Updated: Move Over Fake News, Here is Fake Food

**This article has been updated as of Mon, 6/12/17 @ 2:55 pm EDT!!**

**BCS Intl Honey has been proven to be certified!  Read below.**

It’s Sunday morning. I’m in the kitchen thinking about a good, healthy breakfast that does not come from a package. I’m new to this way of eating so it took me some time to figure out this meal:

  • Baked sweet potatoes
  • Cabbage, cucumbers and red peppers dressed with balsamic vinaigrette
  • Catfish and kale dressed with a light lemon balsamic reduction

So, imagine my surprise when my hubby shows me a video (in Hindu, I think) showing a man creating cabbage for human consumption!  I was flabbergasted! I immediately checked Snopes and the video was shown to be a fake. It was a video showing the process of making plastic display food for restaurant windows in Japan and China.


Here’s the Snopes article marking this particular video a FAKE – http://www.snopes.com/chinese-synthetic-cabbages/.

However, reporter Kate Storey writes in Delish magazine about 14 real fake foods we may have in our very own kitchens. This includes:

  • olive oil (cut with cheaper oils like corn, and peanut oils)
  • truffle oil (the pigs in Alba never even heard of the stuff we’re ingesting…)
  • sushi (if you think you’re getting white tuna, think again.)
  • honey (no industry standard! Check True Source Honey to ensure it’s real.)
  • parmesan cheese (make sure it says “Made in Italy)

Storey reports that many manufacturers of the above food items cut/dilute the actual products with cheaper substitutions some of which can harm our health.  Being informed, and reading labels becomes very important! You can read the full article here.

To follow-up on the note above regarding honey, you can verify that the honey in your pantry is real and registered with True Source Honey by checking its UPC bar code. There’s an orange circle in the upper right hand corner of the True Source Honey page that says, “Is Your Honey True Source? Check Here.

Original Story Copy (Not Updated)

I checked my bottle of Natural Garden 100% Pure Natural Organic Honey that has the True Source Honey logo on the back!!! Guess what?  When I checked it on the True Source Honey page it said it was “not certified, or has not been registered” — in essence, FAKE!

I checked because I had an odd reaction to it when I used it; not quite nausea but close enough.  I fluffed it off.  However, the odd feeling stayed with me so I decided to began reading more about honey and how it’s certified.

Who knows what’s in this bottle!!!  And, my kids have eaten it!  The rest is going into the trash!


Hello everyone,

In conjunction with checking the website for information about BCS Intl/Natural Garden Honey yesterday, I also emailed True Source Honey directly.  And, about an hour later the Executive Director, Gordon Marks, got back to me and asked me to take additional steps and provide him more information so he can check out what was happening with this product/brand and the certification not being verified (since the bottle did have the True Source Honey logo). [Yes, the ED got back to me on as SUNDAY afternoon!!!]

After a total of 13 emails between yesterday and today, Gordon has assured me that this product is indeed a verified True Source Honey product.  Gordon shared with me in an email today at 2:38 pm EDT the reason why the uncertified/not registered message popped up on the website yesterday.

“There are primarily 2 reasons it was not in our data base; * The distributor did not wish for it to be included, * It was a relatively new item and had not yet been included.” – Gordon Marks, Executive Director, True Source Honey LLC.

So, there we have it.  This brand of honey is verified.  It is the real deal!  Whew!  I feel a lot better now.  As you can see, my household loved this honey and used almost the whole bottle!  I can rest easier tonight.  Thanks Gordon!

bcs intl_fake honey_6 11 2017

Clear image of bottle’s label – BCS Intl Corp. This honey has been verified CERTIFIED by Gordon Marks, Exec Dir of True Source Honey LLC on 6/12/17.

The moral of this story? If you are serious about having good health, it’s time to put a little time and effort into finding out what goes into your body.  And, then double-check the information so you know you have the correct information.

Why?  Because you don’t want to end up like me and have your body attack healthy cells (that’s another story you can read about here) because you were not diligent to research what you’re putting into your body.

Ta-ta for now,



Weekend Inspiration: Melissa Bess Reed, CMA, Gluten Free

I *met* Melissa in 2014 on Twitter shortly after finding out that I had the genetic marker for Celiac Disease.  Melissa, diagnosed with Celiac in 1998, was my first role model for this new path and a new way to eat.  Her book, Gluten Free Lifestyle Series: Silly Yaks Favorite Recipes, helped me, and my family, eat healthier and in a manner that would not make me sick.

For the first post of this new weekly feature of closing out the week with an inspirational story, I just knew this inaugural article needed to feature Melissa.  She took me under her proverbial wing and shared tips and tricks on how to stop yourself from eating the wrong things.  Being armed with foods you can eat safely is the key.  Cooking at home, or from trusted sources, is a must.

At that moment in time, my main meals were the issue.  What could I eat that did not contain wheat, or any of its by-products?!?  And my prowess as a resourceful baker?  Out the window!  Who could make a light fluffy cake with a tender crumb and a buttery taste when I couldn’t use whole wheat flour?  Or, the lighter refined cake flour?

Enter Silly Yaks Favorite Recipes.  The first thing I made was the Chili Relleno Bake.  I really enjoyed them!  It was a new taste for me.  I was never a fan of chilies and cheese but this was yummy!  Next, I made Grammies Easy Jambalaya.  The whole family enjoyed this dish!! (Read about it here.)

I even live-tweeted while I was making the Jambalaya.  It was a lot of fun!  Taking pictures as I was putting it all together.  Asking questions as I went along and getting great feedback and advice during the process.  And Melissa?  She was there for the whole thing.  She supported my growth and budding enthusiasm.  She shared her knowledge without hesitation.


I even shared my blood test results with her and Melissa felt the results pointed more to an autoimmune issue rather than an allergy/intolerance/sensitivity to gluten.  That was in 2014.  Fast forward to 2017.  I was diagnosed with an autoimmune blistering disease.

Melissa was spot in.  She tirelessly studies and keeps abreast of new findings in regards to autoimmune conditions and how what we eat can help help our bodies.  As I mentioned earlier, Melissa was diagnosed in 1998 with Celiac Disease and then in 2012, she was diagnosed with Hashimoto Thyroiditis.  Both of these autoimmune conditions medically require a gluten free diet.  Melissa did not want to be a victim so she taught herself so she could share her knowledge with others to help them ease their way into this new eating lifestyle.

Silly Yaks Favorite Recipes

So, if you have any gluten issues, I would strongly suggest you check out Melissa’s cookbook and her blog.  She posts about new gluten free recipes, great food pairings, and sustainable living.

By having Melissa as a part of my life, I was able to grow past some pretty daunting food challenges and come out on the other side with a satisfied tummy that did not rumble in distress hours later.

From the East Coast to the sunny West Coast, I say a heartfelt, Thank you!, to my inspiration — Melissa Bess Reed.

Check out Melissa’s blog here.

Find Melissa on Twitter: @MelissaBessReed


Procrastination: Pickles Are Exactly Like Porcupines

Common items in life parade around making us crazy.  But, what do we do?  We ignore the elephant in the room, whatever it is, until it becomes a true problem…a porcupine; something that can potentially harm us.

Procrastination is a total thing.  Psychology Today states that “20% of people chronically avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions — which, unfortunately, are increasingly available.”  But, why?  Why do we procrastinate?  There are a ton of reasons.

Forbes magazine gives us five top reasons why we do:

  1. Being faced with a task we don’t want to do
  2. Something’s too easy, too difficult to do, OR too boring to do
  3. Being overwhelmed
  4. When we’re tired and/or need a break
  5. When it’s too scary

Procrastination is one of the things I have to constantly work on in myself.  Currently, I am dealing with an autoimmune illness (diagnosed last month; you can read about it here) that is kicking my butt in terms of my energy.  No energy, no writing, right?  Nope, completely wrong.  I am pushing myself to follow my plan.  I missed my publishing schedule to post yesterday.  So, I am up this morning getting it done.  And, I have #GlutenFree Banana Cranberry Muffins in the oven as a treat for myself for getting back on track!

gf banana cranberry muffin 6 7 2017

When you know what your issues are, put a plan in place for yourself so you can catch yourself before you go too far astray from what you want.  Then, reward yourself for doing that thing right when you finish the task.

Want to read more?  Here are some experts who can give you more details.

Five Tips and Skills to Manage To Manage Your Time That Actually Work (Psychology Today)

The Real Reasons You Procrastinate — And How To Stop (Huffington Post)

To Stop Procrastinating, Start By Understanding the Emotions Involved (Wall Street Journal)

Once you get to the root of your personal reason(s) why you’re procrastinating on calling your aunt/uncle/cousin/boss/best friend, you can deal with your inner demons and deal accordingly.  This way, your pickles stay crisp and tasty and the porcupines stay where they belong — out in the wilds.

Ta-ta for now,


“Lines in the Sand” Gets Bad Rap

From time to time, I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase ‘don’t draw lines in the sand.’  It is that line you don’t want people to cross over — or, else.  The ‘Or, Else’ is whatever you will do to them if they step over that line.

This phrase is all about not having boundaries, or limitations on how much you give/share with others.  Or, of not limiting your engagement/interaction with those folks around you for whom you may not have that warm-fuzzy feeling. 🙂

In essence, it is a call to action for you to by-pass/ignore your innate desire to stay away from that exact thing the person is calling you out on; asking you not to have lines in the sand for.

I ask you, What’s wrong with lines in the sand?

Depending upon the specific situation, lines in the sand are those rules we decided to erect to protect ourselves from:

  • social predators,
  • people who may not have our best interests in mind,
  • those who are not our true friends,
  • bad/evil people

We created lines in the sand so that we have a knee-jerk response to things that will ultimately not be good for us.

So, we must think hard when someone asks us to move our line in the sand for them.  Why are they asking?  Is it something we need to review because we’ve reached a plateau in our lives and we need to grow?  Is it because we’re being short-sighted and not looking at the full picture in that situation?

Or, is it because they want to try and get us to do something that they want to do but you don’t?  Is it because they have a need and they want to have access to your resources/talents/gifts in order to make that thing happen for themselves?  

Given the touchiness of this subject, you may need to speak this over with a known trusted friend/family member who knows you well.  Allow that trusted person to help you figure out what this person’s motivation is for asking you to change a key rule you set up for yourself.

You know what Malcolm X said, If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.


Sometimes raindrops are like mini pizzas…

Sometimes raindrops are like mini pizzas…

As they fall, they pelt you in the head and wake you up to new possibilities.  Okay, weird analogy but it woke you up, right?  And that’s precisely how Life is.  We go blithely along our merry little way thinking (careful of that word: thinking) that we have it all mapped out, planned out – efficiently.  With me?  Then, BOOM.  Something happens that is so left of what we expected that we’re dumbfounded.  All thinking stops.  We just have to pause in our forward movement and re-gain our balance because everything we were thinking previously clearly was not what was actually happening.  That’s Life.

When you think you know what’s happening, and then you find out that you never had a clue, what do you do?  How do you reconcile how off-base you were with reality?  That’s the conundrum, isn’t it?  It’s hard to face that our perceptions were wholly incorrect, or skewed.  But, this is what we need to know to correct ourselves and get us back on track with our true (higher) purpose.

We were all born to live out a great purpose.  Now, depending upon what you chose to come here to do, you may start earlier, or later in life on the path to achieve your true purpose.  But, when we get so off-track that Higher Power/God/The Creator/your preferred name here comes along and resets the whole show we do have to acknowledge our missteps and put a plan in place to ensure we don’t go that off-track again.

To help us do that, we can:

  • Create a vision board to help us remember our goals,
  • Write a poem that incorporates all of the aspects of what we need to recall to move forward,
  • Write an essay/letter to ourselves,
  • Create a life plan (based on the often used coach tool, The Wheel of Life) sectioned off into specific areas of our lives that we need to grow/develop/work on [you can use a loose leaf binder for it, or go digital],
  • Create a song to ourselves, for ourselves to help us remember and get through the rough patches where we tend to begin to stray away from our goals,
  • Sit and meditate using visualizations we put together to help us deeply seed our minds, and thoughts with the images of what we want to accomplish,
  • Sit and do deep breathing to fill our bodies with Chi (Qi)/light/ashe/energy/prana which will help us to remember and hold close our dreams, hopes and goals,

Or, we can choose to do nothing to get past the obstacle, or challenge that Life threw your way.  We could choose to ignore the message.  We are human.  We do have free will.  We can choose to take the comfortable way out and be “normal.”  (Whatever that means.)

It’s hard to “man up”, or “woman up;” to face our fears unabashed and move towards the unknown.  That’s damned hard to do.  And, for some of us, at particularly vulnerable times in our lives, it’s pretty impossible – or, so we would like to believe.  This is where picking something to do, at least one thing!, is important.  This one thing will help us focus and baby-step our way out of the challenge and towards our goals.


Good luck on your baby-stepping today, and every day moving forward.

Pressing Our Luck…

When the world seems a frightful place, your back is almost against the wall and you’re too scared to move left, or right — what do you tend to do?  Freeze?  Start planning?  Run?  Or, just faint away and let Fate do what it does?

Allowing others, or circumstance to dictate one’s Fate is not the way that will lead us to ultimate happiness.  What will is work.  Work towards what we want.  What we desire.  What we dream about.

How do we get there?  We have to sit down and think, plan then take action.  Action that will lead us inexorably to where we want to be.  But, those actions come with commitment and sacrifice.  The amount of passion we have for our end goal is how much effort and push we will give to our naysayers, and our own inner demons.  And yes, we will have to fight our inner and outer demons to get to where we want to be.  What’s more, the challenges will come when you least expect them.  In fact, you can almost guarantee the challenges will show up when you feel your weakest and most vulnerable.  This is the way of things.  This is when you are being tested.  Is this what you really want?  How badly do you want it?  Can you surpass this obstacle to achieve your goal?  This is what is being asked of you when you face down the thing that is preventing you from moving to the next step, or level, of your journey towards your goal.

Finding ways that you can motivate yourself to keep yourself going and moving towards the goal is what you have to find and remember to use when the challenge time comes.  For instance, if you know you get tiny prickles along your arms, or legs when you feel fear.  Visualize yourself with your favorite comfy sweatshirt on that keeps you feeling safe, loved and warm.  Bye-bye prickles!

Or, if you instead, you feel like you’re going to hyperventilate, learn a deep breathing technique.  Then, as soon as you feel the panic/worry/anxiety coming on — start doing your deep breathing exercise.  Get as much oxygen in your lungs as possible as you continue to do the thing that scares you.  That’s how you work through the fear, you pre-arm yourself with the “antidote” of your Achilles heel.  Even if on the first attempt at challenging your fear, you will get the hang of it and persevere the next time, or two.

You’ve had this challenge walking with you for a long time, don’t expect it to move over with a snap of a finger.  However, if it does — go with it!!  That simply means you’re good and ready to kick that things butt!

kick fear butt deep breathing

This is what it truly means to press our “Luck.”  It’s not luck, it’s when preparation meets opportunity.

So, let’s do the work so we can get to our goals as soon as we can.

Ta-ta for now.

Vegan: Back-in-the-Day Healthy

Years ago, I was a vegan foodie.  I made ALL of my own food.  Yes, breakfast, lunch and dinner for my two boys and my husband.  We ate tons of tofu, veggies, pasta, a variety of grains, legumes and salads.  We even had a special littler concoction for getting our Omegas in.  Something like, fish oil, COQ10, water and an Emergen-C pack.  Stir and knock back.  We were so healthy, we glowed.

We religiously carried our Hyland’s Kids’ Kit with us everywhere we went.  This way, we were never caught unawares when a sniffle, a boo-boo, or a tummy ache struck.  Arnica gel was an absolute necessity (it still is!).  Anytime we had a fall, adult, or child, we’d whip out the Arnica gel by Bioiron and put on the cooling salve to immediately calm the pain and reduce the redness, or swelling fast.

And, who dared enter the winter season without a large dose of Nat Mur (say, 200c)?   Nat Mur kicks out the excess salt out of one’s body which helps one to avoid catching colds.  (Works for when you decide to indulge in Chinese fast food, too.  Kicks the salt right out.)

Those were my Golden Days of eating well, and paying attention to what went into my body.

However, I did not take into account the large amounts of soy (plant-based estrogen) I was ingesting.  Nor, did I think about the high amounts of gluten (plant-base source of high protein made from wheat flour) I ate on a monthly basis.

Now, 25 years later, I have a marked gluten sensitivity as well as an autoimmune issue where my body attacks healthy skin and forms blisters all over my body.

I am not blaming a vegan diet for my health issues.  I am saying I should have been more mindful in the quantities I ingested.  We all know the golden rule is moderation.  Tofu every day, sometimes 2 – 3 times per day (with each meal) was the order of the day because to feed a family of 4 on a strictly vegan diet with a hefty vitamin supplement monthly budget is a lot.

If you go Vegan, or already are vegan, I urge you to add lots of raw green veggies, fresh squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, stay away from the readily available processed vegan fake “meats” (which are full of gluten, soy and sodium!), and make your own foods from scratch.  You will be healthier, and much happier down the road.  And, yes, it’s a better diet for the planet.

Here’s a great vegan starter meal kit: http://vegankit.com/eat/. This is to give you an idea of how you can structure your meals.  You can also glean some more from RealSimple magazine’s 20 Easy Vegan Dinner Recipes.  Oh, and One Green Planet has a list of 10 vegan recipes everyone should know how to make.  Number 9 is Veggie burgers and OGP offers several recipes for hearty burgers such as Zucchini and Corn burgers, Chipotle Maple Sweet Potato burgers, Roasted Beet burgers, and many more!  Go check it out here: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/easy-vegan-recipes-everyone-should-know/.

Whatever your diet may be, it’s always a good idea to mix it up and eat different foods each week.  If you eat the same thing over and over, this puts you in a rut and sets you up to binge on items that may not be best for you.  This is especially true if you’re on a restricted meal plan choice like the vegan diet.

Well, ta-ta for now,