healthy living

All posts tagged healthy living

COVID-19 Health & Safety in Health Food Stores

Published April 6, 2020 by Maryanne

Health Food -- My coconut wrap, arugula, avo, tomato, coconut cheeseCoconut wrap with avocado. tomato, and arugula 

Yesterday I had a horrible experience in a health food store. The owner sent me an email apologizing, so I won’t “name and shame” but I think it’s important to share my experience in case others have something similar happen to them. And I made a promise to myself to never support them again after what went down.

First, this is MY POLICY…

Beginning today, I am no longer supporting mom and pop “health” food stores who do not respect the boundaries of COVID19. This includes: 1. Cashiers/managers and other workers NOT social distancing. 2. Stores that do not sanitize their carriages; 3. Store that have a “policy” for CUSTOMERS to wear those vinyl/latex gloves because they are unsanitary when used incorrectly; 4. Stores that do not clean their parking lots that are filled with said gloves discarded on the ground.

Now, my bad experience…

There’s a health food store I’ve favored for over a decade. They had everything. Great produce, mineral make-up, toiletries, and perfume that doesn’t test on animals (I’ve used cruelty free products since 1996), and even a great selection of incense.

Two weeks ago, I noticed they had vinyl gloves for customers to wear to shop. These types of gloves never sat well with me. In fact, I think they are disgusting. Nevertheless, I put a pair on and within seconds I was pulling them off because I could feel my sensitive skin reacting to them. I tossed them in the garbage. I shopped, then afterwards I went to my car and noticed these gloves were discarded all over the lot. The store didn’t take care to clean up and put them in the garbage. I found this to be vile and was proud of myself for not participating in the glove thing.

Yesterday I went back to the store and now it was mandatory that customers had to wear gloves. I told a cashier that I couldn’t wear them because last week they made my hands red.

Well, she took it upon herself to come out from behind her cash register and scold me — two feet away from me! Not at all social distancing. Now I was freaking out because I knew this person was a smoker and not in the best of health. Even though I’m very healthy, I didn’t want her to pass it to me, if she had it, then I might pass it to someone else who isn’t very healthy! So not cool.

At this point, I’d also like to say, that this store does not sanitize their carriages. This is something that never bothered me before. I am not a germ phobic, but now with COVID19, I can’t…

Anyway, I told her I was going to contact the owner of the store because she was harassing me. She went nuts and told the manager of the make-up department that I was going to tell on her. What a big baby! The make-up manager wasn’t much better in insisting that I wear the gloves. It made no difference to her when I said I was a professional writer/author and I couldn’t afford to have my hands get red, itchy, or whatever else would happen because two weeks ago I had a bad reaction to the vinyl gloves. Did she give a shit? No. Instead the two women continued to behave like scary, uptight school marms as they went on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on about “store policy.”

I was like, “forget it,” and left. Without groceries.

Then I called one of their other stores to speak to the owner. He wasn’t there but another manager told me I could go back into the store wearing WINTER GLOVES.

REALLY?! WINTER GLOVES?! That is even more unsanitary! I practically laughed in her face.

I left feeling defeated. It was a 25-minute drive and now I had no groceries for the week. When I got home, I researched and found this wonderful article from Men’s Health: You Shouldn’t Be Wearing Gloves To Go Grocery Shopping

I smiled to myself and posted this on Facebook. A nurse friend said the article is correct. Being right was cool, but it didn’t take away from the drama of being yelled at by two misinformed puppets who seemed to take a sadist delight in ganging up on a friendly, happy, petite, attractive woman. It was an extreme level of catty I haven’t experienced in a long time; from two mean women who were stuck in a go-nowhere job. Perhaps they were pissed that they had to work during the COVID19 pandemic. But that is not my problem. They should take it up with their boss.

The incident took it’s toll on me and I had a headache since last night. This is when I realized, you can’t call a place a health food store when it’s stressing you out, because STRESS IS NOT HEALTHY!

Later that day, my husband took me to Whole Foods. Over the years I had my issues with that store too, but to my surprise, the way they were handing things was impressive. They had customers lined up outside, letting people in as others left. Everyone was politely standing six feet apart. The wait wasn’t bad at all, especially since it was a gorgeous spring day.

Inside some were disobeying the six feet rule, but my immune system is pretty stellar so I wasn’t worried. Especially their mouths were covered with masks and they weren’t scolding me, so no accidental spit was coming out of their mouths like how some people get when they yell.

When I paid, and I am not an Amazon Prime member so I don’t get a discount, my total was 20 percent less than what I usually pay at that mom and pop store. They also carry some brands I like that the other store doesn’t.

So until this pandemic ends and I can go food shopping every day like I used to and support other mom and pop health food stores, I think I’ll be just fine going to Whole Foods as a one-stop shopping place.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

 

 

Asparagus Christmas Tree

Published December 26, 2017 by Maryanne

DSCF1199Asparagus Christmas Tree

At our yearly Christmas party we always have “naughty” and “nice” food tables. But just because something is healthy, doesn’t mean it’s not delicious! Guests loved my asparagus Christmas tree, which was easy and incredibly tasty. I got the idea from a woman’s magazine, but their version was a bit bland, so I truly made it rock — my way!

Here’s how:

Stir fry, in olive oil, a bunch of asparagus, along with diced red peppers, shallots, and lemon pepper to taste. Cook to your liking. (I did it about 5.5 minutes, so it’s still crunchy).

Add white balsamic vinegar and chill.

One hour later, arrange asparagus and peppers to resemble tree.

ENJOY!

(Suitable for most diets/lifestyles).

Maryanne Christiano Mistretta is an award winning journalist and has written for several health publications and had her own health column “Here’s to Your Health.” She’s available for Healthy Foodie Library Lectures. Contact at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

When It Comes to Food, Go Where the Love Is!

Published September 24, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_8617Having fun — at a DINER! ❤

I recently became managing editor of an upcoming food magazine. It’s a great thing, because I love to eat. I flip flop between eating very healthy and going for good ol’ diner food. And there’s a reason why I am not militant about eating healthy all the time.

When I first came on board as managing editor, I was thrilled to see how many farm-to-table restaurants there are, but a little leery about the pretense that comes with it. I’ve been to so many restaurants, some are just too “foo foo” for my tastes that I’d never set foot in them again.

Of all the restaurants I’ve been to in my life, I have to say Pure Food & Wine on Irving in New York City is the ONLY restaurant that rates five stars with both food and service. Every time I’ve been there, I’ve been treated like a queen and the food was amazing. But then again, what do you expect from a place that has a $6000 Japanese water filter?! The water is like silk!  And no attitudes at all! That’s why Pure Food & Wine will always be my favorite. However, I don’t live in NYC, so I don’t get to go as much as I’d like. And since no other restaurant quite adds up to Pure Food & Wine, it’s often a toss up. What is most important? Good food? Good service? Healthy, natural food? Price?

Your guess is as good as mine. If I’m going out to eat, it just depends what area I’m in that day.

About half a year ago, I vowed never to go back to a certain gluten-free eatery because the service was the pits. Today I was in a health food store I was never in before. The cashiers and manager had such piss poor attitudes. These are the kind of women my husband and I call “Health Hags.” That means women who work in a health food store but are ugly inside and out, the opposite of a picture of health!

I gave this terrible store bad reviews all over the internet and even sent them an email that they could learn something from McDonalds. Check out this heart-warming story: http://nextshark.com/mcdonalds-worker/

I won’t even talk about the food I got in that health food store today because it’s irrelevant. When you get bad service, you can’t even properly enjoy your food. Of course you’re upset so you eat without truly tasting. This is why I say, it’s sometimes better to eat cheaper, crappier food — IF you are in a more relaxed environment.

The other day when I was on the cable show in Long Island, my friend and I hit a diner on the way back. We had Greek salads and sweet potato fries. Of course the salad was non-organic. And the fries were probably sugar-coated. But because the service was so fantastic, we ate in peace and really enjoyed our meal, which was stretched out to two hours! This is most likely why they say countries like France and Italy have less of an obesity rate than the United States — because they eat slow and enjoy. When you’re not stressed, you digest better. This is why I say, you can eat all the kale you want, but if you’re not happy, it ain’t gonna do you any good! (DO YOU HEAR THAT HEALTH HAGS?!)

So, next time you’re thinking about going on the road, please, do not stress over cooking in your hotel room or even seeking out the nearest health food store. Just go to a freakin’ diner and ENJOY! You’ll probably get a sexy cougar type waitress, chewing gum and calling you “Hunny Bunny.” Can’t beat that and you certainly won’t get that kind of cool in a farm-to-table restaurant or health food store!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a health advocate and a public speaker. She presents various health topics, including healthy food samples. For bio, rates, and availability, email her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Healthy Raw Non-Dairy Dessert

Published May 30, 2013 by Maryanne

Raw Coconut Cream Ice Cream

I’ve always been a fan of raw “ice cream” (which isn’t really ice cream because it’s made without milk, making it a non-dairy vegan product). I love raw ice cream because it’s easier on the stomach and actually tastier. It just melts in your mouth. It’s low glycemic and has no artificial ingredients or preservatives. And because it’s raw (uncooked, unprocessed) you get all the enzymes — the full benefit of all the natural ingredients.

Today for the first time I tried the Coconut Secret brand. I went for the Madagascar Vanilla – and it’s heavenly!

I’ve been using Coconut Secret products for a couple years now. I love their coconut vinegar and their coconut amino acids (so much better than Bragg’s in my humble opinion).

I can’t wait to try the other flavors! It’s pricey, but I’m worth it!

HELLO SUMMER!

Quick Solutions to Healthy Meal Dilemmas

Published April 9, 2013 by Maryanne

macaroni dishMy spinach pasta dish with onions, carrots, tomatoes, celery

Sometimes you’re really on a roll with healthy living and you come across some issues.

Here are three dilemmas that recently could have stood in the way of a healthy meal, but I conquered with creativity!

1. You’re at  your favorite grocery store, but you have several other errands to run, maybe even a meeting and you won’t be home for several hours. You forgot your cooler, it’s a warm day, so it’s not a good idea to buy something fresh. What do you do?

Seaweed is the answer! Go right to the Asian section and buy packaged nori, which is filled with plenty of nutrients and very tasty. Try to get “dried” instead of “toasted” because it has more nutrients. Seaweed, alone, makes a great salad. Yum!

Also whenever the greens at the grocery store look a little limp or shabby, I’ll go straight for the packaged seaweed.

2. You ran out of your favorite salad dressing or vinegar.

For an amazing salad dressing that doesn’t require vinegar, take an avocado and blend with a banana. It will be a guacamole consistency and it’s fantastic on greens or sprouts! It’s sweet and filling. You may even want to add a clove of garlic to give it a little kick. I’ve been doing this for years.

3. It’s Friday night. Or any night that you don’t feel like cooking and you don’t feel like running to the store.

We always keep a box of pasta in the house. There are healthier versions of pasta  like spinach or rice pasta; or Dreamfields (a “right-carb” pasta). Stir-fry some vegetables, throw in with the pasta — and you have a quick, easy meal.

Bon appetite!