Green living Feed

Gimme a B (Corporation)!

I am a member of the Stonyfield Clean Plate Club and was a sent a selection of B Corp products for this post.

 

B corp stuff
I just got a care package from Stonyfield -- in addition to two containers of Stonyfield's new 100 Percent Grassfed Greek Yogurt (yum!), was granola, a toothbrush, fragrant hand soap, gluten-free flour, matcha tea, and a coupon for a carton of eggs.

Now, I suppose I could test myself and see what I could make with all the products (some sort of soapy granola yogurt tea parfait omelet?), but what these products REALLY have in common is that they're Certified B Corporations.

What is a B Corporation? The B Corporation website sums it up pretty simply:

"B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk."

(And here's a little video to further explain things.)

Turns out, many of my favorite companies are certified B Corps -- King Arthur Flour, Pukka Organic Teas, Method cleaning supplies, Pete & Gerry's Organic Eggs, Preserve Products (the toothbrush is made from recycled yogurt cups!) and my new favorite granola maker, Purely Elizabeth. That blueberry hemp ancient grain granola is fabulous -- especially sprinkled over the yogurt. 

Stonyfield b corp
Stonyfield says it felt a need to join forces with a like-minded group of businesses around the world who believe they have a responsibility to others. After poking around on the website, I'm not entirely sure what the "B" stands for, but the assessment has been developed to Measure What Matters and allows B Corps to compete to be the Best for the World, so my guess is that B is for Best.

I'm one of those persnickety shoppers who looks for things like organic, sustainable, Fair Trade, bee-friendly, etc., so this new certification is something to B on the lookout for when you shop for ethical products.


Greetings from Planet Yogurt! (Stonyfield Grassfed review)

I am a member of the Stonyfield Clean Plate Club. I received products and coupons to write this post, and all opinions are 100 percent my own.

We go through a lot of yogurt at our house, so much so that one of the produce bins has been reclaimed as the yogurt bin. It's usually filled with a variety of yogurts -- Greek, "regular," plain, fruit flavored and so on. There's usually a bottle of kefir in the fridge, too, (I'm a recent convert to plain kefir), and a quart of plain yogurt for recipes.

Got a lot of culture up in here!

Have you noticed that fat is making a comeback in the yogurt section? Hold up, dieters, it's actually a good thing. The past couple of years have seen the release of studies showing that America's fat phobia has come back to bite us in the ever-growing posterior. By taking out all the fat and replacing it with gobs of sugar, we're actually doing ourselves a disservice. The satiety that a little bit of naturally occurring fat provides works much better than sugar, which basically burns through you like jet fuel. For reference, HERE'S a study showing that people who consume full-fat dairy were actually leaner and had less cardiovascular risk than people who eat the fat-free stuff.

Let's get science geeky!

If those cows are fed 100 percent grass, instead of the corn, distillery waste and gummy worms (I AM NOT KIDDING) that many get, their milk is much higher in omega-3 fatty acids (good for lots of things) and conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA. What's so great about CLA? It may help people lose body fat. Hilarious, huh? 

OK, science geek - how's the yogurt?

Stonyfield grassfed yogurt
I like to play with my food.


Stonyfield recently sent me a variety of its new 100 percent grassfed whole milk yogurts, and I'll admit, at first I was a little freaked out. We've been programmed for so long to believe that fat is the enemy that it's unsettling to see the words "whole milk" on a label. 

But soldier on I did!

The yogurts I was sent were "old school" thinner yogurt, instead of thicker Greek yogurt, so these are lower in protein than strained varieties. Looking at the plain container, it has 120 calories, 5 grams of protein, 8 grams of carbs and 7 grams of fat in a 6-ounce container. See? That's not scary at all. Grassfed is also organic, non-GMO and made without artificial hormones.

My husband's favorite combo is cereal and frozen berries topped with a container of yogurt. He appreciated the thinner texture of these yogurts as he mixed up his big bowl of yum. The flavored ones -- vanilla, strawberry and blueberry -- are 140 calories per container.

What did I do with the plain? Lemme tell ya: 

  • I subbed it for the milk and butter in boxed macaroni and cheese, and the teenager thought it was great. The tang of the yogurt gives the cheese powder some needed sharpness.
  • I used it in place of the liquid and fat in a boxed cornbread mix, giving the cornbread a little tang and moisture.
  • I mixed it with ranch dressing powder to make a super simple veggie dip. 

I know what you're thinking: Where's the smoothie recipe? Sure, you can make a smoothie with yogurt, frozen berries, crushed ice and a little stevia, but I wanted to give you some ideas you might not have thought of. But go ahead and make an awesome smoothie with it. The added fat will help with satiety, something that people often complain of when subbing a smoothie for a meal.

If you're wondering where to pick up Stonyfield grassfed yogurt, you can check the bottom of Stonyfield's product page HERE for a store locator.


I love lemons

 

I love lucy lemon factory
Once I came up with that headline, I had to make this illustration, right?

A couple weeks ago, I had the weirdest dream and I had to tell it to the Weight Shrink:

 

"I had a dream that I was eating lemons -- just that, lemons, and nothing else. As I ate them, I thought to myself: 'It's not bad -- I could get used to this.' 

"Oh my gosh, how pathetic is that?" I asked her. "Do I think that all I can subsist on is lemons? What kind of a sad diet dream is that?"

But she told me to reframe that dream a different way. What if I saw that dream as getting used to changes that would benefit me in the long term?

"In your dream, you were enjoying those lemons, right?" she asked. In fact, I was. 

I had recently bought a bag of organic lemons from the farmers' market and they were really wonderful. So maybe the dream stemmed from that.

Or maybe I was deficient in vitamin C? I tend to gravitate toward apples, bananas and berries as fruit goes. Citrus gets short shrift (and yeah, I do live in Florida, go figure).

Turns out, people who have sufficient amounts of vitamin C burn 30 percent more fat during moderate exercise than those who don't. And too little vitamin C has been shown to correlate with higher body fat and waist circumference. (Check here for the medical mumbo-jumbo.)

I had run out of my beloved True Lime packets but I had lemons in a bowl on the kitchen table, so I started throwing a wedge -- skin and all -- into my Green Monster Smoothie. You need to have a really powerful blender to make it worth your while and incorporate the entire thing, luckily, I have a Ninja, which is a beast.

I also have been making my own salsa because regular jarred stuff is full of salt. In the single-serve Ninja container, I throw in a couple of Campari tomatoes or a handful of grape tomatoes, a few sprigs of cilantro, a few slices of pickled jalapeno (a little heat and a touch of sodium), a quarter of a lemon, skin and all, and a big glug of white vinegar. Then I blast it in the Ninja and voila! The vinegar makes up for the lack of salt and it's really fresh and delicious. That salsa and a couple of extra-thin corn tortillas makes a great 2 Point snack at night.

I also like to put super-thin slices of lemon on chicken breasts before baking it. The lemons soften and caramelize while the chicken cooks.  

And since today is Earth Day, I'll mention that using the entire lemon doesn't produce any food waste!

I'm chalking this up to a happy coincidence, but since I've been dumping whole lemon chunks in just about everything, I lost 3 pounds of fat last week. That's important to note, because losing muscle isn't something I'm willing to do just for a good outcome on the scale.

Disclosure: Weight Watchers is providing me three months' online membership, but really, I've been an online member for the past few months, so bonus! People following the Weight Watchers plan can expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week.


A 'detox diet' for your electronics

I'm not a big fan of detox diets or cleanses, unless it has to do with clutter. The human body has a very efficient way of ridding itself of toxins all on its own (yeah, that), but on the outside, we humans tend to hold onto old junk a little too long.

I'm a big fan of Peter Walsh, who wrote the book "Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat." In it, he says that a cluttered, messy home can have a negative effect on weight loss.

So what do you do with all your old, out-of-date electronic stuff? You can't throw it in the regular trash.

Live near a Best Buy? You can take all your old e-stuff there for electronics recycling, even stuff you didn't buy there, and no matter how old the items are. (You should have seen the collection of old Palm PDAs we had growing in the spare room!)

I'm always a little wary of bringing old electronics to recycling places because I have no idea what will become of my personal information, but Best Buy makes sure the hard drives are wiped clean and destroyed before they are recycled.

Want to find out more about the recycling program? Check out the video below:

 

Watch live streaming video from thebby at livestream.com

Disclosure: I have been compensated with a Best Buy Gift Card for this post.