little, we women are gonna change the world. I just know it.
This night started off with the usual breathing exercises. It’s so important that we take time out of our days to practice deep-breathing. When we are stressed and rushing around, our breathing becomes shallow. Our cells don’t get enough oxygen. Well-oxygenated cells give us more energy, reduce stress, and help to prevent disease.
I also did an experiment with the ladies to show how much of a difference it makes to stay in the moment. Try it now. Focus on where you are, the colors around you… the sounds. Do you notice a change in your body? Your mood? Try it again outside.
Tonight we sampled cauliflower cashew wraps. This spread is super simple to make, though without a high-speed blender, you will need to chop your cauliflower into smaller pieces. Not a fan of raw cauliflower myself, this is super delicious and packed with raw nutrients and digestive enzymes.
In the northeast, we tend to crave more cooked foods this time of year, so including raw spreads, cut veggies, and smoothies into our diets is a way to ensure we’re still getting the benefits of raw foods every day.
I brought along popcorn, sprinkled with nutritional yeast, to talk about the benefits of home-popped popcorn as a snack. So easy to make ourselves on top of the stove, in coconut oil, and without the added saturated fats, trans fats, and other chemical additives found in most microwave popcorn. The nutritional yeast adds extra nutrients in the form of amino acids, B-vitamins, folic acid, and other minerals, and gives the popcorn a buttery kind of flavor (Also find at Whole Foods in the bulk section).
One of my favorite lunches is this not-tuna salad. (I’m having it today!) Another hit. So super easy to make, with the benefits of beans and iodine-rich kelp, yet without the mercury found in actual tuna.
The flourless black bean brownies went over quite well. I’ve never had a black bean brownie that tasted SO fudgey and so delicious. If you’ve got kids who are reluctant to eat anything that even rhymes with the word, bean (not that I can think of anything you’d eat that rhymes with the word, bean), then these should do the trick!
I can’t take credit, though. This recipe belongs entirely to Chocolate-Covered Katie. I recommend you check out her recipes!
I love the raisin nut truffles because not only are they super tasty, they use three ingredients! That’s it. Three. All go into the food processor, and the treats are ready in minutes. You can make this ten minutes before the bus arrives home, and make some happy kids in the process. If nut allergies are an issue, I’ve made these with pumpkin and sunflower seeds, too!
I was proud of the women for being brave enough to try the green smoothie. And guess what? They liked! I drink a green smoothie nearly every day and I swear, it’s made such a difference for my health. I no longer crave sweets like I used to, have more energy, and starting my day this way encourages me to keep putting fuel-foods into my body.
We don’t tend to get enough greens in our bodies, particularly in the winter, yet greens (along with nuts and seeds) are an excellent source of calcium and other minerals that help keep our bones healthy, dense, and strong. As we age, we lose bone density, but an active lifestyle and lots of greens will prevent that from happening. Don’t believe the hype about dairy. Greens and seeds are the better way to go.
The women asked about organic foods. Are there benefits? Absolutely! Despite what you may have heard lately in the news, there is no way you can blanket a field with pesticides and herbicides, kill all the beneficial microorganisms in the soil, and expect the same nutrient benefit. And of course, when you purchase organic, you avoid exposure to those toxic chemicals.
One of the women also mentioned the taste factor. Yes!! Have you ever tried a banana from Target? Tastes like plastic, in my opinion. Once you get used to organic, it’s difficult to adjust to anything else.
Of course, buying all organic is not feasible for most families. I suggest checking out the Environmental Working Group‘s page. Excellent resource! There you can find The Dirty Dozen- the produce you should always buy organic- as well as rate your cleaning and body products.
You can also spray your conventional vegetables with a mix of 1/8 cup to 1 cup distilled or filtered water and then rinse. Pesticides were made to be water-resistant. If they weren’t, they’d have to be re-applied every time it rained. Using the vinegar/water wash helps to remove many of the toxins.
We do what we can; we don’t stress about the rest.
Remember to support your local farmer’s markets, too. We’re lucky even in New England, because the winter farmer’s market concept is growing. Don’t be afraid to trying growing your own, too! Even an herb counts.
One of my final activities was to show the women what a typical day in my life looked like about 8 years ago. From the foods I ate to the cleaners I used, it was easy to see how I put my body on toxic overload over the course of a day.
Our bodies are amazing, and can rid us of many of the poisons we encounter, but they can only do so much. The more steps I take to clean up my life and reduce my stress, the stronger my body will be, and the better it will resist illness and disease. Life isn’t so much about the quantity of my days; it’s about the quality of my days.
My beautiful host and her guests told me the night was “fun and uplifting”, “informative yet light-hearted” and “very inspiring”.
Empowered. The women now feel empowered.
It’s always the same.