Tag Archives: Cooking

“Use This” Monday: High Heat Oil

Canola Oil was originally popularized in the US, in the form of rapeseed oil, to aid in the building of ships during World War 2. When the war ended, demand dropped, and the main producer of the oil (Canada) began to look for a form of rapeseed oil edible by humans. The new invention was lower in erucic acid (which is linked to heart disease). The Canadians came up with the very clever name Canola: Canadian oil, low acid. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A CANOLA PLANT.

At the time that Canada was going about inventing Canola Oil, American food manufacturers were looking for a cheap alternative to polyunsaturated oils like olive oil and healthy unsaturated fats like butter and coconut oil. Perfect! Canola Oil fit the bill and the Canadian producers began the expensive road to FDA approval and marketing to manufacturers.

The original Canola Oil was created through basic breeding and selection, however in 1995, there was a massive genetic modification in Canola Oil. The new oil was so genetically different from the original rapeseed oil that it could be patented. The modification succeeded in producing a bacterial DNA in the oil that makes it impervious to the toxic herbicide, RoundUp. This means that the patented oil is regularly doused in RoundUp to combat the growth of other plants. Yummy!

Canola oil is about a third polyunsaturated fat which is incredible unstable in high heat. This means that every time you cook with the oil, then eat whatever you cook (duh), they increase inflammation in your body (ouch) and contribute to heart disease, cancer, weight gain, and other degenerative diseases.

The way your body reacts to Canola Oil is the same with other industrial oils like CORN OIL and SOYBEAN OIL.

In other words:


– organic and grass-fed is best. Yep, full fat butter is good for you! When shopping, the lesser ingredients the better.



– organic and unrefined is best < MY FAVORITE. More on the amazingness of coconut oil later.


– organic and extra virgin is bestΒ (low heat only)



^ BOOOO!!! HISSS!!!!

This is a very short version of an awesome article by the blogger, Small Footprint Family. See the article here.

So when are you going to make the switch?



Thirsty Thursday: Pick Me Up Green Machine Smoothie

How much time do you usually have for post-workout meals? Or even lunch? Not very much time? Me neither! That’s why this recipe is perfect. You can make it in the morning, stick it in the fridge, and eat it any time of day. I used to bring it on Pedi-cab shifts with me and now I just pack it in my lunch and have it as a pick me up.

Smoothies are awesome because you can work with whatever you have in the fridge. The only necessary requirements are:

Ingredients: a soft frozen fruit, a soft room temperature fruit, some dark leafy greens, and some liquid.

For soft fruits you can use: berries, banana, melon, peaches/nectarines, etc.

For leafy greens I highly recommend spinach (it’s tasty in smoothies and high in protein) or kale.

For liquid use coconut water, almond milk, or even just water. Definitely nothing like juice from concentrate which has lots of added sugar.

^This smoothie has coconut water, frozen blueberries, a room temp banana, a big handful of spinach, and a scoop of protein powder.

Instructions: Combine it all in a blender and blend until smooth. The sooner you drink it after blending, the better. This is because the food is already partially digested and the nutrients start to diminish as soon as you blend it. Freezing it helps pause the process so, if you can, keep it cold.

^ It looks kinda gross but it’s actually sweet and very tasty.

Ashley Life Update: I’m still sick! Bleh. But I’m doing very well and not taking any kind of medication other than what I described in this post. I’ve just canceled all my evening plans for the next week and am going to bed at 8:30. Luckily I have an awesome job that keeps me busy all day so I barely have time to think about how crappy I feel. Also, I made a big change to my life yesterday. But you’ll just have to wait until tomorrow to hear about it!

I hope you’re all having wonderful days. We’re getting closer to the weekend so just sit back and enjoy the rest of your work week. Besos!


Sunday Recipe: Hummus!

Happy Sunday! Hummus is by far one of my favorite foods. I have realized that people either love it or they hate it. However, the awesome thing about making your own is that it’s cheaper in the long run AND you can adjust the ingredients so that it’s delicious to your particular taste buds. Also, hummus is a great source of protein to bolster protein intake for those of us that can’t afford organic chicken or grass-fed beef all the time.

^ I use a very basic recipe that I found in my small selection of cookbooks. If you’re trying to go gluten-free this is an awesome book. I know it’s pretty affordable on amazon, check it out here.


12 or 14 oz. can organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

1 clove of garlic, crushed

1 Tbsp tahini (it’s ground sesame seeds and lasts forever)

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 ground cumin (great spice to keep around)

2 Tbsp olive oil


^ Drain the chickpeas. Then combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend it all up until smooth. Taste it and add whatever else you’d like to make it taste even better.

^ Quick tip I learned from my second momma, Debbie, squeeze the lemon upside down with a fork to avoid getting seeds into the mix.

^ Scoop it out and keep it in a Tupperware. Use it instead of ranch! I eat it over salad, with celery, apples, and carrots. It’s flippin’ good. Let me know how yours turns out!

Ashley Life Update: I got my mind into a good zone towards the end of the week and ended up doing really well and overcoming all the obstacles that had been haunting me early last week. I’m pretty proud of myself. Last night, after a long day of work, my friend Sara asked if I wanted to ride this morning. My immediate inclination was, “heck no!” but I decided to commit and go anyway. It was a chilly 40Β°F but it also made me realize how little outdoor riding is left in the year. I’m completely exhausted but happy I went out. On top of getting in about 35 miles, we spotted a train! Now the rest of my day will be filling with eating and relaxing. I really do love my life.


^ It is confirmed, I live in the midwest. Please note the tractor in the background. Also, this train was so long that I had time to fumble around with my frozen fingers, take about 15 photos and put my phone away before the train ended. Pretty crazy.

One last thing, my Gran always tells me that she loves reading my blog because it makes her feel closer to me; so from now one, she will be getting a hello. So…Hi Gran! Love and miss you!

I hope you’re all having wonderful days. Enjoy the rest of your weekend πŸ™‚