This incredible vegan almond butter caramel bars with a yummy, crunchy chocolate cookie base with walnuts in the middle. These bars are naturally sweetened, gluten-free, and dairy free. An awesome, guilt-free snack!!
For the cookie base:
1 ¼ cup packed super fine blanched almond flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
¼ cup raw cacao powder
3 tablespoons melted and cooled unrefined coconut oil
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (I used Trader Joes)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
For the almond butter layer or caramel layer:
3/4 cup almond butter
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup chopped walnuts
For the chocolate topping:
3/4 cup chocolate bars (I used chocolate bars with 75 to 80% cacao.)
1/2 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8″ x 8″ square pan with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl add almond flour, cacao powder, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt. Mix together with a fork until it forms a nice and thick crumb texture. Add to the pan and if needed, use your fingers to evenly press down mixture into the pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow the crust to cool for 10 minutes before adding caramel.
Sprinkle the crust evenly with the walnuts.
To make the almond butter caramel layer: In a small pot, add the almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract and sea salt and place over low to medium heat for approximately 2 minutes until caramel starts to just slightly bubble, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and pour caramel over the walnuts and crust.
Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until the almond butter mixture is completely hardened.
After 30 minutes, make the chocolate layer: Melt chocolate squares and coconut oil either in a small pot on the stove using low heat or microwave in 20 second intervals, stirring constantly until chocolate is completely melted.
Pour the chocolate over the caramel layer; tilt the pan side-to-side so the chocolate is evenly distributed. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour until chocolate is hardened and bars are completely cooled.
Remove bars from the pan and cut into 16 bars (so they look like twix bars). Note: I cut the entire pan of bars in half, then cut those in half and so on so the bars are even.
Bars should be kept covered in the fridge until ready to serve.
I like to begin each month with a quote of the month.
Quote of the Month
The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.
This month we’re going to cover time management.
Have you ever wished for a few more hours in the day? Why is it that some people seem to get everything done effortlessly and others feel that time constantly eludes them? The secret to managing your time well isn’t working more hours. It is about prioritizing the important things and learning to use the time you have more efficiently and effectively. The secret is working smarter, not harder.
Some of us, by nature, organize and get tasks out of the way before we relax, while others of us play first and work later. It is important to first recognize which type you are and whether your style is allowing you to have the life you really want. Maybe you are super-organized at work, but burned out because you don’t know how to make time for yourself. Maybe you are naturally a less organized person who knows how to relax, but you are dissatisfied because you aren’t fulfilling your goals and dreams.
Rather than labeling yourself or beating yourself up, realize that time management is an area of your life that you can strengthen. Like a new muscle, it takes practice and repetition to make it stronger. To help you get started, here are some steps to streamline your days at work and at home. Try the first one or two that jump out at you:
Allocate time for planning and organizing.
Create to-do lists that are realistic, not intimidating. Use only one to-do list.
Under-schedule your time: Leave time for the unexpected and for interruptions. When you estimate how long something will take, add on a third of that time.
Schedule your time in a way that reduces interruptions that lower your productivity.
Practice the art of intelligent neglect: Eliminate trivial tasks.
Prioritize what is most important and do that first.
Consider your biological prime time: At what time of day do you work best? Plan to do your most important work at that time.
If you say yes to everything that comes your way, learn to say no.
Ask for help and delegate.
In the evening make your to-do list for the next day, so it will be out of your brain and on a piece of paper. Leave work with a clear head and a clean desk.
Acknowledge yourself daily for all that you have accomplished.
Also take a look at the two biggest hindrances to using time effectively: procrastinating and lacking purpose. We usually procrastinate when a task seems too daunting, too large or too complex, or when we feel we won’t be able to handle it. When you get that “deer in the headlights” feeling, try “chunking”: break the large task into smaller, manageable action steps and start with the first one. We also often drag our heels or use our time inefficiently because we are bored, unengaged and uninspired. The most effective people will tell you that they love what they do and are aligned with a greater purpose. When it comes to managing your time, you may need to ask the larger questions, “Am I doing what I love to do? Am I doing something meaningful to me?”
As you strengthen your new time management muscle, keep your focus on getting organized so that you can live the life you came here for. Instead of being a chore, good time management can be your ticket to more fun, greater satisfaction and a vibrant, exciting life.
Food Focus: Root Vegetables
The roots of any plant are its anchor and foundation; they are the essential parts that support and nourish the plant. Root vegetables lend these properties to us when we eat them, making us feel physically and mentally grounded and rooted, increasing our stability, stamina and endurance. Roots are a rich source of nutritious complex carbohydrates, providing a steady source of necessary sugars to the body. Instead of upsetting blood sugar levels like refined sweet foods, they regulate them. Since they absorb, assimilate and supply plants with vital nutrients, roots likewise increase absorption and assimilation in our digestive tracts.
Long roots, like burdock, carrots, parsnips and daikon radish, are excellent blood purifiers and can help improve circulation in the body and increase mental clarity. Round roots, like turnips, radishes, beets and rutabagas, are nourishing to the stomach, spleen, pancreas and reproductive organs and can help regulate blood sugar, mood, and alleviate cravings.
Recipe of the Month: Roasted Root Vegetables
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25-35 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings
1 sweet potato
1 butternut squash
2 turnips or 1 large rutabaga
1 yellow squash
salt and pepper
herbs: rosemary, thyme or sage (fresh if possible)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Wash and chop all vegetables into large bite-sized pieces.
3. Place in a large baking dish with sides.
4. Drizzle with olive oil; mix well to coat each vegetable lightly with oil.
5. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs.
6. Bake uncovered for 25-35 minutes until vegetables are tender and golden brown, checking every 10 minutes to stir and make sure veggies are not sticking.
Note: Any combination of vegetables will work. Roasting only one kind of vegetable also makes a nice side dish.
Hey all! Been busy and haven’t had a chance to post lately. Hope you all are doing well. Hope you had an awesome summer.
Inspirational quote for the month
Nobody can give you wiser advice than yourself.
The body is an amazing source of intelligence. It is always there for you, pumping blood, never skipping a heartbeat, digesting whatever food you put in it and maintaining homeostasis. Is this reliable, intelligent bio-computer making a mistake by craving ice cream or a hamburger or chocolate? Are cravings due to lack of will-power or discipline? I’d like to suggest that cravings are not a problem. They are critical pieces of information that tell you what your body needs.
The important thing is to understand why you crave what you crave. Maybe your diet is too restrictive or void of essential nutrients. Maybe you are living a lifestyle that is too boring or stressful. Your body tries to correct the imbalance by sending you a message: a craving. A craving for something sweet could mean you need more protein, more exercise, more water or more love in your life. The key to stopping the sugar craving is to understand and deliver what your body really needs.
No book or theory can tell you what to eat. Only awareness of your body and its needs can tell you. Of all the relationships in our lives, the one with our body is the most essential. It takes communication, love and time to cultivate a relationship with your body. As you learn to decipher and respond to your body’s cravings, you will create a deep and lasting level of health and balance.
The next time you have a craving, treat it as a loving message from your body instead of a weakness. Try these tips to respond to your body:
Have a glass of water and wait 10 minutes.
Eat a healthier version of what you crave. For example, if you crave sweets, try eating more fruit and sweet or root vegetables.
What is out of balance in your life? Is there something you need to express, or is something being repressed? What happened in your life just before you had this craving?
When you eat the food you are craving, enjoy it, taste it, savor it; notice its effect. Then you will become more aware and free to decide if you really want it next time.
Food Focus: Natural Sweeteners
Who doesn’t love sweets? These sweets release serotonin in our brains, the chemical responsible for our sense of well-being and contentment. But when it comes to sweeteners, not all are created equal. There are side effects and health risks from refined sweeteners like white table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, and from artificial sweeteners like NutraSweet, saccharin and Splenda. Since refined sweeteners have been stripped of vitamins, minerals and fiber, they can spike blood sugar, which can often lead to cravings and mood and energy fluctuations. Instead, using naturally and minimally processed sweeteners can reduce cravings for sugary things.
Here are a few natural sweeteners to substitute in drinks, food and baking. Since they are all approximately 1.5 times sweeter than refined sugar, you can use less. You can find them in most supermarkets or natural food stores. When replacing sugar with liquid sweeteners in a recipe, reduce the amounts of other liquids.
Everyone seems to love honey, one of the oldest natural sweeteners on the market. Honey will have a different flavor depending on the plant source. Some are very dark and intensely flavored. Wherever possible, choose raw honey, as it is unrefined and contains small amounts of enzymes, minerals and vitamins.
Agave is made through the extraction and purification of the juice of the agave cactus. It does not stimulate insulin secretion as other sugars do, so it does not create a “sugar rush.” It has a delightfully light and mild flavor.
Maple syrup is the concentrated extract of the sap of maple trees. It adds a rich, deep flavor to foods and drinks. Make sure to look for 100% pure maple syrup, not maple-flavored corn syrup. As with all sweeteners, organic varieties are best.
Recipe of the Month: Maple Fruit Compote with Honey-Ginger Toasted Nuts
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
2-3 peaches or pears
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup raisins
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup walnuts or nuts of your choice
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
2 tablespoons honey
1. Wash, core and chop fruit into slices or chunks.
2. Place in a large saucepan with 1/3 cup of water. Add the maple syrup and raisins.
3. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
4. Add lemon juice and cinnamon. Cook for another 10 minutes, until soft.
5. While fruit is cooking, place chopped nuts in a skillet over medium heat and toast, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
6. Drizzle honey over the nuts and add ginger, but keep stirring since the honey can easily burn.
7. Top warm fruit with toasted nuts and enjoy!
Love and Light,
Forward to a Friend
It’s such a pleasure to help those closest to us become happier and healthier. Please forward this post to your friends, family members or colleagues who might be interested and inspired by it.
You deserve to be happy, but there are days when it’s easy to get sucked into negativity and despair. When nothing seems to go your way. When the craziness around you starts to influence your own thoughts. When you wish you were as awesome as so and so…
There are a few simple strategies that you can implement today to start increasing your levels of happiness. Everyday is a new opportunity for growth and today you can choose to honor your right to whole hearted happiness.
Let Go of Perfection
When you expect perfection, you set yourself up for disappointment. Because nobody’s perfect, and thinking you need to be is just setting yourself up for failure. Or worse, for not even starting.
On the road of self-improvement, there will be potholes, cracks in the pavement and distractions on the sidelines. This is completely normal and natural. Judging yourself too harshly for not being perfect is a major happiness killer.
2. Eat More Fermented Foods and Probiotics
Fermented foods might not seem to have much to do with happiness from the outside but on the inside they make a huge difference. By adding probiotic rich foods like sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi, miso, yogurt and kombucha into your diet, you’ll strengthen your body’s ability to produce serotonin, the happy hormone.
Serotonin is produced in large amounts in the gut, but when our gut bacteria isn’t healthy, our body’s have a hard time producing serotonin and transporting it to our brains.
The gut is often referred to as the second brain and for good reason. A balanced probiotic rich gut makes it easy to produce hormones that flood the brain with positive feelings. Recent studies are even looking to probiotics as a way to treat depression and anxiety!
3. Watch Your Thoughts
Thoughts are wonderful and wicked at the same time. They can build you up or they can hold you back from taking action towards what you want.
The only way to really know what’s going on in your own head is to sit down and watch the movie that only you can see. Through the daily practice of sitting down and watching the thoughts pass through you without judgement you can start to understand yourself better.
This is a place where massive growth happens. If you notice a lot of negative self-talk you can consciously take action to switch it around. This one action alone, even for just a few minutes a day, can increase your happiness and decrease your stress tenfold.
Add all ingredients to your blender and process until super smooth.
If you’re seriously interested in getting healthy, restoring your digestion and boosting your energy then check out my new comprehensive program Restore your Gut Health. In the program you get a ton of delicious satisfying recipes as well as strategies that will help rebuild your intestinal flora.
Happy July!! Hope you had a great 4th of July weekend. I’m getting back to blogging after taking some time off. Let’s start with one of my favorite Summer fruits….
🍑What’s your FAVORITE way to eat peaches?
They are considered a “stone fruit” and they get their name from the pit in their centers.
Just like other stone fruits, peaches are a great source of nutrition – rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
They are loaded with fiber, which means they’re good for digestion and gut health …
Plus they are packed with health-boosting antioxidants and heart-healthy micronutrients that help keep your blood pressure and cholesterol in check.
FUN FACT: peaches contain substances that help stop your body from releasing histamines … which can be triggered when you are exposed to something you’re allergic to. Histamines can make you sneeze, cough, itch, etc.
You can eat peaches raw, sliced into salads, stir-fried, grilled (so good with pork!), broiled, blended into smoothies, or even for dessert!
Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Peach Chutney
👨🍳You are going to love this recipe!
The most challenging thing about it is peeling the peaches (this week’s food of the week), but I’ve got you covered.
Here’s an easy way to peel them: Boil water in a medium pan and place the peaches in the boiling water for 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and dip them in a bath of icy water.
Pat them dry and the peel should come off easily with a paring knife.
Serve this tenderloin with salad and brown rice. So good!
🍑 Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Peach Chutney 🍑
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1½ lb (680 g) pork tenderloin or your choice of protein
1 tsp sea salt, divided
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
Preheat the grill to high heat. Peel the peaches, cut them in half, and carefully remove the pits. Brush the cut sides with half of the oil.
Brush the pork with the rest of the oil, and sprinkle with ½ tsp of salt and pepper. Place the pork on the grill and grill, turning every few minutes, until an internal thermometer measures 160ºF/70ºC.
While the pork cooks, place the peaches on a separate part of the grill, cut side down. Turn occasionally, grilling for about 8 minutes, until tender.
Rest the pork on a cutting board and set the peaches aside to cool.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together the sugar, vinegar, and ginger. Chop the slightly cooled peaches and add them to the sauce, stirring well to combine. Slice the pork and place on a serving platter and top it with the chutney. Serve and enjoy!
🌿Basil Fun Fact: Did you know that basil has been used for centuries as a folk remedy for everything from colds to snakebites?!
Nowadays though, it has earned a place of honor on spice racks across the world.
The large-leaf green variety is used in Italian dishes like pesto … while Thai basil (which tastes like licorice) is popular in Asian foods.
Basil contains vitamins A, & C, K as well as trace amounts of calcium and manganese.
✅It’s full of antioxidants that fight inflammation and boost the immune system.
This is especially true of the variety known as holy basil (aka tulsi) which has been used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for a long time.
Some studies have linked basil with skin health, lower blood sugar levels, and less anxiety and depression.
Basil Lemonade Recipe
🪴Here’s a super-refreshing take on lemonade… which features this week’s food of the week, basil.
Not only is it delicious, but it’s a great way to use up any extra basil from your garden.
NOTE: This recipe does contain sweetener, but less than most lemonade recipes. Adjust it to suit your goals and taste preferences.
This recipe can also double as a mixer for your next cocktail party – or just add some seltzer for a little “fizz.”
🍋Basil Lemonade 🍋
(makes 6 servings)
8 lemons, juiced
¼ cup honey or maple syrup
1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
3 cups cold water
Optional: lemon slices & basil leaves for garnish
Pour lemon juice into a blender and add honey (or maple syrup) and basil. Blend until smooth. Strain the liquid into a pitcher to get a clear green liquid. Add the cold water and chill until ready to serve. Serve over ice. Refreshing!
I’m a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Clean Food blogger, esential oils advocate, and author. I received my training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I learned more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. Drawing on this knowledge, I help men and women create a completely personalized “roadmap to health” that suits their unique body, lifestyle, preferences, and goals – bioindividuality. Learn more about my training and my unique approach to health coaching.
The Online Spring Gluten-Free Expo (Nourished Festival) just finished up yesterday! Wow! Amazing event! There were so many great presentations, giveaways and discounts.
One of the presentations, Improve Your Gut to Improve Your Brain was given by Sheri Traxler. Sheri is an author, speaker, and coach. Sheri is the author of Go Forward: 28 Days to Eat, Move, and Enjoy Life God’s Way. Sheri holds her Master’s in Health Promotion, is a Certified Personal Trainer, Health Coach, Nutrition Specialist, and Intuitive Eating Counselor.
Sheri spoke about the Gut-Brain Connection. The Gut-Brain Connection includes:
Enteric Nervous System and the two blood brain barriers (Blood Brain Barrier and Gut Blood Brain Barrier).
BDNF (brain-derived neuropathic factor) and Mitrochondria. Brain-derived neuropathic factor is a protein produced in the nerve cells. This helps keep the cells functioning and growing.
Neurotransmitters and Hormones. Neurotransmitters include serotonin – the ‘feel good’ hormone, 90% of serotonin is made in the gut, dopamine helps us stay motivated, 50% of dopamine is made in the gut, GABA helps with stress management, sleep, and a calm mind, and cortisol – stress hormone.
When we have a healthy gut, it means improved energy, brain, and confidence.
What Does a Healthy Gut-Brain Life Look Like?
Take a look at your lifestyle. What does it incude?
Stop doing damage meaning stop doing things that hurt your microbiome. This includes eliminating toxins like chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, and artificial stuff like flavorings and colorings. Antibiotics is also included.
Make contact with the billions of good bugs. This includes hugs, physical contact with friends, and going outside barefoot on the grass – grounding.
Manage stress. Why? We want to manage stress because unmanaged chronic stress can have a direct impact on inflammation, on gut permeability, and shifting your gut microbiome. How to manage stress? Doing mindful eating, prioritizing sleep – by 10 pm, and meditating.
Move often. Moving often will increase BDNF and increase mitochondria. And movement helps your gut.
Feed Your Gut.
7 Ways to Feed Your Gut to Feel Great
Create a powerful plate + prebiotics. Include vegerables on half your plate. Some great prebiotics include almonds, apples, asparagus, bananas, broccoli, brussel sprouts, dandelion greens, garlic, leeks, onions, and pears. Broccoli and brussel sprouts contain sulphur which combat bad bacteria.
Eat probiotics daily. Probiotic-rich foods include raw apple cider vinegar, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, fermented pickles, sauerkraut, and yogurt.
Focus on whole foods and not highly processed foods. Bad bacteria feed on highly processed foods and foods that contain refined sugars and artificial sweeteners/artificial colors/flavoring.
Oils and Fats – Lower saturated fats especially animal products. Animal products lower diversity and abundance of good bacteria and good gut flora. Include Extra Virgin Olive Oil, omega-3 fatty acids (DHA, flax seeds, walnuts, sardines, and salmon.) Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for brain health.
Spices. Spices to include: coriander and cumin – these spices decrease inflammation especially gut inflammation, fennel – helps with better digestion of food, turmeric – decreases gut inflammation and can help grown new brain cells.
Indulge. Coffee, tea, and dark chocolate. If you enjoy dark chocolate bars, opt for bars with 80% cacao. Another chocolate option is raw cacao powder or raw cacao nibs. Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain.
Filtered Water. Stay hydrated for both gut and brain health. Opt to put a filter on your shower and kitchen faucet. Chlorine kills bacteria.
Add supplements with the guidance of your health care practitioner.
The 2022 Annual Food Revolution Summit just ended and it is one of the best health summits! I’m a huge fan of the father and son team, John and Ocean Robbins.
Dr. William Li, a world-renowned physician, scientist, angiogenesis expert, and head of the Angiogenesis Foundation was the first medical expert to speak at the summit. He is The New York Times best-selling author of Eat to Beat Disease: The New Science of How Your Body Can Heal Itself, and he is founder of the “Eat to Beat” initiative. Dr. Li’s groundbreaking work has impacted more than 70 diseases, including cancer, type 2 diabetes, blindness, heart disease, and obesity. He is the author of more than 100 scientific publications in journals like Science, the New England Journal of Medicine, and The Lancet. Dr. Li’s TED Talk, “Can We Eat to Starve Cancer?” has been viewed more than 11 million times.
During the summit, experts were interviewed about the specific foods that can protect us from viral and bacterial infections, as well as from the most serious chronic illnesses of our time.
One of the physicians John Robbins interviewed during the Food Revolution Summit was Dr. Li. The topic of the interview was Super Foods for Super Immunity.
One of the foods on Dr. Li’s list of “10 Things to Eat Right Now to Fight Back Against COVID-19” is broccoli sprouts.
John was excited to see that broccoli sprouts in on the list. He and his wife grow broccoli sprouts in their kitchen, and eat them almost every day, primarily because of their high levels of sulforaphane.
John asked Dr. Li: “Why is sulforaphane important? And is there research showing that eating broccoli sprouts strengthens the immune system’s ability to fight viruses including COVID-19?”
Dr. William Li mentioned that sulforaphanes are quite remarkable because number one, they’re the natural substance, a natural chemical, the bioactive that gives broccoli sprouts and some of these other Brassica plant-based foods their characteristic flavor. Like, you could recognize the flavor of broccoli anywhere. Dr. Li also loves the taste of broccoli sprouts because It’s milder, nuttier and it has a different kind of flavor to it.
He mentioned that a lot of people don’t know that the baby broccoli sprout has these sulforaphanes, and there’s a hundred times more in the baby than in the full-grown broccoli. And so they’re even more potent. And, one of the things that he pointed out, the reason he put it on his top 10 list, was because research has shown that when you eat broccoli sprouts — and the study had been done using a broccoli sprout shake (literally putting them into a blender and grinding them up) and you combine the broccoli sprout shake with a flu vaccine, that you can amplify the ability of the flu vaccine to stoke up, to boost your immune system, your natural killer cells by twenty-fold compared to not having a shake with broccoli sprout.
An example both John and Dr. Li discussed was that if they both got a flu vaccine and Dr. Li didn’t have a broccoli sprout shake but John had a shake. If they were to measure John’s blood and his immune response, his response and his beneficial response to the flu vaccine would be 20 times more protective for him because of the broccoli sprout – because of those sulforaphanes, compared to Dr. Li.
Broccoli sprouts have a rich supply of vitamin K, but its overall levels of vitamin A and vitamin C are lower than full-grown broccoli. There is a dense supply of protein and dietary fiber in broccoli sprouts, as well as a low level of calories (approximately 35 per 3 ounces). There is no known fat content and a low level of carbohydrates. However, as mentioned above, the main reason that these sprouts have captured so much attention is their glucosinolate content, namely the sulforaphane that is produced.
Some other health benefits of Broccoli Sprouts
Sulforaphane is a compound with powerful anti-cancer properties. In fact, this is why broccoli sprouts have long been studied for their anti-cancer effects.
Because of its antioxidant and antibacterial properties, sulforaphane from broccoli sprouts may promote gut health.
Chronic oxidative stress can cause constipation. Because sulforaphane’s antioxidant effects are believed to help intestinal cells function normally, they might help improve bowel movements.
In summary, broccoli sprouts has many health benefits so wny not give them a try.
There’s still time to join us this weekend for the Spring Gluten-Free Expo!
Discover new gluten-free, allergen-friendly products, get coupons, discounts and samples, enter giveaways, watch some classes, and interact with the speakers/exhibitors! There are a bunch of awesome exhibitors participating this Spring.
Happy May! Can you believe it’s already May?!! I don’t know if any of you attended the 2022 Annual Food Revolution Summit? It was awesome. Today is the finale. Anyway, Doug Evans was one of the speakers. He is the author of a book called The Sprout Book. During the Summit, he talked about the benefits of sprouting and the nutrient content of sprouts like sprouted broccoli seeds. I’ve only sprouted buckwheat which was for a raw desserts chef certification course. So, I’m so excited to learn more about sprouting.
So, it makes scense that May’s food focus is about sprouting. We’ll also discuss diets and why they don’t work.
First, let’s discuss why don’t diets work?
You can’t turn on the TV, drive down the road or go to a party without being confronted with America’s hottest obsession: weight. Diets are a billion-dollar industry; companies spend millions and millions luring you to try the latest diet (low carb, high protein, low fat, no fat, you name it) with promises that this will, finally, be the solution—your shortcut to a thinner body. Advertising efforts also deeply affect our children, who develop distorted body images and are often on diets as early as nine or 10 years of age.
Our culture touts diet pills, celebrity workouts, convenience foods and trendy diets to help us achieve our desired weight, but these quick-fix solutions have backfired. America’s populace has reached its highest weight in history. About half of Americans are overweight; one-third are obese. Diets steer us away from our common sense and dip deeply into our pocketbooks while eliciting few, if any, lasting results. Why?
Diets don’t work because each person is unique, with different needs based on gender, age, ancestry and lifestyle.
Diets don’t work because they are extreme solutions. As in physics, if a pendulum swings to one extreme, it has to swing equally to the other. A diet might work for a short amount of time, but research shows that almost all diets result in a 10-pound gain once off the diet.
Diets don’t work because they are too restrictive. People who fail on diet plans are not flawed or weak. Diets by nature require discipline and restriction at levels that are unsustainable by a healthy human body.
Most people are disconnected from why they gain weight and see diet as the only culprit. For example, ignoring or discounting emotions is often the first thing to cause weight imbalances.
Most importantly, diets or healthy eating is a lifestyle and diet should be based on bioindividuality.
In our fast-paced world, we have lost sight of many aspects of life that truly nourish and balance our bodies, such as slowing down, eating a home-cooked meal and spending quality time with loving people. Eating consciously and making simple lifestyle changes will create positive results and release you from the endless cycle of dieting.
Given half a chance, your body will balance out by itself, but this is only possible by getting out of the diet mentality and listening to what you truly need. Imagine taking all of the outward energy you expend on diets, fads and gimmicks and turning it inward, so that you can listen to your heart and inner wisdom. There is no such thing as a quick fix; you already have everything you need within you. With careful thought and loving reflection, you can feed yourself in a nourishing way. Working with your body rather than against it will bring you increased energy, stabilized weight and sustainable health.
Food Focus: Sprouting
In the spring season, seeds flaunt their vitality and energy by sprouting. Sprouts of all varieties contain the building blocks of life in the form of vitamins, enzymes, amino acids and simple sugars. In their early growth state, sprouts are very easy to digest, allowing our bodies to access many wonderful nutrients. Recent research by the American Cancer Society has backed what holistic nutrition has known for years: that sprouts contain anti-cancer properties, high levels of active antioxidants, concentrated amounts of phytochemicals and significant amounts of vitamins A, C and D.
In their raw form, sprouts have a cooling effect on the body, and therefore are best consumed in warm weather or by robust, warm body types. Those who tend to feel cool can try steaming spouts or adding them to warm dishes such as stir-fries and soups, to reduce the cooling effect. There is a wide variety of edible and delicious sprouts, each with a different texture and flavor: alfalfa, mung bean, lentil, radish, clover, sunflower, broccoli, garbanzo and adzuki.
Here are some great ways to serve up sprouts:
Add to salads.
Combine with other vegetables in wraps, roll-ups or stir-fries.
Use as garnish on top of soups, stews, omelets or scrambled eggs.