Probiotic Parfait – aka “Flatten Your Belly Dessert”

How many foods can actually make the claim that not only do they taste sinfully rich and delicious but they will also flatten your tummy? I thought soo….but this really does it – additionally it will add luster to your hair, help digestion, clear toxins, support your thryoid and stop aging…too good to be true? Not at all….

Take:

  • meat from 5-6 young thai coconuts
  • 6 probiotic capsules (be sure they include l-plantarum
  • bit of coconut sugar (optional)

Add the above to a high speed blender with 4-6 oz of the coconut water (the texture should be thick and creamy – think heavier than yogurt but not as thick as greek yogurt).  Pour into glass mason jar, secure lid and leave in warm place (ideally 70-75 degrees) for 8-12 hrs (the longer will product a tartier mix {yes, tartier is a word – it means extra tart!})  Layer in parfait glasses with berries….and Enjoy (ummm, how could you NOT?)Image

Superfoods to The Rescue

According to Wikipedia:

SUPERFOOD is the term sometimes used to describe food with high pyhtonutrient content that may confer health benefits as a result”

While this term has become a catch phrase for most “healthy” foods, the REAL SUPERFOODS are items that are more nutrient dense than the average.  I see the word “SUPERFOOD” being thrown around more and more.  As a society we’ve come soo far from what we view as food that the items that our ancestors ate daily (think grandparents – not that far back in time!!) are relegated to something “special.”  I’ve seen foods such as spinach, berries, mushrooms and even on occasion something like turkey(?), “whole grain” bread (??) or  red meat (???) with the overly used attachment of SUPERFOOD! In my opinion – with the exception of the bread, turkey & meat – these are everyday foods that we SHOULD be consuming! Fruits – such as berries and tomatoes or vegetables like kale, cabbage, onions and garlic should be part of a healthy well-rounded diet. Yes – they are chock full of vitamins & minerals but they aren’t the superstars that real & trueSUPERFOODS are. Most likely you’re not seeing the supefoods I’m speaking of in your corner grocery store! While they aren’t difficult to come by you will probably have to go to your local health food store or Whole Foods.  These foods are “AMAZING” they are really super nutrient dense, usually have multi healing purposes and also taste great!! As true superfoods are soo potent, many times the smallest dose is needed – little bit goes a long way – so no need to go gung ho.  My top picks for SUPERFOODS are:

1.  Goji Berries – jam packed full of nutrients; great source of protein as they contain 18 amino acids, including the 8 “essential” in addition to 21 trace minerals, TONS of beta carotene (more than carrots), vitamin C (more than oranges!), vitamins B1, B2, B6, vitamin E and IRON (more than a serving of steak). Strengthens the immune system touted as an anti – aging tonic in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Its high ORAC value also means that it protects our cells from oxidative damage (aka: free radicals) – All of this in a small handful/day!

2.   Bee Pollen – This very concentrated low calorie “Food of the Gods” is loaded with Vitamins C & E making it a great choice for immune enhancement. Excellent source of Calcium, Iron, Potassium & Zinc and an especially rich source of B vitamins.  In addition to having a good amount of enzymes which assists with food digestion and mineral absorption, the  amino acids found in Bee Pollen control hunger, build muscle and burn calories. Also used to prevent acne & wrinkles and eliminates toxins.

3.   Raw Honey – A true healing superstar that is anti bacterial, anti viral AND anti inflammatory.  This liquid gold considered to be natures “multi vitamin” containing all the B vitamins, vitamin c and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, sulphur and phosphate. Boosts energy, fights infections, colds, soothes stomach, is a natural calming agent. The most common use for raw honey is to defend against seasonal allergies.

4.   Chia Seeds/Oil – Tiny little seeds that delivers lots of results!!  Balances blood sugar and excellent source of Omega 3’s (more than salmon!). Seeds are a source of plant based protein, high in fiber, calcium, magnesium & zinc (among other minerals).  They also keep you hydrated and fill you up!

5.  Spirulina & Chlorella –  Super GREEN, superstar Micro Algae – the benefits of both of these are truly astounding. A few noteworthy ones are: ounce per ounce spirulina contains twelve times the digestible protein of beef and 300x’s the RDA of vitamin B12!! And phytochemicals found in chlorella can actually rebuild nerve damage in the brain and nervous system!! Spirulina & Chlorella are used to treat AND even reverse: hypoglycemia, arthritis, depression, liver damage, high blood pressure, inflammation and asthma just to name a few.  Both proven to detoxify, heal and alkalize the body.

6.  Sea Vegetables – The healing benefit of seaweeds have long been known by coastal cultures. Sea vegetables contain 10-20 times the vitamins and minerals of land vegetables. The minerals are available in chelated colloidal form that make them bio-available. Excellent source of Iodine and Vitamin K, loaded with anti inflammatory, anti cancer, anti thrombotic, anti coagulant and anti viral properties. Highly beneficial against female estrogen related cancers.

7.  Coconut Oil – Once given a bad rap for being a saturate fat, coconut oil is finally being praised for its multipurpose, health enhancing benefits such as hair & skin health, stress relief, maintain cholesterol levels, weight loss and thyroid support, high blood pressure, diabetes and even HIV and cancer! The natural anti bacterial, anti viral, anti microbial and anti fungal owe much of its healing powers is due to Lauric Acid, Capric Acid and Caprylic Acid.

8.  Quinoa – Ancient Incan food that is frequently mislabeled a grain but is actually a SEED!  Amino acid rich, complete protein with a mild, nutty flavor that has been proven to be beneficial against migraine headaches due to its high riboflavin content. A true “whole grain” filled with fiber with lots of versatility – perfect sweetened with dried fruit for breakfast or spiced up for dinner. Light in flavor with high protein and fiber – a great combination that will fill you up without weighing you down.

Cleanses & Detox 101

Spring has arrived. It’s the time of year when people are compelled to open their windows wide, clear out the cobwebs, and let the sun shine in. It’s also “crunch” time, with summer beckoning around the corner, it’s time to peel off the heavy layers of winter and show some skin. While you’re lightening up your wardrobe – how about lightening up your body? Get rid of the pale staleness that has been holding you back the past few months. Time to CLEANSE &DETOX! Detox diets, juice fasts, and cleanses – everywhere you turn around they seem to be the words on everyone’s lips. What are they? What’s the real deal? You’ll find all the answers in my quick cleanse and detox primer.

Why Spring?
 
Spring is generally thought of as the optimal time to detox as according to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) it’s the season of the major detoxification organs of the liver and gallbladder. Just as the seasons have cycles, so does the body. After a cold overindulgent winter of hibernating we generally yearn to get outside, exercise a bit more and choose lighter foods such as fruits and greens. It’s the perfect time to kick it up a bit and renew your health as the earth renews itself.
Are cleanses and detoxes just the newest fad?
 
NO!! While it may be the HOT new thing with juice bars and detox delivery services popping up all over the place the concept of fasting, cleansing and detox if far from new! Cleansing has been a long established health and wellness practice around the globe!
  • 4th Century BC – Hippocrates  aka “Father of Medicine” recommends periodic fasting to cleanse and rest the digestive tract
  • 16th Century – Paracelsus, a renowned physician – called fasting the “Greatest remedy, the physician within”
  • In India yogis and Ayurvedic practitioners have always promoted the health benefits of internal cleansing
  • In North America Native Americans utilized detoxifying sweat lodges
  • Europeans have undergone colonics and sauna sessions for centuries
Cleansing today:
 
So why do people cleanse? Because chemical-laden processed foods, environmental pollution, and everyday stress have taken their toll on our bodies.
  • TWO BILLION pounds of chemicals are released into the environment every year
  • There are over 80,000 chemicals currently used in the US that haven’t been regarded as safe. They are used in our skincare and cosmetic products and end up in our food and water! NOT GOOD!
The impact? To stay healthy we need to keep our bodies running at peak performance. A body bogged down with waste and toxins cannot accomplish its natural daily detoxification. Compliments of our environment and poor choices, we now have bodies that are soo overburdened and overwhelmed with toxins they can’t perform their functions. Nowadays, it’s not only essential to clear out the existing toxins but to implement a protocol to eliminate the toxins we come in contact with.
How to implement cleansing:
  • Cleansing Diet – This one while may not seem simple to some people, it is the one we have most control over – eliminate toxic foods. To start, choose only ORGANIC and UNPROCESSED foods. Next begin to add in foods that naturally have detoxification properties – obviously fruits and veggies will be high on the list, but topping it would be GREENS. Gorgeous, brilliant, life giving greens! Loaded with chlorophyll, antioxidants and bursting with nutrients! Top cleansing ones would be bitter greens like kale, dandelion (superstar liver detoxifier), arugula, mustard greens, and chards. Going back to Spring as being the time to cleanse the liver, add lots of liver supporting foods like beets, artichoke, garlic and lemon. Eliminate processed, cooked fats what “sludge” up the liver & body – choose only organic, cold pressed fats.
  • Juice Fasting  – My favorite way to kick start a cleanse is with a 3 day juice fast. Not only does this rest the digestive system and allow quick intake of nutrients but it can also loosen toxins to get them out of the body for good! I recommend following a juice fasting program with an intense week of cleansing diet (lots of greens, healthy fats and organic, natural protein sources to usher the wastes away)
  • Super-Powered Nutrition – Start taking a few superfood green powders – chlorella, wheatgrass, barley grass, and spirulina are all great choices to give your body a nice “internal scrub”
  • Treat Your Body as a Temple – This should go without saying but try to imprint this one in your mind!! Fresh air, exercise and using only natural, chemical free products on your body will go a long way. What you put on your body is as important as what you put in your body!