Happy Back to School & New Year!

Wow summer sure flew by didn’t it?! I have been super busy and super excited to share with you a few things:

1. I hope you all had a great summer. I must first apologize for not posting more often, but I have been passionately working on a NEW 12 WEEK HOLISTIC HEALING JOURNEY that will launch in October/November…so, stay tuned! I will be offering YOU, MY AWESOME FOLLOWERS, A HUGE DISCOUNT! Thanks to tech we can now work together!

2. I went to a life-changing retreat in Florida and met a super-talented new friend who is Hosting a Virtual Summit & Retreat with 7 Talented Healers of all kinds(mind, body, spirit)!! I have been invited to Present about healing through food and diet on a Virtual Healing Summit/Retreat! I really hope you will join us for the free calls and sign up for the Summit and please share this on your FB/Social Media. oxox This will blow your mind and touch your heart. For more info http://practiceselflove.com/virtual-retreats/

3. Finally, my new favorite Bagel! Yes I said Bagel! OMG, IT IS THE BEST I’VE HAD IN 18 YEARS OF BEING GLUTEN-FREE & DAIRY-FREE! See my Recipe page for a homemade Dairy-free Cream Cheese recipe-after you read this article/interview!

I have longed for a chewy New York Style Bagel that is gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free  for 18 years, and FINALLY  found one after trying every single one I could find on the store shelves which were all light, airy and so unsatisfying! I cannot tell you how many bagels I have thrown away and finally gave up until this summer when I found an Everything Bagel while shopping at Bi-Rite Market in San Fransisco.

I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve b/c I could not wait until the next morning to have my new Bagel! Then, I realized I needed to make some cashew cream cheese first…and the wait was prolonged! I could hardly wait for it to come out of the toaster as smells of home-baked bread with onion and garlic wafted across my kitchen. And, When I finally got my Bagel and Cashew Cream Cheese,  without all the allergens, I was in food Heaven…a Sally met Harry foodgasm moment happened! So, I had to call the company that made it and…

I interviewed Andre of the ODD BAGEL COMPANY, in Oakland, and here is what he had to share.

Our story started in 2013 when my business partner, Brent Woodard, discovered he was gluten intolerant. Having lived nearly a decade in New York (as did I, coincidentally), his perfect morning routine was a cup of coffee and a bagel with cream cheese – which he now sorely missed. He tried a lot of the options out there, but everything he found was severely lacking; they were primarily just “bread in a loop”, and not even very good bread, at that.
Luckily, Brent’s a very process-minded guy, so he went in the kitchen and started experimenting until he found a recipe that actually started to resemble a “real” bagel. He started small, baking every night and making drops every single morning to couple coffee shops and places like Berkeley Bowl and Saul’s in Berkeley.
Fast forward a few years, and after finding space in a number of shared kitchens over the years, we finally moved into our own dedicated bakery space last year. Most importantly, this means we are now finally working out of a true, dedicated gluten free facility (and as mentioned, will hopefully be certified gluten free as soon as tomorrow!). But it has also allowed us to really accelerate the improvement of the recipe. It also let us get our Kosher designation.
From day one, once we were gluten free, we didn’t really want to stop there – we wanted to make this a bagel that was accessible to everyone. Step one was to make it a vegan bagel, as well. Most true bagels ARE already vegan, but a lot of the gluten free options use egg as a binding agent. Besides the vegan aspect, we also noticed that a lot of people try to avoid dairy and eggs for a wide variety of dietary reasons, including allergies. So, Odd Bagels became a gluten free AND vegan bagel! 
But we didn’t stop there – we’ve also managed to avoid using peanuts, tree nuts, corn, soy, and potato – a large portion of the top allergens out there. (Also no shellfish… 😉  ) Then, in the past year, we’ve also been able to eliminate the sugar and oil from our recipe. We’ve ended up with a highly refined recipe that is really just “simple”, and gets back to the elements of what makes a bagel a good, baked item!
Our final step is that we also hope to transition to organic by the end of this year, which has finally become realistic now that we’re a bit bigger – it’s hard to find organic, gluten-free flours, unless you have it milled specifically.
I think that’s really what sets us apart from a lot of the other gluten-free options: the fact that we are really accessible to just about anyone. That’s pretty hard to find in the Bay Area, even without talking about gluten-free! And most importantly, we’re a real New York style bagel that is boiled and baked! 
And even more most importantly… Odd Bagels are delicious! Although I might be just a little biased when I say that. 🙂 That covers a lot of our story!, said Andre.
Okay, even your friends and family that don’t think they have a problem with gluten, dairy, egg or any other food will looooovvvvveeee these Bagels! I recommend you make your own cream cheese(my recipe) or buy dairy-free Kite Hill Almond Chive Cream Cheese. Great with Smoked Salmon or Lox-see recipe later.
 I order 12 bags at a time, the Everything is the #1 seller and its delish, the plain is great for when you want to spread something sweet on top like jam or nut butter. They have many more flavors.
These bagels DO NOT NEED TO BE REFRIGERATED, so you can send them to school or take them on outings and traveling. The shelf life is 10 days without refrigeration and a month in the refrigerator and a few months in the freezer! I recommend buying a lot if you have the space in your freezer b/c you are going to want more. Do remember that they are high in carbs so, if you want to release some weight keep them in the freezer and save them for a weekend treat! If you need to gain weight, these will help and I say go for it as long as you are eating a lot of healthy food too! I will post recipes on my Recipe Page. Hey, lets help this small artisan company grow…ask your local grocery store to carry them! Get them now and you’ll have them by next week and for Yom Kippur. Happy Holidays and Back to School! Oh, do toast them for sure!
Just for YOU my readers: Order Online a discount code. Enter “LAUREN” at checkout, you’ll get 15% off your first order with ODD BAGEL which expires at the end of September! Order now! http://www.oddbagel.com
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Holiday Help!

I would like to send you my heartfelt Holiday wishes and tell you how grateful I am for all of you who read my blog. My intention is to pass along what I learn and to help you improve your health. going from surviving to thriving so you can enjoy this life and have the energy and excitement to follow your dreams. I wish you a very happy, healthy holiday season and 2018! One of my favorite affirmations is, “What is for you, cannot pass you by”! Its so true. So, relax, learn to stop worrying and have more faith that you are well taken care of and loved. It will all work out. Breathe and ground yourself and meditate for just 10 minutes a day and change your life for the better. Check out tapping with Nick & Jessica Ortner or Brad Yates. Please read this post even though its a little long it has life saving info! Love ya!

Secondly, I want to share my tips for the holidays, and anytime really,  on what to do if you get “glutened” or “dairied” or food poisoning, or drink a little too much Egg Nog/Cocktails! Here is my bag of tricks that have never failed me in many bouts of being glutened or food poisoned or just a severe gas attack! These two items below are the first 2 things that go into my carry on cosmetic bag along with medications, tons of safe snacks/food, change of clothes and toiletries(all in case my luggage gets lost-God forbid)!

I could tell you many horror stories of being glutened and severe cases of food poisoning I have had, but I will spare you the gory details and you can believe me when I tell you its happened to me and it was awful the times I did not have charcoal. Typically, if I ate even a molecule of gluten from a pizza oven I would react severely for 2 weeks and was bedridden. Last time I was served a regular hamburger bun instead of Gluten-free, I took 3 Gluten enzymes immediately with tons of water, went home and took 5 charcoal caps opened up in a glass of water. I was so relieved that for the first time ever, I had NO SYMPTOMS! This was a miracle I’m telling you!

First, you can take digestive enzymes that target Gluten & Dairy, DPP-IV. I always take one before a meal at a restaurant or someone else’s house for a little insurance. I am not under any circumstances giving you permission to down an enzyme and order gluten or dairy!!! If you choose to mistreat, not “treat”, yourself and eat gluten or dairy when you are sensitive/intolerant/allergic to it, then at least take a few enzyme first and charcoal after! But, you are only harming yourself not me or anyone else. These enzymes don’t eliminate 100% of the gluten/dairy, but do significantly reduce your exposure lowering your severity and duration in symptoms. You can buy them at Pharmaca, or even on Amazon, heres the link for my preferred brand Gluten/Dairy Enzymes

Second, Activated Charcoal is made from either wood or coconut(preferred) and absorbs poisons in the body and gently escorts them out…note: your stool will be black and thats okay/good. It acts as a sponge and will mitigate any nasty symptoms you may have/had encounter(ed). It comes in capsules or powder. Powder works faster, but is a little messy and chalky, but who cares when you could avoid suffering! You can open the capsules if you need it to work faster than 20 minutes which I recommend.

If you think you have food poisoning(nausea, vomiting, diarrhea), there is no such thing as 24 hour flu-its food poisoning take 5 capsules or 1 tsp. charcoal powder in 1/3 or so cup of water and chase it with a glass of water(filtered of course), You may take the same amount 2-3 times a day until symptoms are gone, but it usually works in a dose or two.

NOTE/WARNING: Charcoal absorbs other supplements and medications if taken together, so just take your supplements and medications 2 hours away from charcoal. Yes, your poop will be black, don’t panic. Drink plenty of water to help move things through.

Charcoal Uses:

  • Gluten or dairy exposure(not a license to eat gluten!)
  • Food poisioning
  • Gas & Bloating(if acute, take charcoal and a hot bath to ease and pass the gas)
  • Avoid hangover or cure hangover
  • heavy metal or mold/mycotoxin detox or adverse reaction to detoxing/juice fast(GI issues/headache)
  • you can even use it as a tooth powder and it whitens
  • after a dental procedure to help clear any harmful materials or anesthetic

You can purchase this in a health food store, many drugstores and online, heres a link Coconut Charcoal Powder

If you are traveling abroad, I highly recommend Grapefruit Seed Extract which is like a natural antibiotic…kills everything…you can take it daily and clean your toothbrush with it too.

Now for the emotional support we all need over the holidays! Do yourself a favor, get as much sleep as possible and your tolerance will go up and you’ll feel better. Eat healthy, drink plenty of filtered water, use stainless bottles not chemical filled plastic. Try to choose alcohol wisely if at all…organic natural red wine, gluten free(not removed) beer, cider or one gluten-free spirit like some vodkas…see my full list and article on this blog on Alcohol. Not all alcohol is GF even Vodka and Rum!

Remember to take Uber or Lyft if you have even 1 drink or have someone else who commits to no drinks be the designated driver. Seriously, one drink of any kind puts me at my weight at risk of a DUI! Only one drink can ruin your life and end other peoples lives….please please take this seriously. Be safe. Your friends/family would rather have you crash on their couch than crash your car and loose you forever!

I had to take someones keys away from them once and they said they were fine…I said oh really, is that why your eyes are crossed? Seriously. Then, you won’t believe I got pulled over and put through all the drunk driving tests as the drunks in my car rolled around and laughed! What a night. Nobody thinks they are not safe to drive. If you have had any alcohol, it is a risk.

In the mornings, before you get out of bed, say a prayer by setting your intention for the day, put your feet on the floor and ground yourself before you get out of bed and run your energy and envision being the loving shining light in the world you are…then go forth and have a wonderful day.

When you get stressed or upset:

  • Take 5 deep belly breaths, signals your body the tiger is not going to eat you…gets you out of Fight of Flight, it works
  • Excuse yourself from others and go to the bathroom and do this and pray and ground yourself until you are calm, cool and collected and then return to your party/work etc…This has kept me out of trouble numerous times! ;P
  • Try to put yourself in others shoes and imagine how they may be feeling and why. Most of us have tremendous pain and suffering and it can come out in comments and behavior…be compassionate and let some things slide
  • Use Apps: Hay House Radio, Relax & Sleep Well w/Glenn Harrold(Library is free), Pandora, Tap with Brad(Brad Yates)-these have all saved me and really helped

Before or during a trip, go onto TripAdvisor.com or App and choose the city your are visiting and then restaurants then the meal then hit filter to choose dietary restrictions:

  • gluten-free
  • vegan
  • vegetarian
  • halal or kosher

You can find great restaurants that will accommodate gluten-free and dairy-free and any other dietary desires and needs you have when eating out. I have never been disappointed with anywhere I’ve been directed to by Trip Advisor and have usually written rave reviews and told everyone all about what amazing food I had! It even finds restaurants in airports and its international as well as domestic! You can find hotels and spas and fun things to do as well. Its my go to App!

Finally, just be grateful especially when you don’t feel like it. Did you know your brain is not capable of being depressed and happy simultaneously? So you can trick yourself by just thinking about a few things you are grateful for at the moment. It can be tiny things like the snow, a bird, a flower, food, pet, person or huge things…it doesn’t matter. This is a great way to end your day as you get into bed(organic I hope), your last thoughts of the day can be what you are grateful for and then you will set your mind to a positive place to hopefully have sweet dreams. If you cannot sleep, or if you can, listen to Glenn Harrold’s Relax and Sleep and you will sleep deeper and wake more rested and happier!

Again, sending you so much love, best wishes for your health and happiness. I wish you a very peaceful and happy holiday season and hope my tips will help ensure that you do have a good one. If you are hurting this time of year, please try my tips and know you are loved and you matter and make a difference in this world. We need you to be here and share your gifts and talents.

Take good care of yourself, you only have one you that needs to last a long time. Maybe make a vision board for 2018 or at lease make a list of your dreams and goals! There is so much power in vision boards and writing things down…everything I’ve wanted and done this with has come to me! Even my wonderful Husband! Remember, “What is for you cannot pass you by”! So, create a happy ending of 2017 and great 2018!

Love, Hugs and Blessings! I have some big surprises in 2018 for all of you…So Follow me if you aren’t already. 🙂 Jump over to see my recipes for you holiday…and eat safely! 🙂

Lauren’s Favorites

Season’s Greetings on Christmas Eve!

New Fantastic Food:

I found a fabulous new line of nut cheezes that are made from cashews and coconut oil! I was so delighted to find vegan cheeses that have healthy, familiar ingredients! I have tried the shredded Mozzarella, Cheddar and Pepper Jack and they have worked very well in my recipes including: Quiche, French Onion Soup, Enchiladas, Lasagna, Pizza, Grilled Cheeze on SRSLY Sourdough and much more. They have hard and soft cheeses in a variety of  fabulous flavors.

Parmela Cashew Cheeze-Our nut milk cheeses are made using traditional cheese making techniques.  Rich nut milks made from blending cashews and almonds with filtered water form the base.  These are much thicker than the nut milks you would drink, and amazingly have more flavor potential than dairy milks.

It took over 2 years and 2,000 iterations to get the cultures to grow properly in the thick cashew milks and unlock true cheese flavors for the Creamy Treenut Cheese.  In crafting our new aged cheeses we up over 4000 iterations of cultures grown.

The nutmilk cheeses can be found in Whole Foods, New Leaf Markets and other natural food stores or ordered directly  http://www.parmelacreamery.com 

 

SRSL Bread-Gluten-free, Dairy-free San Francisco Sourdough Bread and Rolls! 

SRSLY Bread

http://www.breadsrsly.com

OMG, I thought I’d never be able to eat Sourdough again…until now! I did the happy dance when I found this amazing bread. I am a traditionalist so I like the classic best, but the seeded is very good and my husband loves the Kale(me too). The sandwich rolls are made out of just Sorghum flour so its great for people who have multiple grain sensitivities. She also makes a huge Pullman Loaf that you can special order!

WHY SOURDOUGH?

Bread SRSLY is committed to making nourishing bread. Each loaf is leavened with wild yeast, cultivated from the air and grain. Unlike commercial yeast, wild yeast helps to break down the grains, making them easier to digest, and adding a pleasant tang that we call sourdough.

WHY SERIOUSLY?

We created our bread only after months of research, applying traditional sourdough techniques to our gluten-free recipes. We learned that good bread takes its time to rise. Each Bread SRSLY loaf rises for more than 12 hours, making it SERIOUSLY good for you. In addition to being gluten-free, all Bread SRSLY products are free of dairy, egg, soy, nut, potato, tapioca, and garbanzo.

Available at Health Food Stores including New Leaf Market, Staff of Life, Bi-Rite Markets or Order at: http://bread-srsly.myshopify.com

 

Want to bake your own Bread?

Manini’s Bread Mix & Fresh Pasta

These pastas and breads are so nutritious and have great texture! I’ve enjoyed Manini’s Spaghetti, Lemon-Thyme Linguine and Lasagna Noodles(not the ravioli b/c they contain diary) and bread mixes which are easy and nutritious. Even my Italian friends are now loving this pasta!

At the heart of our commitment to quality is our dedication to making all of our fresh pastas, breads & bakery products and flours from naturally Gluten Free Ancient Grains. Our Ancient Grains include Amaranth, Teff, Sorghum, and Millet, plants that are essentially unchanged from hundreds of years ago. The result is a nutritious, fiber-rich, great-textured food that is delicious and superior in taste, texture and nutrition to the vast majority of typical rice and corn based Gluten Free foods.

http://www.maninis.com

Want less carbs and more protein in your pasta go for: Tolerant Red Lentil or Black Bean Pasta which have great texture and tons of protein and nutrition! Available at Health food Stores and online.

Tolerant Pasta

Sonoma Pasta SauceSonoma Mushroom Pasta Sauce. I had to stop eating tomatoes due to arthritis and was so happy to find this tomato-free sauce! They have many flavors, but not all are dairy-free. I do still make my own with wild mushrooms and sherry, but nice to have a jar in the pantry in a pinch. Available at Health food Stores and online.

 

Paleo-Cake-Therapy-Paleo-Chocolate-Cake-Mix.jpg

Cake Therapy  Paleo Cake Mix: offers gluten free and paleo baking mixes, made from quality natural ingredients, without preservatives or additives. Cake Therapy’s products are always free of gluten, dairy, soy and corn, with grain free options.

Paleo Chocolate Cake Mix Ingredients: Organic coconut flour, arrowroot, almond meal, organic coconut sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla powder, salt, baking soda, baking powder.

I’ve tried all three flavors: chocolate, vanilla and spice, and love them all! They make a moist and tasty cake or cupcakes. I used my Chocolate Ganache Frosting  with Lily’s Stevia Sweetened Chocolate Chips and Cashew Cream Frosting with them. They have recipes and adaptations on their website too! I used the Spice Cake Mix to make a Carrot Cake and it was so delicious.

Teas to go with your dessert or just enjoy anytime:

Art of Tea: Chocolate Mint Tea which is so rich and tasty it does not need anything else. Great way to avoid sweets, drink this tea instead!  www.artoftea.com 

Numi Turmeric Teas are anti-inflammatory and very tasty especially when I add some local raw honey, ginger and homemade cashew milk! Available at health food stores or http://www.Numitea.com

Steven Smith Lord Bergamot Earl Grey Tea

A few other goodies I’ve fallen in love with this year:

Lily’s Fair Trade Stevia Sweetened Chocolate Chips

We love premium dark chocolate. We don’t like sugar. The addition of stevia to premium dark chocolate is a perfect fit. It makes our favorite food even better. Click to learn more about why we love stevia.http://lilyssweets.com

 

 

Chai-I

Vixen Kitchen Premium Vegan Gelato!  So creamy and delicious you will think you are in Italy!  The first time I tasted this luscious Gelato I was in San Francisco on a cold windy day, but had to have it as my teeth chattered! OMG, I was in Heaven and forgot about the cold the first lick! I love that they sweeten with real maple syrup and use cashews as the base! Again, nutritious and delicious and guilt-free! It is expensive b/c they use the highest quality ingredients and it is worth it! Available at health food stores, including Staff of Life. Flavors: Chocolate, Vanilla, Chai, Coffee, Mint,Blueberry.  http://vixenkitchen.co

Xyloburst Chewing Gum, stays soft, sweetened with xylitol which is great for teeth and tastes good! Available at health food stores,  iherb.com and Amazon.com

My new favorite website to buy all the aforementioned goodies and many more at a 25%-75% discount/usually 25% is at http://www.ThriveMarket.com

 

Kitchen Tools:

  • Kitchen Aid 7 Quart Mixer is the largest capacity home mixer and I love my new one in Candy Apple Red! I also bought the:
  • Spiralizer Attachment that also slices and peels fruit and vegetables!

Body Care Products: Many skincare products contain gluten and dairy which go into your bloodstream within 30 seconds! Yes, it will cause you just as much trouble as eating it!

  • Nubian Heritage Soaps and Lotions
  • Evoli Body Butter & Lip Balm, made from all organic healthy oils
  • Zoya Nail Polish, free of formaldehyde and other bad chemicals available at Whole Foods
  • DoTerra essential oils: I do not travel without the OnGuard and put it on my feet every night! DoTerra.com
  • For the Bathroom: Poo Pourri toilet spray. This is so Brilliant! You spray your favorite essential oil based Poo Pourri into the toilet before you go and it acts as a barrier to help keep your bathroom smelling good! It really works, honest! I keep one in my purse and in our bathroom.

Healthcare/Natural Medicine:

  • Alpha CF Homeopathic liquid is lactose free and is what I use at the first sign of a cold or flu and it usually gets rid of it right away or at least shortens the duration to a few days instead of a few weeks. Available at health food stores, you may have to special order the liquid form.
  • Occiliccocinum homeopathic cold and flu, Walgreens, CVS and healthfood store. Pellets contain lactose so either dilute a dose in water and only take a teaspoon or find the Alpha CF liquid.
  • Deep Lung is great for respiratory infections.
  • Chestal Homeopathic Cough Medicine with honey, health food stores and CVS and Walgreens.
  • Yin Chao Chinese Medicine for colds that start with a sore throat is great.
  • High Dose Vitamin C Meyers Cocktail Infusion through an IV drip or push by a naturopathic doctor. http://www.naturopathic.org or wwwCalND.com in CA. This saves me every Christmas/Winter, including this week!

Books:

  • Can’t go to Italy this year read, Dolce di Love By Lynch
  • for Humor and belly laughs read Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
  • go to http://www.hayhouse.com for many inspirational and spiritual books, audio books and DVD’s for adults and children
  • Listen to shows on:
  • http://www.HayHouseRadio.com

Games:

  • Kids and Adults: Simon, an electronic game that lights up and tests your memory. Can be played with 2-4 people
  • Adults: Rummikub, a game with tiles and numbers. Good mental challenge and fun.

 

Clothing:

  • Nomads Organic Clothing, this Canadian company uses all organic fabrics made from hemp, soy, bamboo and cotton. It feels so good on and will not disrupt your hormones or endocrine system and it’s great for the environment. A win-win-win! Just wish they did not make them in China. Sometimes you have to compromise. These clothes feel really soft and warm; and look stylish.                                   Available at https://nomadshempwear.com
  • Synergy Organic Clothing, mostly cotton, made in Nepal. Stores in Santa Cruz and San Francisco and available online http://synergyclothing.com
  • Smart Wool Socks, wool that doesn’t itch and keeps your toes and feet warm in the coldest weather! They also make runners socks-breathable and cushiony! Available at The Sock Shop and online http://www.smartwool.com

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Healthy, Happy New Year filled with wonderful food, friends, family and goodies that improve your health and life! Love and Blessings to all! Please Comment and share with us your favorite  Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegan, Organic food, things & products.

Be Well and Thrive into your Dreams! 

Alternatives to Milk!

Almond/Hazelnut Milk: High in Calcium! Water and almonds or hazelnuts blended together and used as a milk substitute. Unsweetened, Plain Rice Milk or Soy Milk can be used as a substitute if you are allergic to nuts. Buy organic almonds because they are heavily sprayed with pesticides. I prefer to make my own almond milk, but companies such as Blue Diamond and Pacific Foods make a good unsweetened version. Be sure to use the unsweetened, plain or vanilla flavor. Available at Whole Foods Market, health food stores, Trader Joe’s or online at Blue Diamond.

Almonds are very nutritious and the least acidic of all nuts. They are high in magnesium, manganese, copper, arginine, potassium, vitamins E and B2, fiber and tryptophan. They also contain high amounts of monounsaturated fat, which reduces the risk of heart disease. Almonds provide a high level of energy to our bodies. No wonder why they are often in trail mix!

Almonds come in both sweet and bitter. The sweet is most palatable. The bitter is used to make liqueurs and almond oil/extract. Raw organic almonds are the healthiest form. Nuts have an enzyme inhibitor, which make them difficult to digest. However, if you soak the raw almonds in fresh water for 12 hours and then drain them, this will break down the inhibitor making them much easier to digest. This process does make the texture a bit softer. If you are an advocate of eating raw, eat them as is-which is the healthiest. If you really need that crunch, you can heat them in a 350 degree oven until golden brown and crunchy again. For flavor, sprinkle with fine sea salt or spray with tamari (wheat-free soy sauce).

See recipe of the week page on this blog site for Fried Chicken using Almond Milk in place of Buttermilk! Learn to make your own Almond Milk too!

Hemp Milk, Sunflower Milk and Flaxseed Milk are all good too. See article on dairy alternatives for more information.

Nuts about Coconuts!

Have you ever had the pleasure of eating a fresh Thai coconut? The first time I enjoyed one was in Costa Rica, and I thought I was in heaven. It has a sweet, soft, gelatinous flesh surrounded by refreshingly clear water with the exotic taste of coconut! Delicious!

Did you know coconuts have lots of health benefits?

Coconut milk: Coconut milk is the combination of coconut water and coconut oil. Light is available which has half the fat and calories of regular. Coconut water is very hydrating due to naturally occurring electrolytes, enzymes and vitamins; and is used in place of blood plasma in some countries. The water filters itself through the tree for nine months which makes it a sterile source of hydration. Coconut milk contains No Trans fat or cholesterol, and actually helps to balance cholesterol levels. Some sources recommend it be eaten in moderation, and others say it’s abundant with healthy properties including breaking up accumulated fats in the system and metabolize them. This oil contains the highest amount of lauric acid next to mother’s milk, which is anti-viral and anti-microbial! See website links for more information.

Coconut oil: Coconut oil is a raw saturated fat containing mostly medium-chain fatty acids, which the body can metabolize efficiently and convert to energy quickly. The refined coconut oil has a more neutral flavor than the unrefined which has a distinctive coconut flavor. See website links for more information.

According to recent scientific studies coconut can be beneficial for heart disease,lower cholesterol is anti-microbial/anti-viral.

http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/coconut-oil-studies.html

Another publshised articles shows that coconut is rich in antioxidants/anti-aging, promotes thyroid function, promotes weight loss and protects against cancer.

http://www.aja.org.br/oleos/coconut_oil_good_saturated_fat.pdf

Many recipes contain coconut milk in my cookbook, No Wheat No Dairy No Problem, available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com in mid-June 2009.  See Recipe of the week on this blog site for a Strawberry/Fruit Smoothie containing coconut milk!

Enjoy and Be Well, Lauren