Posts

Fair Trade Chocolate Pudding

Fair Trade Chocolate Pudding

The Bitter History of Chocolates

Chocolate. Oh, the sweetest of decadent treats. Hot chocolate, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate almond butter smoothies. What’s not oh-so-sweet about chocolate, though, is the amount of forced labor and child slavery involved in harvesting the cocoa beans to make it. This forced slavery thing is very real, friends.

In college, I was an Anthropology major and focused my studies on human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking in the United States. As we discussed the definition of slavery for an entire semester, I learned more about the issues of labor trafficking on an international level, and chocolate hung out at the of the “goods most harvested by slaves” list. Cocoa beans for making chocolate oh-so-sweet is a great example of one of the products made by child labor.

forced child labor- slaveryA majority of the world’s cocoa beans are grown in West Africa and Latin America, and day in and day out, many folks are enduring inappropriate and abusive situations to ensure that we all get to enjoy a savory bite of chocolatey dessert.

I remember one story someone told me about a child they saw interviewed who picked cocoa beans for a living. The reporter asked this little boy about his role on the farm, and he said he had never even tasted a chocolate bar and didn’t even know why he was picking the beans. He also made comments about the abuse he endured. Child abuse and slavery are very real today.

On that day in my class called “Is This Slavery?”, I committed to stop consuming any chocolate made by forced labor. I decided it was not worth the risk of what someone else had to experience for me to enjoy a dessert for 5 minutes.

I share this information not as a guilt-trip by any means — and please hear me when I say that. I share about the reality of child slavery with you because I want you to be an educated consumer and know where your food is made. Whether it is chocolate, veggies, fruits, coffee, tea, or meats — know the source of your food.

 

The Good News:

Not every cocoa farm maintains unethical practices. In fact, many companies are striving for better working environments for their employees (as well as improved protection of the land) and are banning child slavery.

How do you know which companies to trust? We must do research, friends. Gratefully, there are people out there who are doing this type of investigating for us (thank goodness for them!). Look for Fair Trade labels — they are certifications that ensure ethical practices for both people and the Earth.

Check out the Food Empowerment Project for more information about chocolate slavery, as well as the approved fair-trade list of chocolate maker companies who do not embrace slavery practices. Let’s change the world, friends. One chocolate bite at a time.

Other places to look for info:

Homemade Guacamole Recipe

Food For Thought: Purpose of Life

Happy Monday, friends! What a beautiful weekend it was outside- I mean, who expects 75° weather in the middle of January? Hey, I’ll take it! I did take full advantage of the sunshine and headed to north Georgia for some hiking (and Vitamin D!). As I sat on top of the mountain and overlooked the vastness of the state below me, two thoughts came to mind:

  • I am one piece to this massive and historic puzzle, and my role was created intentionally to serve a specific purpose to the world.Every Monday at our office, each staff member comes with a word and quote that drive the direction of her or his week. I chose the word purpose with this quote: “Purpose is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s needs.” (Frederick Buechner).

    My purpose is to love and serve people well, and I am beyond grateful I get to do that in my job every day. My purpose is to make a change in my corner of the world, knowing that others are making similar impacts in their corners, as well. If we all work in our spheres, we would see goodness everywhere we turn.

  • Peace comes with stillness. Atop the mountain, there was silence. It was pretty uncanny actually. As I let my eyes wander over the below cities, hills, and trees, it seemed like life had stopped momentarily. But we all know it was zooming quickly under us, as has become the norm in most of our lives.Are we running so fast we are actually missing life? My yoga instructor Angela always says, “Before there is movement there is stillness,” and this quiet space is pivotal for a full life. My heart calmed sitting on top of those rocks; God knows all things about this world, so we can be still and find comfort in knowing that all will be all right.

Comfort Foods For You!

Speaking of comfort, let’s talk guacamole. This food certainly brings my heart comfort and joy 🙂 Make this super simple and delicious recipe for a healthy dish (be warned: you may not want to share). Enjoy!

 

Winter Squash Soup

Winter Squash Soup – New Year Food Recipe

With the start of this 2017 year, I have been reflecting on this ever-popular idea of New Year’s Resolutions. We tend to speed so fast at the year’s starting line on January 1st toward better health, financial stability, or renewed relationships (all of which are incredible things). Our momentum is 100%-all-in to create change. We can for sure do this. Then, a couple of months into the race, we often times lose a bit of speed, and some of us even stop racing. We let go of the resolution— the commitment to ourselves— to do something differently.

What makes us lose steam? Often, it is one or both of two things: challenge and value (or lack thereof). Change is hard— I get it. We are creatures of habit, as the adage goes. Here’s the thing, though. If something is not working well, not lifting us up or helping lift up others, change is necessary.

Are you living a daily lifestyle that creates the best version of you? If yes, keep going, friend! If not, it is time to start reflecting on where change will be a positive thing in your life.

If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done.

Value is required to make our priorities. We focus our attention, money, and time on the individuals and things that ultimately bring value to our lives. I classify people, obligations, material things, etc. by their levels of AV (a.k.a Added Value). Is this relationship an AV one, or does it cause more pain? Does this activity I have been doing for the past year have AV, or do I feel uneasy about going each week? AV is a method of deciphering priorities. This idea of AV is not just for you and me personally, but we can use it to measure how much value we add to the world.

So when it comes to resolutions, think about the AV things you want in your life. Write them down, and next to them, scribble down the steps it will take to get there. One foot in front of the other, my friends. And eventually, this effort will lead to habit, which morphs into a lifestyle. You are changing your life one decision at a time.

 

Cheers to Your New Year, New Goal!

To help you on your journey, fill your soul (and tummy!) with comfort and warmth. This Squash Soup is just the ticket to a successful goal-setting evening!

 

Asian detox stir fry-The Best Cleanse Food

Asian Detox Stir-Fry, The Best Cleanse Food!

Happy New Year, friends! How were your celebrations? Mine was so wonderful–my sweet friend got married at a winery in Dahlonega, and it was the most beautiful wedding. I just love weddings.

Now that the year is starting anew, it’s time for a detox. My mom has always said, “If not now, when?” So now it is. Once or twice a year, I will do the Standard Process 21-Day detox to reset my body. This detox program is truly amazing because it cleans the body at a cellular level, and the basis is all whole foods. We love those whole foods over here at MTF!

Speaking of Whole Foods, we have some exciting news to share! More Than Food is collaborating with Whole Foods Atlanta for some amazing events and social media fun this year! Once a week during the month of January, MTF will take over the @wholefoodsatl Instagram with a new recipe created especially for Whole Foods Atlanta (so be sure to follow them for updates). It’s pretty much a dream come true–I mean, who wouldn’t want to work alongside WF? I am the most excited!

Because this week begins the detox, I wanted to create a meal that is cleanse-appropriate and nourishing. Plus, it was raining and cold outside this weekend, so my body screamed, “comfort food!” Stir-fry dishes are always warm, super flavorful, and practically foolproof (and truly just so easy to whip up), so Asian food for the win.

I hope you enjoy this savory meal on your couch in your PJ’s wrapped in a blanket with a great movie and your best friend (or your dog, which is essentially the same thing, right?).

 

Disclosure: I have a partnership with Whole Foods Market and was compensated for my work, but all words and opinions are my own.
How to Deseed a Pomegranate

How to DeSeed a Pomegranate

How to Deseed a Pomegranate

 

Let’s talk pomegranates. They are:

  • delicious
  • packed with nutrients (who knew those little nuggets could be made of so many good things– Vitamins K, C, B, Folate, Phosphorus, etc.) and
  • indicative that fall/winter are on their way (pomegranate season grows from October through February)!

Here’s the thing with them, though. These seeds are a bit stubborn. Oh, and they can stain everything. May I persuade you to see there is another way to ensure a stain-free method to the goodness at the other end?? Because there is a way to enjoy the seeds practically hassle-free! Just following these steps. I promise–they’re worth the reward when you have a massive bowl-full of tiny red edible rubies. Here are the simple things on how to remove pomegranate seeds.


You’ll need these things:

  • Cutting board (darker the better, so the red color from the seeds is more easily hidden)
  • Sharp knife
  • Bowl of water (big enough to fit both of your hands and a pomegranate)
  • A pomegranate

Step 1. Cut the pomegranate into 4 pieces.
Step 2. Dunk the pomegranate into the water, seed-side facing down.
Step 3. Underwater, pick out the seeds and let them fall to the bottom of the bowl.
Step 4. Once all seeds are extracted, pour out the water from the bowl (use your hand as a guard to keep the seeds from falling out).

And you’re done! It is as easy as that–No red-dye mess. No time-consuming and labor-intensive work, just ease. And a delicious reminder of the chilly air and holidays approaching.

Pomegranate recipe: Dairy-free | Gluten-free | Vegan

Enjoy, friends!

 

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how to make beets salad

3 Ways On How to Make Beets Salad (They’re Easy!)

how to make beets salad

Benefits of Eating Beets

Beets — they are just oh so important! Why do I love them (and therefore why should you)?

  1. Detox Food — Beets are nutritionally powerful in their detox abilities. They help thin the bile from the gallbladder to move toxins through and out of the body. If you have a tan-colored stool, you need to eat some beets because the tan color means your bile is too thick.
  2. Natural Source of Nutrients — Beets are packed with essential nutrients like Vitamin C and B, Manganese, Potassium, and Fiber.
  3. Cardio~ Beets support blood pressure levels and the cardiovascular system.Beet Salad More Than Food
  4. Anti-inflammatory Food Source — Phytonutrients in beets help decrease inflammation throughout the body, which takes pressure off the joints, organs, and all affected areas.
  5. Easy Food Preparation — Beets are super easy to prepare (see below!).
  6. It’s Tasty! — Beets have an earthy and sweet taste that goes well on a salad, as a side with a white fish or poultry, or as a stand-alone topped with some lime and balsamic vinegar.

Also, beet leaves have an incredible amount of nutrients (if not more than the beets themselves), so don’t let those go to waste! Toss them in a smoothie or salad for some superfood support.

Important Reminder: if you eat beets for the first time ever or in a while, your poop will be dark/red. Don’t be alarmed 🙂

 

To prepare beets:

  1. Buy organic beets (red or yellow/orange).
  2. Wash.
  3. Slice off top and bottom of beet.
  4. Chop/Cube like you do a potato.

 

Option 1: 

  • Boil about 2 inches of water in a big pot.
  • Place steamer in the pot.
  • Steam beets for about 15-20 min, until soft.

 

Option 2: 

  • Place beets on a baking sheet (no foil) with coconut oil + spices (salt, pepper, or rosemary)
  • Stir up every 10 min or so.
  • Bake for 30-35 min, or until soft.

 

Option 3:

  • Spiralize beets raw for a salad or side dish OR
  • Chop raw beets, and place in a food processor to make finely chopped or minced for a salad or side dish

Recipe Note:

Gluten-Free | Paleo | Vegan | Pescetarian | Dairy-Free

Enjoy beets a few times a week for added health benefits! Happy nomming!

 

Do you want to set up a nutrition visit to determine the best support for your body?

We would love to partner with you on your detox journey.

Let’s Connect in Social Media!

Like this easy recipe? Click the social buttons below to share this to your friends.

vegetarian

Fish & Veg

peanut butter and jelly smoothie

“Peanut Butter” & Jelly Smoothie

Paleo Mac-N-Cheese

Paleo Mac-N-Cheese

This recipe was created by my friend Rebecca at My Natural Family . It is truly delicious! It’s a great way to get some veggies into the mouths of picky eaters.

Recipes

Fair Trade Chocolate Pudding

Fair Trade Chocolate Pudding

The Bitter History of Chocolates

Chocolate. Oh, the sweetest of decadent treats. Hot chocolate, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate almond butter smoothies. What’s not oh-so-sweet about chocolate, though, is the amount of forced labor and child slavery involved in harvesting the cocoa beans to make it. This forced slavery thing is very real, friends.

In college, I was an Anthropology major and focused my studies on human trafficking, specifically sex trafficking in the United States. As we discussed the definition of slavery for an entire semester, I learned more about the issues of labor trafficking on an international level, and chocolate hung out at the of the “goods most harvested by slaves” list. Cocoa beans for making chocolate oh-so-sweet is a great example of one of the products made by child labor.

forced child labor- slaveryA majority of the world’s cocoa beans are grown in West Africa and Latin America, and day in and day out, many folks are enduring inappropriate and abusive situations to ensure that we all get to enjoy a savory bite of chocolatey dessert.

I remember one story someone told me about a child they saw interviewed who picked cocoa beans for a living. The reporter asked this little boy about his role on the farm, and he said he had never even tasted a chocolate bar and didn’t even know why he was picking the beans. He also made comments about the abuse he endured. Child abuse and slavery are very real today.

On that day in my class called “Is This Slavery?”, I committed to stop consuming any chocolate made by forced labor. I decided it was not worth the risk of what someone else had to experience for me to enjoy a dessert for 5 minutes.

I share this information not as a guilt-trip by any means — and please hear me when I say that. I share about the reality of child slavery with you because I want you to be an educated consumer and know where your food is made. Whether it is chocolate, veggies, fruits, coffee, tea, or meats — know the source of your food.

 

The Good News:

Not every cocoa farm maintains unethical practices. In fact, many companies are striving for better working environments for their employees (as well as improved protection of the land) and are banning child slavery.

How do you know which companies to trust? We must do research, friends. Gratefully, there are people out there who are doing this type of investigating for us (thank goodness for them!). Look for Fair Trade labels — they are certifications that ensure ethical practices for both people and the Earth.

Check out the Food Empowerment Project for more information about chocolate slavery, as well as the approved fair-trade list of chocolate maker companies who do not embrace slavery practices. Let’s change the world, friends. One chocolate bite at a time.

Other places to look for info:

Homemade Guacamole Recipe

Food For Thought: Purpose of Life

Happy Monday, friends! What a beautiful weekend it was outside- I mean, who expects 75° weather in the middle of January? Hey, I’ll take it! I did take full advantage of the sunshine and headed to north Georgia for some hiking (and Vitamin D!). As I sat on top of the mountain and overlooked the vastness of the state below me, two thoughts came to mind:

  • I am one piece to this massive and historic puzzle, and my role was created intentionally to serve a specific purpose to the world.Every Monday at our office, each staff member comes with a word and quote that drive the direction of her or his week. I chose the word purpose with this quote: “Purpose is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s needs.” (Frederick Buechner).

    My purpose is to love and serve people well, and I am beyond grateful I get to do that in my job every day. My purpose is to make a change in my corner of the world, knowing that others are making similar impacts in their corners, as well. If we all work in our spheres, we would see goodness everywhere we turn.

  • Peace comes with stillness. Atop the mountain, there was silence. It was pretty uncanny actually. As I let my eyes wander over the below cities, hills, and trees, it seemed like life had stopped momentarily. But we all know it was zooming quickly under us, as has become the norm in most of our lives.Are we running so fast we are actually missing life? My yoga instructor Angela always says, “Before there is movement there is stillness,” and this quiet space is pivotal for a full life. My heart calmed sitting on top of those rocks; God knows all things about this world, so we can be still and find comfort in knowing that all will be all right.

Comfort Foods For You!

Speaking of comfort, let’s talk guacamole. This food certainly brings my heart comfort and joy 🙂 Make this super simple and delicious recipe for a healthy dish (be warned: you may not want to share). Enjoy!

 

Winter Squash Soup

Winter Squash Soup – New Year Food Recipe

With the start of this 2017 year, I have been reflecting on this ever-popular idea of New Year’s Resolutions. We tend to speed so fast at the year’s starting line on January 1st toward better health, financial stability, or renewed relationships (all of which are incredible things). Our momentum is 100%-all-in to create change. We can for sure do this. Then, a couple of months into the race, we often times lose a bit of speed, and some of us even stop racing. We let go of the resolution— the commitment to ourselves— to do something differently.

What makes us lose steam? Often, it is one or both of two things: challenge and value (or lack thereof). Change is hard— I get it. We are creatures of habit, as the adage goes. Here’s the thing, though. If something is not working well, not lifting us up or helping lift up others, change is necessary.

Are you living a daily lifestyle that creates the best version of you? If yes, keep going, friend! If not, it is time to start reflecting on where change will be a positive thing in your life.

If you want something you have never had, you must be willing to do something you have never done.

Value is required to make our priorities. We focus our attention, money, and time on the individuals and things that ultimately bring value to our lives. I classify people, obligations, material things, etc. by their levels of AV (a.k.a Added Value). Is this relationship an AV one, or does it cause more pain? Does this activity I have been doing for the past year have AV, or do I feel uneasy about going each week? AV is a method of deciphering priorities. This idea of AV is not just for you and me personally, but we can use it to measure how much value we add to the world.

So when it comes to resolutions, think about the AV things you want in your life. Write them down, and next to them, scribble down the steps it will take to get there. One foot in front of the other, my friends. And eventually, this effort will lead to habit, which morphs into a lifestyle. You are changing your life one decision at a time.

 

Cheers to Your New Year, New Goal!

To help you on your journey, fill your soul (and tummy!) with comfort and warmth. This Squash Soup is just the ticket to a successful goal-setting evening!

 

Asian detox stir fry-The Best Cleanse Food

Asian Detox Stir-Fry, The Best Cleanse Food!

Happy New Year, friends! How were your celebrations? Mine was so wonderful–my sweet friend got married at a winery in Dahlonega, and it was the most beautiful wedding. I just love weddings.

Now that the year is starting anew, it’s time for a detox. My mom has always said, “If not now, when?” So now it is. Once or twice a year, I will do the Standard Process 21-Day detox to reset my body. This detox program is truly amazing because it cleans the body at a cellular level, and the basis is all whole foods. We love those whole foods over here at MTF!

Speaking of Whole Foods, we have some exciting news to share! More Than Food is collaborating with Whole Foods Atlanta for some amazing events and social media fun this year! Once a week during the month of January, MTF will take over the @wholefoodsatl Instagram with a new recipe created especially for Whole Foods Atlanta (so be sure to follow them for updates). It’s pretty much a dream come true–I mean, who wouldn’t want to work alongside WF? I am the most excited!

Because this week begins the detox, I wanted to create a meal that is cleanse-appropriate and nourishing. Plus, it was raining and cold outside this weekend, so my body screamed, “comfort food!” Stir-fry dishes are always warm, super flavorful, and practically foolproof (and truly just so easy to whip up), so Asian food for the win.

I hope you enjoy this savory meal on your couch in your PJ’s wrapped in a blanket with a great movie and your best friend (or your dog, which is essentially the same thing, right?).

 

Disclosure: I have a partnership with Whole Foods Market and was compensated for my work, but all words and opinions are my own.
vegetarian

Fish & Veg

peanut butter and jelly smoothie

“Peanut Butter” & Jelly Smoothie

Paleo Mac-N-Cheese

Paleo Mac-N-Cheese

This recipe was created by my friend Rebecca at My Natural Family . It is truly delicious! It’s a great way to get some veggies into the mouths of picky eaters.