Tag Archives: BPA Free

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

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I’ve had enough of this cold weather! Now to all my readers from colder climates, bear with me. I know I live in Florida, but it does get really chilly here! And because it will go from 80 degrees one day to 40 degrees the next, everyone around here is constantly sick this time of year. Plus, there’s something about 40 degrees in Tampa that is so different from 40 degrees in Illinois. The humidity here pierces right through your bones and its just awful. I am SO ready for spring.

But since we still have a few more weeks of winter here, and since hubby and I have had the sniffles, I decided to make a hearty homemade Chicken Noodle Soup for dinner. Since we’ve gone BPA free its really hard to eat canned soup, but homemade is always 10,000 times better! I can’t wait till I can figure out how to can my own soup. Stay tuned in the coming months. My mother in law is bringing me a pressure canner and it will be SO on!

Now, because I like you so much, and I’m such a nice person, and I’m on a chicken noodle high… I’m giving you my TOP SECRET ingredient. This is the je n’sais quoi, the piece de resistance, the ingredient of all ingredients, that transforms your soup into something wonderful! It is…. Celery Salt! I’m not sure exactly why, but it gives the soup a wholeness that is particularly satisfying.

So here’s my soul warming, body warming, chase away the sniffles, make you feel happy, comfort food of all comfort foods, Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup recipe.

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Here’s what you need:

  • 2-3 Boneless Skinless Chicken breasts (about 2 cups cut into 1/2 cubes)
  • 3-4 Carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 2 cartons of organic chicken stock (do not use canned, use the cartons that have the Tetra-pak label on the bottom. If you have homemade stock even better!)
  • 2 Cups of noodles (Use any noodle you like. I used whole wheat rotini. You could use macaroni, fusilli, egg noodles, or even broken up spaghetti noodles)
  • 1 T Tarragon
  • 1 T Parsley
  • 2 t Celery Salt
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of flour (optional)
  • 1 cup of cream (optional)

Here’s what you do:

In a large pot saute’ the vegetables in the olive oil, butter, and some salt & pepper, until they are slightly tender. Add the chicken (and a little more salt & pepper) after about 7 minutes. Cook until the chicken is completely cooked through. Allow everything to very slightly brown. Add the herbs and celery salt and pour the stock over everything. Stir well. Add 2 cartons full of plain water as well. Simmer the soup on medium/low heat for about 20 minutes to allow all the flavors to marry. For a slightly thicker soup add a slurry of 1/4 cup flour mixed thoroughly with equal parts cold water. Quickly stir in the slurry. If you pour it in too slowly it might form a dumpling (which could be nice! lol, I figured this out by accident.) When you are almost ready to eat, add the noodles and cook for about 12 minutes or until desired tenderness. If you like, lower the heat to a slow simmer and add 1 cup of cream, then simmer for another 5-6 minutes. Do not boil it once you add the cream. This just adds a little bit of extra creaminess to the soup that is very nice. You can skip this if you don’t want the extra calories. Serve with lots of pepper, and maybe some homemade biscuits! Yum.

Enjoy!

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10 Steps to Remove BPA from Your Body in Less Than a Week

Many of you know about my struggle with recurrent miscarriage. Though we are so excited about the prospect of growing our family through adoption, I’m still concerned that something is wrong in my body and the doctors just can’t seem to figure it out. This year I’m taking my health into my own hands and instead of looking to the medical profession who up to this point have completely failed me, I’m looking inside my own body for the answers. This year I’m seeking to get my body back to to a whole, healthy, and healed place. One way I’m doing this is by eliminating BPA from my diet. You can also learn about the Real Food diet and how to cut out processed foods by reading this post.

What is BPA you ask? Bisphenol a (BPA) is a synthetic estrogen used to harden polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resin. Yes, you read that right. SYNTHETIC ESTROGEN. An estimated 6 billion pounds of BPA are produced globally annually, generating about $6 billion in sales. It is fabricated into thousands of products made of hard, clear polycarbonate plastics and tough epoxy resins, including safety equipment, eyeglasses, computer and cell phone casings, water and beverage bottles, DENTAL FILLINGS, and epoxy paint and coatings. Despite research that has proven this chemical to be hazardous it is still approved for use in a shocking amount of products. What’s so bad about it? Trace BPA exposure has been shown to disrupt the endocrine system and trigger a wide variety of disorders, including chromosomal and reproductive system abnormalities, impaired brain and neurological functions, cancer, cardiovascular system damage, adult-onset diabetes, early puberty, obesity and resistance to chemotherapy. The most disgusting fact of all is that the highest levels of BPA have been found in baby bottles, and liquid infant formula. Seriously.  (Source: EWG)

When I first started researching this and found out that women who have recurrent miscarriages are found to have much higher traces of BPA in their systems I was horrified. I’ve been systematically poisoning myself and I didn’t even know it. When I was pregnant I probably ate 2 cans of Campbell’s soup and drank tons of bottled water. I also have fillings in my mouth that are composed of 50% BPA. There’s nothing I can do about that now (hopefully most of the harmful chemical has dissipated and been flushed out by my body by now). I use so many plastics and canned goods and never could have imagined in my wildest dreams that it could be contributing to my miscarriages. So its OUT WITH BPA.

There is some good news folks. BPA has a VERY short half-life. That means it can be flushed out of your system in less than 24 hours. Just a few days of going BPA free can get you completely back to normal, you just have to be vigilant. Here’s how to do it.

BPA is Everywhere.

It’s in everything we touch, everything we eat, everything we buy: it’s hidden in grocery store receipts and beauty products, in coffee cups and soda cans, in the very food and water we need to live. So, what’s the big deal? We’ve survived so far. Or… have we? Cancer and autoimmune disease rates continue to rise steadily. In 2009, EWG tests found estrogen-disrupting  levels of BPA in 9 of 10 umbilical cord blood samples. We all have BPA in our bodies. There’s nothing we can do about it. Right?

You can Remove BPA from Your Body.

And you can do it in less than a week. BPA is metabolized by the body very quickly. A recent study found that participants were able to reduce the levels of BPA in their body by 65% in three days just by avoiding packaged foods¹. By eliminating additional hidden sources of BPA in your environment you can increase that number, as well as reducing many other toxic chemicals that are found in plastics like phthalates, and polyethylene. Here’s how.

1. Just Say No to BPA-loaded Receipts

Did you know that some receipts contain 250 to 1,000 times the amount of BPA typically found in a can of food?²  If that isn’t scary enough, BPA transfers readily from the receipt to skin and cannot be washed off. Different types of receipts contain varying levels of BPA. If you aren’t sure whether or not a merchant uses BPA in their receipts, either ask directly or let them know early in the transaction that you will not need your receipt. Gas station receipts are particularly notorious for containing huge amounts of BPA.

2. Avoid Packaged Food

True, you might have to give up potato chips. But, maybe that’s not such a bad thing. So, what will you possibly eat? There are many safe options available to replace the packaged staples in your kitchen. You can buy fresh bread from the bakery in paper, milk in glass bottles, bring a glass container for cheese and meat from the deli, buy cereal in bulk, get beans and grains from the bulk bin in your own cloth or paper bag. Forgo the packaged salad greens for unpackaged – use cloth or paper bags in the produce aisle.

3. Switch to a Safe BPA-free Water Bottle

You know that funny taste that your plastic water bottle gets when you leave it in the sun? That’s the taste of chemicals leaching into your water. Doesn’t sound very refreshing, does it? There are many safe stainless steel and glass alternatives to plastic bottles. My favorites are those made with 100% safe glass, with stainless steel or silicone in place of a plastic top. Three great options are from VesselBottles UP and Bkr. If you choose a stainless steel option, make sure to get one that is not lined with plastic. Kleen Kanteen is a safe choice. While you’re at it, skip the water cooler for fill-ups. Those big plastic jugs are loaded with BPA too. Tap is safer.

4. Store Food in Glass

Did you know that even “safe” plastics can leach toxic chemicals³ once they are washed in a dishwasher or scrubbed with detergent and a sponge? Why take the chance? Ditch those plastic tubs in place of safe all-glass alternatives. For on the go or smaller items, forgo plastic wrap and plastic sandwich bags in place of small glass containers, wax paper bags, or parchment paper.

5. Avoid Canned Foods

92% of all canned food is lined with BPA coating. Look for alternatives in glass jars (most will have BPA lined lids but overall contamination is much less) or stick to these safe BPA-free brands: Eden Foods (except tomatoes), Wild Planet tuna, Vital Choice tuna, Native Forest  and Native Factor canned goods.

6. Give up Soda

Believe it or not, even aluminum soda cans are lined with BPA. If you can’t give up soda, you can always buy a brand that comes in a glass bottle.

7. Eat at Home

Most  food  in restaurants originates from highly packaged sources or is stored in plastic. As a result, almost all restaurant food is loaded with BPA. Eating at home and bringing your lunch to work more often will help reduce the BPA in your body.

plastic-free coffee

8. Make your Own Coffee

Unless you’re lucky enough to have a local coffee shop that brews in glass, a cup of  to-go coffee comes in contact with BPA during each stage of the brewing process. From the plastic bag the beans are stored in, to the hot plastic coffee maker it’s brewed in, the thermos it’s kept hot in, and the plastic – lined cup it’s served in.

For a BPA- free brew, buy beans from bulk, store in glass, and drip brew with paper filters, a stainless steel  Coava filter and Chemex glass carafe, or stainless steel french press. Pour into a ceramic cup and, voila! BPA-free coffee to go.

9. Buy Personal-care Products in Glass, Paper or Metal.

BPA, phthalates, and other toxic chemicals can leach into beauty products from a plastic container and absorb into your skin. Work to eventually phase out these items by replacing them with safe-packaged alternatives as they run out. If you are on a budget, most beauty products can be made from simple ingredients.

 10. Replace Plastic Items with Safer Alternatives

Because BPA, phthalates and other plasticizers are not chemically bound to the plastics they’re added to, they are continuously released into our air and transferred to our skin when touched. Begin to replace plastic items in your household as you are able. Children are especially vulnerable to plastic chemical exposure. Gradually replace children’s toys and tableware with safer, non-plastic options. Even choosing natural fibers over synthetic clothing (did you know spandex is made of plastic?) can reduce the amount of plastic chemicals stored in your body.

Of course, we can never completely eliminate plastic from our lives

But, the more plastic we avoid, the less BPA in our bodies. Have I eliminated synthetic clothing? Um, no. And I do eat a bag of chips now and then. Although it can be done in 3 days, gradual changes will result in a slow and steady reduction of BPA too. It’s all about knowing how BPA gets into our bodies and cultivating an awareness of plastic so we can consider opportunities to avoid it. It’s about empowering ourselves with the knowledge to make healthy choices.