Becoming an IOC?

The more I browse and read online about health, the more I realize we are surrounded by hazardous ingredients. Ingredients in the food we consume, the soap we use to cleanse our skin, and in my case, the makeup I use. I have never been oblivious about those ingredients, but I have been always lazy to do my own research and find out more information about his sensitive topic. However, I need to make this change. I need to increase my knowledge and educate myself. If I want to be healthy, then all aspects of my life style have to change. However, this is not going to happen overnight!

I will take you with me in this journey. My goal is to educate myself about a certain harmful ingredient every week. I want to know what it is, how it is used, what’s its consequences, where and in what is it used, and which products do not contain it.

This week, even though we are in the middle of the week already, I stumbled upon the chemical SLS – Sodium Laurel Sulfate. It is a chemical used in many products. To mention a few, it is used in car washes, food, children body washes, soap, cleansers, facial treatments, and tooth paste. Basically, it is an inexpensive effective foamer. It is used to produce that foam we see when we wash our faces and scrub our bodies.

If you feel that washing your face is making your skin dry, or that shampooing is giving you an itchy scalp or making your eyes sting, or that cleaning your teeth is giving you mouth ulcers, stop and check out the label. SLS is responsible for irritating the skin. One other effect of SLS is improper eye development in children as it affect protein structures in their eyes and keeps them from developing properly!

These are some serious issues associated with that ingredient. I have visited and read a few articles and some argue against all these allegations. Their argument is that SLS is in contact with the skin for a few seconds and then it is rinsed. If it got inside the eyes, it should be rinsed thoroughly. They argue that those few seconds of contact wont hurt. But the question I ask, is the foam worth it? Is it worth the risk of consuming products that contain SLS? My answer is no, not in my household.

I will be going home tonight to check the labels around my house. Now, it wont be economically friendly to my wallet to throw all those products I find; however, I will be paying extra caution while using them, and once they are empty, they will not be purchased ever again!

On my way to becoming and IOC– informed Organic Consumer.

Arki

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TJ’s Haul & Favorites

So if you don’t know yet, I am a fan of Trader Joe’s! I love to do most of my grocery shopping at that store because the quality is great, they have a variety of food and organic options, and the prices are great compared to other organic stores (i.e. Whole Foods).

I will share with you my favorites as well as the new finds. Every time I go there, I buy a few items that have made it to my staples list, and %70 of the purchase would be new items to try. Shopping at TJs is like a treasure hunt. Some things you might find again, and other things, unfortunately, disappear!

I love using Coconut Oil in cooking. It adds a slight sweet flavor and is great for stir fries. Plus, coconut oil has so many uses to it other than cooking. It can be used for the hair and skin. It is a great product! I will do a separate post on it.

Their Sesame Oil is amazing. I love the flavor it adds to the food you’re cooking. All you need is a tiny drop to achieve a great flavor.

TheĀ  Chile Lime chicken patties are so flavorful and delicious. You can either pan fry them or grill them. They are such a great source of protein with low carbs and low fat. It is a great choice, if you are watching what you are eating. Grill a patty, brush some mustard on a whole wheat/multi grain Arnold Sandwich Thins, add some lettuce and maybe a couple slices of avocados, and enjoy the healthy deliciousness! The Chicken Quesadillas is another delicious choice. It only takes a few minutes to be ready. It is great for those of us who are busy and rarely have time to prepare dinner from scratch.

TJ’s frozen section is a treasure to me. I lease to work at 6a.m. and usually do not get home till 6p.m. If I were to go to the gym that day, I wont be home till 8p.m. So, when can I ever cook or prepare dinner from scratch? NEVER. That’s when TJ’s come in place and help me out. TJs has a great selection of healthy options that fit easily in my busy and rushed life style. That’s why I am obsessed with it.

Here are more of our favorites. The vegetable Bird’s Nests are basically vegetable tempura. They are not the healthiest choice, but having one at lunch certainly doesn’t hurt as they are super delicious. The Lemon Grass Chicken are great as a snack with a home made mustard and Sriracha sauce. The Channa Masala chickpeas are so flavorful and make a great side dish with grilled chicken and rice. One other favorite is the Potatoe Pancakes. They make a great side on your breakfast plate, served with a fat free spoon of sour cream. Deliciousness.

More of our favorites are these:

The Sea Salt & Lemon Ppper grinders. TJ’s has a wide range of these grinders and each is less than $2. The Low Calorie Lemonade was one of my first items I ever bought at TJ’s and it’s been a favorite ever since. We love it as it is a bit sour and very refreshing! The Saffron is a great spice to have and add to your chicken marinade. And finally that Rustic Pan Bello bread is magnificent. Super tender, yet with a crunchy crust. It is one of our new favorites.

Both the Mixed Berry and Mango Passion Granola Cereals are the hubby’s favorites. They are so crunchy and the fruits actually taste like fruit. Great source of fiber!

I fixed dinner last night using the Marinated Chicken Breast and the Kimchi rice. Oh don’t they sound so wonderful together or what? We loved them! The Rice is on the spicy side, but so flavorful. Oh boy, and the chicken came out so juicy and tender. Here you go, more things are getting added to our favorites. Keep in mind that they were both very low in fat! TJ’s is such a treasure box.

The next three pictures are new items that we haven’t tried yet. However, I am pretty sure they will end up to be part of our favorites.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and I hope I inspired you to go do your own treasure hunt at Trader Joe’s!

Arki