Jennifer Copley

Spelt Flour

Spelt flour

Spelt is considered to be an ancient grain because it has been cultivated for 7,000 years and modified very little by humans. This means that it is less inbred than standard wheat flour and more nutritious as well. Spelt offers a broader range of nutrients than those found in the more commonly used wheat flour. It is a good source of manganese, fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B3, magnesium, and copper, and provides 30% more protein per serving than standard wheat. Whole grains such as spelt provide a broad array of health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, certain cancers,… read more

Sustainable Schools

School children playing

Sustainability in schools encompasses six key areas: water conservation, waste reduction, energy efficiency, green spaces, environmentally friendly transportation, and sustainability education. The first step to making a school more sustainable is to establish a sustainability team that includes students, teachers, other staff and, ideally, parent volunteers. This team must evaluate the school’s environmental friendliness, determine which issues can be feasibly addressed, create both short- and long-term goals, and develop an action plan. It’s also beneficial to consult with other sustainable schools and organizations to learn about best practices and to celebrate successes in meeting sustainability targets. The following are specific… read more

Baking Whole Wheat Bread

Whole wheat bread

Whole wheat flour is far healthier than white flour, which loses most of its nutrients to processing. As a whole food, whole wheat flour retains its fiber and high antioxidant content, which means that it’s not only more nutritious, but also helps to prevent disease. Research has also shown that those who eat whole grains regularly tend to weigh less (Slavin, 2004). Unfortunately, many people don’t like making bread with whole wheat flour because they find that the bread has a heavier texture or they just don’t like the taste. If texture is the issue (loaves of bread turning out… read more

Mulled Wine

Mulled wine

Mulled wine is a wonderful winter treat. Recipes vary from one culture to the next, but all require mixing wine with spices, fruit, and sugar or honey and serving it hot. If you’d like to try your hand at making mulled wine, be sure to start with a good wine. Many people think it’s alright to use poor quality wine given that it will be cooked, but the finished product won’t be as good. Most mulled wine recipes call for red wine, but a few favor white or a blend of the two. Some also include brandy, though in Scandinavia,… read more

Grass-Fed Beef

Cow, Jennifer Copley

In the past, all beef was grass fed but in recent years, most beef has been grain-finished, which means that cows spend the last months of their life gorging on grain in a feedlot. Grain-fed beef is a brighter red, while grass-fed beef is a more auburn shade, but the differences between the two go beyond color. Research has shown that grass-fed beef is higher in health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids, as well as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which studies suggest may protect against cancer, heart disease, and diabetes as well as helping to reduce overall body fat (Agriculture and Agri-Food… read more

Green Christmas Decor

Green Christmas decor

Christmas decorations can have many negative environmental impacts. Producing decorations and their packaging uses non-renewable resources and creates pollution. In addition, shipping materials to factories and finished products to stores (and driving them home from stores) contributes to global warming. However, it is easy to switch to more eco-friendly Christmas décor by following the three environmental principles: reduce, reuse, and recycle. Reduce There are a number of ways to reduce both the amount of material used in decorating and its environmental impacts. Use natural decorations, such as a bough cut from a tree, a bowl of pinecones, dried flowers, strings… read more

Christmas Recipes

Christmas fare

Christmas is a time for comfort food, but the Christmas feast doesn’t need to be unhealthy. Here are three nutritious recipes for the Christmas table. 1.  Healthy Pumpkin Pie This pumpkin pie is lower in sugar and fat than other most pie recipes but still delicious. Its wonderful flavor and aroma come from a rich blend of spices. Ingredients 1 9-inch unbaked pie shell 1 standard (398 ml) can pumpkin 3 large eggs, lightly beaten 1/2 cup skim milk 1/2 cup raw organic cane sugar or natural, unrefined Demerara sugar 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ginger 1/2 teaspoon cloves 1/4… read more

Real vs Fake Xmas Trees

Real or fake Christmas trees

Many people choose fake trees over real ones because they believe that plastic trees are better for the environment, but are they really the more eco-friendly option? Fake trees are convenient and reusable. However, they’re made from PVC plastic, which creates a number of environmental problems. Production of PVC triggers the release of toxic chemicals such as dioxin, vinyl chloride, and ethylene dichloride, and additional chemicals that are used to make plastic trees more pliable have caused damage to the kidneys, livers, brains, and reproductive systems of laboratory animals. Many fake trees contain lead, which can cause brain damage if… read more

Peanut Butter – Healthy?

Peanut butter

Peanuts, often consumed in the form of peanut butter, are not actually nuts; they’re highly nutritious legumes (a group that includes peas, beans, and lentils). Despite its fat and sodium content, peanut butter can be considered a health food for a number of reasons: Peanut butter contains fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients. Peanut butter has a similar ratio of saturated to unsaturated fat as olive oil, which is considered to be among the healthiest foods (saturated fat is fine in moderation; it only becomes a problem when people eat too much of it, which is common with modern… read more

Top 10 Antioxidant Foods

Blueberries and Cherry Tomatoes, Jennifer Copley

Antioxidants may help to protect against many diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and macular degeneration, by neutralizing the free radicals that damage cells. Research indicates that it’s far better to get these nutrients from whole foods than supplements. Top antioxidant food sources include: Spices: Cinnamon, turmeric, cloves, ginger, and mustard power are particularly high in antioxidants. Nuts: Walnuts, pecans, pistachios, almonds, and hazelnuts are top nut choices for antioxidant content. Herbs: Oregano takes the top spot for antioxidant power, though peppermint, dill, rosemary, thyme, winter savory, and Vietnamese coriander are good as well. Berries: All colorful berries… read more