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Posts from the ‘Health’ Category

10 foods to keep you healthy and vibrant

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From left to right:

Organic Pastures Organic raw butter

Read benefits of raw butter here.  This is what I cook with, along with coconut oil.  “When produced from the cream of grass-fed cows, butter is extraordinarily rich in fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K2; further, it is a rich source of the antioxidant beta carotene which accounts for its rich golden color.  And in the beautiful synchronicity of nature, beta carotene, like many antioxidants, is best absorbed when paired with fat (read more about why you should butter your vegetables). Due to the presence of milk solids including casein and lactose, butter has a low smoke point of about 350 degrees Fahrenheit and is therefore suitable to gentle cooking.  Clarified butter and ghee, however, have been slowly melted and then filtered to remove these milk solids.  The resultant fat is free from offending proteins and sugars and is often well-tolerated by those suffering from dairy sensitivities.  Further, after the removal of the milk solids, clarified butter and ghee can tolerate higher heats up to 485 degrees Fahrenheit.” (excerpt from Nourished Kitchen, LLC)

Coconut spray oil

It is particularly rich in lauric acid, a nourishing fat only otherwise found in abundance in human breast milk.  Lauric acid is known as an immune booster.  Further, coconut oil plays an enormous role in the traditional diets of South Pacific islanders who enjoyed resilient health prior to the wide-spread availability of processed foods, sugars and industrial vegetable oils. With a smoke point of about 350 degrees Fahrenheit, unrefined extra virgin coconut oil is suited to baking and light sauteing.

Himalayan Pink Salt

Known as the purest salt on earth.  Salt is a necessary component of our physical body.  I take a tsp of this every morning in warm water.  Here are some benefits.  Please consult your doctor if you have any questions.

  1. Regulating the water content throughout your body.
  2. Promoting a healthy pH balance in your cells, particularly your brain cells.
  3. Promoting blood sugar health and helping to reduce the signs of aging.
  4. Assisting in the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in your body.
  5. Absorption of food particles through your intestinal tract.
  6. Supporting respiratory health.
  7. Promoting sinus health.
  8. Prevention of muscle cramps.
  9. Promoting bone strength.
  10. Regulating your sleep — it naturally promotes sleep.
  11. Supporting your libido.
  12. Promoting vascular health.
  13. In conjunction with water it is actually essential for the regulation of your blood pressure.

Wine (how’d that slip in?!)

I love a decadent bottle of red.  In moderation now than when I was 10 years younger, of course. Read about benefits here.

FRENZ free range eggs

Quite possibly the best eggs on the planet.  Along with the hefty price tag comes an amazing, rich, yellow yolk.  I swear I can taste the difference.  If you are looking for eggs (which nowadays can be quite confusing to figure out which ones to get), I personally prefer brown eggs, cage free AND free-range.  Organic feed is fine – but if they are free range, you know they are grazing on green pastures instead of being fed organic grains.  Grains are a no-no.

Home-made Raw organic almond milk

(or “Golden Milk” as I’d like to call it with secret ingredients of Manduka 16+ honey and organic Turmeric)  I refuse to buy store bought almond milk anymore as it’s so easy to make your own.  Buy RAW unpasteurized almonds, soak one cup in filtered H2O overnight, rinse, put in blender with 4 cups filtered water, blend and drain with cheese cloth.  I even save the bits & dehydrate it for further use.  Dehydration basically converts it to almond meal/flour, like the ones sold in the market.

Organic Turmeric

Powerful little root.  It looks funny, is part of the ginger family, and really packs a punch.  It promotes anti-inflammation, is a powerful antioxidant, and just recently has been shown to block a certain enzyme that causes head and neck cancer.  Read here.

Fresh Raw Almond Butter

I’ll be making my own home-made version soon, but in the meantime, this one is delicious.  I love it when I need a quick pick me up, meaning a tablespoon in between teaching my classes.  It gives me the healthy fats I need to keep my energy going.  Hubby likes it in his protein shake.  It’s good.  Real good.

Madras Curry and Cauliflower sauerkraut salad

Found this little gem hiding in the fridge section at Whole Foods.  It is delicious to say the least.  Fermented vegetables are rich in nutrients, fiber and digestion-enhancing enzymes. They also help the intestinal tract maintain a healthy balance of flora by increasing beneficial bacteria.

Pot o’ home brewed green tea

Been drinking a mug full for nearly 2 decades.  By now, we should all know the benefits of green tea. If you are just jumping on the wagon, read more here.

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Read: 17 Healthy Lifestyle Recommendations

Heard from my acupuncturist’s office…

1.  Do not drink alcohol on a daily basis, smoke, or use recreational drugs.

My thoughts:  If you are doing anything (aside from yoga and even every day yoga may be too much) you’re indulging in excess.  It’s all about balance, remember?

2. Limit caffeine intake. (I usually have no more than 2 green teas a day.  I’ll use the same bag through the span of the day, just to enjoy the flavor of the tea itself.)

My thoughts:  Ditch the coffee and go for Green tea green tea green tea!  Need I say more?  Green tea’s antioxidants, called catechins, scavenge for free radicals that can damage DNA and contribute to cancer, blood clots, and atherosclerosis. Grapes and berries, red wine, and dark chocolate also have potent antioxidants.  See # 1.  Anything in excess is still cause for imbalance.  If you need the extra pick me up, consider adding maca to your morning beverage.

3. Avoid processed, man-made foods and choose natural foods in their place:  i.e., oatmeal over cereal, potatoes and rice over pasta or bread, fruit over fruit juice, home-cooked meats over cold cuts from the deli, etc.  This includes manufactured soy foods.

My thoughts:  Once you move away from processed foods, you’ll never go back.  I cringe when I look at all the processed foods that line our grocery store isles.  Truth be told, bad food is cheaper on the wallet, but if you were to ask me, your health, your body, your vitality is the most important investment you’ll make in your lifetime.  

4.  Choose organic, hormone free foods whenever possible, especially when buying chicken, eggs, and meats.

My thoughts:  Organic all the way. Here is a list of items to buy organic.   Shop local, buy local, support the local CSA’s.  Although, what I’ve heard recently from speaking to farmer’s market vendors is that many can’t afford the expensive and LONG process it takes to acquire the coveted “organic” status, so they aren’t even bothering. This presents a challenge for consumers. Whatever the status of the farm is, make sure your produce is pesticide free.  We’ll have to wait and see how this scenario turns out in the next few years as this sets up premise for a whole other onslaught of regulation challenges which I will not get into on this post.  

5.  Avoid farm raised fish.  Choose wild-caught from cold, clean waters whenever possible.

My thoughts: Amen.  Read more about wild-caught v. farm-raised and make your own decision between the two.

6.  Avoid dairy products.

My thoughts:  If you are a die-hard dairy fan, go raw.  Yes, I mean raw milk. Organic Pastures produces some GREAT raw dairy products if you are looking to explore this further, or are already on the raw train.   Rainbow Acres carries a few selections of raw dairy items.  Going raw with regards to dairy is a personal decision.  I personally do not consume dairy anymore simply because it makes my body feel better.  The only dairy item I will use is in my cooking, and I LOVE the raw butter made by OP.  My husband does indulge in dairy usually through his coffee creamers and I’m currently seeking alternatives to it that actually taste good so he’ll switch.  Any suggestions welcome!

7. Eat 5-7 small meals per day.  This boosts your basal metabolic rate, increases energy, and reduces stress.

My thoughts:  This tip has pretty much been used by all the good diets and fad diets alike, probably because there is some truth behind it.  I love smaller portions because 1, my stomach isn’t taxed with the responsibility of trying to digest a huge meal and I feel lighter, happier and healthier overall.  

8.  Eat your first meal when you wake and every 3 hours after.

My thoughts: Eat your first meal within 1.5-2 hours max after you wake.  If you are like me and often dislike having a huge morning meal with eggs and shenanigans sitting in your belly because you’re running off to your yoga class, then have a green juice.  Or a liquid veggie based protein shake.  I personally make my green juice every day, if not every other day & sip on it constantly.  Cucumber, celery, ginger, half a green apple, optional turmeric, big bunch kale, big bunch spinach and big bunch parsley.  Juice and drink.  Here’s to your health!!!

9.  Each meal should consist of lo-fat protein, fresh vegetables or fruit, and a small amount of complex carbs (whole grains or potatoes).

My thoughts: Wow, this part is the interesting part.  I am about 75% vegan.  Nuts, veggies and berries. The other 25% is the protein I ingest from seafood and or eggs. Grains? No thank you.  Potatoes? Rare occasion.  However, with this said, I need to be more vigilant about including more protein in my diet.  Consult a holistic, nutrition guide, or feel free to ask your questions here. This will vary depending on individual to individual.

10.  Try to sit down when you eat and chew your food sufficiently.

My thoughts: I’m working on it.

11.  Drink a minimum of 8 8-oz glasses of purified water per day.

My thoughts: I’m working on it.  Make sure your water is filtered, or purchased in glass bottles.

12.  Exercise 5 days per week for 30-60 minutes including two to four resistance training sessions and three to five cardio exercise sessions.  This may include yoga, Qi gong, or Tai Chi as well as conventional exercise.

My thoughts:  5 days a week sounds like quite a bit of exercise.  The trick is to get creative if time is on the shorter side for you (or laziness)…Take the stairs rather than the elevator/escalator.  Park farther.  Bike to the grocery store instead of drive. Walk your dogs. Anything to get moving, rather than sitting and driving.  Hiking is a great option to get out, pant, sweat, and get in tune with nature and your Self. If you want to come to yoga? Message me to come as my guest in any of my public yoga classes.

13.  Sleep at least 7-8 hours every night.  Napping is healthy and not unusual or abnormal.

My thoughts: YES!  Shut that darn iphone, ipad, tellie off and turn on a meditation track or white noise if you need and lay back, settle in and drift off already!

14.  Follow a good basic vitamin and mineral protocol.

My thoughts: I have a few good suggestions. I never endorse any brand except the ones I’ve tried and love.  Nope, they have no idea I’m endorsing them. 

15.  Avoid excessive stress or stressful situations.

My thoughts: Relax!  Do Yoga!  Meditate!  My classes are listed here.

16.  It has been scientifically proven that pets reduce stress.

My thoughts: My dogs bring me so much joy.  Rescue a pet and change your life.  

17.  Learn to sit quietly and stop thinking from time to time.

My thoughts:  Meditating should be a daily requirement.  A daily task, evolving soon into a daily love.  Learning to master the mind is powerful.  Change your mind, change your life.  But first you have to get comfortable with going deep deep down inside and learn how to get quiet.   Sally Kempton is an amazing meditation teacher and so is Jack Kornfield.  Both of them have amazing works available for purchase.  Message me if you want recs.

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Here’s to YOU.  A healthier, happier, more fulfilled YOU.

Much Love,

Grace

Eat: Holy, Cauliflower Cous-Cous!

I’ve been experimenting with raw cuisine for a little while now. It’s been a creative journey that has been eye-opening and just pretty darn fun! Nothing beats feeding your body good food with proper nutrition. Hey, you gotta take care of your one true house right?

I’m a sucker for waking up and itching to create and cook something.

This morning’s creation? A grain-free, healthy version of Cous-Cous! With cauliflower!

This recipe is adapted from Amsdel and scaled down for 2 portions. I tend to eyeball ingredients and go by the taste testing method along the way, so please adjust to your own tastebud’s liking.

I call this dish, Holy, Cauliflower CousCous!

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– Juice of 1 organic lemon
– Half a bunch of organic parsley leaves
– Half a bunch of organic mint leaves
– Half a head of awesome organic YELLOW cauliflower (that I picked up from the Brentwood farmer’s market – they are sweeter than the regular off white kind)
– 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
– fresh ground black pepper
– 10 marinate olives (I used a blend of olives mixed with marinated artichokes that I found at the farmer’s market made by Brothers Products…AWESOME!)
– tbl MCT oil (I substituted what the recipe calls for – 1/4 of EVOO. I personally don’t like my foods swimming in oil and tend to use less of it and instead include half an organic avocado to get my healthy fats. Do what pleases your tastebuds and health preferences.)
– option to add half a bunch cilantro (I didn’t have any as I used it in my morning juice so I left this one out. I’d imagine it would add a kick that would tickle the tastebuds!)

Instruction: Got a food chopper? I mean, food processor? Vitamix? I used our Blendtech to get the gritty Cous-Cous texture by simply pulsing the cauliflower a few times. If you are looking for a serious workhorse, Blendtech is awesome. We got it as a wedding gift – It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Add to the cauliflower cous-cous coarsely chopped parsley and mint leaves. Leave out the stems. Add your olives, EVOO, salt and pepper, and top off with the lemon juice.

Mix.
Eat.

Here’s to your health!

Love,
Grace

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