The Health Up Newsletter
Created Weekly by Teri Yunus 
Health Up With Teri Health & Wellness Coaching

july 7, 2022 | issue 96

What's Inside This Week:
  1. Plastics in Our Homes…What You Need to Know
  2. 6 Tips to Healthy (and Easy) Eating
  3. The EWG Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen
  4. Recipe of the Week
  5. Food of the Week
  6. Resource Tip of the Week
  7. My Favorite Quotes
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Plastics in Our Homes…What You Need to Know
Plastic has been around for many years and has many applications. While it is convenient and easy and its use is widespread, it may not be the best option for all uses. There are several types of plastics. Plastics are made primarily from oils, petroleum and natural gas. Heating up plastics may cause harmful chemicals to be released into our foods and beverages. This is the main concern about putting plastics in our microwaves. Many of these additives are harmful to our health. Many of these chemicals are endocrine (hormone) disruptors and have been linked to obesity, diabetes, and reproductive harm.
One of the most commonly known chemical hormone disruptors is BPA (bisphenol A). You may have noticed the words, BPA-free on plastics products.  BPA was used frequently in food and beverages containers since the 1960s, including baby bottles. More recently, BPA has been prohibited from baby formula containers, baby bottles and sippy cups. This is good and the trouble is that while many manufacturers are avoiding BPA, they are substituting other chemicals that may be just as harmful. Studies have shown that even BPA-free plastics can release other hormone-disrupting chemicals like phthalates, or BPA alternatives like bisphenol S and F (BPS and BPF), into foods when microwaved.
While microwaving plastic accelerates the release of BPA and phthalates, it’s not the only way these chemicals can end up in your food or drinks. Other factors that can increase chemical leaching include:
  • placing foods in plastic containers that are still hot
  • scrubbing containers using abrasive materials, such as steel wool, that can cause scratching
  • using containers for an extended period of time
  • exposing containers to the dishwasher repeatedly over time
Plastic food packaging like clingy plastic wrap can also contain BPA and phthalates. If you need to cover your food in the microwave, use wax paper, parchment paper, or a paper towel. Using glass dishes or bowls in the microwave is the safest option to avoid chemical leaching.
Plastic water bottles are designed for one time use and refilling them to reuse may be convenient but consider that these bottles may leach chemicals with repeated use. This is especially true if left in the sun or in a hot car. A friend of mine calls this “death water”. Some stores and gas stations have stacks of water bottles outside in the sun. This may not be the wisest option for purchasing your water. The hotter the water gets in the plastic bottle, the more chemicals leach into it. 
What can you do? Here's a few tips to reduce the likelihood of excess exposure to unwanted chemicals:
  • Use no plastics in microwaves. Substitute paper plates or glass containers to heat food and beverages. Cover with the items mentioned above instead of the plastic covers sold in many stores.
  • Use glass or stainless steel beverage containers inside and outside your home.
  • Avoid using plastics beverage containers in your car, especially during summer months or in warmer climates.
  • Use plastic cups for cold beverages only.
  • Do not reuse bottles intended for one time use.
  • Do not put plastics in the dishwasher. It just takes a few minutes to hand wash them.
  • Substitute out as many plastic items in your kitchen as you can. Choose glass when possible.

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6 Tips to Healthy (and Easy) Eating
One of the questions many plant-based eaters hear is, “What do you eat?” It seems like such an odd question for those of us who have been eating this way for a while. We eat SO much amazing food! Here are a few easy ideas to incorporate more plants into your routine. 
  1. 1. Loaded potatoes. Sweet or white (Russet or Yukon Gold). Steam, roast or bake your potatoes and add hummus, salsa, beans, grains and greens to load up for an excellent, filling and easy meal. 
  2. 2. Grain Bowls. Start with a whole grain like brown rice, farro, barley, quinoa or wheat berries. Add cooked and raw vegetables, avocado, berries or other fruit and more. Get creative. There's no rules. Top off with your favorite oil-free sauce or dressing. 
  3. 3. Large Dinner Salad. I like to make what I call a Dump Salad. I make a large salad every 4-5 days with at least 3 types of greens (romaine, spring mix, spinach, argula, iceberg lettuce or butter lettuce) and add radishes, beets, jicama, edamame, apples, bell pepper, red onion, and other veggies. It's different every time, it seems. You can add air-crisped, marinated tofu or tempeh. Open your fridge and start dumping on top of your salad. Maybe it's black olives, kiwi or tomato. Maybe it's some leftover steamed carrots or sauteed mushrooms. Plant foods all mix well together. Top with a squeeze of lemon or just mix it up and enjoy!
  4. 4. Pasta! I like brown rice pasta…it's light and a healthier choice. There are several healthier choices available now. Whole grain or bean pastas are great options. They cook a little different than typical pasta so follow the directions on the box carefully. Top with marinara (low salt and sugar and oil-free) and load up with veggies like steamed broccoli, beans, onions, mushrooms and more. This is a super easy and fast dinner that is satisfying for all. You can use whole wheat spaghetti and do the same with your toppings. Add a slice of sourdough bread. 
  5. 5. One-Pot Soups. You can use the dump method here, too. I often will start with the basics…sauteed onion, chopped carrots and celery and add some potatoes, beans, other veggies, tomato sauce or chopped tomato along with veggie broth or water and my favorite spice blends like Italian Seasoning. An Instant-Pot makes it super easy and fast. There are plenty of soup recipes online and soup can be eaten year-round. Add a smaller dinner salad for an excellent light dinner.
  6. 6. Stir-Fry. Super easy way to have something nice for dinner. Keep some brown rice or quinoa cooked in the fridge. Grab some frozen Stir-Fry veggies, add some low-sodium Tamari or Soy Sauce and some garlic or ginger for a healthy, fast meal. 
The bottom line is that eating healthfully does not have to be complicated. Keeping it simple is the best strategy for sustainable healthy eating. What are your favorite go-to healthful meals? Please share on my Facebook page at Health Coach Teri!
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 The EWG Dirty Dozen & Clean Fifteen
Each year the Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes it's Dirty Dozen. The top 12 pesticided produce…the ones with the highest amount of pesticide used. To reduce the amount of pesticide that finds it's way into your body, choose organic if possible for these items:
  • Strawberries 
  • Spinach
  • Kale, Collard Greens & Mustard Greens
  • Nectarines
  • Apples 
  • Grapes
  • Bell & Hot Peppers
  • Cherries
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
In contrast, another list is published of the least pesticided produce items. Here is that list. Choosing conventional vs organic for these foods is likely safe AND it's less money so you may eat more (which will improve your health!):
  • Avocado
  • Sweet Corn * 
  • Pineapple
  • Onions
  • Papaya *
  • Sweet Peas (frozen)
  • Asparagus
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Kiwi
  • Cabbage
  • Mushrooms
  • Mangoes
  • Cantaloupe
  • Watermelon
  • Sweet Potatoes
*(choose organic if you are avoiding GMO as a small amount of sweet corn is genetically modified in the USA)
These foods are some of the healthiest foods on our planet. If you are able to choose organic for the Dirty Dozen…that's awesome. If not, the health benefits of eating these foods outweighs the risk. Wash them thoroughly in white vinegar with water prior to eating to remove as much pesticide as possible. These is especially important for our little ones. Their little bodies do not manage toxins as well as adults so be choosy for those little loves. 
Blueberry ChiaOvernight Oats!
Serves: 1
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 cup unsweetened soy, hemp or almond milk (any plant milk works!)
1 tablespoon raisins
1/2 cup fresh or thawed frozen blueberries (or other fruit)
Combine the oats, chia seeds, non-dairy milk and raisins. 
Soak for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
Stir in blueberries. Enjoy!

food of the week
Check out Health Tip Tuesday on Facebook Live to learn more about the food of the week!
Blueberries are sweet, nutritious and wildly popular. Often labeled a superfood, they are low in calories and incredibly good for you. They’re so tasty and convenient that many people consider them their favorite fruit. 

Dr. Will Bulsiewicz, Gastroenterologist
Gut Health Expert, Cookbook, Masterclass and more. His Fiber Fueled book is an excellent resource for healing your gut and improving your health. 

“The single greatest predictor of a healthy gut microbiome is the diversity of plants in one's diet.”
Will Bulsiewicz, MD, MSCI
Author of Fiber Fueled

Important Disclaimer
The content in this newsletter is intended for educational/informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care professional. 
hen Basics tea
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Just breathe.