Monday, March 24, 2014

Smart Balance is Not So Smart

Natural News reports today that Smart Balance spreads are to go non-GMO, however..." it is crucial that health-conscious folks recognize that even non-GMO Smart Balance is inferior to healthy fats like coconut oil, which contain higher levels of beneficial saturated fat, and pasture-based butter and lard for those who choose to consume animal products. Aside from its palm and coconut oil content, Smart Balance is loaded with inflammatory vegetable oils, preservatives and synthetic vitamins, none of which are health-promoting."

Learn more by reading the complete article at Mike Adams Natural News.

Purely Living readers are aware that I have read many books on cancer prevention, healinig from cancer, holistic and alternative health books, newsletters, research papers... etc.  The hydrogenated Omega 6 oils are a toxic poison to the human body, contributing to inflammation, depriving cells of oxygen...and considered to be a major proponent of disease and many of the health issues Americans face today.  Even though plant based ...the process of hydrogenation makes the end product an acidic and non-beneficial compound to ingest in the human body.

Marketing hype falsely leads us to beleive it is a "heart healthy" choice, when there could be nothing further from the truth.  Although my family is primarily dairy free..we do use organic butter when it is rarely used. Primarily, however, we simply use organic healthy fats - coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil. I can't recall the last time I used butter on something.  As in my pancake post yesterday - fruit topping is really all one needs for a spread, or for sandwiches, nothing beats my homemade guacamole!

My family ensures our Omega 3 intake by supplementing to promote overall well-being, mental, joint, and heart health with a VEGAN brand by Arbonn which is very pure and free of ocean pollution - and provides more Omega 3s than 4 salmon steaks! My husband has personally benefited and was able to get off his high cholesterol meds over 3 years ago thanks to this supplement.

Be leery of the marketed heart healthy spreads full of Omega 6, for they will most likely "get you" in the later years. Make sure your Omega 3 intake is greater than your O6, and O9. Read the link to "healthy fats" above for one of my most trusted advisors in health and nutrition - Dr. Russell Blaylock.

May you feel great, look great, and live great through healthier choices!
Rita S.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Gluten Free Teff Pancakes - The BEST pancakes ever!

The first time our daughter had these pancakes she said they were the best she had ever had. My children ask for Teff pancakes often, and my husband, who is not a fan of pancakes, even likes these particular cakes as they are not DRY, as most pancakes tend to be.  Teff pancakes are better than buckwheat, buttermilk or any of the pancakes I have grown up with.  Gluten free - these pancakes are complex carb based and with a few channges, low glycemic in regards to sugar content.  

This recipe is also DAIRY and SOY free - and therefore, it is a most satiating breakfast food for those on the elimination food plan, or those who prefer anti-inflammatory food choices.

I have made this recipe previously, but today am reposting with a few ehancements per my personal preference. I have also cut the recipe in half as I felt like I was forever making pancakes on the griddle with the original. Which is great if you have a large family or want leftover cakes on hand.

The original recipe is from Nourshing Meals and can be found in the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. If you are vegan and want to make the pancakes egg free, explore the Nourishng Meals website for Teff Banana Pancakes - on our list to try soon as well. The cookbook is one I reach for time and time again.

Today's recipe includes "raw-cooked" homemade applesauce. Inspired by Pioneer Woman, I changed it up a bit, using low glycemic coconut sugar. It was so quick and easy to make, I encourage you to make homemade applesauce for your recipe, and perhaps even for topping in lieu of high glycemic maple syrup. Another change from my orignal Teff pancake recipe shared over a year ago, this recipe  adds a splash of apple cider vinegar, which makes the pancakes lighter.

Raw Cooked Homemade Applesauce
1/2 large apple, peeled, cut into wedges
1/2 lemon, juice and set aside
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. raw coconut sugar
1 T. water

To make the applesauce, in a small blender, combine ingredients and blend until fairly smooth. Add a little bit more water at a time if needed, to desired consistency. Small bits of apple are fine.  Let this sit as the lemon juice will help "cook" the apple. Recipe makes approx. 1/2 2/3 c. of applesauce to be used in recipe below. Double the recipe if you would like to top your pancake with applesauce.

Apple-Cinnamon Teff Pancakes
Dry Ingredients:
1 cups dark brown Teff flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoons baking powder*
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
Wet Ingredients:
1 cup plain unsweetened almond mlk (we use Silk brand)
2 T. raw applesauce (recipe above)
1 large organic eggs
1 T. melted virgin coconut oil
1/2 tsp. Bragg's apple cider vinegar
1 T. coconut sugar 

Begin to heat a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Melt the coconut oil in skillet while mixing the dry ingredients, and pour into a small glass prep bowl. You will want approximately 2-3 tablespoons of melted oil. Measure coconut oil for the recipe after it as melted. You may also wish to set your oven to the lowest setting, as this is how I keep pancakes, and plates, warm until all are ready to be served.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium-sized mixing bowl. It is important to blend the dry ingredients well before addng wet ingredients.   In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients together with a whisk, and slowly pour into the dry ingredients, blending well.

With heat set to medium, coat your skillet with coconut oil prior to each cake, if needed. Use a 1/2 cup measure, or soup ladle, to pour the batter onto the pan. Cook for 60 to 90 seconds on one side. As the pancake batter starts to bubble, and edges appear dry,  flip and cook for 30 seconds more. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of oil in between pancakes. Adjust the cooking temp as needed. These pancakes cook up fast so you may want to monitor the temperature, and lower as needed.  Don't be distracted by other tasks.

I mix my pancake batter in the 8 cup stainless steel mixing bowl from Pampered Chef. I love the rubber grip on the bottom.  As the batter is near the end, because the bowl has a pour spout, I can use a rubber spatula to pour all remaining batter on to the griddle. The last pancake always tends to be a bit larger than the rest.

Recipe makes six 6-7" pancakes.

Teff flour has become one of my most favorite gluten free flours, and I will be certain to never let my pantry run out. The grain orignates from Ethiopia and is high in calcium, and vitamin C, which is rare in a grain.  High in resistant starch, the fiber of Teff can help manage blood-sugar, weight control and colon health. If you have been a long time reader of my health journey, you will understand why ALL of those benefits would be of great personal interest to me. You can learn more about Teff from the Whole Grain Council.
Here is to feeling great, looking great, and living great...which is how we can feel when we focus on a lifestyle focused on plant based foods and consumer products that are pure, safe and beneficial.
Rita S.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Honey Whole Grain Gluten Free Bread

I am pleased to announce that I have adapted a recipe originally found in my Whole Life Nutrtion cookbook for our bread maker. We have had our bread maker stored away for several years, since we adopted a primarily gluten free lifestyle.

I have no pictures, yet, as my family and our friends made this bread disappear quickly. It is many thumbs up above anything we have bought at a gluten free specialty bakery.

Honey Whole Grain Bread
Blend dry ingredients with whisk or wooden spoon:
1 c. sweet sorghum flour
½ c. tapioca flour
½ c. almond flour
½ c. Teff flour
¼ c. arrowroot powder
1 ½ t. xanthum gum
1 t. sea salt
½ t. baking soda

Lightly whisk wet ingredients:
1 ½ c. warm water (100 to 110 degrees F)
1 t. whole cane sugar
¼ c. honey or organic agave nectar

1 pkg. active dry yeast (or 2 ¼ tsp.)

Follow individual bread maker instructions for order of ingredients.
This recipe follows West Bend instructions.
Place wet ingredients into bread maker pan. Add blended dry ingredients on top of liquid. Make well in center, add yeast.

Place into breadmaker.
Select settings:
·         2 lb.
·         Basic
·         Light Crust

When signal alert is heard, check to ensure additional dry flour is not needed, or liquid. Add sorghum flour if necessary.
Enjoy this bread fresh, or toasted with a bit of organic butter and sprinkle of cinnamon.  I have not tried making this without honey yet, but I plant to do so for a lower glycemic bread recipe.

To your health,
Rita S.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Do You Want to Lose Weight AND Lose Your Mind?

Recent reports on toxins and trace metals in popular, and trusted, protein  powder brands have been mind blowing.  Some not so surprising, but for Beach fans, this report may be shocking. I have long been of the mindset that although expensive, this brand was of very high quality because the company does avoid artificial ingredients and visible ingredients were beneficial.  Purity of a product, however, is not something that can always be seen. Manufacturers are not required to add trace metal PPMs to their labels, yet, these metals do affect our well being, and long term memory.
More surprising is what Dr. Oz lists as "safe" protein powders. Safe by whom? The manufacturers who produce them? Apparently Consumer Labs is  missing the mark, citing proteins with acceptable trace metals but not taking into account other ingredients that contribute to alzheimers, dementia, heart disease and more.
Reviewing the ingredients of the supposed safe powders you will see hormone disrupting ingredients such as soy, inflammatory ingredients such as carrageenan, and GASP!!  artificial sweeteners such as ASPARTAME and SUCRALOSE!!
Really OZ?  I recommend Dr. Oz click his heels together and invite Dr. Russell Blaylock on to his show so that his viewers can be educated not only about immediate benefits of losing weight, but the longstanding benefits of having mental health. As you age certain ingredients build up in our system, which in turn takes a toll on brain heatlh. Avoiding these ingredients is just as important as avoiding trace metals.
Health Ranger Mike Adams is doing a great job of informing consumers about trace metal toxicities in not only protein powders, but processed foods as well, such as Wheaties. Mike recommends a whey protein, but for me personally - I want to ensure I am consuming primarily an alkaline diet to allow my cells to retain oxygen (fuel for life).
After much research I settled on a vegan protein shake for my family that contans NO lead, mercury, tungsten, cadmium or aluminum. Even though it is vegan it provides all BCAAs, scoring 100% on the amino acid profile. Raw organic/non GMO foods are tested for purity before cold processing. The company has been in business for 34 years and the research and development department is cutting edge, using ingredients for years that are just recently making news as being beneficial.
We have been using this protein shake brand for 4 years. It is pure, safe and beneficial for not only myself, but I trust my children's health with this brand, too. Best of all - they love the taste!
We have all become much more healthy - no Rx or OTC in our home any longer. If you would like to learn more about the brand we have come to trust for our dairy and gluten free needs, give me a shout.

To your health,
Rita S.