Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Event: Viewing of "The World According to Monsanto"

"Monsanto’s controversial past combines some of the most toxic products ever sold with misleading reports, pressure tactics, collusion, and attempted corruption. They now race to genetically engineer (and patent) the world’s food supply, which profoundly threatens our health, environment, and economy. Combining secret documents with first-hand accounts by victims, scientists, and politicians, this widely praised film exposes why Monsanto has become the world’s poster child for malignant corporate influence in government and technology."

When: Saturday, June 11, 2011
Time: 7:00pm
Where: West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church - 20401 Hilliard Blvd. Rocky River, Ohio 44116
Cost: Free
Parking: Free

Refreshments and conversation provided after the film!

Hosted by: West Shore Social Action Committee

Questions? Call: 440-333-2255

Check out a preview!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Doc: Chow Down

This doc is similar to Forks over Knives in that it explores diet as a means to reverse degenerative diseases such as: diabetes, heart disease and cancer.  However, Chow Down differs from Forks over Knives in one very important way: it's entertaining!

I'm not saying that in order to learn about health a doc has to be a flashy Hollywood production but it helps when the viewer is actively engaged!  What's the point if your audience tunes out due to boredom?!?!  Dr. Oz got it wrong, he should have premiered Chow Down on his show (I'm just sayin!).

This doc follows three people's journeys (ups & downs) through trying a plant-based diet to reverse their heart disease and diabetes.  It also exposes the bureaucracy keeping Americans sick and dependent on drugs and the medical establishment.  Then there's the USDA and their conflict of interest (providing nutritional recommendations while supporting and promoting U.S. Agriculture businesses).  Plus the past and current flaws in the Food Pyramid due to big business influence!  Those are just the highlights, there's more...

There are some familiar faces in this one: Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Director of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Reversal at the Wellness Institute of the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. T Colin Campbell, a nutritional scientist at Cornell University (The China Study) and Dr. Neil Barnard, founder and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

So if you have one of the diseases mentioned, check this doc out too see what you can do to get off the drug and operation roller coaster.  If you're not sick, check it out anyway - why wait to be ill, prevent it!

This film is available at Whole Foods, Amazon, Hulu and coming soon to my fav - Netflix! Screenings are being scheduled across the country as I type...

Check out the trailer!

Weight Loss: Staying Motivated

I'm never on a diet, but I am always striving to loss weight.  I have dropped five dress sizes in the past five years and I am currently working on losing 10 more pounds.

It's because of this weight loss, that those who have known me over that period of time ask me, what I am doing to lose the weight.  And every time, I look like a deer caught in headlights and simply mumble, "lots of stuff."

This is because, like I said, I am never on a diet.  Sure, I have tried the South Beach Diet (fail) and Carb Lovers Diet (major fail) and while I may borrow tips and tricks from various diets, I don't follow any strictly.

So, how am I losing the weight?

Simple, small, lifestyle changes that I don't even realize I do anymore - how easier can it be!  Ok, ok I hear you screaming at the computer, here are a few things that I strive to incorporate:

  •  20 - 30 minutes of weight training, 2 times a week (muscle burns fat in your sleep, IN YOUR SLEEP!)
  • 20 - 30 minutes of cardio or yoga, 2-3 times a week
  • 35 -50 grams of Fiber per day (ease into this, the average person's daily intake is 10 grams)
  • Eat a mostly vegetarian/vegan diet (I eat fish, making me a "Pescetarian")
  • Drink one cup of white tea per day (increases metabolism)
  • Add cinnamon when possible (increases metabolism)
  • Avoid processed foods
  • Track calorie, fiber, saturated fat and protein intake
  • Learn one new thing per day on health, diet or nutrition...

This last point brings me to the reason for this post, staying motivated while losing weight.

I have found that by learning at least one new healthy thing per day, I stay interested and therefore motivated.  I love to try new things!

This, "new thing" can be anything: a new exercise, a new recipe, a new snack...you get the point.  I am constantly adding new tips and tricks into my lifestyle, which is why I can never concretely say how I have lost the weight.  But the bottom line is, five years later, I'm still going strong, am the healthiest I have ever been and have a HUGE wealth of health/nutrition knowledge to boot!

Learning one new thing a day does not need to be a daunting task.  There are numerous ways to build your knowledge base:

  • Watch a documentary on health, exercise, diet or just food in general
  • Watch Dr Oz
  • Read a health focused magazine (Shape, Natural Health, Whole Living...)
  • Read a diet book (don't do the diet, just steal the good stuff)
  • Watch PBS, they have great programs on health and diet all the time
  • Subscribe to a Podcast
  • Get recipes emailed daily based on diet preference from AllRecipes.com
  • Ease drop on other's conversations (you never know...)
  • Create a GoogleAlert based on diet, nutrition or health (or all three)
  • Attend a cooking class
  • Take an online class
  • Talk to your friends and family (see what they've learned lately)
  • Subscribe to Health focused Twitter profiles (HealthHive, Snack_Girl_, NPRHealth, etc.)
  • Subscribe to daily emails from various blogs or websites (Fooducate, Calorie Count, Vegan Gal, etc.)
  • Check out my Lifestyle Tips & Tricks page
  • Subscribe to The Healthy Hoff

Now the key here is to educate yourself.  Just because a so-called "expert" says something doesn't mean you have to follow it blindly.  After a while you are going to find that many sources contradict each other.  You need to determine what's right for you and your health and weigh advice objectively.  For example, I don't agree with Hungry Girl's heavy reliance on artificial sweeteners and diet-based processed foods, but her stripped down recipes offer inspiration from time to time.

    Knowledge is Power!
    The Hoff

    Happy Memorial Day!

    Sunday, May 29, 2011

    A Yummy, Healthy Granola Bar

    I'm talking about Nature's Path USDA Organic Pumpkin -N-Spice Flax Plus Chewy Granola Bars (that's a mouthful!).

    I just discovered these at the local Walmart.  I was looking for a granola bar that was organic and contained minimal ingredients.  This one jumped off the shelves.

    The Stats (1 bar):

    140 Calories
    .5g Saturated Fat (I'd prefer zero)
    1.5g Polyunsaturated Fat (good)
    .5g Monounsaturated Fat (not bad)
    80mg Sodium (could be worse)
    65mg Potassium (good)
    2g Fiber (wish it were more)
    10g Sugar (ok)
    3g Protein

    The Ingredients:
    Granola* (Rolled Oats*, Evaporated Cane Juice*, Soy Oil*), Tapioca Syrup*, Brown Rice Flour*, Pumpkin Seeds* (Pumpkin Seeds*, Salt), Invert Cane Syrup*, Flaxseeds*, Acacia Gum*, Soy Oil*, Evaporated Cane Juice*, Sea Salt*, Spice*, Molasses*. *Organic. Contains Peanuts, And Soy. Produced In A Facility That Uses Dairy, Peanuts, And Tree Nuts.

    The Verdict:
    Good wholesome "snack!"  I like that I somewhat know what each ingredient is and nothing sounds like a science experiment.  I wish it didn't contain soy oil, but you can't have everything unless you make it yourself.  Don't expect this to taste like pumpkin, it only contains the seeds (sigh).  Overall, this is not a bad little snack and it's certified organic!

    The Hoff

    Saturday, May 28, 2011

    Doc: Forks over Knives

    Last night I went to the premiere viewing of Forks over Knives at the Cedar Lee Theater.

    The theater was packed!  Lots of people interested in healthy news and that was refreshing to be a part of.

    An added bonus was the appearance of Pamela Popper, Ph.D, ND from Columbus, OH who appears briefly in the movie. She gave a short introduction prior to the showing and hung around after to answer questions.  I picked up her DVD, "Take Control of Your Health," which I will review later.

    What I like about this doc is the straight talk that a wholefoods, plant-based diet can prevent and even reverse degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

    The usually players are in this one: Dr. Campbell, a nutritional scientist at Cornell University (The China Study), Dr. Esselstyn, Director of Cardiovascular Disease Prevention and Reversal at the Wellness Institute of the Cleveland Clinic and a few others.

    What I didn't like about this doc was the rather, dry, typical documentary delivery.  I'll admit, I zoned out a few times (I tried!).

    Nonetheless, it gets you thinking about how detrimental our western diet is, do we really need to consume animal products and how we shouldn't rely on the government for our nutritional advice.

    Check out the trailer!

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    Doc: Enlighten Up!

    This doc follows one novice's journey through the discovery of various yoga Enlighten Up! was the desire to achieve a headstand (that didn't go too well), Nick (the "guy") is pretty entertaining and you might get something out of the words of wisdom from the various gurus or discover the yoga practice for you.
    practices.  While the subject of this film starts out in New York City, he ends up in India chatting it up with yoga gurus.  It's an interesting look at one guy's skeptical search for enlightenment through yoga.  While the only thing I got out of

    Check out the trailer!

    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    Top Off Those Plants!

    Spring is the perfect time of year to add soil to your household plants.

    Over the past year the dirt most likely has compacted and the level noticeable dropped, as a result of watering.  While gathering supplies for your yearly garden, pick-up an extra bag of dirt, drag all the plants out to the yard in an assembly line manner and show your plants some lovin'!"

    Digging in the dirt!
    The Hoff

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Event: Make & Take Rain Barrel

    I have toyed with the notion of a rain barrel for the past few years.

    A rain barrel for those of you unfamiliar is basically a large plastic barrel that you hook up to your gutter down spot and it collects rain water.

    Why would you want to do this?

    Well, you then use that water to water your garden, lawn and flowers.  It saves money, it recycles a natural resource, it's better for your plants/lawn than tap water, due to the fact that it is naturally soft - free of chlorine, fluoride, and other chemicals.

    I've also heard that some counties offer a tax credit for having a rain barrel.  This varies from county to county, so do a little research to see if you can take advantage of this in your area.  Why the credit?  Because by utilizing a rain barrel you are reducing the amount of water flowing into storm drains, sewer systems, and ultimately local waterways.

    So why don't I have one?

    Price: to buy a rain barrel is ridiculously pricey ($60 to $200).

    Lack of ambition: it's super cheap to make a rain barrel, but you have to get the tools, supplies and research how to create one.

    Is it worth it?

    When the average rain barrel collects 70 gallons of water and that can feasible be collected with one good rainfall, I'd say, "hell yeah!"  Given our weather as of late, I wish I had ten barrels going.

    For those of you like me, I have the answer!  Take a class, make the rain barrel there and take it home! Perfect!  Oh look, I just happened to find a few classes happening soon...

    Here are the details:

    What: Make and Take Rain Barrel Day
    When: June 11, 2011
    Location: Licking County Soil and Water Conservation District: 771 East Main St., Newark, Ohio 43055
    Time: 10 a.m to 12 p.m.

    "Learn to conserve water for use in your home and garden, and build a rain barrel to take home. Experts on conservation from the Licking County Soil and Water Conservation District will be on hand to explain different techniques you can use in your home and garden, and lead you step by step in constructing your own rain barrel on site the day of the event."

    Cost for Ohio Farm Bureau members: $75
    Cost for nonmembers: $115
    Deadline for registration: June 3

    Learn more about this and other events!

    Cuyahoga County Classes

    Date Location Time How to register Notes

    June 1
    Rain Barrel workshop and Compost seminar

    Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District offices -
    6:30pm - 8:00pm 216/524-6580, ext. 22  Held in collaboration with the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District and the City of Garfield Heights
     June 5
    Look About Lodge -
    South Chagrin Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks
    3:30pm - 4:30pm 440/247-7075 Hosted by the
    Cleveland Metroparks
     June 9 Olmsted Township -
    Olmsted Falls Middle School
    call for workshop times 216/524-6580, ext. 14 Held in collaboration with the Rocky River Watershed Council and Olmsted Township
     July 13th Rocky River Nature Center 6:30pm - 8:00pm 216/524-6580, ext. 14
    Held in collaboration with the Rocky River Watershed Council, Cleveland Metroparks, and the City of North Olmsted
     July 14 City of Brooklyn Grande
    6:00pm - 7:30pm 216/524-6580, ext. 22 Held in collaboration with the City of Brooklyn and the Friends of Big Creek

    July 27th
    Greenwood Farms, Richmond Heights 6:30pm - 8:00pm 216/524-6580, ext. 16
    Held in collaboration with the City of Richmond Heights and Friends of Euclid Creek -
    Click here for flyer
     August 24th Mayfield Heights 6:30pm - 8:00pm 216/524-6580, ext. 16 Held in collaboration with the City of Mayfield Heights and Friends of Euclid Creek
     Sept. 8th Cleveland Museum of Natural History 2:00pm - 4:00pm Call Renee Boronka at
    216-231-4600 ext. 3505

    Held in conjunction with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History's Conservation Symposium
     Sept. 14th Rocky River Nature Center 6:30pm - 8:00pm 216/524-6580, ext. 14
    Held in collaboration with the Rocky River Watershed Council, Cleveland Metroparks,  and the City of North Olmsted

    Cost: $60
    Deadline: Reservations must be received one week before the workshop date

    "We will have the barrel, parts, tools and downspout diverter. You will make your own barrel (help is provided if necessary) to take home to use on your home.

    Choose a date/time that works for you and call the appropriate number to register. We will send out a registration confirmation with directions to the location." 

    Tuesday, May 24, 2011

    Doc: Deconstructing Supper

    This doc takes a look at the potential pros and cons of genetically-modified foods.  If you don’t think you’re eating GMOs, think again – unless you’re eating 100% organic, every time you consume corn or soy or processed foods containing corn or soy, you are more than likely consuming GMOs.  The scary part is the FDA is not studying their effects on humans.  Monsanto (a.k.a. Roundup) makes a cameo appearance in this doc as well, as they are the world’s largest producer of GMO seeds.  By the way, Monsanto doesn’t feel it’s their responsibility to study the effects of consuming GMOs either.  Europe & Mexico have banned the use of GMOs, what is America’s problem ($$$)?  Check out the preview!

    Event: Living on Live Food

    "Learn the benefits of eating only whole raw foods.  Participants will also learn how to incorporate quick and energy filled foods into their daily routine.  Recipes, resources and videos will be shared.  Proteins, fats and superfoods will also be discussed.  Topics are based on the teachings of Ann Wigmore, Dr. John Fileder, and Dr. Gabriel Cousens.  There will be samples of food as well."

    When: Saturday, May 28, 2011
    Time: 2:00 - 4:00pm
    Where: Sunrise Wellness Studio - 15203 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, OH 44107
    Cost: $12

    Seating is limited, call 216.287.1108 or email kimjuhas@hotmail.com to reserve a spot.

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    White Tea

    You've heard of green tea, you've most likely have had black tea, but are you aware of white tea?

    White Tea is a tea lover's delight and if you've never tried it, you should.

    I came across white tea a few years ago, while researching the health benefits of tea and it has been my go-to tea ever since.

    I describe white tea as pure, it just feels pure in taste, scent and texture.  Am I a tea connaisseur?  No, so this is just my humble opinion.  Do I know what I'm talking about?  Probably not, but I know what I like and I know the joy I derive from drinking it.  To be frank after a misguided suggestion of doing a shot of wheat grass in my youth, green tea has tasted like grass to me ever since - hence the attraction towards white tea.

    While I have never been able to find any specific studies touting the health benefits of white tea, like you often find with green tea, I suspect that it has all the same benefits if not more so.  I am no scientist, but my reasoning behind this is that white tea is the least processed of the three teas.  "Because of its minimal processing, white tea contains more nutrients than its black or green cousins, making it the mightiest of the teas, the ultimate Health Tea." - Source http://www.whiteteaguide.com/

    They say white tea is expensive, due to it's rarity.  White tea is rare because of the stringent rules governing how it is to be harvested and processed. But honestly, it's only a few dollars more than black or green tea and since tea in general (depending on the quality) runs under $10, this is not an expensive indulgence in my opinion.  And I say you are worth it!  As far as restaurants are concerned, I have never paid more for a cup of white tea than black or green tea.

    Like black and green tea, white tea also comes in a variety of flavors, most with a fruit spin (my personal preference).

    Don't drink tea?

    Here's why you should reconsider, benefits of tea:
    • Protects against cancer, stroke & heart disease
    • Aids in illness recovery
    • Lowers blood pressure
    • Lowers cholesterol
    • Antibacterial
    • Antiviral
    • Promotes healthy, radiant skin
    • May increase metabolism and promote fat burn (hello, weight loss!)
    • May reduce blood sugar and aid in diabetes symptoms
    • Reduces stress (woosa)
    • Increases energy
    • Increases bone density (concerned about osteoporosis?)
    • And much, much more...

    Concerned about caffeine?  White tea still has it, but it also has the least amount compared to black and green teas.

    While I tend to get my white tea at World Market, it has been popping up on grocery store shelves recently.

    Give white tea a try, you won't be disappointed.

    "If you are cold, tea will warm you.  If you are too heated, it will cool you.  If you are depressed, it will cheer you.  If you are excited, it will calm you."  ~Gladstone, 1865

    Pinkie up!
    The Hoff

    Sunday, May 22, 2011

    Doc: PLANEAT

    So last night I went to see PLANEAT at the West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, hosted by the West Shore Vegetarian Group.  I will say that it was pretty cool watching a movie projected onto a church wall, while seated in a cushioned pew.  Definitely a first for me since I am seldom in a church.  But over all, a very neat experience.  And I will say for once, everyone was silent (I hate people who talk during a movie)!  I only mention this because this same group is going to host another documentary at the same church very soon, which I will blog about later.

    Anyway, lets talk about PLANEAT!  Very good documentary proposing a vegetarian diet to combat heart disease instead of the procedural heart and bypass surgeries.  Guest star of this doc is Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study (a worthwhile read), also staring the Cleveland Clinic's very own, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn.
    While this doc doesn't go into great detail about some of the recommendations made, like not consuming oils, it is a good starting point for further research if you or someone you know is concerned about or is suffering from heart disease.

    This doc also takes a look at the carbon footprints of various American diets.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Lazy Ox Farm

    If you're looking to grow a garden this year and want well-established plants to start with, I highly recommend the Lazy Ox Farm!

    I found this farm on Local Harvest, where I do all my online Farmer's Market shopping.

    I had purchased strawberry plants from another farm (Destiny Farm) and they arrived well before I could plant them.  They also arrived in an unmarked box, with no packing material, no invoice and no care instructions.  No thank you for purchase!!!!  I enjoy the little hand written note, most farmers on this site provide, makes me feel like I'm in Mayberry.

    The rather small plants looked as if they were pulled from the ground and were swimming in wood chips.  The plants were thrown into a ziplock bag.  Needless to say, all 20 plants died.

    My experience with Lazy Ox Farm was the complete opposite.  While I had ordered the plants a month prior, the farmer informed me that they would not ship until May 16 (when it was feasible to plant - I like that).  Two days later, they were on my doorstep!

    Plants arrived individually wrapped, each in their own planter box and all labeled.  Care instructions were also provided as well as individual descriptions of each plant variety.

    Plants were well-established, all around 7" tall (that's more impressive than anything I've seen at a local greenhouse).

    From the email correspondence through to the careful delivery, you get a genuine feeling that this farm takes great pride in their work and truly cares for their customers.

    Lazy Ox offers a large variety of plants: from tomatoes, to peppers, to a variety of herbs, squash, eggplant...too many to mention.  I picked myself up some lemon basil (the smell is pure heaven), oregano, garlic chives and cherry tomatoes.  If you're wondering, they don't offer strawberry plants (sigh) - hence my unfortunate incident.

    Not into plants?  They also sell seeds.

    I am now a Lazy Ox Farm customer for life - I hope you consider them for your gardening needs as well.

    Here's to the little farmer in all of us!
    The Hoff

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    Produce Storage Guide

    This is courtesy of my CSA Farmer, Chuck of Murray Hill Farms - thanks Chuck (and upon closer inspection, Greenling.com)!

    Produce Storage Guide

    Produce Item Storage Advice (FR=reFRigerator, RT=Room Temp)
    Apples FR - loose
    Artichoke FR - In plastic bag or in crisper
    Asparagus FR - Keep tips moist, standing
    Avocadoes RT; Refrigerate after ripening
    Bananas RT; Freeze after ripe for B-bread
    Beets FR - Ventilated plastic bag in crisper
    Bell Peppers FR - In plastic bag or in crisper
    Blackberries FR - In crisper
    Blueberries FR - In crisper
    Broccoli FR - In crisper
    Brussel Sprouts FR - In crisper
    Cabbage FR - In crisper
    Cantaloupe RT; refrigerate after ripening
    Carrots FR - Ventilated plastic bag in crisper
    Cauliflower FR - In crisper
    Celery FR - Ventilated plastic bag in crisper
    Cherries FR - Rinse when ready to eat
    Corn FR - In crisper, in husk
    Cucumbers FR - In plastic bag or in crisper
    Garlic RT
    Grapefruit RT or FR; Never in plastic bag
    Grapes FR
    Green Beans FR - In plastic bag or in crisper
    Green Peas FR - In plastic bag or in crisper
    Herbs FR/RT -Trim ends, submerge in glass of water
    Honeydew FR - Ventilated plastic bag in crisper
    Jalapenos FR - In plastic bag or in crisper
    Kiwi RT; refrigerate after ripening
    Lemons RT or FR; Never in plastic bag
    Lettuce FR - Plastic bag. High humidity & cool temps
    Limes RT or FR; Never in plastic bag
    Mangoes FR - Ventilated plastic bag in crisper
    Mushrooms FR - Plastic bag; High humidity & cool temps
    Nectarines RT or FR; Never in plastic bag
    Okra FR - Plastic bag; High humidity & cool temps
    Onion RT
    Oranges RT or FR; Never in plastic bag
    Peaches Ventilated plastic bag in crisper
    Pears Ventilated plastic bag in crisper
    Pecans No particular storage needs
    Pineapple RT; refrigerate after ripening
    Plum Ventilated plastic bag in crisper
    Potatoes Cool, dark area; no plastic bags
    Raspberries In crisper
    Salad Greens FR - Plastic bag; High humidity & cool temps
    Snap Peas Ventilated plastic bag in crisper
    Spinach FR - Plastic bag; High humidity & cool temps
    Squash In plastic bag or in crisper
    Strawberries In crisper
    Sweet Potatoes RT
    Tangerines RT or FR; Never in plastic bag
    Tomatoes RT; refrigerate after ripening
    Watermelon Ventilated plastic bag in crisper
    Zucchinis In plastic bag or in crisper

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Great Weight Loss Calculator!

    Ever wonder how many calories you need to consume (rather not consume) in order to hit your target weight goal?

    Wonder no more, this free calorie calculator courtesy of Calorie Count has your magic answer!

    What I like most about this calculator is that it takes a variety of personal factors into consideration before making that goal recommendation, such as:
    • Gender
    • Age
    • Height
    • Level of Activity
    • Target Date

    I like to cheat and say that I have a sedentary lifestyle, even though I strive to workout 3-5 times a week.  This way I can afford to cheat (either in the food department or exercise department) sometimes and not feel like I am sabotaging my efforts.  I recommend experimenting with the calculator to see how much those calories differ based on activity level and target date.

    Keep in mind that in order to achieve sustainable, long-term weight loss, you want to lose no more than one pound per week.  I know, I know - we all want the overnight results, but trust me, this will benefit you in the long run. It's better to be the tortoise and not the hare in this race.

    Happy losing!
    The Hoff

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    Cleveland Event: West Shore Vegetarian Group to Host Viewing of “PLANEAT”

    "PLANEAT is the story of three men's life-long search for a diet, which is good for our health, good for the environment and good for the future of the planet. With an additional cast of pioneering chefs and some of the best cooking you have ever seen, the scientists and doctors in the film present a convincing case for the West to re-examine its love affair with meat and dairy. The film features the ground-breaking work of Dr. T Colin Campbell in China exploring the link between diet and disease, The Cleveland Clinic's Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's use of diet to treat heart disease patients, and Professor Gidon Eshel's investigations into how our food choices contribute to global warming, land use and oceanic deadzones.  With the help of some innovative farmers and chefs, PLANEAT shows how the problems we face today can be solved, without simply resorting to a diet of lentils and lettuce leaves."

    When: Saturday - May 21, 2011
    Time: 7:00pm
    Where: West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, 20401 Hilliard Blvd. Rocky River, Ohio 44116
    Cost: $5.00 per person ($3.00 for West Shore Vegetarian Group Members)
    Parking: Free

    Healthy, delicious refreshments and conversation provided after the film!

    Check out the trailer! 

    QUESTIONS? Call Bob Bemer at 440-333-2255

    Saturday, May 14, 2011

    Facial Time!

    As spring approaches, I am reminded that it's time to assemble my Diva Team.

    My Diva Team is the group of people that help me be fabulous: personal trainer, hair stylist, masseuse, manicurist, eye brow artist, and my esthetician (among others).  If you don't have a Diva Team, I highly recommend that you get one.

    For the purpose of this post, I will be talking about my esthetician, who performs my facials.

    I hesitated for a long time before getting a facial, because I didn't know what to expect. I thought spas were hoighty toighty and I was too "common" to fit in.  After having several wonderful experiences, I'm over that and now make it a priority to get facials throughout the year (yeah, that's right, more than one).  I think of it as insurance for the future, setting the foundation for graceful aging.

    That being said, I want to walk you through what you can expect when getting a facial (this will vary slightly by esthetician and spa):

    Upon arrival:
    • You'll probably be asked to fill out a form describing your skin, skin care regimen and any allergies
    • You'll be lead to a candle lit room and left to remove your top, bra and shoes
    • You'll be given a half robe to put on and told to lie on the table, under the covers

    Facial Time:
    • A pillow will be placed under your knees
    • Your hair will be pulled back and wrapped in a towel
    • Your face will be washed to remove make-up
    • A very bright light will appear and the esthetician will assess your skin
    • At that point she will customize your facial based on you skin's needs
    • She may ask you questions about your skin and should describe what she's doing
    • A misting of steam will cover your face (this can make it a little hard to breathe, don't panic)
    • Then a deeper cleaning, exfoliation and then...

    Extraction Time:
    • This hurts (you can choose not to do it)
    • Extraction is the process of removing pore-clogging sebum, black heads and small pimples
    • It can be done with a tissue covered fingernail (my preference) or a metal extraction tool (not my preference)
    • This hurts
    • If done improperly, this can cause broken capillaries (I've been getting facials for the past six years and have never had this happen) (always make sure your esthetician is licensed)
    • I've had good results, clearer skin - so I suffer through the pain and whimper in silence
    • This hurts

    Treatment Time:
    • Hard part's over
    • Based on your skin's condition, a series of serums, lotions and potions will be applied and removed

    Massage Time:
    • While the potions and lotions are doing their thing, expect some level of massage (depending on length of facial) consisting head (my fav), neck, shoulders, arms and hands

    Mask Time:
    • A mask will be applied based on your type of skin and condition (this will likely feel tight as it dries)

    • Mask will be removed
    • Appropriate moisturizer will be applied
    • You'll be left to dress
    • Most likely given a glass of water

    And that folks, is a facial!  Sounds delightful, right?  It is - I really enjoy them.

    Beware, if the esthetician asks if you would like to "try" their new blah, blah, blah - this is most likely an up-sell.  Ask the price before saying yes - you're facial could jump $40 to $60 from the base price (not cool).

    I used to get a facial once a month, but then realized that's just silly.  I can maintain my own face through exfoliation and proper moisturization.  However, it is nice to have a deep cleaning every few months and a good extraction now and then is tres beneficial.  Plus, you should pamper yourself.  I get a facial at the start of each season, it just a nice way to begin each new phase of the year.

    You can get a 30, 60 or 90 minute facial.  I've never had a 90 minute facial, but there is little difference between a 30 and 60 minute facial other than a little more massage time.

    Be sure to remove rings, necklaces or bracelets prior to your facial.  Earrings can remain.

    A word of caution, your face will be red afterwards - it's not a good time to go out in public. This will calm down in a few hours.  Also, be wary of wearing mascara the day of a facial.  It never ceases to amaze me that after an hour of getting my face "washed," I walk out looking like a raccoon.

    I prefer to go to spas or salons who use organic products.  If I'm going to have stuff slathered on my face and rubbed in, I want it to be organic, damn it!

    If you're in the Northeast Ohio area, I am partial to Natural Skin located at 203 East Royalton Road, Broadview Heights, Ohio , 44147.  Natural Skin uses only the purest food and plant based ingredients found in product lines such as Eminence and Image Skincare.  Kimberly Peterson, the owner is great, very laid back and will make you feel very comfortable, as will her entire staff.  Whenever I call, they know exactly who I am.

    Go Diva Team!
    The Hoff

    Friday, May 13, 2011

    Doc: The Future of Food

    This doc pissed me off within the first five minutes and I stayed angry throughout the entire film. My anger had nothing to do with the film; it was the message this film had to deliver. This is another doc that takes a look at GMOs and the shady relationship between agriculture, big business and government. It also exposes how our local farmers are getting shafted! Again, Monsanto (a.k.a. Roundup) is front and center. Ever wonder what the manufacturer of weed killer is doing supplying the world’s corn and soy seed supply - you should. If you’re ready to be educated and fired up, give this one a viewing.

    Event: Forks Over Knives Documentary

    If you're a Doctor Oz fan, you may have seen his latest show about the Forks Over Knives documentary.

    "The feature film Forks Over Knives examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods."

    Watch the trailer, it looks to be an eye opener!

    This film will open in Cleveland beginning on May 27th, 2011 at the Cedar Lee Theater, 2163 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118

    Not from around here?  Check out additional showings.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Tree Hugger's!

    I love Tree Hugger's!

    No, I'm not talking about a cult of people who go around assaulting trees by invading their personal space.

    Tree Hugger's Cafe is a fantastic local, organic cafe/restaurant offering vegan, vegetarian and overall good for you food (they have chicken, turkey and fish as well).  The owner, is also the chef and she creates fantastic food combinations with as much locally, organically grown food as she can get her hands on.  It's super yummy and the staff is sooooooooooooooo friendly!  Even the customers are super friendly.  A certain peace and calm overtakes you when you enter this cafe and it makes you want to be a healthier, better person.

    They always have an assortment of hot and cold teas on hand (black, green and white).  They have an organic espresso bar and organic, certified fair trade Hoot Owl Coffee (also yummy).  Like smoothies? They got'em!

    Having a party?  They offering catering as well, contact them for more info.

    Check out their specials and events!

    Wednesday nights are live, local music night.

    You must try the sweet potato fries with honey dipping sauce.  The Great Egret Zucchini Parmesan Panini is fantastic, so is the Marbled Murrelet Mushroom Panini (substitute the mozzarella for avocado - to die for!). Their salads are so fresh and GINORMOUS - I recommend the Strawberry Kiwi Koala Salad (how can you not love the names of these dishes)!  And the fresh baked vegan bakery, don't get me started (scones people, scones!!!!!)  I've eaten here a lot, but there is so much more I need to try, check out their awesome menu.

    Gluten allergy?  Tree Huggers can handle that.  They even have gluten-free bakery!

    One last pitch - they have no freezer!  That means you are guaranteed a seasonal, fresh meal every time!

    This place has it all, why go anywhere else?

    Tree Hugger's is located on the border of Berea and Olmsted Falls at:
    1330 Bagley Rd. Unit 1, Berea OH, 44017

    What are you waiting for? Go! Go!
    The Hoff

    Treehuggers Cafe on Urbanspoon

    Monday, May 9, 2011

    The Healthy Hoff Hits 1000!!!!!!

    No, that's not my Fight Club statistic.

    Over the course of the night, The Healthy Hoff reached over 1,000 page views!!!!!!

    The Healthy Hoff was born March 27, 2011 with my virgin post, Got the Facts on Milk?  My "expose" to a destined to be awesome documentary questioning the "promoted" benefits of cows milk and if humans really should be drinking it.  I say destined, because I have yet to receive my copy to view it.

    I digress.

    I set a goal to reach 1,000 page views within a year.  Either I suck at setting goals OR you like me, you really like me!  Lets go with the latter.

    So I want to give a shout out to all my friends, family and strangers who are loving The Healthy Hoff!  Without you I'd never would have hit 1k in under two months of creation!

    I'd like to give a special shout out to my international followers - gotta love the power of the Internet, big thanks to:
    • Germany
    • The United Kingdom
    • Australia
    • Norway
    • Romania
    • Bosnia
    • Brazil
    • Canada
    • China
    • India
    • Russia
    • France
    I hope you all continue to enjoy what The Healthy Hoff has to offer, I foresee bigger and better things to come.  And I promise not to let all the success go to my head.

    Here's to the next 1,000!
    The Hoff

    Sunday, May 8, 2011

    Free Webinar: Navigating Organic Beauty, Dirty Secrets Exposed

    Check out this free Online Webinar sponsored by Full of Organics!

    You will learn:
    • How to breakdown an ingredient label & understand impact on health
    • How to define natural, organic, and certified organic
    • How to identify cancer-causing chemicals in skin care products

    When: Wednesday - May 11, 2011
    Time: 9:00pm EST

    For more info and to register, visit:

    Saturday, May 7, 2011

    New Farmers Market Alert! Grand Opening Today!

    The Frostville Museum in North Olmsted, OH will be the home of a brand new farmers market for 2011 and we can't have too many of those!

    The coolest part is that the Cleveland Metroparks will be the back drop for this lucky market.

    The grand opening will be May 7th, 2011

    The market will be open from May to October, Saturdays, 9:00am - 1:00pm.

    Location: 24101 Cedar Point Rd, North Olmsted OH 44138 (on the corner of Lewis & Cedar Point Road)

    Stop by and support you local farmers!
    The Hoff

    Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Doc: Deconstructing Supper

    This doc takes a look at the potential pros and cons of genetically-modified foods. If you don’t think you’re eating GMOs, think again – unless you’re eating 100% organic, every time you eat corn or soy either as itself or in processed foods, you are most likely consuming GMOs and the scary part is the FDA is not studying their effects on humans. Monsanto (a.k.a. Roundup) makes a cameo appearance in this doc as well, as they are the world’s largest producer of GMO seeds. By the way, Monsanto doesn’t feel it’s their responsibility to study the effects of consuming GMOs either. Nor will they supply independent researchers with seeds so they can study the effects of GMOs.  Europe & Mexico have banned the use of GMOs, what is America’s problem - $$$? Watch this to get up to speed.

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    Hoff's Black Bean Tacos

    That's right, Wednesday night is Taco Night at the Hoff House!  Usually I just mix a can of fat-free, vegetarian, refried beans with a bag of Uncle Ben's Spanish Ready Rice for a super quick meal.  But tonight, I decided to go a little healthier.  These tacos are simple and delicious!

    Hoff's Black Bean Tacos
    Makes 4 tacos
    meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, oil-free, soy-free

    • Soft taco shells (4)
    • 1 can Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
    • 1/2 Red Onion, sliced
    • Avocado
    • Lime Juice
    • Sea Salt
    • Cumin
    • Cilantro
     Optional Toppings:
    • Sliced Black Olives
    • Salsa

    1. In a small frying pan, saute onion in a little water if necessary.  When turning translucent, add black beans and stir.  Add lime juice, sea salt, cumin and cilantro to taste.  Heat through.
    2. In a small bowl, mash together avocado, lime juice, sea salt and cilantro to taste.
    3. Combine black bean mixture with avocado mixture (or use as a spread).
    4. Microwave taco shells on a paper towel for 20 - 30 seconds.
    5. Time to chow - let the assembling of the tacos commence!

    My2Cents: I usually serve my tacos with a side of lime tortilla chips or chopped mango - depends on how healthy I feel like being.

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    Cleveland Business: Cinnamon is Good for You

    While celebrating Earth Day at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo a few weeks ago, I met Debbie Moskowitz, owner/operator of Cinnamon is Good For You.

    Aside from being a pretty cool chick and entrepreneur, Debbie is also a Cleveland pastry chef, specializing in vegan truffles.  She uses organic ingredients from around the world, paired with local foods to create her specialized sweets.

    Check out these unique flavors: Raspberry, Chai, Maca Root, Coconut, Lavender and Matcha tea

    Having tried her goodies myself, I can attest that they are delectable, delicious and delightful!  I really like that they are made with only a few pure ingredients (about seven, give or take a few).

    So if you treasure truffles as I do and want to try some with a vegan flare, check out Cinnamon is Good For You!

    Say that The Healthy Hoff sent you, there's nothing in it for you, but I'd appreciate the shout out.

    Bon Appetit!
    The Hoff

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    Events: Preserving & Can-O-Palooza

    Back on my Canning Kick!  I'm concerned that my CSA bounty will yield more food than I can handle or give away.  If you have this fear or are just interested in preserving fresh fruits/veggies, check out these two events being offered by the Basket of Life Farm.  An RSVP for both events is required.

    What: Preserving the Season Class (demonstration on home canning)
    When: June 25, 2011
    Time: 4:00pm - 6:00pm
    Where: 4965 Quick Rd, Peninsula, OH 44264
    Price: $5

    What: Can-O-Palooza (canning social, can your own produce)
    When: August 13, 2011
    Time: 2:00pm - 9:00pm
    Where: 4965 Quick Rd, Peninsula, OH 44264
    Price: TBD

    Click here for more details or email: eric@basketoflife.com

    Sunday, May 1, 2011

    Garcon! Wine for my plants please.

    Watering my plants with wine?  No, not really.  I use water just like everyone else.

    However, I do use wine bottles to deliver that water.  There's a few reasons for this:

    I tend to get wine as a gift for hosting dinner parties.  I don't actually drink wine because it doesn't agree with me.  However, I feel bad about not using the wine, but love the look of the wine bottles, so I keep them around the kitchen as decoration.

    I also fill them with water in anticipation for watering day (once a week).  I like to let tap water sit out at least over night if not longer, also known as aging the water (kinda fitting, eh?) because this allows for the chlorine to evaporate and chlorine is not good for plants. 

    Additionally, I find the long narrow neck of the wine bottle very convenient for getting in between delicate stems and leaves.

    Lastly, the small opening of the bottle ensures that I don't drench my plants.

    So there you have it.  Using wine bottles as watering cans gives a new life to something you'd normally throw away.  It also adds decor to your kitchen and in my case is a great way to remember a kind gesture by a wonderful friend.

    The Hoff