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

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 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 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. 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 www.hayhouse.com for many inspirational and spiritual books, audio books and DVD’s for adults and children
  • Listen to shows on:
  • 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 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!