All posts by Barbara

I love to cook. I’m also a health coach, a path I chose after going through a health crisis which taught me the importance of eating healthy meals. Now, I want to combine the two — health coaching and cooking — to help people learn to cook healthy meals. To plan healthy meals. And to eat healthy meals. For more, please visit Your Cooking Coach.

Rant – Feeding Sugar to Pets

Why would you feed your pets sugar? Hint: These cats do not get treats with sugar!
Why would you feed your pets sugar? Hint: These cats do not get treats with sugar!
I rarely go to the ‘big box’ pet food stores; but we found ourselves in there recently. It’s what happens when you have two new kittens, I guess. As we approached the check stands, I noticed some open bins of bulk pet food – something I had never seen in a pet store. It caught my eye because it looked like cookies.

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A Rant on Carrageenan

A Rant on Carrageenan
A Rant on Carrageenan
This post is entirely different from most of what I write on this blog. In fact, you could call it a rant. I’ve gotten some comments on a post I wrote nearly two years ago. The first one I wasn’t so sure why the long involved comment. The second one, from earlier this month, was more obvious. The commenter included their website and that website is for a company that apparently manufactures (extracts) carrageenan and then sells it. I held off until this week with even publishing these two comments, even though one of them is over a year old. Oh, I did remove the URLs because I really don’t wish to be see as promoting their company or its products. I encourage you to read my original article and also their comments.

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Side Dishes No More – A Star is Born

Vegetables should be thought of as stars, not side dishes.
Vegetables should be thought of as stars, not side dishes.
Too often, people plan their meals around a meat and serve vegetables as “side dishes.” I loathe that term – side dish – as it puts those vegetables in second place, suggesting that they are simply accompaniments to the main attraction. Ladies & Gentlemen, I suggest to you that those side dishes need to be elevated to their rightful place as the stars of your meal. And by doing so, you too will be a star recognized by your friends and family who are lucky enough to enjoy your meals.

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A Change is in the Works

Mariposa Naturals is changing - we're all about cooking!
Mariposa Naturals is changing – we’re all about cooking!

I’ve been writing this blog for 3 years now. In fact, I just looked back and see that I missed my anniversary – three years as of April 25th. I started with a blog post on the “Top 10 Ways to Reduce Your Stress.” During those 3 years I have written nearly 250 blog posts on a variety of topics.

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Made From Scratch

The best foods are made from scratch!
The best foods are made from scratch!

Do you like to cook? I do. I’ve been cooking for as long as I can remember. I learned a lot from my mom and then from my sister, Conni. Everything was made from scratch, too.

When I was 9 or 10 years old, I would occasionally get up very early in the morning and make donuts for my dad to take to the office. I’m not sure what time I got up, but I know that Dad was usually at work by 7 or 7:30 so it was early. This was what I would do on Summer days – my vacation. They were always made from scratch, too. Don’t you know I was popular in his office?

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Too Much Stomach Acid?

Are you sure it's too much stomach acid? Or perhaps it's not enough?
Are you sure it’s too much stomach acid? Or perhaps it’s not enough?
Did you know that most disease begins in our gut? That’s why gut health is so very critical. Whether you’re dealing with autoimmunity or food allergies or food sensitivities or Hashimoto’s or pretty much anything else, it starts in the gut. That’s why it’s so important to understand what is really going on when we talk about acid reflux, heartburn, or GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease).

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Fragrance Chemicals – Not So Sweet

What's chemicals are lurking in your sweet-smelling fragrance?
What’s chemicals are lurking in your sweet-smelling fragrance?

(Note: This article first appeared in the March 2014 issue of Natural Awakenings San Antonio.)

Ah, the sweet smell of fragrance. Who doesn’t love them? Me. I’ve gotten migraines from fragrances since I was 16. It started with just one perfume but the list grew. As more and more of them were added to the list, I began to suspect that there was something common to all of them that triggered my migraines. Today, I avoid fragrances, perfumes, and any product that might contain them. You might too, if you knew what I know. 

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Saving Money on Food Means Cheap Food

Saving Money on Food - Good Idea or Not?
Saving Money on Food – Good Idea or Not?

Is Saving Money on Food your Primary Motivator when shopping?

Many times, when we shop with the objective of saving money on food, we wind up with cheap, inferior food. Here’s one example for the next time you’re shopping: In the dairy section pick up the house brand cottage cheese and the premium brand cottage cheese. Read the ingredients for both. Chances are you’ll find ‘modified food starch’ on the cheaper house brand. And that’s how they make it cheaper. They add less expensive ingredients as fillers. So they stretch the higher priced ingredients further. It might be a good marketing plan, but health wise it’s a bad idea.

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Does Stress Cause Migraines?

The International Headache Society now says that stress does not cause migraines. What do you think?
The International Headache Society now says that stress does not cause migraines. What do you think?
Recently, I talked about the role of hormones in migraines, today I’ll be discussing another controversial migraine trigger – stress. The International Headache Society (IHS) removed stress from its trigger list. While it recognizes that stress can make us more susceptible to triggers, perhaps by lowering our threshold, they now say that stress does not cause migraines.

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Hidden Toxins – Formaldehyde

Why Wrinkle-Free Doesn’t Mean Chemical-Free

(Note: This article first appeared in the February 2014 issue of Natural Awakenings San Antonio.)

Are toxins lurking in your clothing?
Are toxins lurking in your clothing?
Toxins that can be harmful to your health are everywhere. They’re in our air, our water and also lurking in places you might not suspect. For example, did you know there are toxins in your wrinkle-free fabrics? They are actually treated with a resin that releases formaldehyde to reduce wrinkles.

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