10 awesome probiotic foods and Why to eat them!

The human body contains more foreign microbes than human cells. In fact there are trillions of microbes in your gut alone. However, you also have a healthy microbiome in your mouth, in your eyes and on your skin. That begs the question(s): Are you feeding your little friends properly? Are you eating enough probiotic (microbe) rich food?

You may ask why you need to feed them and, if you have so many, why eat more? These are all good questions. The chances are that you are indeed feeding them, but, if fed the wrong thing, certain microbes can become overgrown and take over, causing negative symptoms including: fatigue, brain fog, digestive distress, sinus infections, and more.

By feeding them the proper, healthy kinds of probiotic foods, you cancel out the overgrowth in favor of a healthy gut population. When this microbiome is in balance, wonderful things can happen.

10 reasons to eat probiotic rich foods

  1. Provide enzymes to aid in digestion– These enzymes are especially helpful for the middle-age diet. Probiotics boost enzyme levels, which decline with age. They also contribute to anti-aging and longevity.
  2. Build a protective barrier along the digestive tract. This barrier prevents leaky gut, which allows larger molecules than normal to pass through, leading to food sensitivities or allergies and even autoimmune disorders.
  3. Produce anti-biotic and anti-viral substances to protect the gut and the body. These substances provide immune protection for the gut and the entire body.
  4. Help lower the pH in the digestive tract. These helpful little bugs produce the short chain fatty acids butyric acid and proprionic acid. “these organic acids lower the ph in the GI tract, making it more acidic which reduces the growth of pathogenic bacteria.”
  5. Nourish and energize the cell lining of the GI Tract – “It is estimated that the gut cells receive 60-70% of their energy from bacterial activity.”
  6. Produce vitamins – This further enhances the nutrition value of the probiotic food.
  7. Eliminates toxins and waste from the colon.
  8. Positively improve mood and aid in depression.
  9. Improved weight loss through reduced balanced microbiome and reduced sugar cravings.
  10. Manage GI disorders – many disorders of the GI tract could be due to an imbalance in the microbiome. Probiotic rich food can help balance the microbiome and bring stability to the GI tract.

10 awesome probiotic rich foods

Now that we know why to eat them, we need to know which foods are best. While you can buy some at the store, it’s always best to make your own, which is easy and inexpensive. I’ll be posting a greek yogurt recipe this Thursday on my KITCHEN BLOG. Also look for a DIY Sauerkraut recipe there next week.

  1. Kefir – This can be either water/coconut water kefir or dairy kefir. Water kefir is a bubbly drink that is often flavored with small amounts of fruit juice. Dairy kefir is simlar to yogurt but with a buttermilk texture. I favor this over yogurt due to the diversity of the microbes in the kefir, which can be anywhere from 10 strains to more than 30. Yogurt typically has only a few.
  2. Sauerkraut – As most of you know, this is fermented cabbage. I highly recommend making your own. Store bought sauerkraut is often pasteurized and contains no microbes. Proper sauerkraut is high in vitamin C, as well as digestive enzymes.
  3. Kombucha – This is a fermented and effervescent black tea. It helps support energy, digestion and liver detoxification.
  4. Yogurt – Most of you will buy this in the store. If you do, I recommend organic yogurt. Make sure the package says “active cultures”
  5. Kvass – I must admit, this one is unfamiliar to me. “Kvass is a traditional fermented beverage having a similar taste to beer. Much like kombucha because of its fermentation process and probiotic benefits, it is commonly made from stale, sourdough rye bread.”
  6. Apple cider vinegar – We’re talking about the raw-unrefined apple cider vinegar, which will often say “with the mother” on the label. ACV is known to help reduce cholesterol, improve insulin sensitivity, and weight loss.
  7. fermented pickles and veggies – Once again, we are talking about proper fermented pickles, not the canned, vinegar pickles in the store. Fermented veggies are packed with healthy probiotics
  8. Traditional buttermilk – or cultured buttermilk. Once again, if you buy buttermilk in the store and it says “cultured buttermilk”, make sure it says “active cultures” on the label.
  9. Miso – Miso is “created by fermenting soybean, barley or brown rice with koji. Koji is a fungus, and the fermentation process takes anywhere from a few days to a few years to complete.” Some of the world’s centenarians eat fermented soy and miso!
  10. Brine-cured olives – Once again, olives are eaten throughout the Mediterranean, home of some of the world’s oldest people! Make sure to choose organic olives from a small company.

Closing thoughts

As I venture into the world of food fermenting, I have discovered how easy and inexpensive it is to make some of the world’s healthiest foods. Remember, food fermenting has been around for 1000’s of years as a way of food preservation. Take time to experiment and find the foods you like best. Your little buggy friends will thank you, and so will your body!

6 Super Healthy Diabetic Friendly Recipes

Here is the latest post from my little recipe blog: The Purple Almond Wellness Kitchen

The Purple Almond Wellness Kitchen

Earlier today, on my main site, Purple Almond Wellness, I featured an article about managing blood sugar for diabetes. Here is a list of 6 super healthy diabetes friendly recipes to help do just that! Each recipe uses at least one of the foods on THIS LIST of diabetes friendly foods. In some cases, more than one food is in the recipe. ENJOY!

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Sardine and Lemongrass Salad

From: Saveur.com

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Spinach, Beef and Egg Hash

From: Saveur.com

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LIGHT BERRY FROZEN YOGURT

From: Sugar Free Mom

Broccoli with Parmesan and Walnuts

From: Martha Stewart

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Roasted Garlic and Butternut Squash Soup

From: The Hungry Hounds

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Raw Zucchini and Flaxseed Wraps

From: The Full Helping

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Nutrition 101: Eating Local Produce All year

This was an article which I first published more than two years ago. However, I feel this is a timeless topic that bares repeating. You can never go wrong by eating locally grown food. This was a series of articles, which I’ll repost over the course of the next few months. This was actually the second in the series. I decided to post it first this time, because you should always look to your local produce services first. I’ve checked the links, deleted some and added others. Let me know if you have a favorite I’ve missed!

Here is the original article

When I first set out to write an article on purchasing groceries and produce online, I intended it to be just one article. However, upon researching, I discovered four sides of online grocery and produce delivery services: grocery store delivery, produce delivery, meat delivery, and meal delivery. So, I’ve decided to give it the attention it deserves and break it up into four parts. In my last article, I discussed the 1st aspect, grocery store delivery, and listed a wide variety of grocery stores that deliver to your home. Today, we continue on the delivery theme, by discussing the 2nd part, produce delivery.

Vegetables, Onions, Carrots, Beets, Food, Healthy

Since I started this particular blog series, a few people have asked me about buying locally grown produce, especially in the winter time. So, I set out to find online services that deliver directly to you, (Or at least to your town for pick-up).

The term “local” is relative, especially in the winter time. If you live in Northern Minnesota in January, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a farmer anywhere near you that has fresh produce. In a situation like that, sometimes “local” might mean Florida or California. The best thing to do, is to try to purchase produce grown within the country. You want it to travel the fewest miles possible.

That being said, why not just drop on down to the grocery store and buy produce there in the winter time? You certainly can do that. However, make sure to do your homework. Find out where the store’s brand produce is grown (it will most likely be California-and that’s ok.) and only purchase produce grown within the U.S.A., because that’s what is “local” at the moment. (Ask the produce manager, and read labels. Much of the produce in the store comes from Mexico, Central America or even South America-stay away from that).

If you can buy food grown within the U.S.A. at a local grocery store, you might be asking -what’s the benefit to using an online service? That’s a good question. Most of the online “stores” I found are very much like a physical “farmer’s market” only online. You are eliminating the middle man, buying DIRECTLY from the farmer(s), supporting small AMERICAN businesses, and receiving fresher, riper produce. So, just where can you find these “online farmer’s markets?”

The best place to find locally grown produce, other than a farmer’s market, is through a CSA-Community Supported Agriculture. CSA’s became popular 25 years ago, as a way for people to purchase locally grown produce, directly from the farmer. It’s like a farmer’s market, without the market. Unfortunately, unless you live in the warmer, southern climates, the CSA’s would be limited to the growing season, which ends in October, in most cases.

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Here is a quote from Local Harvest:

“Here are the basics (of a CSA): a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase a share (aka a “membership” or a “subscription”) and in return receive a box (bag, basket) of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.”

To find a CSA near you go to:  http://www.localharvest.org/csa/

For more specific needs, such as fruit or meat, go to: http://www.localharvest.org/store/

Another option for locally grown food, produce, organic products and health food ingredients are food CO-OP’s. What is a CO-OP?

“A co-op is any voluntary organization composed of a group of individuals (or organizations) formed for their mutual (generally, financial) benefit. A familiar example is a group of roommates who rent an apartment together to save money.”

For a full listing of FOOD CO-OP’s for all 50 states go to: http://www.coopdirectory.org/directory.htm

In most cases, the CO-OP will be in the form of a physical grocery store, however, there are also “buying clubs”. A buying club is a group of people who buy food from a CO-OP Distributor.

For a list of a online CO-OP distributors go to: http://www.coopdirectory.org/distributor.htm

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An example of one of these online CO-OP distributors is Azure Standard. You can find them here: https://www.azurestandard.com/. Azure Standard isn’t just produce, they are a full online grocery store. Here’s a short video about their company. They have “drop sites” in almost every state, or you can choose to have it shipped.

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Farm Box Direct– This is a good example of a Buying Club, only on a national scale. FarmBox Direct offers weekly boxes, which change based on what is seasonally available and they deliver nationwide. Here’s a quote from their website, followed by a short video:

“Farmbox Direct delivers the most delicious fruits and veggies to the entire Continential United States. Our mission is to bring you and your family healthy organic & natural produce, and to support our local farmers and community.

Our menu changes weekly according to what’s fresh, local, and in-season. With our service, you get more control of what goes in your box, and you can make up to 5 substitutions in every delivery!”

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Prime Now-Amazon Fresh-Amazon has produce and grocery delivery services available in select cities. See the list below. (UPDATE: Amazon now has a “local/seasonal” section)

Below is a listing of other sites that offer produce delivery services. Most offer nationwide delivery, however, some do charge for shipping.

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Boxed Greens

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Bountiful Baskets

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T.G.L. Organic

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Green People

Hungry Harvest

Hungry Harvest

2020 UPDATE:

“Irregular” produce Delivery

Since this article was first published, a couple of companies have sprung up which sell “irregular” produce directly to your door. The concept behind irregular produce is simple. These companies deliver produce that is misshapen in some way, and not “fit” for grocery stores. In most cases, this produce is cheaper than grocery store prices by up to 30%.
I’ve actually tried this one and I HIGHLY recommend it. In most cases, you’d never know the produce was imperfect. The delivery area is quite limited unfortunately.

Imperfect Foods

“Imperfect Foods was founded in 2015 with a mission to eliminate food waste and build a better food system for everyone. We offer imperfect (yet delicious) produce, affordable pantry items, and quality eggs and dairy. We deliver them conveniently to our customers’ doorsteps and pride ourselves on offering up to a 30% discount compared to grocery store prices. Our customers can get the healthy, seasonal produce they want alongside the grocery staples they rely on, without having to compromise their budget or values. We’re proving that doing the right thing for the planet doesn’t have to cost more, and that shopping for quality ingredients can support the people and resources that it takes to grow our favorite foods.”
Misfits Market

Misfits Market

“Bring delicious, fresh, and affordable misfit produce to people everywhere and reduce food waste at a scale that creates positive and lasting impact.
Unlike other brands, we aren’t focused just on dense urban areas. We are made to go to every zip code in the states we serve, and be within reach of every household.
We are putting fresh produce that might not check all the boxes for perfection into boxes, and sending it straight to you. Sooner than you’d be able to buy it at a store. For half the price. And most importantly, our location is your location. Whether you’re next door to a fancy grocery store, in the middle of a food desert, or somewhere in between.
Every box of Misfits produce you order benefits farmers, helps prevent food waste, and ultimately helps save our environment. Our rapidly expanding Philadelphia- and New Jersey-based operation rescues produce from regional farms and distributes it throughout the Northeast, South, and Midwest in three business days or less.”

The Wellness Mindset ~ Physical Wellness: Water…The Ultimate Nutrient

Pure water is the world’s

first and foremost medicine.

~ Slovakian Proverb

Ahhh water, it is by far the most important nutrient for all living things. In fact, water is so vital to humans, that we can only survive three days without it. But, very few people get enough water. It’s estimated that 75% of Americans suffer from dehydration.

How do you know if you are dehydrated? Well the first symptom is thirst. The thirst response is triggered by dehydration or insufficient water levels, through a series of reactions in the body. So, by waiting until you are thirsty to drink, you are already dehydrated. Another symptom of dehydration is often hunger. Dehydration can often cause individuals to receive hunger signals, causing the person to believe food is necessary. If you’ve recently eaten, and still feel hungry, try drinking some water and wait a bit, that may help.

Symptoms of Dehydration:

  • Increased thirst.
  • Hunger Pains
  • Dry mouth.
  • Tired or sleepy.
  • Decreased urine output.
  • Urine is low volume and more yellowish than normal.
  • Headache.
  • Dry skin.
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • memory and concentration problems
waterquote

What exactly does water do and why is it so important? The human body is 2/3 water. As you can see by the infographic below, all parts of the body are made mostly of water. Even the bones are 30% water. The list of functions on the infographic below is not all inclusive, but gives you a good idea as to just how important water is to the life, health and function of the human body. There isn’t a cell in the human body, that doesn’t use water.

What water does for us:

water

water PDF

10 Tips to help you drink more water.

  1. Know exactly how much you need each day. See the infographic for instructions on how to calculate water needs
  2. Drink 16 ounces of water every morning, on an empty stomach, before breakfast. This “gets things moving” in your bowels, energizes your cells after a long night without water, and ramps up your metabolism
  3. Track your water intake, either on paper or using a phone app. Here is a link to 5 different apps for tracking water intake: Top 5 Drinking Water Apps
  4. Drink herbal tea. Herbal tea is wonderful! (See my article on the benefits of Rooibos Tea) Try to avoid caffeine, in soda, coffee and black tea. I’ll talk about caffeine in more depth later, but for now, know that caffeine is a diuretic, meaning it draws water out of the body. 
  5. Get a nice bottle. The theory here is you’ll be more likely to use it.
  6. Keep your nice bottle near you-and full-at all times
  7. Don’t like to drink water? Add fruit to give it some flavor-lemon and limes, berries, anything you want. Get creative.
  8. Drink freshly pressed vegetable juice.
  9. Drink 8 ounces after each bathroom break. 
  10. Eat your water! SAY WHAT? YES!!! Many fruits and vegetables are mostly water. The infographic below has just a handful. I’ll have a few recipes and other examples throughout the week. Take a look:
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Well, those are the basics. The recipes published on my sister site, The Purple Almond Wellness Kitchen tomorrow will be water-based, such as the Mango Ginger Tea recipe,.

 Until next time…Namaste my friends

Tamara

Sources:

Nutrition 101: A Beginner’s Guide to the Anti-Aging Okinawa Diet

This week, I’ve been discussing longevity and places around the world with the most centenarians (100 year olds). Okinawa, Japan is one of those places, as discovered by bluezones.com. Just how much healthier were the people of Okinawa than those of use here in the good old USA?

source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17986602

As you can see in the chart above, made with data from 1995, the people of Okinawa were much healthier than individuals here in the USA or even their counterparts in mainland Japan. If you’ll notice I did say “were” healthier. Sadly, as our western culture has infiltrated this beautiful island, the younger generations have forgotten the ancient and healthy food culture of the Okinawan people. But just what is that culture and it’s benefits beyond that of longevity?

What is the Okinawa Diet?

The Okinawan Diet is an ancient way of eating for the people of Okinawa, Japan. Okinawa is located in the Ryukyu Islands of Japan.

The life expectancy in Japan is 84 versus the USA life expectancy of 78.8. With that said, Okinawa has more than 5 times as many centenarians as the rest of Japan. So, what is the secret? What is so different about the Okinawan way of life? How do Okinawans differ from the rest of Japan or the world for that matter? It all boils down to the Okinawan diet and lifestyle.

The Okinawa Diet: Living to 100

Nutritionfacts.org

What do Okinawans eat?

The Okinawa Diet is a whole food, plant based diet, rich in leafy greens, as well as yellow and orange vegetables. While they do eat rice, their main source of starch is purple sweet potatoes. They eat only small amounts of meat, mainly pork, and dairy. Legumes and soy are also emphasized in this anti-aging diet. The Okinawa diet contains relatively little processed food.

Health Benefits of the Okinawa Diet

  • Large amounts of anti-oxidants
  • naturally calorie restricted
  • low fat and low sugar
  • improved immunity
  • ant-aging
  • improved brain health – not only are Okinawan people among the longest living, they also have some of the lowest rates of dementia in the world!
  • lowers risk of heart disease
  • lowers risk of cancer
  • improved bone health

How you can eat the Okinawa Way

  • Practice Hara Hachi Bu – this translates to “eat until you are eight parts out of ten full.” This is a practice from Confucius that reminds us to stop eating when we are 80% full
  • Eat mindfully – In the west, we scarf down our food as if we haven’t eaten in weeks. It’s not uncommon to gobble up our food on the run or while driving. This is opposite of the Okinawa philosophy. Take your time and think about what and how you are eating. Think about your “satiety ” or fullness level.
  • 1200 calories per day – I highly doubt the ancient Okinawa people actually counted calories. However, when you base your diet on plants, you will naturally eat fewer calories. The main concept here is our 2000 calorie diet here in the west is far too much. There is more and more research showing the longevity and anti-aging benefits of a calorie restricted diet. For more information on calorie restriction, see my article on the CRON DIET.
  • Eat the rainbow – Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, of all colors. The colors of plants is what gives them specific nutrients not found in other foods. The more varied your diet, the more colorful your diet, the healthier it is.
  • Start eating sweet potatoes – they don’t have to be purple. Okinawan people eat all colors of sweet potatoes. These tasty gems are filled with fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin B5, vitamin E and potassium.
  • Limited amounts of HIGH QUALITY protein – stay away from CAFO and mass produced forms of protein. Since you will be limiting the amount of protein, you’ll want to go for quality over quantity. Aim for wild caught seafood, grass fed beef, pastured chickens/eggs, and organic pork.
  • Limit grains and dairy – While the Okinawa diet does include dairy and limited amounts of rice, these foods are greatly limited. In fact, if not for the legumes, the Okinawa diet could be considered largely paleo in nature.

Closing thoughts

You don’t have to jump in with both feet, as we often try to do when changing our diet. Start gradually by implementing mindful eating. Add a few vegan meals to your week. Slowly begin to cut back on processed foods. You don’t have to go from eating the Standard American Diet 100% of the time to eating the Okinawa diet 100% of the time. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Use the 85/15 rule. Gradually work up to eating the Okinawa diet 85% of the, and allow yourself some fun foods 15% of the time.

Until next time, Namaste my friends.

Tamara

Sources

  1. https://draxe.com/nutrition/okinawa-diet/
  2. https://nutrineat.com/health-benefits-of-okinawa-diet
  3. https://www.nutrition-and-you.com/okinawa-diet.html
  4. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/sweet-potatoes#vitamins-and-minerals

Nutrition 101: The Upside Down Pyramid

Presently, a full two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, and childhood obesity has tripled over the past 30 years.” Do these statistics surprise you? This quote is from a wonderful article written by Dr. Joseph Mercola.  In it, Dr. Mercola discusses the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) which is filled with highly processed and refined “food”, and  how these foods are making us fat. He also discusses the  faulty science behind the USDA’s food guide pyramid, which was replaced with My Plate in 2011.

Comparing the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid

The USDA food guide pyramid (pictured above) encourages individuals to eat between 6 to 11 servings of breads and cereal per day.  Most carbohydrates, whether complex or simple, are essentially chains of sugar, bonded together. When these chains are digested, the body breaks them down into individual molecules of sugar. So, basically, your body doesn’t know the difference between a can of soda and a piece of whole wheat bread.

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The only difference between the soda and the bread, is the length of time it takes for those sugars to be processed by the body.  Because the bread contains fiber, the process of breaking down the molecules of sugar takes longer. But, in the end, the bread will break down into the same sugar molecules that are contained in the soda. For more information on just how carbohydrates are processed, see this article from New Health Advisor. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not demonizing all carbohydrates by any means. Carbohydrates are ESSENTIAL to any healthy diet.

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While My Plate (pictured above), has slightly lowered the amount of grains, it eliminated fat from the picture. Fat is very important for our body. Deficiency in essential fats can cause serious health problems. For more information on the importance of fat in the diet, check out this in depth look at fat at the Weston A Price Foundation.

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So, just how do we eat healthy, if the food guides provided by the government are faulty? It’s not rocket science, in fact, the secret to eating healthy is fairly simple. Are you ready? Just eat REAL FOOD. You’re probably saying “Well if I’m not eating real food everyday, what am I eating?” When I say “real food”, I mean whole food,  not the packaged, refined and chemically laden food most of us eat every day. At my house we call refined food “food like substances.” They look, smell and taste like food, but they’re  not.

Whole vs Processed vs Refined:

Why Whole Foods are The Best Foods - Natural Health

What is a “whole food”?

Whole food is defined as food, as close to its natural state as possible, which is supportive of health, and does not contribute to disease . Whole food is generally intact, and sold with little or no packaging. This is food the way mother nature intended it, such as apples, broccoli, beef, chicken, fish, or eggs. Whole food does not necessarily need to be a whole plant, but part of a plant, such as rice, nuts, seeds or legumes. Since these foods are picked directly from the plant, in the natural state, the essential nutrients remain intact.

What is a “processed food”?

These foods, which start as whole foods, are altered through cooking, refining or juicing. For example, a potato would become processed as it is cooked and mashed prior to eating. Other examples include grinding wheat berries into whole wheat flour or cooking brown rice to make it edible.

If it came from a plant… EAT IT!!!! | KarmaFree Cooking

What is a “refined food”?

A refined food is a barely recognizable, minimized version of a whole food. These foods have been chemically, or mechanically processed, resulting in the elimination of some or all essential nutrients . Typically, additives, preservatives and flavor enhancers have been added to increase shelf life . Some examples include lunch meat, potato chips and bleached white flour.

#MondaMantra If your food can go bad, it’s Good for you ...

Whole foods are nature’s foods. Whole foods are the animals and eggs fresh from the farm, or fruit plucked from the tree or vegetables pulled from the earth. You can walk into a wheat field and pick handfuls of wheat berries, but, you can’t walk into a wheat field and pick a bag of flour or loaf of bread. That is the difference between whole foods, processed foods and refined foods.

Health Benefits of Whole foods

Phytonutrients and antioxidants: Whole fruits and vegetables contain phytonutrients or plant nutrients. These nutrients, which give plants their bright color, contain antioxidants, helping to reduce inflammation, sugar cravings and fight chronic, degenerative diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and type-2 diabetes.

More good-fat: Whole foods, such as fish, grass-fed beef and plants increase the amounts of healthy omega-3 fats in the diet .

Lots of fiber: Fruits, vegetables and whole grains contain lots of fiber. While fiber cleans the digestive tract, feeds our good bacteria and keeps us full, it also helps lower risk of disease such as stroke, cancer, coronary heart disease and obesity.

Nutrient-dense: Whole foods are very nutrient-dense. This means they are low in calories, but very high in essential nutrients, so you get more “bang for your buck”

Reasons to Avoid Refined Foods

Refined flour, sugar, and high-fructose corn syrup: Refined sweeteners and carbohydrates are empty calories, and considered “negative nutrients.”  This means the body needs to use its own reserves of essential nutrients to digest the food. These sweeteners also cause chronic diseases such as, fatty liver disease, obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes.

Artificial ingredients: These ingredients are chemicals and not actually food, such as coloring, preservatives, flavor enhancers and texture agents . Studies show that these chemicals can lead to cancer, allergies, hyperactivity, brain disorders and Alzheimer’s Disease

Trans fats and processed oil: Refined foods are high in “bad fats” such as trans fats and processed vegetable oils, including soy, and corn oil. These fats can cause inflammation in the body, leading to many different chronic diseases, as well as heart disease.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s): Refined food contains GMO’s, which are genetically engineered to either resist pests or herbicides. Studies show these foods lead to tumors, allergies, liver and kidney damage, or organ failure.

The upside down pyramid:

Now that you know the difference between whole, processed and refined food, you may be wondering what type of whole foods you should eat and how much. Well, a picture is worth a thousand words as they say. Dr. Mercola has developed a pyramid as a guide for how to eat healthy. The base of the pyramid is healthy fat and vegetables. The next level of the pyramid is healthy, organic, grass-fed or free-range protein. The next layer is fruit, which should be eaten in moderation due to the sugar content. And, finally, the tip of the pyramid is grains, cereals and pasta.

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Whole food alternatives to popular refined food:

The following chart is from website Weed em and Reap. It contains healthy, whole food alternatives to standard American food.

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Cooking whole food can be easy:

Now, you may be thinking that whole foods aren’t very convenient and take a long time to cook.  As I showed in my blog: “5 whole food breakfasts in 5 minutes or less”, it can be very easy.

Check out this recipe from Primavera Kitchen. It’s a simple and delicious whole food dinner. The Asparagus, Sweet Potato, Chicken Skillet can be prepared in under 30 minutes.  ENJOY!

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Asparagus, Sweet Potato, Chicken Skillet

The Wellness Mindset ~ Recipes: 10 Heart Healthy Fall Dinners – The Purple Almond Wellness Kitchen

Here is the latest post from my new blog, THE PURPLE ALMOND WELLNESS KITCHEN! 


One of the first lessons I learned at Hawthorn was the benefits of eating locally grown, SEASONAL produce. It’s fresher and packed with more nutrients than produce shipped across the country.…

Source: The Wellness Mindset ~ Recipes: 10 Heart Healthy Fall Dinners – The Purple Almond Wellness Kitchen

11 Banned Ingredients In Other Countries That Are Still Allowed In The US

A must read article for everyone! Americans should put their foot down and fight the big money food lobby that puts money before the lives of the citizens of this country.

Did you know certain ingredients are banned in other countries, but not in the US? Here are 11 banned ingredients Americans should stop eating.
— Read on foodrevolution.org/blog/banned-ingredients-in-other-countries/

Clean & Healthy Keto Tips ~ 10 Keto Friendly Summer Recipes

Summer is upon us! This is my favorite time of year for garden fresh, healthy food. There is no better time to make keto friendly meals, whether a salad, soup, dessert or even drinks.

Today, I’ve gathered together 10 recipes, 2 from each of the following categories:

  • salads
  • soups
  • meat
  • desserts
  • drinks

These 10 recipes are just a drop in the bucket for delish, keto friendly summer food. I could made the list 2 or 3 times larger, but didn’t want to overwhelm. The internet is jam packed with wonderful and healthy keto recipes. Over the summer, I’ll be sharing some of these recipes, to use up the plethora of wonderful fresh produce available this time of year.

Without further ado, here are the recipes! The titles are links to the original websites. Click on the title for the complete recipe.

Amish Broccoli Cauliflower Salad

Amish Broccoli Cauliflower Salad is an easy low carb side dish.

Caprese Zucchini Noodle Salad

caprese zucchini4 (1 of 1)

Tomato and Strawberry Gazpacho

Tomato Gazpacho recipe - #recipe by #eatwell101

Zucchini Basil Soup

Zucchini Basil Soup 1

Grilled Ribeye with

Melting Parsley Butter

How To Grill Perfect RibEye Steak - #recipe by #eatwell101

Yogurt Marinated Chicken Skewers

Yogurt Marinated Chicken

Strawberry Cheesecake Salad

strawberry-cheese-cake-salad-v1

Keto Friendly Berry Cobbler

Keto Berry Cobbler - The perfect summer dessert, with a Keto twist. Super easy to make and absolutely delicious! - #recipe by #eatwell101

Sparkling Raspberry

Limeade Mocktail

Low carb sparkling raspberry limeade mocktail

Sugar-free Copycat

Chick-fil-a Frozen Lemonade

frozen lemonade1 (1 of 1)

Clean & Healthy Keto Tips ~ 10 Keto Recipes in 30 Minutes or less

We are all busy…with work…the kids…social engagements…school (for some of us). For me, as I work on my thesis, I’m also fixing up my home and preparing for my youngest son to graduate in from high school in June. Over the past month, it has become easy to “fall off the wagon” and order take out/deliver, as stress gets the better of me and I don’t feel like cooking.

That’s why, this week, I’ve decided to look for some easy keto recipes, that will be quicker to prepare than ordering take out/delivery! I hope you enjoy! Let me know if you try any of them.

SPINACH-MOZZARELLA STUFFED BURGERS

Spinach-Mozzarella Stuffed Burgers

For the recipe, follow THIS LINK!


BANGIN’ COCONUT-LIME SKIRT STEAK

Easy keto recipes

For the recipe, follow THIS LINK.


KETO THAI FISH

WITH CURRY AND COCONUT

Quick keto fish curry recipe

For the recipe, follow THIS LINK.


PORK LETTUCE CUPS

WITH CUCUMBER SALSA

Easy wraps for lunch

For the recipe, follow THIS LINK


EASY KETO CASHEW CHICKEN

fast keto lunch ideas

For the recipe, follow THIS LINK!


5 INGREDIENT AVOCADO LIME SALMON

healthy and quick lunch

For the recipe, follow THIS LINK!


CREAMY TUSCAN GARLIC CHICKEN

Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken

For the recipe, follow THIS LINK!


TACO STUFFED AVOCADOS

Close up of halved avocado stuffed with taco meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato and sour cream.

For the recipe, follow THIS LINK!


BEEF AND BROCCOLI BOWLS

WITH SUNSHINE SAUCE

For the recipe, follow THIS LINK!


SALMON GREMOLATA

WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES

Easy Baked Salmon Gremolata recipe with Roasted Vegetables! This recipe is Paleo, Whole30, low carb, low calorie and very healthy!

For the recipe, follow THIS LINK!