A Few of My Favorite Things
Anyone who knows me knows that when it comes to health and wellness, I'm always on the hunt for the best and purest products on the market. This includes items being produced by reputable companies using the highest quality ingredients. Here's a few of my favorite companies and products that I know you will love too!
I have said many times that in order to lose weight we need to reduce our intake of fats, especially oils. And I still stand by that statement wholeheartedly. However, there are times when a good piece of bread is aching for good quality olive oil. In fact one of my favorite meals is a slice of fresh sourdough bread, feta cheese and extra virgin olive oil. YUM!
But suffice it to say most people in American have never tasted high quality olive oil; yes, even the expensive "extra virgin" olive oil you find at your local grocery store doesn't compare to the real thing. One of best places to find pure, unadulterated olive oil is in the Puglia region of Italy. More oil is produced in this region, due to the sheer magnitude of olive groves in the region, than any other part of Italy. The taste of pure olive oil, beautifully described by Larry Olmstead in his book Real Food, Fake Food the first time he tasted olive oil from the Puglia region - "The second the liquid hit my mouth everything changed into a world of greenness, freshness, and explosive flavor. A moment later came the finish, with a slightly hot, peppery, but altogether pleasant bite. It had a slurp-inducing thickness and viscosity that made me swirl it all around my mouth a very pleasant silkiness that was not the slightest bit oily. It coated my tongue with its smoothness for a delightful moment, but then it was gone, not at all like the fatty residue of meat that lingers in a greasy overdose."
The truth is "extra virgin" is supposed to denote the best olive oil available. But there is a dirty little secret in the olive oil industry; most olive oil we find in the market today is fake. It is often diluted with less expensive seed oils, such as soybean or sunflower. The other common practice is to dilute olive oil with less expensive olive oil or older, rancid oil that was held over from bumper crops of previous seasons. This practice, besides destroying the taste, can radically reduce the health benefits associated with including a olive oil in a well balanced diet.
Have no fear the olive oil hunter is here! T.J. Robinson aka the "Olive Oil Hunter" well known as an expert taster and judge, runs the Fresh Pressed Olive Oil Club, that will deliver to your door the best olive oils produced from around the world. These olive oils remind me of youth when my Mom would get bottles of fresh olive oil from Greece. The taste and aroma in incomparable to anything you've ever tasted before.
Once you have this olive oil, you won't want to have anything else!
Much like the olive oil industry, spices are not always being sold in their purest form. An investigation into "spiked" spices in early 2016 found that the spices bought at several stores were altered or "fake". Some of the spices that failed testing include oregano, turmeric, and nutmeg. Spices were found to have been diluted with a whole host of ingredients that had nothing to do with the spice including wheat flour, peanut flour, unknown plants and weeds.
Like most people I use spices everyday. I add sea salt to my first cup of warm water in the morning, cinnamon in my espresso and oregano in my salads. So I want to make sure I'm getting the absolute best ingredients, free of pesticides, chemicals and additives.
The Spice House is my go-to for all things spices, including specialty salts such as black salt and garlic salt.
Dry Farms Wines
Who doesn't love a good glass of wine? But red wine doesn't always love me back. Even the smallest amount of red wine can give me a headache and a nasty hangover. I always thought that I needed to avoid wine, and red wine in particular, until I found Dry Farms Wine.
It turns out that the cause of headaches and migraines may very well be due to how the wine is produced and not the wine itself. Almost all of the wine made in the United States contain pesticides, additives and preservatives. And, in my experience, if you happen to find an "organic" wine made in the United States, the taste is mediocre at best.
Dry Farms Wines has made it easy for you to get our hands on some of the best quality wines from around the world (they in fact do not have American wines in their selection as they do not meet their high standards and criteria). And they are by far the healthiest wine you will find. Dry Farms Wines works with only the best vineyards and wine makers in the world to bring members the best selection. Their wines are all organically grown, lab tested for purity, lower alcohol, and sugar free.
I'll drink to that!
When it comes to most things I put in my body I try to choose organic, and as natural as possible. The same thing goes for what I put ON my body. I have tried many different deodorants and I have found Ursa Major to be the one that I really like that works. It has a great scent to it, and there's no harmful ingredients. Ursa Major is made of clean ingredients, cruelty free, aluminum free and made in the USA.
Gut health could be the single most important component to overall health. It is said that the gut is connected to brain health. I wrote extensively about gut health in a previous article you can read here.
I first found out about Dr. Bush, the creator of Ion Biome, a few years ago. I have since been taking this supplement three times a day. Ion biome boosts immunity, aids in gluten tolerance, enhances mental clarity and supports digestion.
According to the website "ION Gut Health supports the body’s production of beneficial enzymes through redox signaling (cellular communication). Those beneficial enzymes support the tight junctions (the seals between cells) in our gut lining – the barrier protecting us from toxic substances like glyphosate and gluten while allowing the entry of beneficial nutrients. It’s a critical barrier to keep strong so that a vibrant microbiome can flourish. Good health depends entirely on gut health because a lot more than digestion happens in the gut. It’s also where proper immune system function begins and the majority of our neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, are created. Say yes to ION*Gut Health and you are saying yes to optimal gut-brain connectivity and feel-good transmissions, protection from the toxins we face every day in our air, water, and food, immune function, digestive wellness, and supported gluten tolerance."
My "gut" tells me you'll love this too!