Mediterranean Purslane and Summer Squash Salad

Christa Crawford

IMG_0113Kale has been getting a lot of much deserved attention lately, but another unsung hero is making its way into the spotlight. Purslane is an aggressive succulent weed that is surprisingly nutrient dense. In fact, it contains more omega 3 fatty acids than any other plant food. It has seven times more beta carotene than carrots and six times the vitamin E of spinach. Purslane has a lemony, slightly peppery taste. It reminds me of arugula. You can pick it up at your local farmers market, or possibly even in your own backyard. Continue reading

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The 5 Most Overrated Health Foods

Craig Valency, MA, CSCS & Christa Crawford

Eating well isn’t as easy as it seems. Sometimes, foods that present themselves as health food heroes are actually villains in disguise, out to sabotage your health and weight loss efforts. Here is our list of the 5 most overrated health foods.

1. Nonfat Greek Yogurt
This became the hot thing almost overnight. People who like it love it. They constantly reiterate how creamy it is. It’s almost like there’s a contest to see who loves Greek yogurt more. Greek yogurt is usually decked out with agave nectar and plenty of fresh fruit. We’ve tried this stuff. (Who hasn’t?). Though creamy, it’s hard to Unknowndeny that it tastes a lot like paste. In the absence of fat, dairy sugars and proteins send blood sugar soaring. It’s also impossible to absorb fat soluble nutrients when there is no fat present. When paired with agave nectar and fruit (or worse yet, syrupy faux fruit), this trendy treat turns into a sugar bomb that probably does more harm than good. We’d rather go get some gelato.

…But we’re not total Greek yogurt haters! Lately, we’ve been really into Strauss organic, full fat Greek yogurt. It’s nearly impossible to find, seeing as its nonfat cousin has a monopoly on the yogurt market; but when the stars align just right, it shows up on the shelves at Sprouts. Continue reading

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Krazy for Kale: How to Prep and Store Your Greens the Right Way

Christa Crawford

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Today we picked up our first CSA box from JR Organics at the Little Italy Farmers’ Market. A CSA is basically a food subscription. I paid for four weeks up front. Every Saturday, we will pick up our box of veggies from the stand at the market. It’s a great way to get to know where our food comes from. It also encourages adventurous eating (and cooking!) because the veggies in the box vary from week to week and season to season. The quality of local, organic produce really can’t be beat. Surprisingly, the cost is comparable to what we would pay in a grocery store, but the food is always fresher straight from the farm. But my real reason for signing up? Now that I have a veggie CSA subscription and a Da-Le Ranch meat subscription, I feel like I can wear my Southern California locovore badge with pride. (Alright, so I can’t afford Spring Hill’s delicious cheese just yet. But cloth diapers + 85% locally sourced food qualifies as crunchy enough, right?) Continue reading

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It’s 2014! Looking Back, Looking Forward to the New Year

IMG_0025Last year we talked about the power of a New Year’s resolution to serve as a reset button – a chance to focus on what’s important. So what became of our resolutions? Great question! Let’s look back at 2013 and forward to 2014. Continue reading

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My 5 Favorite Products for Fussy Newborns

Christa Crawford

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It is with great pleasure that we introduce Muffin Pig Valency! He was born on September 23, 2013 at 3:14 AM. He weighed in at 6 lb. 3 oz. and was 20.5 in. long. He is our pride and joy. Continue reading

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Paleo Stuffed Mushrooms

Christa Crawford
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‘Tis the season for eating and entertaining! On Friday night, Craig and I went to a paleo potluck dinner party. I was on appetizer duty. Of course, the first thought that popped into my head was, “Bacon wrapped whatever!” Then I realized I wanted to make something that was less paleotypical. Paleo food has a reputation for being bacon-centric, but there are other foods out there. I wanted to step outside the box and try something new. (Of course, I still ended up using bacon.) Stuffed mushrooms! Yum. Continue reading

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Endometriosis Treatments: What Works and What Doesn’t?

Christa Crawford, MA

drugs-pills-1418717-mAs you know by now, I’ve dealt with endometriosis since I was a kid. While I’m not exactly sure what causes it, I’ve got plenty of personal experience with both effective and ineffective treatments. With endometriosis, it seems that some treatments work for some women but not for others. There are other remedies that, despite continued publicity, don’t seem to work much for anyone. Other options seem extreme but can actually be incredibly effective. I’d like to share my experiences with these different treatment options, in case it helps a few women find their own relief.

Obligatory Disclaimer
I’m not a doctor. This is not medical advice, so don’t try to sue me if you overdose on anything or use it irresponsibly. Always consult your physician before beginning any medical treatment of any kind. I’m just sharing my own experiences.

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If I Could Only Do 3 Exercises…

By Craig Valency, CSCS

lifting-weights-669278-mVariety is the spice of life! But when it comes to strength training, there are a few key movements that deserve a special place in the exercise pantheon. There are three basic exercises that everyone should do in some form or another. When it comes to real-world strength, these are the ones you MUST be doing. Of course, if you want nice biceps for beach season, go to town on the preacher curls after you have prioritized these top 3.

To make the cut, each exercise had to meet the following criteria:

  • Functional: Functional carryover to real-world activities
  • High Metabolic Cost: Compound movements utilizing multiple joints; Involves the whole body
  • Strength Carryover: Improves overall strength for other exercises and in general
  • Corrective: Addresses the most common weak areas and patterns of movement

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Summer Salmon with Fig, Arugula, Chevre, and Vanilla Balsamic Salad

Christa Crawford

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Has anyone else been eating as much tree candy as I have lately? I’ve had a little more than my fair share of nectarines, peaches, and plums. Perhaps my favorite summer fruit is the fig. Too bad figs are total sugar bombs. They are delicious and seasonal. They only come once a year, so I say go for it. Using figs in a salad alongside a simple piece of salmon is unexpected. It’s perfect for a casual summer dinner.

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Endometriosis: What It Is and What Causes It

Menstrual_CrampsChrista Crawford, MA

When I posted my story about living with endometriosis, I had no idea it would garner such a huge response. I have been overwhelmed by the support, curiosity, and pain that my readers have shared with me. Several of you have emailed me and asked questions about what causes endometriosis. More importantly, you want to know what to do to manage it. Yes, you can find information online, but it can be hard to sift through what works and what’s just out there to make money (*ahem* Midol). I’m not a medical doctor, and I haven’t done any formal, academic research. What I am, however, is a long-time survivor of endometriosis and an avid learner. I’m going to share everything I know, based on personal experience and years of learning. Continue reading

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