Wednesday, August 17, 2016

all about almonds...

Almonds. That's what's on my mind today. Just 10 almonds a day is supposed to be great for your health. We've all heard about (or gotten on) the Great American Almond Kick. The problem is, when they talk about all the health benefits of almonds, the almonds really should be:

a) organic
b) truly raw

Most of the health benefits are destroyed when almonds are roasted, and nothing is good for you if it's coated with poisons.

Do you know that our country's almond growers are required by law to either irradiate and/or spray awful chemicals on raw almonds they sell? Even on organic raw almonds.
So I did research and found out you can buy truly raw organic untreated almonds if you buy them direct from the almond grower. Email me ( and I can give you some contact information on where to buy almonds direct from the grower in California by mail. I've bought from this particular grower and the almonds were truly raw and sproutable.
That brings up another issue. There are what's called "anti-nutrients" in the almonds that prevent you from absorbing important traditional societies, they soaked their almonds...almonds really aren't that good for you unless you buy them raw and organic and soak them...
So I got a big glass jar to soak them overnight...but then you have to dehydrate them so they'll keep (and not be mushy)....thank heavens I have an old-timey oven that goes as low as 115 degrees, so I didn't have to buy a dehydrator....
But whether you dehydrate your soaked almonds in your oven or dehydrator, there's something else to think about. There's the issue of cookware and health I've been learning about...aluminum causes problems (including potentially Alzheimer's), non-stick causes cancer, even stainless steel clad and ceramic can leach aluminum into your food if there are rivets on the inside of the pan where the handles connect, plastic for storing or microwaving food is horrible causing cancer-causing, hormone-disrupting phytoestrogens to leach into our food, microwaves are horrible...

So who wants to buy raw organic almonds then dehydrate them on plastic dehydrator trays or aluminum I got glass Marinex pans and a stainless steel cookie sheet and spread my almonds out on it and dehydrated them in my oven on its lowest setting.
I ordered 5 pounds of raw organic almonds (untreated) directly from my organic California almond farmer. I soaked them overnight in my wonderful pure well water in a glass jar, then I put them in my oven on glass and stainless steel at 115 degrees, and they dehydrated overnight. Then I stored them in the fridge and on the shelf in mason jars...

So I now have almonds that are truly good for me...still raw (with undestroyed nutrients and enzymes)...soaked (to deactivate the anti-nutrients)...but dehydrated so they're not mushy...still full of enzymes...but free of added chemicals and naturally occurring chemicals that are bad for me...and once I got my little system in place, it really wasn't a big deal:

1. order them
2. put them in water soak them overnight
3. dehydrate them overnight
4. and you have almonds for months...
I priced organic raw soaked dehydrated almonds at a ultra-healthy company and they were over a hundred dollars for five pounds...I bought mine for $45 for five pounds...and did the soaking and dehydrating myself to save a hundred bucks...
You're probably all thinking I have nothing to do with myself...but I'm really researching what we're doing in our society that is making all of us sick...and it's sad. We buy almonds because we think they're good for us and it turns out our government is forcing farmers to irradiate or spray them with chemicals and label them raw and organic. That's not counting the natural anti-nutrients that nut companies could easily neutralize with soaking, but it costs them too much money, so not only don't they do it, nobody bothers to tell us it needs to be done. Then when you start researching how to do it yourself, there are all sorts of other hidden dangers--like how plastic containers especially when heated (even dehydrators) are causing us to consume phytoestrogens that lead to cancers like mine...
So I'm trying to get this down to a system...if any of you want truly healthy almonds, email Donna Gail and I'll give you all the info for free.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

one-minute superfood: blackstrap molasses

What are the top 3 reasons to take organic blackstrap molasses as a health supplement?

First, it's a natural iron supplement, ideal for pregnant women, post-menopausal women, or anyone dealing with anemia. Second, it's extremely high in minerals and vitamins like copper, manganese, B6, potassium, chromium and selenium. Third, it's a great alternative sweetener with a glycemic index of only 55. Most important, it is high in healthy absorbable calcium and magnesium and in the right ratio for optimal absorption. Oops, that was four, not three. But there are way more reasons than that anyway.

But back to the most important reason. Most people are seriously deficient in calcium and magnesium, and it's important to ingest them in the right ratios so that they are useable for our bodies. Supplemental calcium has been shown to be dangerous. It can lead to increased hardening of the arteries. So food sources like blackstap molasses which have those minerals in natural form in the right ratios are perfect.

Thinking you get your calcium from milk? Milk is not good for us, really. Give it up. Instead, eat only fermented dairy like homemade yogurt or kefir from fresh organic raw milk, or a cheese like pecorino romano high in CLA. But you shouldn't eat enough dairy to get all the calcium you need. If you do, you're eating too much. Think small amounts when it comes to dairy, even fermented dairy.

Usually, I get my calcium from eating tons of greens (kale, turnip greens, mustard greens, etc.) or eating sardines with the bones (extremely high form of absorbable calcium).

Blackstrap molasses is an easy source when you don't have sardines or greens on hand. But it tastes just awful, I think. The only way I like it is on cush-cush or cornbread I make with organic non-GMO cornmeal. But I don't like to eat even organic corn very often. I always gain lots of weight from it.

So how to take my blackstrap molasses?

Today I found a way to ingest it DAILY and painlessly. Pleasurably actually. Read more for the recipe and a discussion of why it's the perfect vehicle for your blackstrap molasses.

Make sure it's organic cause you don't want to get the byproducts from horrible pesticide-soaked GMO sugar beets or highly-sprayed commercial sugar cane in your blackstrap molasses. That's what molasses is--the mineral-rich byproduct of sugar production. Better you get the rich natural molasses byproduct of organic sugar production from organic sugar cane.

I like Plantation Organic but read this comparison of blackstrap molasses products on another blog I like: The cheapest source I've found for it is Take advantage of your first 3 orders being 15% with free shipping. Stock up on this stuff. It's expensive to order from other sites and the variety carried at many healthfood stores is oftentimes the non-organic variety.


This morning, in my habitual fashion as of late, I had chocolate for breakfast. I eat some form of homemade chocolate confection every few days for regularity's sake. Nothing works better for me than chocolate. Combined with coffee, it is an instant laxative. I've always had a sluggish digestive system and I've never found anything that works this well. I am trying to stay away from harsh laxatives. I get plenty of just SITS there. Chocolates makes everything move. I even find it sparks me mentally.

In the past, I have used organic raw cane sugar in my homemade chocolate confections (which really is alot better than regular sugar), but I'm diabetic and should do even organic sugar rarely if at all. In my last post about chocolate for breakfast, I had drizzled my homemade chocolate syrup (with no sugar) over sweet chunks of fresh pineapple.

But today, I tried making a chocolate confection with blackstrap molasses. I thought it might taste terrible, so I added lots of ingredients to distract from the taste, including extra cocoa and a splash of strong coffee and some raw unsweetened coconut flakes. My recipe included:


1/3 cup raw cacao (or your favorite cocoa powder)
2 tbsp, virgin coconut oil
1/8 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 tbsp. brewed coffee
1/4 cup ground raw flax seeds
2 tbsp. blackstrap molasses

I froze little spoonfuls of it in the shape of coconut macaroons on a glass plate in the freezer, but they looked nothing like macaroons. They were black as molasses, you could say, and decadently mocha. (You can also pour the confection out into a flat mold and make them like chocolate crunch bars.)


Add all your dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix well. Gently melt your coconut oil in a pan then mix your coffee and molasses in with your melted coconut oil. Pour the liquid into your mixing bowl and mix well with your dry ingredients. If the mixture is not moist enough, add a splash more coffee. Drop spoonfuls onto a glass or stainless steel tray or plate for freezing. When frozen, you can use a butter knife to separate them gently from the tray or plate and place them in the container of your choice. I just leave the plate in my freezer and keep reusing it every time I want to make more.

Chocolate for breakfast is great for regularity, as I said, but so are flax, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, and blackstrap molasses. Blackstrap molasses is a natural stool softener. This combination of ingredients is a one-two health punch for your digestive system.**

Plus the seeds are high in protein, as is the cacao. Yes, cocoa powder has over a gram of protein per tablespoon, while raw cacao powder has twice the protein. You should always aim for high-protein and healthy fats in your first meal of the day. Also, remember my favorite quote from "cocoa powder could help reduce the risk of obesity and fatty liver disease."

(Oh yeah! See, I can scientifically justify my chocolate for breakfast kick!)

For awhile, when I first started this health journey and learned that blackstrap molasses, coconut oil, ground flax, pumpkin seeds and dark chocolate was so good for me, I was taking two disgusting tablespoons of blackstrap molasses daily, plus two disgusting tablespoons of coconut oil daily, trying to figure out how to get my flax in, and eating a handful of pumpkin seeds when I thought about it. Then eating part of a gourmet expensive dark chocolate bar a few times a week for the antioxidants and for regularity, but worried about the sugar content.

Now I've finally combined all of them in a lovely little chocolate breakfast macaroon.

You also could use the ground flax, molasses and coconut oil as a great "goo" to make homemade granola bars.

**If you really are having problems with regularity, you can also add pureed prunes to this mocha-coconut frozen macaroon. It's especially a handy way to ingest them if you don't like prunes by themselves. I can eat prunes by the handful, so I don't put them in my chocolate unless I'm making a big platter of fudge, then I use prunes and figs for sweetening my fudge. (My grandkids tear it up!) Prunes are going to be your highest source of both soluble and insoluble fiber together.

Thursday, August 11, 2016


We're not alone.

Some days, more than others, I am reminded of this.

The first non-denominational pastor who churched this young Catholic girl turned atheist in the year I fully turned back to God went AWOL a few years ago. It was 2002 when I met him and he was young and avid with a house full of children and a wife who ruled us all with an iron rod. His church had moved out of their home into an old small white chapel in the country. The church--as a living, breathing entity--first came alive for me within those walls.

It forever came to represent for me what church could be when church was done right.

When I found my first pastor again, 13 years later, he was no longer a pastor and his life had changed dramatically. My heart broke. The wife he'd had when I'd been in his church was finally remarrying, and his old life would be truly gone soon. I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out how this had happened.

He didn't have much interest in the faith. No matter how I tried, I could not revive even a smattering of faith or interest in the things of God.

But I just knew God wasn't through with him, and he would still be a mighty force for goodness before it was over. I told him so, and he found that humorous.

It seemed impossible. But I knew that I knew that I knew. We had a short-lived correspondence on Facebook and via email then it died away. Months passed. My news feed on Facebook alerted me to important moments in his life. He seemed to be spending lots of time with his kids. Amazing how you can follow people's lives on Facebook even when you hardly ever speak. It comforted me to watch over him and pray for him--as he had once prayed so fervently over me.

Fast forward just six short months, and today he told me he thought God might still have some work for him to do. He'd been up all night pondering some spiritual puzzle, he said, talking with other spirit-minded men until late in the night. I told him of course God still had work for him to do. I wondered when the tide had turned. My joy was unspeakable.

And then these words poured from my fingers as they clacked on the keyboard in response to him:

We always gravitate back to who God intended us to be when he created us, don't you think? The world pulls us one way, but God's pull is a force of nature, like gravity or the pull of the tides. Incessant, eternal, pulling us home to who we are.

I read the words after I typed them and I marvelled at them. Those words didn't come from me...they came from an entirely other dimension. That was God-speak, I think. I wrote them before I thought them. I never thought them, actually. I just typed them and read them as though I were reading them for the first time. Beautiful words, aren't they? I can't take credit for them. I can only admire them.

Those words gave me hope too. Not just for me, but for all of us. All of us who are stuck somewhere we don't belong, in a body that is not our intended body, a mind and a life we didn't plan on, a spouse who cheats on us, a boss who abuses us, habits that are killing us, a hopelessness that has paralyzed us.

But those words reminded me that we are not alone, even though it looks that way from our little rickety boat on that still ocean of pain. There is a force of nature, a pull of the tides, a form of gravity that is incessant and eternal and pulling us home to who we are. The us that was supposed to be, all along. That is who we are becoming even when we don't know which direction to row or don't even have any oars. The tide of God's love is pulling us safely to shore.

Sometimes--most often actually--it is happening even when we cannot do it for ourselves.

I ate a Big Mac today. It was a rough day in many ways, and the Big Mac was just the ugly little cherry on top. I was feeling like I will never change. I will die this way.

Then out of the blue came the chat with the pastor and the words that were not my own.

Clearly I am not alone in this battle. Neither is he. Neither are you.

There is hope.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Cool Pineapple Ginger-Coconut Shrimp Souperfood Soup for that's a mouthful!

It's summertime so nobody was interested in my post I wrote on thick, hearty stews. I'm guessing no one wants to read about soup either, so I came up with a recipe for a soup designed for summer. It can be served chilled, hot, lukewarm or at room temperature.

Why am I so insistent on soup in summer?

Soup is so good for you. It is mostly water, so it's filling but a less concentrated source of calories, but it retains all the micronutrients and benefits of all the foods cooked in the soup. When you cook foods, you must always be concerned that essential nutrients leach out, but in soup, they just leach out into the soup and you slurp them right up.

Soup is also an easy way to get your veggies down if you're not a big fan of veggies. If you can't stand to see them, puree them. I love chunks of onion in my soups, but if I'm craving a thick creamy soup, to make them creamier (without cream) I puree onions and celery to thicken them and give them a whitish creamy substance. I puree carrots in my recipe for chili and the kids never know they're eating carrots. Soups and stews are great venues for hiding healthy veggies.

Soup is just good for you on so many levels, and this is a souperfood soup for summer. What makes it a souperfood soup? Let me count the ways:

(1) it's loaded with turmeric which we've already talked about ad nauseum (read my original post on this blog: All that turmeric...) plus all manner of healthy spices that complement turmeric absorption and are filled with antioxidants

(2) shrimp is a great source of astaxanthin (read more about it at World's Healthiest Foods: WHF on Shrimp)

(3) it is sweetened with pineapple (which we talked about yesterday in the chocolate for breakfast post), and all its healthy bromelain (especially in that core)...if you don't like eating pineapple or pineapple cores, this is the way to get it in

(4) is has both  cooked and raw garlic and onion (those amazing alliums...) that I keep telling you are so good for you and you should eat them every day

(5) it has coconut oil and organic high-fat dairy, both of which should be consumed in small amounts daily

(6) it is thickened with flax seeds, soaked overnight (to optimize their nutrition), then pureed in a blender with the cold soup base

(7) it has raw ginger

Sounds complicated, I know, but it's not. It took me less than 30 minutes to make it, and it was divine.


Ingredients for 1 large bowl for 1 person (double if there are 2 of you, triple for 3, etc.):

10 shrimp
4-5 cloves garlic
1 whole sweet onion
4 tbsp turmeric
3 tbsp unsweetened coconut
1 tbsp ground fresh ginger
2 tbsp simply organic curry powder (love its flavor)
1 tsp cardamom
1 tbsp coriander seed (toasted and ground)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp pink himalayan salt crystals
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp raw honey
1/4 cup flax seeds (soaked overnight  in 1/2 cup water)
1/4 cup half & half

First, as you saw in the photo above, I crushed and peeled the garlic cloves and cut up half a raw onion and put it aside with the raw shrimp (which I coated with turmeric so it could absorb the flavor while raw). Since I have learned not to heat or boil my turmeric, the best way to get its flavor into my shrimp is to allow them to sit together before cooking.

Also, you should always allow your garlic and onion to sit for five minutes after you crush/cut/peel them before cooking. The primary nutrients fully emerge within those first five minutes after cutting/crushing.

While those three jewels--shrimp, onion, garlic--were just sitting, I toasted my coriander seeds in a pan for a minute and then tossed them into my mortar and pestle and ground them up.

I put all my spices into my blender/Ninja with my half & half, water, half a raw onion, my soaked swollen flax seeds, raw ginger, coconut and fresh pineapple. That is my soup base, and I put it in the fridge to chill.

Then I went back to my half-onion, garlic and shrimp and put them in a pan with coconut oil to sautee until the onions and garlic were tender and the shrimp pink. I took the pan off the heat a minute then poured my chilled soup base into the pan.

Now, at that point, you choose how you want your soup: chilled, lukewarm or hot. I like mine lukewarm, so I stirred the chilled soup in the pot for a minute to slightly warm it (but not kill all the healthy nutrients with heat), then I poured it into my bowl. I could have cooked it just a minute longer to make it warm, and still not lost too many nutrients, but never leave turmeric and those other spices on high heat for longer than a few minutes or you will lose their antioxidant value.

I stir in a half-teaspoon of raw local honey right before eating it.

Top it with fresh parsley or cilantro. Souperfood soup. Yum.

**This soup, just like my Hangover Carrot recipe, has all the necessary ingredients in the famed Turmeric Hangover Cure (warm milk, fresh ginger, turmeric, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon and honey). So if you drank too much the night before, this is a great soup to restore you to life when you wake up at noon the day after. Honestly, takes less than 30 minutes to throw together.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Chocolate for breakfast...again?

Remember the other day how I was guilt-tripping myself over eating a homemade gourmet chocolate bar with my coffee for breakfast. I started thinking about it. What is so bad about eating chocolate for breakfast?

It's got a tremendous antioxidant count, it jumpstarts your colon in the morning (especially if you combine it with coffee), and the combination gets me feeling kind of zippy. It's a great way to ingest my daily two tablespoons of virgin coconut oil. I slightly warm my coconut oil in a pan just until it begins to melt, then I stir in several tablespoons of cocoa powder (I prefer raw organic cacao powder)with some raw organic cane sugar. Let it chill in a mold (or on a plate) and when it hardens, you've got a relatively healthy dark chocolate bar.

Well, what is bad about it is the sugar. I use organic cane sugar--which really makes a huge difference compared to non-organic GMO beet sugar when measuring my blood sugars--but still, sugar is not good for diabetics. Even better sugars like maple syrup and raw honey should be ingested in small, amounts and only occasionally by diabetics.

But today I thought of to make my chocolate sweet without sweetening it!

I'm trying to eat more papaya and pineapple because of the papain and bromelain content...improving my healthy enzymes and my digestion is one major key to restoring my health and triggering weight loss. I love papaya, but I'm not real crazy about pineapple. It's so sweet and sour at the same time, and I don't really like eating chunks of pineapple by themselves. Pineapple, though, and especially the core, is so full of bromelain which is so good for me. Check out my post The Powerful Pineapple if you've forgotten our discussion of this.

How to incorporate more pineapple into my diet...hmmm? How to incorporate chocolate and coconut oil without sugar...hmmm? Wait! How about if I make my chocolate with coconut oil and cocoa and drizzle unsweetened, still melted chocolate onto my pineapple chunks in the bowl (like a fondue in reverse but with unsweetened chocolate)? What would that taste like?

It was divine.

The sweetness in the pineapple was just enough to "sweeten" the unsweetened chocolate. It is a way to get your pineapple in, along with your chocolate and your coconut oil in a tasty breakfast treat. I ground up some flaxseeds and sprinkled the flax meal on top of the chocolate-drizzled pineapple and that was even better. Think chocolate almond flavor.

I've read that we should have high-protein breakfasts, but in defense of chocolate, it has 1 gram of protein in every tablespoon of cocoa powder. And the flaxseed is high-protein. There you go! Raw cacoa powder has almost 2 grams of protein per tablespoon. And I love this quote from "cocoa powder could help reduce the risk of obesity and fatty liver disease." 

Oh, yeah. I'm finding more and more evidence in support of my chocolate breakfasts.

*sourcing a high-quality cocoa or raw organic cacao powder is essential to ensure you are actually getting the life-giving flavanols you hear about

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Eat naked...

On my way to a meeting this morning, and my dress  is tumbling in the dryer. I just hopped out of the bathtub and I cut up some papaya and made some coffee. I came to check my email on the computer, while munching on my papaya and sipping at my coffee and I realized:

Eat naked.

It's an easy thing to do when you are sipping coffee and nibbling papaya, but imagine how hard it would be to binge naked. It's the ultimate reminder of why you shouldn't be binging, right?

So that is my thought for the day.

If you are worried that you might overeat, eat naked.

I'm full of solutions.  See why you read this blog?

(By the way, that is NOT me in the photo. Remember the earlier photo of my red-headed hunger walking away with balloons? Well, as you know, she came back. I gave her a haircut. She's not happy about the new look.)