Food

How to Pick the Perfect Protein Powder

Posted by on Aug 4, 2014 in Corn Free, Gluten Free, Healthy Eating, protein shakes | 1 comment

How to Pick the Perfect Protein Powder

I get quite a few questions about protein powders. Like everyone else I had my fair share. However, what people fail to realize is whatever your body doesn’t use up, it will get stored in your fat cells. And while low carb, paleo, SCD diets are all fine, we still have to be careful of higher protein diets. See my posts on Paleo Diet Good for Most and The Positives of Paleo). I want to teach you how to choose a healthy, high quality protein powder while disclosing the truth on protein powders. I think there is a time and place for protein powders, just not every single day. I also want to educate you how to read your protein powder labels so you can make a wise decision whether or not. After posting and asking which ones are the best I want to help you better understand what to look for in a protein powder. Most are junk and full of synthetic GMO junk, but there are some other good clean brands out there. To Whey or Not Whey? You wan to buy a whey protein concentrate powder that is a high-quality whey protein. It must be cold pressed, derived from grass-fed cows, and free of GMOs, chemicals, and sugar. This type of whey protein and how it is made contains all the essential amino acids, keeps its nutrients in tact and has higher nutrient value than commercial processed protein powders. When whey protein is heat pressed, it denatures the protein. Whey protein Isolate is a denatured protein, your body cannot process this form of protein (whether soy or whey). Since isolates are heat processed, it destroys all of the amino acids needed to help your body absorb protein properly. What often happens is companies will fortify the nutrients and vitamins back into the powder often with synthetic vitamins and sweeten it with junkie sugars such as sucralose, fructose and some other sugar alcohol that ends in “ol.” If you are not sure about how the protein powder is made, call the company and ask what type of dairy they use and how do they process it. Soy? Not so much.. Soy is a very, very hard legume to digest and most of us cannot digest it. It is a close cousin to peanuts, and some who have serious peanut allergies may need to stay away from soy too. Soy is best digested when it is fermented in the forms of miso, tempeh and natto. The problem is about 95% of soy in America is mostly a GMO crop. I recall back in my more active fitness days, I would drink my strawberry soy protein shake with my soy milk thinking I was sooo healthy…all it did was make my stomach more bloated and distressed. Protein powders should be easy to digest, not cause more distress. When the body is presented with a synthetic isolate, the body may need to draw on its stores of cofactors needed to better absorb the vitamins and minerals, namely proteins, carbs, fats, bioflavonoids, and enzymes, but this is not always the case. And men, soy may decrease your libido and can cause temporary infertility because it decreases testosterone. Women, it will mess with your thyroid too because of its high estrogen content. (You can read more here on The Whole Soy Story). My opinion, stay way from all forms of soy protein powders. Pea Protein and Rice Protein Makes a Perfect Protein If you are like me you want something that is gluten, soy and dairy free, but finding  one that tastes good...

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Gluten Free Easy Oven Pancakes

Posted by on May 31, 2014 in Family Health, Food, Gluten Free, Healthy Eating, Recipes | 0 comments

Gluten Free Easy Oven Pancakes

Keine Rafflecopter-ID angegeben. :-( I love cooking, but I love baking even more. My kids are pancake kids lovers. Every. Single. Morning. And while I don’t mind making them, it is time consuming. Tina contacted me asking if she could post on of her recipes on my site. This is one of those breakfast recipes that you throw together in a bowl, mix and put in your casserole dish. These are the type of recipes I love the most. I happily agreed to put one of her recipes up and since this is the last day of Celiac Awareness Month, I wanted to share one of her recipes, Gluten Free Easy Oven Pancakes. Believe me when I say, this is easy! So make these pancakes, sit back and enjoy your morning cup of coffee. Easy Oven Pancakes • 1/2 cup high heat oil (Sunflower, Safflower, Coconut) • 6 eggs • 1 cup almond milk • 2 tsp. vanilla • 1 cup gluten-free flour • 1 tsp. baking powder • 1 tsp. salt Instructions 1. Pour the canola oil into a 13″ x 9″ casserole dish. Put it into the oven and set the temperature to 425 degrees (let the dish warm with the oven). 2. In a medium bowl, mix the 6 eggs with the almond milk and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) with a whisk. Then combine the wet and dry mixtures, whisking it to get the lumps out. 3. When the oven is preheated, carefully get the dish out and pour in the batter. Put it back in the oven, and bake for 15 minutes. 4. When the time is up, remove the dish from the oven, cut the oven pancake into squares, sprinkle cinnamon and serve with Grade B maple...

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The True Dangers of Food Dyes

Posted by on May 23, 2014 in Family Health, Food, Healthy Eating | 0 comments

The True Dangers of Food Dyes

If you have been following me for quite some time you know there are a few things that really get my blood boiling. Food dyes ranks high on my list and it really disgusts me to see how much food dyes is in our food supply. I’ve written about How to Rid Food Dyes in my Chicago Parent column and how food dyes is the chemical form of salicylates. The problem is that it is not always so obvious where food dyes are lurking. Many folks ask, why do food companies use food dyes? The main reason is because we eat with our eyes first. If it is bright, shiny and pretty we have already made up our minds to eat something before we have even tasted it. Many people including kids will not even eat green candy since it has a negative connotation to bitterness. The FDA has over and over again stated food dyes are safe for consumption even though organizations like Feingold.org has listed numerous studies stating they are indeed harming our children. Food dyes and food additives are not researched or tested before going into our food supply for safety. Scary, isn’t it? But is ok, The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permits nine different colors to be added to foods, and the agency certifies each batch for “purity and safety.” Well, the amount of dye certified has risen from 12 mg per capita, per day in 1950 to 62 mg/capita/day in 2010.  Until recently, a study published in Clinical Pediatrics reported the content scores of food dyes in breakfast cereals, candies, baked goods and other foods. Children can consume up to 300mg of food dyes in just one day alone but it can take as little as 35mg for the child to be effected. Target Mini Green Cupcakes had the highest levels of any food studied containing 55.3mg of artificial food dyes per serving. You can read more about how high your “favorite foods contain here” The Center for Science of Public Interest found several more disturbing fact regarding food dyes in our food supply and published a 50 page document discussing how food dyes effect our bodies. For example, have a child with asthma? These dyes can make symptoms worse:     The following dyes used in medicines, foods and cosmetics were recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs as being broncho-constrictors as long ago as 1985: Red No. 2 Red No. 3 Red No. 4 Yellow No. 5 Yellow No. 6 Blue No. 1 Blue No. 2 – Pediatrics. 1985 Oct;76(4):635-43 Source: Feingold.org Let’s not leave out the growing epidemic of Eczema and atopic dermatitis which links many food dyes and preservatives causing inflammation in these young and growing bodies. How else is food dyes effecting our children’s minds and bodies? ADHD/ADD/Hyperactivity/SPD often coined as “wiggly” Inability to focus/short attention span Inability to fall asleep, resists going to sleep or can’t stay asleep (disrupting dopamine and serotonin levels) Aggressive/defiant behavior (random pushing/hitting, throwing objects) Accident prone, poor coordination, looks disoriented Can alter taste and texture issues Chronic bed-wetting after potty training age and more!   If you notice any of these things (check out feingold.org) within an hour to 24 hours of consuming foods high in food dyes, then your child most likely has a sensitivity to food dyes. Yet studies show kids in Europe do not have the high rates of ADHD, eczema, Autism as the United States does and many of it is being linked to the food dyes (and food preservatives) we consume for human consumption that the...

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Chocolate Mocha Pots de Creme (Dairy Free!)

Posted by on May 8, 2014 in Corn Free, Food, Gluten Free, Recipes | 0 comments

Pots de Creme are creamy custards served in tiny cups. I came across this recipe in one of my cookbooks and it sounded and looked delicious. I changed the recipe to make it dairy free by using coconut milk instead of heavy cream and took part of the coconut milk out and used coffee. This made a wonderful dessert to top off our Easter meal, but this is an impressive, easy crowd pleaser. The nice thing is you can make this dessert two nights before and have time to focus on prepping and making your main meal. OR this is so easy to enjoy and satisfy that chocolate craving. I like to use raw cacao as it is richer in chocolate and healthier. What I liked about this dessert is that it has some protein from the eggs, some good fats from the coconut milk so you don’t have to worry about those blood sugar crashes. It is filling and satisfying.   Chocolate Mocha Pots de Créme 2 cups of coconut milk (watch for added thickeners in some canned milks) 1/2 cup of coffee (you can omit the coffee and just use coconut milk) 1/4 cup of Grade B maple syrup 1/4 cup of raw cacao (or unsweetened cocoa) pinch of salt 3 ounces of dairy free chocolate chips or 70% dark chocolate 3 eggs (local and pasture raised is best)   1. Preheat oven to 350 2. Combine coconut milk, coffee, maple syrup, cacao and salt in a sauce pan over medium heat. Cook for about 3 minutes and add chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts 3. Meanwhile lightly beat eggs in a medium glass bowl. Turn on kettle to begin boiling water 4. Gradually add 1/4 cup of hot mixture to eggs, stirring constantly with a whisk. Then add the egg mixture to the milk mixture in the pan, stirring with the whisk. 5. Pour mixture into eight 4 ounce custard cups. Place the cups in a 13 x 9 glass dish. Add hot water to the pan up to about an inch. 6. Bake for approximately 30-minutes or insert knife until center comes clean. 7. Remove cups from the pan and let them cool completely before placing in the fridge to set over night. Garnish with some chocolate shavings and enjoy!...

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Coconut Chocolate Sunbutter Energy Bars

Posted by on Feb 7, 2014 in Corn Free, Food, Gluten Free, Recipes | 4 comments

I love seeing a recipe that I can challenge especially when it was filled with gluten and refined sugar, I found a recipe in Health Magazine that challenged me and nailed it! I changed the 1/2 c of whole wheat flour to 1/3 c of coconut flour, 1 cup of brown sugar to coconut sugar, peanut butter for sunbutter, canola oil for coconut oil and came up with these filling Coconut Chocolate Sunbutter Energy Bars. Great for breakfast or for snack time at school and they are allergy friendly packed with nutrients! Coconut Chocolate Sunbutter Energy Bars 1/3 cup of coconut flour 1/2 tsp of baking soda 3/4 tsp cinnamon (or 2 drops of cinnamon oil) 2/3 cup sunbutter (or almond butter) 3/4 cup coconut sugar (or 2/3 cup of Sugarless Sugar by Now Brands) 2 large eggs at room temperature 2 TBSP coconut oil 1 tsp vanilla 1 cup of quinoa flakes 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds (optional) – I did not use 3/4 cup of dairy free chocolate chips   1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and wipe down glass dish with coconut oil 2. In a small bowl, whisk coconut flour, baking soda and cinnamon. In a large bowl mix coconut sugar and sunbutter until well combined. Beat in eggs, oil and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture and add in quinoa flakes. Stir in chocolate chips. 3. Spread in your glass dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly brown. I did make these two ways, the second time I made these bars I used all of the ingredients in the parentheses instead of the original and both sets were gobbled up in just a couple of days! Now I just need to get more quinoa flakes! Eat and Enjoy!...

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Coastal Wine Spritzer Recipe

Posted by on Dec 31, 2013 in Recipes | 3 comments

I was honored to be on ABC 7 Chicago segment called Healthy Holiday Cocktails on Sunday, December 22, and it inspired me to share one of my recipes that I use to watch those wine calories.  This is a simple recipe and you can use it to replace your sparkling flavored wine or champagne on New Year’s Eve.  What I love about this Coastal Wine from Trader Joe’s is 1.) it is $3.99 per bottle 2.) It comes from an organic and sustainable winery in Paso Robles, CA. (I just happened to visit this winery too back in October 2013). I had some left over  Peach-Pear LaCroix and came up with my Coastal Wine Spritzer Recipe.  Cheers to this healthy cocktail!   Coastal Wine Spritzer 3 oz of Sauvignon Blanc wine by Coastal 1 oz of Peach-Pear flavored LaCroix Water   And that is it folks!  I love that LaCroix has no artificial sugars or colors. It is simple, crisp and clean. It is nice to drink when you are a little tired of just plain old water.  This is especially good on a warm summer’s night sitting with good company!   I hope you will enjoy my special wine spritzer recipe!   *Cling*...

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