Halloween & Candy!

 

Happy Halloween! Sweet Treats without the sugar blues!

I have fond memories of trick or treating as a child and big hayride Halloween parties at school. Honesty, I really am not a fan of this holiday, but dressing up and eating sweets is a lot of fun!

If you are a parent, or human, you know that sugar blues that come after sugar highs can be really horrific! We know so much more about sugar these days and how it adversely affects our health. To name a few, Diabetes is a huge epidemic, and sugar is very hard on the pancreas, causes skin breakouts, cavities, mood swings, addiction, disease and more. None of the aforementioned are going to make us feel good and thrive in our lives.

So, you know me….I have a solution to this problem! I have lots of recipes and sweeteners you can use in your favorite recipes to transform them into a healthier, and tasty treat. A friend of mine says, you are not “treating” yourself when you eat something that harms your wellbeing, you are “mistreating” yourself! So true.  Go to my Recipes Page and get my kid-approved recipes that are a range of white sugar alternatives to sugar-free!

Psss, I am going to let you in on my secret of the week….I am making a Pumpkin Pie with Stevia Sweetener(www.ThriveMarket.com)  or coconut palm sugar, and I will enjoy it for breakfast! I will top it with coconut milk whipped cream! Husband, if you are reading this….I will save you some! ;P

Store bought candy. No time or interest in making your own treats? 

As a child, I loved Rolo carmel candies! I found some even better chococlate chewy caramels called Amelia, and they also make a dairy-free/Gluten-free, white sugar free version that will melt in your mouth as you are transported to Heaven!  If you like a soft carmel, and not so chewy, try Cocomels, which have coconut milk. My second favorite was Almond Joy, well I found a nut-free, dairy-free and gluten-free candy bar with coconut filling and a dark chocolate coating called OCHO(does contain organic cane sugar). Lily’s vegan stevia sweetened chocolate chips and bars are delicious. I buy all of these candies at local Health Food Stores and Thrive Market.

There are also sugar free lollipops at local health food stores that are good and without artificial dyes! Please avoid candy with artificial dyes as they cause many harmful neurological reactions in kids and adults. I have seen numerous children’s severe symptoms disappear when they are taken off all foods that contain artificial colors, dyes, sweeteners and flavors. I have even seen them taken off of Ritalin! There is always a reason for symptoms and behavior. You just need to care enough to figure it out and find experts to help you.

Note on Sweeteners: please do not use the stuff in pink or blue packets, it’s toxic and harmful to your health. Diet soda is the worst. Some of these artificial sweeteners are made from the same ingredient as ant poison!!!! YES! Try stevia sweetened soda called Zevia or Kevita Coconut Water Kefir which tastes like bubbly soda, and has probiotics. I like the pomegranate and Lime Mojito Kevita, black cherry Zevia the best. I did not like Dr. Pepper as a kid, but love the Dr. Zevia! If these are too sweet, cut them with sparkling water! I like Grolsteiner best b/c it tastes great, high in minerals and is in glass!

Soda:

Kid’s in my summer cooking camps loved Zevia! For the past 6 years I’ve been getting kids off soda by dipping a 1/4 cup measuring cup into a container of white sugar and asking them if they would pour it down their throat all at once! They all freaked out and unanimously replied, “NO WAY”! I enlightened them by telling them that a 12 ounce can of soda has that much sugar and a Big Gulp had double, 1/2 cup! Please share this with your kids, relatives and friends. Soda is one of the main reasons the kids are overweight along with the rise in diabetes and many other diseases.

In our camps we used 8 drops of flavored liquid Stevia by Sweet Leaf(variety of flavors including Root beer, Cola and Raspberry), and added it to sparkling water from glass bottles(avoiding harmful toxins in plastic bottles) and walah, you have homemade sugar-free soda that is bubbly and sweet which is what most of us love in a soda! Try this and let us all know how it goes/went! Caution: too much stevia will become quite bitter so, start slowly and add one drop at a time. Stevia is 250-300 times sweeter than sugar and is made from a leaf of a tree grown in South America.

Another sugar-free sweetener I like is Lakanto Monkfruit w/Erythritol which is ideal for people with SIBO or Candida, however some people do experience cramping, so eat it in moderation. Xylitol is great for teeth, but new research is showing that it can destroy good gut bacteria!

I still love coconut palm sugar as a 1 to 1 substitute for white sugar. White sugar is not only inflammatory, but also is bleached and often sifted through bones, so not vegan! YUCK! Have fun trying these sugar alternatives. Remember natural Real Maple Syrup is a good choice and local raw honey is also good.  If you are experiencing gas, bloating and burping seek a Naturopathic Doctor who will know how to cure it. In California go to www.CalND.org and elsewhere go to www.Naturopathic.org

Naturopathic Medicine saved my life and was able to diagnose me properly and treat me naturally with success! BTW, my husband is a Naturopathic Doctor. I am so grateful for him and Naturopathic Medicine which has been working well for years!

If you want to feel like you are back in college, get your teens or Mom’s together and go to my Video page and get educated about sugar by Dr. Lustig’s talk, “The Bittersweet Truth about Sugar”! It will blow your mind. Please share it. This can save our lives and the one’s we love. Sending you all love and hugs so you can Thrive living the life you dreamed!

Be safe and have fun! Snack Safely has a list of safe snacks that are gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free, but do read ingredients and choose wisely. Just because it is free of what you are avoiding doesn’t mean it is good for you!

Get your FREE Recipes on the Recipe Page on this blog!

Happy Halloween with good Treats! Boo!

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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!