Food

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Food

Everything is a practice so approach eating the same way you do your practices,
with curiosity, honesty
and compassion.  

Lets Keep this simple

First things first, slow down and enjoy your food!  
Yeah, for real…
Let your senses really take in what you’re eating. We eat and metabolize not just with our digestive system but also with our senses.  Take in the scents, colors, sounds, and really allow the textures and flavors to awaken in your mouth.  This practice itself will really change your experience of eating and satiate hunger on many levels, not just your belly.

When you’re choosing what foods to eat, take a minute to think about how you want to feel afterwords.  After you’ve done some tuning in and connecting to your body after you eat, you’ll have a sense of how you feel after eating certain foods.  

Tune into your:

-Energy Levels
-Mental Clarity
-Emotions
-How your belly feels
-Gas and poops
-Pain or puffiness in your joints

For example, if eating oatmeal makes you a little cranky and tired 30 mins after you eat and you have a busy work day, you may want to consider making a different breakfast choice so that you’re mentally and emotionally more clear.  

Keeping a food journal or reflecting at the end of your day can be helpful with this.

What to eat

IN general, eat organic whole foods rather than packaged foods.  Your digestion and your energy levels will thank you! Eating whole foods is a lot easier on your belly to metabolize.  You’ll have better poops and your bloating will go down. Your body won’t have to use so much energy to digest mystery food so your energy will skyrocket.

Let the majority of your food be Protein and Veggies (if you’re eating carbs, have those in the evening).

Veggies

Eat 13 servings of veggies/day.  Combine greens with purples, reds and oranges.  Get all the colors in your belly daily.  I drink at least one green shake/day (pop up:  I recommend the Power-Shake, apple berry from Purium.  They have the cleanest, organic, non-GMO ingredients.  Its delicious! I just add water and shake it up.  Simple, quick and easy (orderand click on "redeem gift card". Use the gift card code LOVETHISLIFE108 to receive $50 off your first order of $75 or more) to get the majority of my veggies in easily.  So, even on the days where my diet isn’t great, at least i know I got those in my body. You can also explore making smoothies.  Just keep it mostly greens and very little sugars, juices, or fruits.  

Pesticides and Organics

Use this list as a reference for which foods to purchase organic vs. conventional.  

https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/list.php#.WdqtmxOPL2Q

Keep in mind that conventional produce will most likely be a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) which is hard for the body to digest.

Protein

Meats:  Grass Fed/hormone free
Fish - wild caught pacific Salmon is best
Eggs - farm fresh or organic free range
Veggies - Broccoli, nutritional yeast (can be sprinkled on foods for a tangy cheesy flavor), quinoa, millet, amaranth, hemp seeds, legumes, oatmeal, peas, plant protein powder, quinoa, spirulina, organic tempeh, organic tofu, wild rice. *

Carbohydrates

Eat your carbs in the evening so that when your blood sugar crashes, it happens when you’re winding down or sleeping.

Healthy Carb Choices (not a full list)

  • Quinoa
  • Sweet Potato
  • Acorn Squash
  • Red Potatoes
  • Rice
  • Yams
  • Organic Apples
  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Cherries
  • Date
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Berries
  • Watermelon

80/20

80% of the time keep it clean, 20% of the time, let yourself splurge a bit.  If you’re choosing to splurge, OWN IT.  If guilt shows up for you, acknowledge her, and let her know that its ok. She can be in the car for the food experience, just not in the passenger or drivers seat.  Let her sit in the back with fear and invite your pleasure into the front seat with you.  Allow your pleasure part to enjoy every bite.  This approach will help with cravings and feeling deprived.  Let your pleasure part eat with you all the time whether you’re in the 80 or 20.

When I splurge or decide to have something a little off the beaten path, I try to make it myself.  Not only am I sure of what I’m putting in my bod, but also, it’s more satisfying to work a little bit for it.  

Fun splurges that aren’t so hard on your system…

Bowls of love

Grab a little bowl and a spoon.  I do not measure but here are some general guidelines, , you can eyeball it and play around.  You can't really mess this up.

1 tbsp coconut manna (or a high quality nut butter, you can also mix the two)
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp honey or a drop or two of stevia
A couple shakes of cinnamon
1 tsp cocoa powder (skip this if you want more of a vanilla dessert)
Pinch of sea salt

Use the back of the spoon and smoosh it all together.  It will be like a thick chocolate frosting.

Baked Sweet potato with butter/ghee and cinnamon

Homemade hash browns

Shred a med size red potato.  Melt coconut or avocado oil in a pan on med heat (careful not to let the oil smoke).  Gather the potato in your hand and squeeze the juice out in the sink.  When the oil is heated up, add the potato and press it down forming a pancake shape.  Let the potato cook until the edges are light/med brown.  With a spatula, check to see that the bottom is completely cooked.  This step takes longer than you think.  

Resist messing with it until you see those golden brown edges.  This will ensure that it doesn’t fall apart when you flip it. When the bottom is sufficiently cooked, flip and let it cook on the other side.  Add oil if needed for the second side. Add sea salt to taste.

Breakfast

If you choose to eat breakfast, I encourage you to stay away from any foods that can spike your blood sugar, like fruit and carbs.  

If you want a sharp brain as well as high energy levels all morning, think protein and veggies.   


Additions and Subtractions

Get rid of:

Dairy and gluten

These are the biggies, including sugar below.  

For the simple truth that we are not baby cows, in general, get rid of the dairy or dramatically lower your intake. Anything that’s hard for your body to metabolize can contribute to inflammation.  

Gluten - your digestion will improve and your muffin tops and belly will go down dramatically.  

Replace:

Noodles with spiralized (purchase a spiralizer) zucchini, sweet potato, beet, broccoli stem, cabbage, carrot, cucumber, diakon, jicama, kohlrabi, onion, radish, rutabaga, turnip, apple, green plantain, parsnip, potato, squash.

I like to spiralize zucchini and put taco meat or meatballs on top with some fermented veggies for dinner.
You can also put sprialized veggies in a breakfast scramble, in a green salad, as a wrap filling, in soup.

Tortillas and Bread/Buns with romaine lettuce or cabbage leaves to make wraps, tacos and burgers

Sugars and sugars in hiding

The two main concerns with sugar:

1.  Cancer eats sugar for food so sugar will help cancer to grow.
2. Sugar spikes your blood sugar causing hormonal, weight, energy and mood fluctuations.

Let go of refined sugar and commit to using a little raw honey once in a while or try stevia (I like this one…its not bitter)  or monk fruit sugar which is known to have less of a bitter taste than stevia.    Coconut sugar is a nice low glycemic choice as well.

Hidden Sugars

Carbs like bread, pasta and grains are all metabolized as sugar in the body.  Keep these to a minimum and explore other homemade options for breads, cookies, muffins, etc.  There are a ton of great grain free options.  My favorite book right now for recipes is The Keto Diet.  She's got a lot of fun grain free substitutes.  I've made her muffins and they are delish.  You can also find free recipes on Leanne's website:  www.healthfulpursuits.com

Pesticides

Eating organic produce and clean proteins will take care of this for the most part.

Packaged and overly processed foods

Enough said.

Add in

Fermented Foods

There are microorganisms in your gut that transfer nutrients from your food into your bloodstream.  You want those colonies to be thriving.  Too much sugar in your diet can cause these guys to die out leaving your gut susceptible to inability to digest certain foods or even in extreme cases IBS or leaky gut syndrome.

To restore healthy bacteria in your gut, the most natural way is eating fermented foods.  My favorites are miso, sauerkraut, and kombucha.  Other common ones are KimChi and lacto-fermented pickles.

Making your own fermented foods are a highly affordable way to go.  If you’re interested in that, I’ve got my favorite recipes below.  Otherwise, make sure that whatever you choose to buy in the store is not pasteurized as that would kill the good bacteria.  One way to be sure is that the live cultured food will be in the refrigerated section of your grocery store.

Saurkraut

kraut.jpg

Farmhouse Culture, which makes store bought raw and alive fermented veggies was making this recipe and selling it a while back. It was my favorite.  At some point they decided to discontinue this formulation and released the recipe to the public. Now, this is pretty much the only kraut recipe I make and I love it.  I usually make a big batch and it lasts me a few months.  Its definitely a project for an afternoon as its kind of like an art project.  Its super fun, you'll get your hands dirty, and there’s a bit of cleanup.

The cost difference is really worth it.  A bag of Kraut is about $10 and lasts maaaybe a week.  My batch lasts me about 2 months and I spend about $25 on veggies.

Sometimes I vary the recipe a bit.  I’ve replaced the beets with carrots or whatever else I have in the fridge. As long as you have cabbage as the base, you can get creative with the other veggies.  Just know that whatever herbs you decide to use, they will get more intense after fermentation.

Click on Image to Enlarge


Kombucha

Buying a bottle of kombucha costs at least $4 at your local store and about $10 to make 2 gallons (about 16 bottles)  So, price-wise it’s a no brainer.  If you’re not interested in making your own, I highly recommend purchasing GT’s Kombucha (the gingerade flavor is my fave).  They seem to add the least amount of sugar to their finished kombucha bottles.  Most other brands are very high in sugar which defeats the purpose of eating fermented foods.

You can probably find someone locally that can give you a piece of their SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast), if not, I’ve provided a link in the ingredients section below.  The SCOBY eats the sugar and ferments the tea.  Your final product will taste tart and fizzy rather than sugary. So yummy.  Get creative with how you flavor it.

Making your own kombucha

1 scoby plus 1 cup of the juice from a fermented batch
15 organic tea bags (plain green, black or a combo of the two)
2 cups sugar
2 gallons boiled water

Supplies

2 gallon glass jar ( I found mine at Cost-plus Market, I've also found one at the thrift store)
Small strainer
Funnel
Kombucha jars with lids ( I save the GT bottles and then use the caps until they wear out.  The caps need to be tight so when my kombucha isn't fizzing after I bottle it then I know, I need new ones.  Then I replace them with these.)
Large glass or ceramic bowl

Stage 1

Boil the water covered.  Once boiled add the teabags (I take off tags if they have any) and the sugar.  Mix to dissolve and throw a bandana or lightweight dishtowel over it as it cools.  Once cooled, strain out the teabags, I use a small noodle strainer, and pour the sweetened tea in the 2 gallon glass jar.  Add the scoby and juice from a previous batch.  Cover with a bandana and rubber band the top shut to prevent any bugs from creepin in.  Store on the counter in a dark corner or in an empty cupboard.

Wait 2 weeks and mark that day on your calendar.

Stage 2

After 2 weeks you’ll notice that the scoby has grown more layers.  Time to bottle...FUN!

Place all of your bottles in the sink, lids off

Add any flavorings you want.  I love adding chunks of ginger and a little juice, mango and blueberry are delish, but you can experiment.

Use the funnel to add just a bit of juice so that it covers the bottom of the bottle

Wash your hands and remove the scoby from the 2 gallon jar and place it in the bowl.  Scoop out 2 ladles of juice into the bowl as well.  Cover.

Fill all of the bottles using a ladle and the funnel leaving 1-2 inches  at the top.  Screw on lids tightly and rinse off bottles. Store in a dark place for 3-5 days.

After 3-5 days, put a bottle in the fridge for 30 mins.  Then, taste it.  If it’s at the fizziness you like, add all of the bottles to the fridge.  If not, wait another day or two and test it the same way.  You want some foam to come to the top when you take off the lid.

Bone Broth

Homemade bone broth is a wonderful staple to have on hand.  It will provide many minerals and healthy fats to your body as well as boosting your immune system.  Bone broth is a great base for soups, stews and crock pot dishes.  I love using bone broth for miso soups with tons of veggies.  A lot of grocery stores sell bone broth these days.  If you choose to purchase rather that make bone broth, make sure you’re product is stored in the refrigerated section of the grocery store and has no additives or sugars.

Here’s a general guideline modified from two of my favorite cookbooks, The keto diet and the Heal Your Gut cookbook.

Recipe

2 lbs of bones (free-range chicken bones, grass-fed, grass-finished beef, bison or lamb, wild-caught fish bones or heads, pasture raised pork bones.
(optional) Chicken feet or beef knuckle for extra gelatin
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tsp sea salt
Fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary or thyme)
1 in ginger
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 onion
2 cloves garlic

Put the bones in a pot and cover with with water and add vinegar.  Let the bones sit for 30 mins to let the vinegar pull the minerals out of the bones.  Add all other ingredients except the fresh herbs.  

Stock pot:  Cover and bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer.

Slow cooker:  Cover and set to low for time below.

Cook times

Slow cooker:  on low for 8 hours

Stock pot on stove:  
Fish broth:  8 hours
Chicken broth: 24 hours
Beef broth:  48 hours

Periodically skim off impurities that float to the surface.  

Last 10 mins of cooking add the sprigs of fresh herbs

Let cool

Strain and use or Store in BPA free containers for freezing.  I love these Ball containers

Healthy Fats

Add healthy fats into your diet.  First things first, they are what the little bacteria live in to make their healthy cultures.  So when you’re eating your fermented veggies or miso soup, make sure you’re also eating some fats.  Secondly, they are food for your brain, so keep up the fats to increase your brain powah.  If you're cutting down on carbs, adding more fat into your diet can actually help you lose weight.  Checkout The Keto Diet which has a ton of health info on adding fats, losing weight and balancing hormones.  

When you're adding healthy fats, think along the lines of:

Ghee
Coconut oil
Avocado oil
Avocados
Animal fats like bacon grease and duck fat (not a typo)

*list from The Keto Diet