First ever junk food tax in North America

We’re very excited that this month the Navajo Nation will be instituting North America’s first ever junk food tax! While it’s certainly not a game changer in the world of junk food, it’s “one small step for mankind” in the direction of public policy actually encouraging health for a change.


The new tax is 2 percent on soda, chips, and other junk foods. In a related positive development, in 2014 the Navajo Nation removed a 5 percent tax on vegetables and fruits. Now that’s a real treat!

Processed food and soda health food? Dieticians paid to say yes!

I’m lucky we didn’t have soda or processed foods in the house much as a kid. It just wasn’t part of the Italian/Albanian cultural way of eating I grew up with. We ate a lot of simple, healthy foods like pasta e fagioli (beans), homemade pizza with tomatoes and olives (and no cheese), escarole and white beans, and lentil soup. The only “processing” I can think of was my grandmother asking me to go through the huge pile of uncooked lentils on her table to look for stray pebbles.


On holidays we’d have my Italian grandmother’s homemade cookies, or my Albanian grandmother’s homemade baklava. On very rare occasions we had a soda, either root beer or cream soda, as a treat. But that’s what sugar should be, an occasional, festive treat. Yet for many it’s Continue reading

Sugar industry not so sweet


In a story that’s eerily reminiscent of the tobacco industry, recent documents have shed light on the sugar industry’s history of manipulating public information to maximize profit at the expense of public health. 

Finally, the word has been getting out. If you haven’t already seen them, we highly recommend the documentaries King Corn and Fed Up. Each film in its own way elaborates on how refined sugar is everywhere, and is one of the leading causes of obesity and other related illnesses. And if that’s not bad enough, the politics behind it will really make you sick!


Eat your grains!

According to a large new long-term study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, it has been found that consuming whole grain foods is associated with up to 9% lower overall mortality and up to 15% lower cardiovascular disease (CVD) related mortality: “For each serving of whole grains (28g/day), overall mortality dropped by 5%, and by 9% for CVD-related mortality.”


Replacing refined grains and red meats with whole grains is also likely to lower mortality, according to the study. “Swapping just one serving of refined grains or red meat per day Continue reading

UtiliTEA kettle by Adagio

I have a handy little trick to save time when cooking something on the stove that requires hot water. When I prepare things such as soups, hot cereal, pasta or potatoes I usually speed the process along by pre-heating the water in an electric tea kettle. I like doing this because it’s faster than boiling it on the stove, it doesn’t take up a burner, and it doesn’t heat up the kitchen.

The one we have is the utiliTEA kettle by Adagio. It’s a 30 oz. variable temperature electric hot water kettle.

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We’ve had our utiliTEA kettle for several years. We use it numerous times a day, and it’s still going strong. We love it! We did loads of research before buying our Continue reading

SodaStream review – better for you, and your piggy bank

I’m always trying to get myself to drink more water. I’m not a huge fan of flat water, and I think buying bottled water is such a waste of resources.


However, I used to buy bottles and bottles of carbonated water/seltzer. And since I try to grocery shop as Continue reading

Mom’s vegan cauliflower soup

My mom is an awesome cook, and she sometimes surprises me with amazing dishes made from ingredients I previously thought I didn’t like. I’ve never been a big fan of cauliflower, and I’m not a big soup eater.

But her vegan cauliflower soup blew me away the first time I had it. I just couldn’t stop eating it! Now it’s one of my all time faves, and I even bought an immersion blender so I can make it myself. Yum!


Besides being insanely tasty, this soup is incredibly easy to make. It’s also super healthy since with no added oil it’s extremely low in fat. So simple, so delicious. You can’t beat  Continue reading

Nutribullet review, and our daily smoothies

There are very few kitchen gadgets I use on a daily basis, but there’s one item I use every single day. It’s the NutriBullet.

Actually, more often than not I use it twice a day, and so does my partner. In fact he even bought another just to keep at his work. After having used it steadily for over two years, I figured it’s finally time for a NutriBullet review!

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We use it primarily for smoothies. Ever since we learned how important it is to eat lots of leafy greens, we found the Nutribullet to be the best way to make that happen. That’s because it’s quick, it’s easy and it’s reliable. I like Continue reading