Shedding Fat by Fighting Hunger

Shedding Fat by Fighting Hunger

You’re in the frozen food section, facing one of those tough decisions: Coconut Bliss Dark Chocolate?

Starbuck’s Mocha Chip? Or perhaps something from Häagen-Dazs? Then suddenly you stop, take the four or five dollars out of your wallet, and put it in a special place to donate to those who are truly hungry.

How does that feel? Try it! You may find the experience even more satisfying than eating the dessert.

And that’s the secret behind a program called Pounds for Poverty, launched by Elad Levinson, LCSW. When Levinson was 21, he lost about 100 pounds by practicing mindfulness and self-honesty. Over the last 40 years, he’s learned to keep the weight off by dedicating himself to service.

Says Levinson: “Our assertion is that hunger can be healed by the very same forces that contribute to obesity. Both are problems of distribution: some have too much while many have too little. I know it is not that simple. Nevertheless, by turning the desire to overeat into a donation to a charity to fight hunger, the donor builds a strong foundation to change for the better. In a very real way, everyone is better for the exchange.” For more information, go to

Microfiber is used for making everything from basketballs to sports clothes and refers to material spun into filaments. In the case of cleaning material, those filaments are then split, producing a product that can hold seven times its weight in water, is highly electrostatic, leaves no residue, and almost miraculously absorbs grease and oil. Microfiber is more expensive than traditional mops and cleaning cloths, but it lasts longer and doesn’t need chemical cleaning products to help do its job. It also does a better job: a cotton rag plus product only reduces bacteria on a surface by 33 percent; microfiber will take that number to a soaring 99 percent.

Blue Wonder cloths are perfect for chemical-free cleaning — just imagine wiping down windows without the rash of ammonia! Blue Wonder also makes a face cloth that needs no soap or lotions — just warm water will clean the skin right down to the pores. Works great on teeth, too!

In our food section, we’ve chosen several items that can substitute for staples — and how! But what about soy: it’s already in our milk, cereal, soup, noodles — do we really have to have it in our ice cream, too? No! Purely Decadent, made with coconut milk, is dairy-free delicious. Flavors include the traditional, as well as Mocha Almond Fudge and Cookie Dough, which is gluten-free. Purely Decadent is also a sponsor of the Sea Turtle Restoration Project (STRP), making “every effort to help the people at STRP fight to save these wonderful creatures.”

Something else that gets old if we eat it every day is lunchtime yogurt. Here, Rachel’s Cottage Cheese comes to the rescue. Packaged in single-serving sizes, it comes in delicious savory flavors like Roasted Red Pepper and Cucumber Dill. For the sweet touch, try Pomegranate Orange Cranberry or Pear Mangosteen, both containing less sugar than low-fat yogurt and 250 mg of calcium per serving — more than 20 percent of the recommended daily dose for women.

Rachel’s got its start in Wales from a dairy pioneer and early advocate for sustainable farming, Elizabeth Jones. Rachel, the granddaughter, has since built a successful UK brand and introduced her product to the U.S. in 2007.

Smell happens in two stages: first, your nose picks up the scent in tiny receptors; then, the receptors send the information to the limbic system — the part of your brain that governs emotional responses. For that reason, scents have the power to evoke memory and alter moods. And because influencing the body has so much to do with changing the mind, scent may have the power to heal as well.

Naturopatch of Vermont has developed a series of adhesive patches that send signals, rather like pheromones, to the brain. For stress relief, use the bergamot-scented patch; for menopause and PMS discomfort, it’s rose geranium; for help in sleeping, try lavender. Available in single sachets and pretty tins of ten, Naturopatch uses pure essential oils, and the patch design ensures no messy residue. Although not recommended for children under four, those older will find these both fun and soothing. Beats a mustard poultice any day.

If you enjoy an occasional cocktail, have you considered the fructose syrup and artificial flavorings in the cocktail mix? The three women founders behind Modmix did, and they decided that an after-hours beverage deserved the same kind of thought and craft that would go into, say, dinner. Gathering lavender from Washington state and horseradish from North Carolina, the Modmix women have created five organic mixers: Citrus Margarita, French Martini with Raspberries, Lavender Lemon Drop, Mojito, Pomegranate Cosmopolitan, and Wasabi Bloody Mary. Cheers!

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