Tag: food

New SBF Food Guide Created by Trim Healthy Mama

A while back I reached out to Serene and Pearl, creators of Trim Healthy Mama, and asked them for help based on my lifestyle and the type of workouts I do and teach. I was sent a pre-released copy of both books and a personal seven day plan. I was excited when they enthusiastically agreed to let me pass along the plan they personally made for me to YOU! This seven day plan was created with SBF in mind, and they know my method well since they do my workouts.

I didn’t have any diet limitations but if you do, or if you feel like you want to swap out a meal for something else, just use this plan as a guide. It will be important that you sub out the same “type” of meal if you are wanting to follow this plan (which I recommend if you are new to THM, so I have included the type of meal (S,E,FP) beside each recipe in the list.

We’ve also included a cheat sheet that you can cut out and take to the supermarket or to use when planning your meals.

We selected and tired a few favorite recipes to include in the guide, but I highly recommend you get the Trim Healthy Mama Plan Book and Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook. Reading the book is invaluable to the understanding of the ins and outs of this plan. This guide is to give you a taste and a starting  point based on our style of working out.

Thank you so much to Serene and Pearl for providing the SBF Community with this custom plan!

xoxo Suzanne

Members DOWNLOAD your COPY in the MEMBER AREA HERE! *(You will see a tab in the member area for the food guide download)*

The post New SBF Food Guide Created by Trim Healthy Mama appeared first on Suzanne Bowen Fitness.

Shopping Local at The Fermented Farmer

I am not sure about you, but I am growing more and more in love with fermented foods. There is something about knowing an item is very healthy for me to help me love it in spite of a sour, spicy, or tangy taste. As my taste for ferments grows, I begin to crave them! I realize my digestive system is screaming for probiotics and I like adding ferments to the tops of all my salads, sides, and fall protein packed dishes.

I had been spending large on tiny jars of fermented cabbage and kim chis bought at a local organic grocery here in Blue Mountain Beach. What I loved about those ferments compared to say, Bubbies that can be found in almost all groceries, is that these ferments were not salty. I am extremely sensitive to salt and do not want any extra, even if it is unrefined sea salt. I like to add my own and know exactly how much salt I am consuming. So I was excited to find these fermented foods even if the jars of ferments were tiny and about $11-13 each.

Recently, my family went to our nephew’s wedding out on a farm in west Tennessee. We met some great people and one of them turned out to be Todd Vincent of Vincent Family Farms. As he talked, I learned he and his family, among other farming things, grew and fermented foods and beverages for a living. I was fascinated. I wanted to know more.

We talked about kombucha and how the store bought ones are still very commercial (and, like Bubbies, probably aren’t as powerful a deliverer of pre/probiotics).

As we were leaving, I got his email so that I could visit one of his CSA drop off locations later that week. I think my first email to him was “we will buy large!” Because, I love finding quality foods that are fermented AND I love supporting small businesses.

We arrived at a Spring Hill, Tennessee, location midday on a Wednesday. I think I bought 10 jars of ferments, six bottles of kombucha, and three jars of fermented granola! I also got fermented mustard which is totally to die for! Oh, and we got two small jars of honey.



Todd mentioned that the honey might have some honey comb or a random bee leg because it was that unrefined and fresh. Growing up in New Zealand with bee hives, Levi was in heaven! He has a fond affection for honey as they put it on bread with loads of butter over there down under. Levi also worked at the first big Manuka honey plant in New Zealand called Comvita. (I married into an even bigger health-nut family than I am! Save the bread and butter!).

We got our loads of ferments into our cooler bag. We traveled back to my aunt’s house. Then we realized we had no place to store them. What was I thinking? Off to the market we went to get some ice. And we kept ice on the ferments for a few days as we prepared to shoot a new DVD.

We did let a couple of hours go by on a warmer than normal October day and when we left for Nashville for the shoot, carrying our beloved ferments like a baby, Levi heard an explosion. We opened to find one of our jars had just too much activity inside and had to get out. That was a clean up I could have done without. However, I LOVED the fact that this living food full of powerful goodness was what I had just purchased heaps of! I would much rather there have been a chance of explosion than nothing. I knew these ferments were legit.

Todd had told us to be very careful opening the jars and to give them time to slowly release the built up pressure because these ferments were alive and active. Well, of course, I forgot and did not heed his warning. I went straight for the jar of fermented carrot sticks and screwed off the lid only to have the action all over me, the floor, the counter… which was fine because I ate half the jar in one sitting. (They were heavenly!). My next jar, I was more careful.

We got the Flu Fighter which was amazing. We loved the straight up sauerkraut. We got an assortment of many others. Since going back without a full on fridge for just us, I have restrained myself by getting more carrots and a salsa. I took these to Thanksgiving out with the Trim Healthy Mama girls and Levi’s family and they were wiped out!

While we are super excited to head up to see family for Christmas, I am very excited to go back to get more of the Vincent’s ferments, breads, condiments, eggs, and kombucha. Oh, and the granola? Man, granola gives me crazy acid reflux. But this? Nothing. I could eat it straight out of the jar. Though tentative to try it, I was blown away that I could have these fermented grains and they not bother me! (Normally I keep grains to a minimum).

Need a great hostess gift over the holidays? Visit the website to find out drop off locations or order some ferments by mail. No one would forget your gift. Just give them a hint to open slowly! 🙂

I am sold on Todd and his family and their family farm! I am writing this to encourage you to get to know them if you are in the middle Tennessee area. I am also encouraging you to get to know your local small family farmers in your area. And if you would like a selection of Vincent Family Farms products, I am super excited to let you know that they ship certain things across the continental USA.

Here are more details on how to order!

Weekly Middle Tennessee pickups – They do weekly drop-offs in Spring Hill and Nashville (Woodbine neighborhood) on Mondays and in Franklin and East Nashville on Thursdays. Email orders@fermentedfarmer.com for specific times and locations.

Website & Online Orders – (limited products available but they’ll be adding more soon): http://fermentedfarmer.com

Contact: orders@fermentedfarmer.com

Email: orders@fermentedfarmer.com to request to join their weekly email order list.

Need a great hostess gift over the holidays? Visit the website to find out drop off locations or order some ferments by mail. No one would forget your gift. Just give them a hint to open slowly! 🙂

Be sure to follow the Fermented Farmer at the links below to stay up do date!

Facebook: facebook.com/fermentedfarmer

Vimeo: vimeo.com/vincentfamilyfarm

(After the fact, I found out that Todd’s wife, Kari, has been doing my workouts thanks to my sister in law Melissa! I am so honored! I have no interest in letting you know about Todd and his lovely family and their ferments other than to introduce you to great products that can help you be healthier. And because I love them so much. Absolutely no affiliate links involved here. I only tell you about what I love).


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Trimming & Slimming Sweet Treats

Salome, my eleven year old daughter, has always wanted an Easy Bake Oven. I had one as a child and most little girls want them but I always had concerns with the ingredients in the cake mixes and the fact that the oven takes up quite a bit of space.

She was given a small cake pop maker a couple of years ago called Babycakes and she asked me if she could experiment with some of the cake recipes in the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook. I thought, “Why not?” All by herself, she got out the ingredients to make the cakes and frostings and while I was upstairs working, she was down stairs creating and perfecting one of the healthiest and most adorable treats we have ever had. She made the Trimtastic Chocolate Zucchini Cake from page 296 before and decided to try it first using the Babycakes maker. She was even clever enough to take the Mini White Cake from the “Quick Single Serve Cakes” section (page 294) and triple the recipe to make a family sized batch.  (Proud mama moment because I didn’t help her do this at all!).

By trial and error, she found ingenious ways to make these treats into bite sized bliss minus the lollipop sticks. In this blog, I will share her steps in making the chocolate cake pops and decorating them with two Trim Healthy Mama frostings. She made these to take over for our dinner with friends that night and they were an absolutely healthy and guilt-free trimming hit!

Salome placed the cake batter into a plastic bag so she could clip a small corner off and pipe the batter into her Babycakes maker. (She thought of this all by herself and I am sure she has been picking up tips and tricks from watching “Cake Boss” and “Cupcake Wars”).

She used the same technique for the frosting but used smaller bags. Here she has the chocolate frosting from page 296 and then the same recipe without the cocoa to make vanilla.

Next, she sprayed a paper towel with Kelapo Extra Virgin Coconut Oil so she could wipe it onto each side of the cake pop maker to avoid the cake getting stuck. ***Note, when we were shooting this, I guided her to try simply spraying onto the machine which saved time but did use more product. Both methods worked but you need to be generous.

Before plugging in the machine- which is important- fill each bottom sphere with batter to the edge and no more. Be careful not to overfill and be consistent with each one. Once they are all filled, plug in the machine, bring the lid down, and lock it. It heats up fast and will start steaming.

After about three and a half minutes, begin checking. (I say this because if you are using different Trim Healthy Mama cake recipes, they will have different times. This Trimtastic Chocolate Zuchhini Cake is denser than the Mini White Cake and takes more time.)

Open the lid and use a toothpick or other means to see if the cake is done. As you probably know, the toothpick or fork should come out clean. (She is using a lollipop stick for making actual cake pops).

The Trimtastic Chocolate Zuchhini Cake takes between four and five minutes. It’s totally fine and easy to keep checking to get your end product. Since the heat is directly on the machine, you aren’t losing much heat by opening it.

Once done, Salome used my matcha spatula to edge around each pop to gently get them out without breaking. We have since ordered a bigger Babycakes maker that has a tool with it she loves using and is super easy. If you end up with a cake pop maker without something to edge or lift the fragile cakes out with, you can use anything fine or thin so long as you are gentle.

The cake pops cool quickly but worked very well going right into the refrigerator for extra quick cooling since we were in a bit of a hurry. I am not sure how the vanilla cake will do if it’s not allowed to cool first, though these recipes are very forgiving and absolutely delicious.

Salome cut a finer tip on the corner of her frosting bags. She piped them expertly in a round circular motion.

She lined them up on the platter, popped them back into the fridge (bc these cakes need to stay cool; and they are better cold, too)!

Then she licked the frosting bowl. I think she might have a future in cake decorating, cooking, or art. She is so creative and I am beyond proud of her. I feel like saying no to the Easy Bake Oven but yes to her experiments in the kitchen have produced a greater creative mind for her. And, now, she’s also old enough to clean up after she bakes so that is good! If anyone has an Easy Bake Oven and tries to make a THM cake in it, please let me know! 🙂

Since shooting this, Salome also tried the Lemon Curd Layer Cake recipe from page 299. Her daddy said it was great. She’s set up to make several versions today since we have guests coming. I am so thankful for trimming and slimming sweet treats and for the Trim Healthy Mama Plan and Cookbook. The recipes are incredible.

If this is your first introduction to Trim Healthy Mama, this is the easiest and most satisfying eating lifestyle I have ever tried. I am in awe of how much I can eat and how much I don’t have to give up and still feel treated and full while “keeping my trim”. Thank you to Pearl and Serene for making such amazing and delicious recipes!!

We love the Babycakes maker so much that we are going to do a GIVEAWAY!! For your chance to WIN:

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Happy Valentines Day Weekend!

xoxo S

The post Trimming & Slimming Sweet Treats appeared first on Suzanne Bowen Fitness.

Counterfeiting and Consumer Trust In The Health Supplement Industry

When a company uses the credibility of a high quality branded ingredient to build the reputation of a finished product, then quietly switches this key

Labeling for products that meet the USDA-NOP s...

Labeling for products that meet the USDA-NOP standards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ingredient for a low quality ‘knockoff,’ I call this nutritional counterfeiting. Consumers think they are taking the original product because the packaging looks identical minus the little branded ingredient logo, but what they don’t know is that the key active ingredient has been switched out for one which may not give them the results of the first ingredient.

As a researcher in a new study on a plant-based calcium supplement, it was on the top of my mind when I recently visited some local vitamin stores looking for some calcium for my family and myself . I was impressed with the results of this marine algae calcium versus the other two leading calcium sources, so I wanted to see in what brands of finished products this ingredient was added . Retail staff at two of the four stores I visited instantly recognized the plant calcium ingredient (AlgaeCal®) that was the subject of my study, and suggested New Chapter Inc’s product, Bone Strength Take Care, as the most popular calcium product in their stores – but when I looked for the AlgaeCal ingredient on the label, it was nowhere to be found! The store staff were visibly befuddled and unable to answer why the AlgaeCal had been switched or how the new calcium ingredient compared. In fact, three out of four of the store’s management had not realized that there was an ingredient change until I inquired.

The manufacturer had simply shipped the new formula and not notified the stores of the key ingredient change, i.e, the calcium substitution.

Although I’m in no way affiliated with the manufacturers of AlgaeCal or paid by them, I made it my business to learn about it over the months that the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Harvard University Medical School conducted the human osteoblast study. I learned AlgaeCal is the only certified organic calcium source in the world. It is picked by hand from South American coastal waters while it is living. The Atlantic ocean pushes new tennis ball sized pinkish algae up onto the sandy beaches every day and they are picked before the sunshine turns them white. Like apples falling from a tree, they are either used immediately or they go to waste – in other words they are sustainably and ecologically harvested. But, what impresses me most about this unique calcium ingredient is that it has been the subject of more than a dozen research studies looking at bone density, bio-availability, tolerability, safety and other parameters.

With the scientific support, ecological accreditation, and organic certification of AlgaeCal it is evident why New Chapter used it in its Bone Strength Take Care product to begin with. However, it appears that they must have switched to another form of marine algae calcium sometime early 2010. From my inquiries, it is evident this new product is a different algae species and nothing like the AlgaeCal. It is primarily dead when vacuumed from the ocean floor in an industrial scale dredging operation. A large percentage of the vacuumed material is then discarded from the ship, effectively silting the surrounding area and suffocating local species. And, more to my surprise and concern, this calcium has no bone density research. They do have one bio-availability study but it only measures an exaggerated parathyroid hormone response to calcium – a study design that is flawed and not accepted by the research community. For a product like calcium that I expect to take for the next several decades, I don’t want to

roll the dice on whether it’s helping my bones or not. I want good well designed research studies showing that it is safe and efficacious. With a few phone calls, I learned that this ingredient costs about 1/5th to 1/7th of what AlgaeCal costs, so I believe the motive for switching is obvious.

Retailers, such as Whole Foods Market and others, which adhere to stringent environmental commitments, routinely remove products that harm the environment, so I was surprised to see this product on their shelves. Very recently, Krill oil supplements have been banned by Whole Foods Markets because of the potential threat of over-harvesting. More relevant is the case of coral calcium, which was also removed from Whole Foods shelves several years ago due to ecological concerns – and it is harvested by the same vacuum methods as the new calcium substitute in Bone Strength Take Care. If my ad hoc market survey is any indication, even the largest and most ethical retailers are being duped. Along with millions of consumers, I believe that Whole Foods and other retailers are victims of nutraceutical supplement counterfeiting.

If a company invests in purity, ecological harvesting practices, certifications, and multiple studies for their ingredient as in the case of AlgaeCal, and a manufacturer uses those selling points to get their finished product to the top (Bone Strength is the number one selling calcium in health food stores today according to available market data), they should at least announce a switch to a lesser calcium, substantially change their packaging, and reduce their price. New formula Bone Strength Take Care was on the store shelves for around $60 per bottle – the most expensive calcium I’ve seen. If I’m going to pay that much for a bottle of calcium, it had better contain the real ingredient! I hope that consumers and retailers do the right thing and send a message to all companies in this industry who steal the thunder of genuine ingredient suppliers. Look for the logo of branded and well researched ingredients and support those companies who conduct high quality research for their ingredient.

<a href=”http://www.nutritionaloutlook.com/author/manashi-bagchi”>Manashi Bagchi</a>, Ph.D., FACN

Dr. Bagchi has been associated with a number of top universities and is a leader in nutraceutical research for more than 20 years. She has more than 200 peer-reviewed publications in the fields of toxicology and safety, nutrition, clinical studies and genomics research. She worked as an Associate Professor in the Creighton University Medical Center, Omaha, NE, for about 10 years, and also served as a reviewer in the NIH study section. Her most recent edited book entitled “Genomics, Proteomics & Metabolomics in Nutraceuticals & Functional Foods” was published by Wiley-Blackwell, USA, in 2010.

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