Friday, June 26, 2009

The Best Things in Life are Green

Last night, it came to my mind that the most healing, nourishing & soothing foods, beverages & herbs were green in color:
-Green Tea
-Leafy Greens
-Spirulina
-Green Clay
-Green Smoothies
-Seaweeds
-Nourishing herbs/weeds: stinging nettle, dandelion, plantain, purslane...etc

Green is the quintessential color of Nature and I believe that beyond appreciating this particular color (in all its shades) for its beauty and radiance, green color also speaks to our body and soul on more subtle levels (energetic/auric, your mood and to the subconscious).

Not to mention that chlorophyll is very close to human blood.

So next time you eat something green, notice how you feel...

Friday, June 19, 2009

About Becoming Less Dependent On Tomatoes...

I know that technically speaking, we should be buying tomatoes only during the Summer which is when the traditionally grow. But tomatoes is one of those veggies that I buy pretty much all year long.

Yet, even during tomato season - which is now- and at the farmers market (where produce is usually more affordable) the price for 1 pound of good, flavorful, organic tomatoes is about $4! While I can get a bag of 3-4 zucchinis (another favorite veggie of mine) for $1.

I started a couple cherry tomatoes plants (from seed) in containers which are growing a little slow lately but I expect to harvest my heirloom tomatoes by the end of the Summer. Meanwhile, I'd like to start buying & using a minimal amount (since I can use up to 2 pounds a week, these are becoming a luxury item).

I've seen people on other blogs use pumpkin puree or butternut squash puree as a substitute for tomato sauce. I tried it ounce, it wasn't bad. Here too, technically speaking, I should be waiting for the Fall but canned pumpkin/squash puree can be found quite easily and I also find butternut squashes in grocery stores (a pumpkin or squash stored properly can last up to 1 year after the harvest).

I also read that all squashes (pumpkins included) can be eaten raw. I have only tried raw cucumber and raw zucchini so far. I suppose that a thinly sliced squash would be a nice addition to a salad. The other option would be to diced the squash, steam it and let it cool before serving.

Of course other uses for pumpkins/squashes include soups, puddings, cakes, desserts, quiches, breads, pancakes...etc. So I believe that they are a valid substitute for tomatoes (not to forget that tomatoes are nightshades and that I usually don't digest nightshades too well).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Understanding The Keys To Health

Another great post by the Food Renegade!
It's good to be reminded that it's not the bacteria that make us sick but our poor food choices & lifestyle that weaken our immune system.
http://www.foodrenegade.com/understanding-the-keys-to-health/

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mondays in the Kitchen...

I have decided to stop posting my gluten free meal plannings (at least for now).
I'll still plan ahead because I noticed that it makes my life easier (except last week, I had to make quite a few changes) and my grocery expenses are now lower than my food budget.
I will still post recipes, links and cookbook references (I plan to write a post just about my favorite healing cookbooks...There are some unknown or lesser known gems out there).

This week, I'd like to:
-Make some carrot butter/spread (recipe from "The Self-Healing Cookbook" by Kristina Turner)
-Bake a grain-free & nut free butternut squash kugel (recipe from "Pesach-Anything's Possible!" by Tamar Ansh)...I never baked a kugel before so I'm looking forward to trying this recipe.
-Experiment with a grain-free white bean bread (I'm not big on beans since they are hard to digest, but I like the taste & texture of cannellini beans)
-Find the time to prepare some broth at last!
-Prepare some homemade sauerkraut with the raw milk whey I have left in the fridge.

Here's a simple dessert recipe that I like that requires few ingredients and little time:

Nut/Seed Milk Crème
(2 to 4 servings)

Ingredients:
1 cup homemade unsweetened nut/seed milk
3 tbsp sweet potato flour
1 tbsp nut/seed butter
1 tbsp maple syrup

Pour milk in a saucepan and heat on medium heat.
Whisk in the sweet potato flour until lump free.
Let the milk thicken, then add the nut/seed butter and maple syrup.
Stir until homogeneous.
Pour the creme into ramekins. Enjoy warm or cold (refrigerate).
Feel free to customize this recipe with your own ingredients.

Friday, June 12, 2009

About Hypoglycemia...

I've been suffering from hypoglycemia since my childhood (with fainting episodes - remaining unconscious for several minutes). Everybody I know made it look like it was nothing serious and that I just needed to have some sugar or a sweet treat and it'll pass. So that's what I did for many years.
Several years ago, a friend of my grandmother died after falling into a coma because she couldn't reach for some sugar before passing out. And since she lived alone, nobody noticed what happened right away (reason why she fell into a coma). When I learned that, I suddenly acknowledged that hypoglycemia wasn't just a benign condition after all.
I've been gluten free for 3 years (for health reasons), and I've noticed that my hypoglycemia has improved tremendously. Before that I had the episodes were happening more often and I was starting to get more anxious, even aggressive...I knew this wasn't right.
My journey through food & health has brought me being simply gluten free to SCD, GAPS, the Paleo Diet and Nourishing Traditions. I also recently stumbled on books saying that sugar is bad for hypoglycemics.
So I figured that I'd try giving up sugars or at least have minimal amounts. I was worried that it's make things worse...In fact, it's quite the contrary, I feel much better! My body uses the sugars stored instead of having sugar overload. I'm even aware nor that my liver and digestive system feel cranky & irritated when I have a little too much sugars, and this happen with GF grains too.
The only sugars I have now are from eating fruits and maybe a few root vegetables. I manage to drink my tea without sweetener, except for mornings and evenings when I add 1 tsp of coconut palm sugar (a natural & sustainable sweetener with very low glycemic index).
I stay away from anything refined and artificial sweeteners which are true poisons for your body and your brain.
Hypoglycemia is often called the other sugar disease. I read that about 60% of hypoglycemics become diabetics. I have decided that it won't happen to me because I take responsibility for my own health.

So what works for me?
-Lots a vegetables (including leafy greens) , raw or cooked.
-Some protein at every meal (with good fats) whether grass-fed meat, wild caught fish, pasture poultry & eggs, raw cheese or nuts.
-Raw dairy products (I make my own yogurt).
-Grain-free breads made of coconut flour, almond flour or other nut/seed flours (it's best to grind your own).
-Fruits: raw, stewed or cooked in dessert (in this case I use minimal amounts of natural sweeteners such as maple syrup, honey, agave syrup or coconut sugar).
-I'm cutting off the GF grains since they seem to irritate me. So I eat them in small amounts and plan to eat them rarely and properly prepare: soaked, fermented or sprouted. I usually only enjoy them in simple foods like porridge, soaked pancakes and crepes.
-Nuts & seeds in various forms: milks, butters, paleo cookies, "granolas", breads...
-Surprisingly I don't crave chocolate anymore (only on rare occasions)!
-Nourishing herbal infusions.
-Homemade fermented fruits and drinks.

So I'm now gluten free, yeast free, nearly grain free, starch free and sugar free ;)!

Things you need to know:
-Carbs & starches once ingested, transform into sugars which are stored in your body as fats!
Grains are fillers but they only "fill" you temporarily; you'll get hungry for more soon enough...
-Good fats (not vegetable oils but animal fats, grass-fed/raw butter, coconut oil, nut/seed oils, olive oil) once ingested transform into glucose which is use by your body and not stored as fats!
-Sugars block the absorption of necessary minerals for your teeth!
-Eat nourishing foods and your body will get all the nutrients it needs for good health and healing! If you get too little nutrients, these will go to the most important/vital organs in your body to the detriment of your teeth and bones!
-Eating non-pasteurized foods won't make you sick...On the contrary! Your body will benefit from good bacteria that will strengthen your immune system and make you less prone to sickness.
-By eating nourishing & properly prepared foods, you'll get more energy!

From my own experience:
-When I stay grain, starch & sugar free, my body fat percentage goes down (as I'm using the sugars and fats already stored in my body). When I reintroduce these, my body fat percentage goes back up.
-When I eat a variety of vegetables with some protein, it gets me going for hours without hunger or low blood sugar. Sometimes my belly needs to remind me that I should have a snack, but my energy level remains about the same.
-When I eat grains & veggies but no protein...I get hungry a few hours later to the point that I need to eat something before I sleep otherwise I won't be able to sleep and will need to get up in the middle of the night to eat something.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

NUTRITION FOR A NEW ECONOMY

Note that I'm not a fan of using supplements unless really needed.
I believe that all the vitamins and minerals your body needs are naturally found in food & herbs and that with a proper, nutrient-rich diet you don't need supplements.
Also a lot of commercial supplements are not from a natural source which means that your body can't absorb them.
http://www.primalbody-primalmind.com/blog/?p=1

Top 10 Worst Nutritional & Dietary Mistakes People Make

http://www.primalbody-primalmind.com/top10-nutritional-mistakes.html

Monday, June 08, 2009

Nourishing Gluten Free Meal Planning

MONDAY
B: Coconut flour bread (from "Cooking with Coconut Flour" by Bruce Fife) with stewed berries & filmjolk yogurt
D: Broccoli quiche with raw cheese
>Make beet kvass
>Bake Neanderthin paleo cookies (from "Neanderthin" by Ray Audette)
>Prepare a nourishing herbal infusion

TUESDAY
B: Toasted & crumbled paleo cookie "granola" with filmjolk & fruits/berries
D: Shepherd's pie with mashed cauliflower crust
>Thaw ground beef
>Bake coconut milk pudding
>Soak pine nuts

WEDNESDAY
B: Coconut milk pudding with fruits
D: Sweet potato gnocchis (adapted from "The Gluten-Free Italian Cookbook" by Mary Capone) with oven roasted chicken drumsticks
>Make pine nut milk
>Thaw chicken
>Bake almond flour bread (slice & freeze for later)

THURSDAY
B: Smoothie with nut milk or yogurt
D: Rustic almond flour pizza with side of veggies or salad
>Make chicken stock
>Prepare nourishing herbal infusion

FRIDAY
B: Leftover coconut milk pudding with fruits/berries
D: Oven roasted root vegetables with grilled salmon & salad greens
>Bake bean brownies (cut & freeze for later)

SATURDAY
B: Almond flour bread with yogurt & artisan strawberry jam
L: Omelet with greens/veggies & raw cheese
D: TBD
>Soak GF oats overnight with yogurt

SUNDAY
B: Overnight muesli with yogurt, nuts & fruits/berries
L: TBD
D: TBD

Friday, June 05, 2009

Bonny Clabber

As I mentioned in a previous post, I made some Bonny Clabber.
Since it was my first attempt, I figured that I'd try with a small quantity of raw milk (2 cups).
I found some more info on how to make clabbered milk in "Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection" by Jessica Prentice, except that I didn't add any salt to mine.
It takes about 1 to 4 days for the milk solids to separate from the whey. I expected to obtain 1 cup of clabbered milk and 1 cup of whey, which was about right.
The milk started to separate last night but I wanted to wait until this morning to strain it.
Clabbered milk looks like soft, creamy cottage cheese (in the book, the author says that you can keep it for 7 days in the fridge). It is traditionally eaten with molasses and spices, since I don't like molasses (maybe it's a cultural thing, people don't use molasses in France), I'll try to honey or maple syrup instead.
I also kept the raw milk whey in the fridge for later use (I read somewhere that you can keep whey for 6 months; I doubt that 1 cup of whey will last me that long). I'm very interested in trying Beet Kvass, both with red and yellow beets...Maybe I'll try next week ;).

Gluten Free-Paleo-SCD Rustic Pizza Crust

I tried a few variations of this recipes but this one seems to be my favorite ;).

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup almond flour/meal, preferably freshly ground (for savory recipes, I usually prefer using the non-blanched variety...It also gives a more rustic look to the crust)
  • 2 tbsp chestnut flour
  • 1 tbsp flax meal, preferably freshly ground
  • 1 organic egg
  • A splash of extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Meanwhile in a bowl, sift the chestnut flour and mix it well with the almond and flax meal.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg with the oil. Then incorporate the wet mixture to the dry one.
You should have a compact, sticky dough.
Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper. Place the dough on it and cover the dough with a large piece of plastic wrap. Flatten the dough with your hands until desired result (remember this is a rustic pizza, so neither the edges nor the shape have to be perfect).
Place the baking sheet in the oven for about 8 minutes, then remove it. Flip the crust and remove the parchment paper.
Bake the other side of the now naked crust for 5-7 minutes (watch it carefully because the it can turn brown fast).
Let your crust cool a little bit, then add your favorite tomato sauce & toppings and bake the pizza until you think it's done (it usually takes an additional 5-10 minutes).
Enjoy your grain free pizza!

This recipe also makes fine crackers! Just pre-cut prior to baking...

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Nourishing Gluten Free Meal Planning

This week I would like to try making some bonny clabber. I read about it on The Nourished Kitchen. I would keep the whey for later use (for making beet kvass for example - something I haven't tried yet).
I'm still cutting on sugar/sweets and would like to try having savory breakfasts. I am ok with raw dairy, eggs, GF grains and greens but I probably won't go as far as having meat or fish for breakfast!

MONDAY
B: Overnight muesli with berries and nuts
D: Buckwheat "polenta" with seasonal vegetables and raw cheese
>Bake coconut flour bread (double the recipe and freeze slices)

TUESDAY
B: Coconut flour bread (from "Cooking with Coconut Flour" by Bruce Fife) with unsweetened applesauce and a little maple syrup
D: Swiss chard quiche
>Prepare filmjolk yogurt
>Grind fresh wild rice flour for quiche's crust
>Bake sugar-free neanderthin cookies (from "Neanderthin" by Ray Audette)

WEDNESDAY
B: Smoothie with homemade yogurt or nut/seed milk
D: Shepherd's pie with mashed cauliflower crust and side of kimchi
>Soak Scottish oats overnight

THURSDAY
B: Soaked oatmeal with raw/nut milk and blueberries
D: Rustic almond flour pizza with sauteed greens or salad
>Bake SCD cherry clafoutis

FRIDAY
B: Cherry clafoutis with homemade yogurt
D: Quinoa with oven roasted chicken drums & seasonal vegetables
>Rinse and soak quinoa in the morning
>Thaw chicken
>Defrost homemade pancakes

SATURDAY
B: Soaked buckwheat & wild rice pancakes with fruits/berries and a little maple syrup
L: Omelet with raw cheese and vegetables/greens
D: TBD
>Soak muesli overnight with yogurt

SUNDAY
B: Overnight muesli with berries and nuts
L: TBD
D: TBD

Other nourishing foods to prepare throughout the week include:
-Homemade yogurt with raw milk
-Soaked nut/seed milks
-Nourishing herbal infusions
-Broths
-Nut & GF grain flours


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