Avocado “Hacks”

Just got this in a newsletter from Robin Openshaw, aka Green Smoothie Girl. Wasn’t aware of the placing avocados in water idea going around, but have heard of and used some of the other things she mentions. Liked the info about the nub and the tip about buying longer avocados. Had never thought about the shape being something to consider or that there were actual avocado saver devices available. 🙂

This is really important to me. Because avocados are my favorite food. There’s this meme-story going around saying that if you put avocados in water they keep for “freaking-ever.” Have you seen it?

People are saying that when they submerge whole, ripe avocados in water in the fridge they’re lasting FOR WEEKS ……meanwhile, that beautiful avocado you left alone for 2 seconds while you went to the bathroom is suddenly mushy and brown — what!? As I’m sure you know all too well, avocados are perpetually difficult. One day they’re too green, and two days later, they’re overripe. So, who doesn’t want this method to work?
Well, it turns out, it might NOT be as wonderful as it seems …FDA scientists showed that Listeria monocytogenes have the potential to infiltrate and get inside the pulp of avocados when submerged in water in the fridge within 15 days. So, even cleaning the avocado surface wouldn’t solve the problem.So, since you don’t want to risk getting food poisoning, what should you do when you buy a bag of avocados and suddenly they’re all perfectly ripe at the same time?
Simply putting ripe avocados in the fridge (NOT in water) works to extend them for a few days. Like you’ve probably always done. I have.

You can also freeze ripe avocados after slicing them, and put them in a bag or jar. Add them to your green smoothies, because their texture will be different. I’m not sure if they’ll work for guacamole that way, I need to try this.

You can also slice them, sprinkle with a bit of lemon or lime, and put them in a bag with the air squeezed out as much as possible. (This will slow down the action of polyphenol oxidase, the enzyme that causes avocado to turn brown.)

If you have half an avocado, leave the pit in and squeeze some lemon or lime juice on it then put it in an air-tight container.

You can also try placing an avocado half with the pit into a container and add a piece of onion. (The onion helps prevent oxidation, so the avocado doesn’t brown.)

And, they make “avocado savers” that are created just for saving avocados, which you can find on Amazon, and probably other places, too. I don’t have one, so I can’t speak to how they work–but again, they’re preventing oxidation.

Hopefully that helps you.

And, here are some avocado hacks that DO work:

How to know if an avocado is ripe? Pop off the little stem/nub at the top, and check its color. If it’s bright green, it’s good. If it’s yellow, place the numb back and let it ripen for a day or two. If it’s brown, it’s probably too ripe.

Choose longer avocados, because they have smaller pits, so you get more avocado.

You can ripen avocados more quickly by placing them in a paper bag along with a banana (an apple works, too). (The natural gasses released by the banana will speed up the process.)Yes, avocados are super nutritious. And rich in nutrients that many Americans are lacking in, like potassium.

I don’t worry whatsoever, despite coming of age in the “low-fat” 80’s, about “too much fat” in an avocado. It’s the kind of fats that keep you and your cells and your skin and your mind young and healthy. Eating avocados is good for your immune system, and anti-inflammatory. They’re also good for the gut. And they’re good for your cardiovascular system.

Of course, they’re yummy in many ways. You might like them in a green smoothie. I don’t put them in my smoothie because they’re so delicious, I don’t want them lost in my blended-up greens and superfoods and a little fruit.

My favorite thing to do with an avocado is to mash it up, add a little lemon juice and pepper, and salsa, and eat it with some healthy chips. What’s your favorite way?
~ Robyn Openshaw

Related Self-help Health post: https://selfhelphealth.wordpress.com/2016/01/31/avocado-based-smoothie-recipes-plus-two-week-epigenetics-re-boot/

Here’s to a healthier you in 2022!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my Evolution Made Easier website’s To Your Health page.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Sugar-free Almond Flour Banana Bread + Free Health Docu-series

Almond Flour Banana Bread

This paleo and gluten free almond flour banana bread recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie is perfect for a healthy snack or breakfast.

Print Recipe

Cook Time 50 minutes

Yield 10 – 12 slices

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fine almond flour
  • 3 overripe bananas
  • 2 eggs (can also substitute vegan options such as flax eggs)
  • 1 TBS baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

  • Grease or line a 9×5 loaf pan. Preheat oven to 325 F. Stir all ingredients until smooth. Pour into the loaf pan. Bake on the center rack 50-55 minutes. Let it sit until completely cool before going around the sides of the pan with a knife and carefully popping out. It is SUPER moist and fudgy. Refrigerate leftover up to 6 days, or slice and freeze for a rainy day.
  • View Nutrition Facts

This bread is worth baking, if for no other reason than the yummy smell it gives to your kitchen. And the mixture is so dense it’s hard to tell if/when it’s done, so the first time I made it I started testing/tasting it about 10 to 15 minutes before the timer went off. And I’ve discovered that, at least for me, there is no wrong time to eat it, including at zero minutes of baking, as in when you’re licking the bowl. HA!

FYI, the second time I made this I ended up adding 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and about 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts. Next time I think I will add even more cinnamon, but it’s all up to you. And if you want to make it more “dessert-y,” you could try stirring in some sugar-free chocolate chips! Usually I try to stick close to a recipe the first time I try it, and then make alterations/additions in the future. It’s great warm with butter, but so moist it can easily be eaten plain, and, if you’re like me, storage won’t be a problem, because I can eat the whole recipe in just a couple of days. 🙂

Unfortunately, the one caveat I can find with the recipe is that it uses almond flour, which initially was actually one of the main things that attracted me to it, since I love all things almond. But right after I bought 2 bags of the flour on sale, I read an article about how all of the land and water that’s being used for growing almonds is not only a stress on the environment, but also the bee population (here’s one article about how pesticides are also part of the situation).

So, since then I have tried to minimize my use of almonds and almond products, but I figured I had all this flour and didn’t want to just throw it out, so I’ve been able to make the banana bread several times. I would just urge people to do some research and be aware of the bee situation and try to limit when you use almond products.

SOURCE FOR RECIPE: https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/almond-flour-banana-bread/

On another note, from now until this Thursday at 11:59 pm PT (US), you can watch every episode of Proven for free. 

Proven: Healing Breakthroughs Backed By Science is a 9-part exploration of the most powerful natural and alternative medicines on earth. Each episode is focused on a specific disease or illness, and highlights the undeniable, science-backed remedies that are reversing these conditions.

Sacred Science poured a ton of time, love and research into each episode, so check it out while it’s still available for free viewing. It could be a great way to insure you get off on healthier footing in the new year.

Click here to watch it now

Here’s a quick episode guide to help you navigate the series:

Episode 1 – The Hidden Root Cause Of All Disease

Episode 2 – Reversing Autoimmune Disorders & Healing Your Gut

Episode 3 – Brain Health & Restoring Cognitive Function

Episode 4 – Solving Fatigue & Insomnia

Episode 5 – Healing Heart Disease, Diabetes & Obesity

Episode 6 – Overcoming Physical Pain

Episode 7 – Healing Emotional & Physical Trauma

Episode 8 – Cancer Breakthroughs

Episode 9 – Intimacy, Fertility & Hormone Health

https://proven.thesacredscience.com/proven-holiday-screening

Here’s to a happier, healthier you in 2022!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional/your inner knowing before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Have You Had Your Daily Harvest Today?!

Have you heard about the new meal delivery service Daily Harvest?

I first gave Daily Harvest a try about 3 months ago and have continued to schedule deliveries on a semi-regular basis ever since. They have entrees, soups, smoothies and more for when I need to have something to eat in a hurry that’s highly nutritious to boot. Ordering from DH seems to be a good way to make sure my freezer is stocked with items that are quick to prepare and surprisingly healthy, especially in comparison to most of what’s available in the world of frozen food.

Why I like Daily Harvest and would recommend it to others…

It’s great to have frozen items that are super healthy, where 95% of the ingredients are organic, and include a wide array of fruits, veggies, herbs and superfoods combined in ways that are beyond the ordinary. Plus, I really appreciate that in the foods I’ve ordered that call for oil, they always use organic extra virgin olive oil. So many products these days rely on the cheaper and, from my research, less healthy canola, safflower or sunflower oils, which contain high amounts of omega-6s.

And all items are free of fillers or artificial anything, and don’t contain dairy or gluten, if those are things you’re trying to avoid. In fact, everything is fruit and/or plant-based and vegan, and there are a number of options that are also paleo-friendly. I don’t follow a specific type of diet, but I realize many people do, so this provides choices that are sometimes hard to find in the freezer section of a grocery store.

Most items are also usually high in fiber and low in calories, and quick and easy to prepare. Many require just a quick heat-up, whirl in the blender, or the flatbread pizzas (with crusts made of pureed veggies, cassava flour and other healthy things), take about 20 minutes in a toaster oven.

Flexibility in ordering…

Fortunately, DH gives you quite a bit of flexibility on how often you order and day of the week it’s delivered, and you can change the items in your box each time, if you want. I signed up for the weekly delivery, because I didn’t want to commit to the larger amount of items required for the monthly box, especially because I didn’t know if I’d actually like the food. My thought was I would at least give the service a try since they were having a special $20 off promotion, and then cancel after my second order, because I didn’t want to be locked into deliveries on a weekly basis.

BUT, I ended up liking the food and found out how easy it was to change my items and delay my deliveries to where I usually have one every 3 to 4 wks, so I was able to get what amounts to the monthly box without committing to ordering the larger amount of items. HA! And it’s just enough to get me a good stash of back-up food for the freezer without having to schedule a delivery for each week. Orders can always be more or less frequent, if I make the changes in time to my account on-line, and DH always sends an e-mail reminder that the cut-off for amending an order is coming up.

Interesting, innovative ingredients and recipes…

You can see a complete list of ingredients for each food item and read reviews by other customers to help you decide if it sounds like something you’d like. And the company is always adding new items to the menu choices, plus tweaking older recipes, based on customer feedback. They seem to be honestly interested in continually making everything better and better. After having a few deliveries and reordering what I did like, and trying something new in place of things that didn’t really turn me on, I have gotten to where I know I’m going to be pleased with what’s coming.

This last time I added something based on it being ranked as the customers’ #1 pick and it did not disappoint. In fact, I will probably order at least 2 in my next delivery. It’s the Beet+Wild Rice Harvest Bowl and has a combination of ingredients that may sound a little strange to some people (I know it did to me at first)… chioggia beets, wild rice, arugula, cauliflower and parsnip puree, fennel, coconut cream, dill and other herbs, plus camu camu powder. But don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

And that’s one of the things I like best about the Daily Harvest choices; they combine a lot of different things that I normally wouldn’t eat that often, if at all. So it’s great for getting a wide variety of fruits, veggies and herbs into my diet without having to buy a bunch of different stuff at the grocery store, if I was to make the recipe at home.

Their Almond Mylk is super healthy and convenient…

I tried one of DH’s smoothies, but I really, really like my own recipe, plus often start with a whey/high protein base, so it’s just easier to stick with making my own. BUT, I usually use coconut milk and almond milk for the liquid part in mine and I like adding one of the Almond Mylk cubes from Daily Harvest to give it an even richer taste. Their Mylk is pure and simple, just ground almonds and Himalayan sea salt, so you don’t get any of the additives that are in a lot of brands, even those at the health food stores.

The package comes w/ 8 “concentrated” cubes and each is equal to 1/2 cup of almond milk when reconstituted with water, so I can add extra flavor without adding extra liquid to the smoothie, if I just pop a cube into the blender with my other ingredients. I also like the convenience of always having a back-up supply to the regular almond or oat milk I use on granola, oatmeal, etc. There have been times in the past when that’s the only thing I need from the grocery store, so now when that happens, I just rely on the Mylk cubes until I do my regular shopping.

Daily Harvest is the type of business I like supporting with my dollars…

Daily Harvest is not like a lot of businesses that are really more concerned with making some bucks than really providing the American people with truly healthy food options and being good stewards of the planet. DH uses environmentally-friendly/recyclable packaging, chooses ingredients that support organic and regenerative farming practices, and even include superfoods in many of their recipes. And, as it says on their site….

Most of us know the saying from doctors taking the Hippocratic oath. Unfortunately, no similar oath exists in the food industry. A century of damage to the system has taken its toll — on our food, our health, and Mother Earth herself. While we at Daily Harvest believe in a world well-fed… today, it isn’t. We have to actively work to undo the damage of the past while creating a new system that can nourish humanity and do no harm.

Sound idealistic? Well, maybe we are. We didn’t break the system, but our only future is built on something new. Something that shows regard for future generations (Re:Generation). You with us? We are on a mission to take care of food so food can take care of you.” 

I like spending my dollars at places that are consciously involved in creating a better world!

Personally, I think poor diet, depleted soil, and non-organic/pesticide-ridden foods are a big part of what has made this country so susceptible to the virus, and I think all holistic health practitioners would agree. Unfortunately, mainstream medicine, the media, and the talking heads from government and Big Pharma don’t ever mention how important eating truly healthy food is to creating a strong immune system, but then that’s a whole other conversation. 😦

UPDATE: If you’re interested in giving Daily Harvest a try, now’s a good time, because you’ll get $50 off your first order by using this code by 1/31/22 at check-out to get started: CRS-LH7HT6T

And, although everyone’s tastes vary, here’s some suggestions you might consider as to what to order:

In addition to the Beet+Wild Rice Harvest Bowl I mentioned earlier, check out the Sweet Potato+Wild Rice Hash, Brussels Sprouts+ Tahini, and Roasted Eggplant+Red Pepper Caponata Harvest Bowls, Sweet Potato+Miso Soup, Pear+Arugala+Pecan, Portobello+ Pesto, and Tomato+Cremini Flatbreads. And I love the purity and convenience of their Almond Mylk and knowing I always have some on hand to save me from having to make an unscheduled run to the store.

And I usually like to “accessorize” my food, including some of the items from Daily Harvest. For example, yesterday I had the Tomato+Cremini Flatbread, which is fine just as it is, but I decided to customize it with the pesto, Kalamata tapanade, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes I usually keep on hand. DELISH! Would probably have even added some crème fraîche, if I’d had some around, but then I’m one of these “the more the merrier” kind of gals when it comes to toppings on food. 🙂

p. s. Daily Harvest’s version of non-dairy ice cream is called Scoops and uses a coconut cream base. The Ooey Gooey Midnight Fudge is the only one so far that I’ve really liked, which is just a well, because I already have too many temptations around. The Salted Caramel Scoops was a “no” for me and the only disappointing thing I’ve ordered so far. But then I haven’t found a really healthy version of salted caramel ice cream anywhere. I think it’s one of those indulgences best enjoyed in its classic form. 🙂

Here’s to happy, healthy eating!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional/your inner knowing before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Soup Recipes To Try This Fall? Yes, please!

The days are starting to feel more like fall lately where I am and Pure Wow just sent an e-mail with a ton of soup recipes to try. I found 5 or 6 that interested me (what a great idea to make a cauliflower chili!) just in the first 12 I looked at of the 70 (yipes!) they put together, so I figured you’re more than likely to find some that sound appealing, too.

Soup is great comfort food and can often be really healthy, so check out these recipes and get busy cookin’ up some comfort….

70 Fall Soup Recipes You Haven’t Tried Before

By Katherine Gillen | Oct. 9, 2020

As a season, fall has a lot going for it: Sweaters, scarves and colorful leaves are just a few autumnal delights we look forward to every year. But everyone knows that the most important thing about fall is that it marks the beginning of the best time of year: soup season. We don’t care if it’s meaty, noodle-y, creamy or full of veggies—if it can be eaten with a spoon, we’re all in. From carrot to miso (and everything in between), here are 70 fall soup recipes to inspire your dinner plans.

RELATED: 28 THANKSGIVING SOUPS EVERYONE WILL LOVE

fall soup recipes spicy lemon ginger chicken soup recipe

PHOTO: NICO SCHINCO/STYLING: ARAN GOYOAGA

1. SPICY LEMON-GINGER CHICKEN SOUP

Number one on our list of comfort foods? Chicken soup. This version wins bonus points for both flavor and ease: It’s ready in about an hour and can be customized to your heart’s desire.

GET THE RECIPE

fall soup recipes curried parsnip apple soup recipe

JACQUI MELVILLE/APPLE

2. CURRIED PARSNIP AND APPLE SOUP

Parsnips are like carrots but sweeter, so they’re a natural pair for apples and lots of warming spices.

GET THE RECIPE

fall soup recipes canal house carrot soup recipe

CHRISTOPHER HERSHEIMER/CANAL HOUSE COOK SOMETHING

3. CANAL HOUSE’S CARROT SOUP

Once you’ve mastered the original recipe, shake things up. You can add herbs, lemon or spices for three different versions in one.

GET THE RECIPE

fall soup recipes restorative miso noodle soup recipe

MARIA SIRIANO/THE PROBIOTIC KITCHEN

4. RESTORATIVE MISO NOODLE SOUP

Classic miso soup is nourishing as-is, but this one has noodles and greens for extra oomph.

GET THE RECIPE

fall soup recipes quick and easy spicy coconut black bean soup recipe

EMILY MORGAN

5. QUICK AND EASY SPICY COCONUT BLACK BEAN SOUP

By quick and easy, we mean ready in 35 minutes.

GET THE RECIPE

fall soup recipes sausage corn pobablo chowder recipe

PHOTO: CHRISTINE HAN/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

6. SAUSAGE, CORN AND POBLANO CHOWDER

This soup also freezes really well, so you can make a batch ahead of time and pull it out on a chilly, lazy night.

GET THE RECIPE

fall soup recipes keto instant pot sausage kale soup recipe

LESLIE GROW/KETO IN AN INSTANT

7. KETO INSTANT POT SAUSAGE-KALE SOUP

This is a choose-your-own-adventure kind of recipe: Use any kind of sausage and leafy greens. Just don’t skip the cauliflower.

GET THE RECIPE

fall soup recipes cauliflower chili recipe

LAUREN VOLO/CAULIFLOWER POWER

8. CAULIFLOWER CHILI

Speaking of cauliflower, it makes a great substitute for meat in this lighter take on chili. Some may argue it’s not technically a soup, but you eat it in a bowl with a spoon…and it’s so ideal for fall.

GET THE RECIPE

fall soup recipes broccoli soup with spinach cilantro and croutons recipe

ALEJANDRA GRAF/BROWN SUGAR & VANILLA

9. BROCCOLI SOUP WITH SPINACH, CILANTRO AND CROUTONS

It’s topped with garlicky, herby croutons for a little bit of crunch.

GET THE RECIPE

fall soup recipes gut healing broth recipe

GEMMA OGSTEN/THE SELF-CARE COOKBOOK

10. GUT-HEALING BROTH

The best part? A batch will keep up to three months when frozen, so you can have some close at hand for soup emergencies.

GET THE RECIPE

fall soup recipes sweet potato miso soup recipe

SIMPLY LAKITA

11. SWEET POTATO MISO SOUP

The salty miso balances out the sweetness of the spuds. Pair it with a big green salad for a dreamy lunch.

GET THE RECIPE

fall soup recipes easy chicken and dumplings recipe

BUTTER BE READY

12. EASY CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS

Rainy day? Under the weather? Just kind of blah? This calls for chicken and dumplings.

GET THE RECIPE

Check out the rest of the list here.

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional/your inner knowing before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

63 (count ’em!) Zucchini Recipes For Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner And Snacking

 

I meant to post this about a month ago when zucchini were at their peak (at least in the community garden where I volunteer) and this image got a lot of laughs on Facebook. No worries, there’s still plenty of these cucumber-shaped summer squash around to use in any of the delicious-looking recipes put together by Pure Wow that strike your fancy. Plus, you can always bookmark this page for next year when you’re wondering what to do with your surplus. 🙂

 

zucchini recipes Zucchini Fries Recipe

1. ZUCCHINI ‘FRIES’

When that fry craving hits (and you know it will), whip up this healthier version instead of the usual deep-fried taters.

GET THE RECIPE

zucchini recipes Mini Spanish Tortilla With Zucchini Recipe

2. MINI SPANISH TORTILLA WITH ZUCCHINI

Amazing news: This whole thing is for you, and makes a mean breakfast, lunch or dinner.

GET THE RECIPE

zucchini recipes Zucchini Ricotta Galette Recipe

3. ZUCCHINI RICOTTA GALETTE

This savory pie is basically foolproof, thanks to pre-made pie crust.

GET THE RECIPE

zucchini recipes Pesto Zoodles Recipe

4. PESTO ZOODLES

A healthy coating of homemade basil pesto takes zucchini noodles to a whole new level.

GET THE RECIPE

zucchini recipes Zoodle Stir Fry Recipe

5. ZOODLE STIR-FRY

Skip the rice in favor of squash. It’s flavorful and filling, and it comes together in no time.

GET THE RECIPE

zucchini recipes Baked Zucchini Ziti Spirals With Mozzarella Recipe

6. BAKED ZUCCHINI ‘ZITI’ SPIRALS WITH MOZZARELLA

This has all the cheesiness but none of the carbs of the original, thanks to sneaky zucchini ribbons.

GET THE RECIPE

zucchini recipes Easy Zucchini Bread Recipe

7. EASY ZUCCHINI BREAD

All you need is one bowl to mix the ingredients and a little patience as the loaf bakes.

GET THE RECIPE

Go here for the rest of the yummy looking recipes, including #45 Cheesy Pesto Chips.

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional/your inner knowing before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Wondering About Which Flour To Use? Here’s A Great Resource!

 

This is one of the best sources I’ve found for having information about all the various flours available these days for those looking to get away from wheat. It does a good job of giving you an idea of how they affect your cooking/baking results, and the pluses and minuses of each option, so you can decide which ones will be best for your particular need. 

BTW, I think I have either cooked with our tasted products made with all the flours listed (including snack bars made with cricket flour :-))  except green banana flour. It’s great that we have so many more choices available these days!

 

Coconut Flour vs Almond Flour vs Hemp Flour vs Green Banana Flour vs Buckwheat Flour (and more)

 

Wheat Flour is Probably the Worst Flour for Health.  So What about Coconut Flour, Almond Flour, Hemp Flour, Cassava Flour, Buckwheat, Green Banana Flour, or Cricket Flour? Let’s Look at Alternative Gluten Free, Grain Free Flours for Comparison…

When I first began eating gluten free, there wasn’t much of a choice for alternative flours, except rice flour. I actually got used to using it, and was successful using it instead of wheat flour for most recipes. However, rice is a grain and a highly refined one at that, so I’ve begun to experiment with other non-grain, low-glycemic flours. All of them have differing nutrient qualities and different textures, so what works for one recipe, may not work for another. In addition, many flours, even if they are non-grain, can still be highly refined starch and therefore high glycemic. Not good! New types of flours are showing up everyday, so it’s hard to keep up, but here is a rundown of some of the top-selling Paleo, non-grain/gluten free flours.

Coconut Flour

Coconut has been one of the popular, Paleo-style, low-glycemic substitutes for regular flour. And it is gluten free and grain free, and tends to be low-allergenic .It is high in fiber, and healthy fats, low carb, and generally low on the allergen list as well. Even though it is a flour, it still contains a decent amount of healthy saturated fats, that are easily and quickly metabolized for energy. Coconut flour is also considered low glycemic and because of its high fiber content, it is helpful in maintaining stable blood sugar. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition show that consuming products with coconut flour will help lower the glycemic impact of the food. However, if you are using it in cookies or other sweetened products, keep in mind, the other sugars will still affect blood sugar levels.

Downside of Coconut Flour – Coconut’s high fiber content can be either good or bad. Coconut flour has a lot of fiber, and much of that fiber comes in the form of inulin. Unfortunately, inulin is considered a FODMAP, which is a type of fiber that can set off digestive symptoms in certain types of people who are sensitive to it. The high fiber, combined with the heavier texture, means very filling, heavy baked goods. Coconut flour tends to ‘suck’ up a lot of the liquids in a recipe, so it generally works better if you make adjustments for the extra liquids, otherwise you may end up with a very dry crumbly texture. Coconut flour can be a bit expensive, but is less than some of the other alternative flours out there. Some people who are allergic to nuts, may also be allergic to coconut as well.  Because of the nature of coconut flour to suck up moisture, it’s generally best blended with a fattier flour like almond flour, and that blend usually creates more moist baked goods rather than coconut flour alone.

Almond Flour

Almond flour is great for those who want to be gluten and grain free, and also follow a low-carb diet. Almonds, like other nuts, are full of great nutrients like L-arginine, magnesium, potassium, calcium, copper, and manganese, as well as mononunsaturated fats.

Almond meal or almond flour makes a great Paleo flour that is non-grain based. Almonds are healthy fats, nutrients, and fiber. Although almond flour is heavier, it doesn’t tend to soak up liquids like coconut flour and works well for cookies and other baked goods. Almond flour is low carb, even lower carb than coconut flour, so it’s perfect for a low carb or Paleo or ketogenic diet and is also great for diabetics to keep blood sugar stable. It also has a delicious crunchy texture and works well for coating things like chicken or fish.

Downside of Almond Flour – Almonds contain phytic acid which can be a gut irritant if you consume too much almond flour too often. Almond flour is also high in Omega 6 fats, which can be inflammatory (in excess), especially if you eat a lot of almonds and almond flour—and don’t balance it out with a sufficient amount of healthy Omega 3 fats. Almond flour definitely does NOT work if you have a nut allergy. And if you have a tendency to be sensitive to oxalates in food, almonds should be minimized.

Note on almond flour:  Since this flour is more fat-based, it tends to mix well for baking with drier flours like coconut flour or a few of the starchy flours like rice, cassava, or green banana.

Hemp Flour

Hemp flour and hemp seeds are not the same as marijuana, so no need to worry about getting high. This flour is made from hemp seeds, so is gluten free, grain free and low glycemic, but high in nutrition. Hemp contains all the amino acids and is a great protein source, along with healthy fats. Hemp seeds contain a large amount of Omega 3 fats, although a good part of the oil is removed to make it into flour. Hemp is also rich in vitamins and minerals including vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin. Hemp flour makes great bread and baked goods. Hemp has no gluten and works well if you have any kind of nut allergy. Hemp flour is also full of fiber. Hemp has a delicious, nutty taste, even though it’s safe for those with nut allergies.

Downside of Hemp Flour – Hemp flour is generally greenish-brownish, so if you are making cookies or a cake, keep that mind—it may taste good, but the color may not look very appetizing. Hemp does not rise on its own, so it should be mixed with other flours, or used as a flatbread, pancakes, crackers, or for breading. Hemp flour is not cheap and sometimes harder to find.

Cassava Flour

I used to think Cassava flour and tapioca flour were the same things, but that is not actually true. While both come from the cassava root, which is also known as yucca or manioc, tapioca starch is actually a highly refined and processed powder extracted from cassava root that goes through a process of washing and pulping. The pulp is then squeezed to extract a starchy liquid, which is then dried and bleached, and the remaining powder is tapioca.

Cassava flour, on the other hand, comes from the whole root, simply peeled, dried and ground. This means it has more dietary fiber, and overall is a less refined, whole food flour. Cassava is full of vitamin C, great for healthy skin, the immune system and an anti-inflammatory.

Cassava flour is starting to become more and more popular as a great gluten-free, grain free flour, with a great versatile consistency similar to regular flour, which makes it a great substitute for regular wheat flour, unlike almond, coconut or hemp flours. It also has a very mild taste and texture, making it work on a 1:1 basis as a perfect substitute for wheat flour.

Downside of Cassava Flour – Unfortunately cassava flour is not low glycemic or low carbohydrate, although it is grain free. Cassava has a very high carbohydrate profile—in fact, it’s double the calories and carbohydrates as a sweet potato, meaning it could easily create insulin spikes and high blood sugar. Because of the higher carb content of this flour, it’s generally best used blended with a high fiber flour like coconut flour and/or a high fat flour like almond flour.

Buckwheat Flour

Buckwheat actually contains neither wheat nor gluten, and is not a grain. Buckwheat is actually a seed that provides so many nutritional and antioxidant benefits that it is often considered a superfood. Buckwheat contains a wealth of B vitamins, manganese, magnesium, zinc, iron, folate, and bioflanonoids such as rutin and quercetin which are known anti-inflammatory agents that help allergies, strengthen blood vessels and prevent blood clots. Buckwheat is a great source of protein, containing 12 amino acids. Buckwheat has more protein than rice, wheat, millet or corn.

Buckwheat has the added attraction of being low glycemic, keeping you full for longer and helping keep blood sugar levels low. This also makes it an ideal ‘fat-burning’ food. Studies found that when diabetic patients consumed buckwheat over a two-month period, they experienced a lowering in blood sugar and reduced insulin resistance without any form of medication. Buckwheat works well for baking breads, muffins, crepes, pancakes and other foods.

Downside of Buckwheat – It’s tough to find a downside to this superfood. It is relatively inexpensive, medium-carb, grain-free, gluten-free, low glycemic, full of protein and fiber and other super nutrients. It may be a bit heavy to use on its own for breads, but it’s not bad. The only downside is that it is a deep brown, making your baked goods dark-colored.

Green Banana Flour

One of the newer grain free, gluten free Paleo flour options, green banana flour is similar to cassava flour in how it’s used. This flour comes from dried, pulverized green banana slices and is common in many of the warmer, tropical regions of the world, like Central and South America It’s not very common yet, but it may become one of the more common flour substitutes in the future. Don’t be confused—this is not made from the sweet yellow bananas that are eaten as a fruit, this flour is made from green bananas, and is not sweet—nor does it taste like bananas. The flour has a delicious rich, nutty taste—nothing like bananas. It is a bit heavier though, so use less than you would regular flour. Plantains are rich in iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, B, and C.

While green bananas are a starchy food, the starch they contain is resistant starch, which helps to maintain blood sugar levels without an insulin spike, making them good for people who are trying to lose weight or fight diabetes. Resistant starch is not absorbed by the body, so it mostly just passes through your system. This is what makes banana flour lower glycemic, and not as fattening as other flours, as the body cannot absorb all the calories in this flour. Resistant starch is also an excellent prebiotic, which helps to feed and maintain a healthy microbiome, improving your mood, as well as your immune and digestive system.

Downside of Green Banana Flour – Can’t really find a downside of this flour either, it’s an awesome, low glycemic, non grain, gluten free substitute for wheat flour. The only thing is this flour is not white, its brownish green, and is heavier and denser than regular flour, so it may make your baked goods less pretty to the uneducated general public. It is also relatively difficult to find as of yet, and somewhat pricey also.

Cricket Flour

I had to add this one in! Yes, it’s real crickets it’s made from! While cricket flour is actually made from dried and roasted crickets, it is an amazing gluten free, non grain, high protein flour. It has three times the protein of a steak and twice as much as a piece of chicken! It’s also full of vitamins B2 and B12, iron and calcim. Still feeling squeamish? It doesn’t taste a bit like bugs, you cannot find eyeballs or wings or anything else gross in it. It has a nutty, mild taste and is ultimately much more sustainable than many other plant-based crops used for flour.

Downside of Cricket Flour — Well, you the know, the obvious, it’s from—crickets. But other than that, it’s a bit expensive, and it’s not something you see at the grocery store—yet.  But cricket flour is becoming more common, and I think it’s going to be big in the future.

My recommendations:

I’ve been gluten-free and mostly grain-free for the last 10 or more years, so I’ve had lots of chances to experiment with some of these flours. Almond flour or hemp flour is great for a heavier, healthier, more filling flour. They make great cookies. I love buckwheat for pancakes, muffins, waffles, etc. Cassava is a great alternative if you want a ‘pretty’ fluffier looking flour that bakes well and is a good substitute for regular flour, and is widely accepted, but it is high carb/high glycemic.

Other flours worth mentioning include garbanzo flour, oat flour, ground flax, rice flour, sorghum flour, amaranth, and teff flours. My best suggestion is to try a few in different recipes, combine some of them, experiment and enjoy!

Mike’s Note (from NutritionWatchDog.com):My personal experience is that it’s almost ALWAYS best to combine some of the alternative flours for the best texture.  For example, we make various muffin recipes using a mixture of equal parts coconut flour, almond flour, and green banana flour (or rice flour)… this works well because the higher fat content of the almond flour mixes well with the drier coconut flour, and then adding 1/3 of a starchy flour like green banana or rice flour finishes the blend perfectly, while still maintaining a much lower carb count and lower blood sugar impact.  Blending 2 or 3 of these alternative flours usually ends up having the best taste too, whether it’s muffins, pancakes, waffles, etc.

Source: http://thenutritionwatchdog.com/forget-about-grains-try-these-grain-free-flours-that-spike-fat-loss-and-improve-your-health

And here’s some additional options listed in an article by Scott O’Reilly on paleo flours:

  • Arrowroot flour. The name is derived from the fact that Central American Indians used this plant-based starch to heal poison arrow wounds. They also used it to aid digestion and boost vitality. Today, there’s evidence that arrowroot flour can boost immunity and improve digestion. You can use this flour as a thickener and as an alternative to cornstarch.
  • Tapioca starch. This is an inexpensive flour that can be used to make gravy, cupcakes, muffins and pancakes.
  • Tigernut flour. The name is something of a misnomer because this flour is derived from a plant root (not a nut) found in North Africa and the Mediterranean. It reportedly helps nurture your good bacteria.
  • Sweet potato flour is loaded with nutrients like vitamins A and K. It holds moisture well and is ideal if you’d like sweet-tasting waffles or cupcakes.

In general, each of the paleo flours tends to have their strengths and weaknesses. In most instances, you won’t be able to substitute them at a 1:1 ratio for white flour. However, combining paleo flours (which entails some trial and error) can help you achieve your desired culinary and wellness goals.

 

Related Self-help Health post: Cooking With Coconut Flour

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

 

“…..these are a few of my favorite things.”

 

To borrow a line from the famous Julie Andrew’s song, “these are a few of my favorite things.” It’s a list I’ve been wanting to put together for awhile now, and this is just a beginning, but it will give you some food for thought, literally and figuratively. 🙂 I realize we don’t all necessarily have the same tastes,  but if you’re looking for some ideas of new things to try, then here are a few I highly recommend…..

 

# 1 – Living Intentions Salsa Verde and Tandoori Turmeric Popcorn flavors and Sprouted Nut MixesLiving Intentions Superfood Popcorn, Salsa Verde, 4ozThe Salsa Verde flavor of Living Intentions popcorn is made with organic ingredients, including fresh ground spices, aromatic herbs and zesty chilies. But it also contains the superfood goodness of spirulina, chlorella and kale, plus they’ve added 2 billion CFUs of friendly probiotic cultures in each bag to support immune health and promote well-being. This flavor started out as my favorite, but I think the Tandoori Turmeric may be taking over 1st place in my heart and stomach. It’s hard to resist eating the whole bag when it comes to either of them.

The Living Intentions Activated Superfood Nut Blends I’ve tried are equally addictive. I can eat a whole packet at once, if I don’t make a concerted effort to stop. Love the Malted Maple and Thai Curry flavors that contain things like raw cashews, sprouted almonds, coconut chips, coconut palm nectar, plus the 1 billion CFUs of probiotics in every super snack product Living Intentions makes.

 

# 2 – Hilary’s Organic Veggie Spicy Sage Sausage

Haven’t gotten around to trying Hilary’s maple-flavored veggie sausage because I was hooked from the get-go on this spicy offering. Sometimes I don’t even get around to cooking the eggs or whatever that I’d planned to go with the sausage and just end up eating a couple of patties fresh from the toaster oven or skillet.

You’ll find these in the freezer section of your local health food store, along with Hilary’s veggie burgers and  Mediterranean Bites, which I like to eat with whatever kind of dunking dip I happen to dream up.

Ingredients: (all organic) whole grain cooked millet, lentils, dates, expeller pressed coconut oil, hemp seed, psyllium husk powder, Redmond’s Real Salt®, arrowroot, fennel, black pepper, sage, thyme, rosemary, smoked paprika, nutmeg, cayenne

 

# 3 – Green Hare Mud Natural Hair Color

It took a few tries of working with this product line to get the hang of things, as far as what color to use and how long to keep it on my hair during the coloring process. But now I’m a big fan and I love that it’s totally natural and you could probably even eat it, if you were so inclined. The color I use (Soft Bamboo) sort of smells and looks like powdered cut grass, which was a little scary at first, but now I have using it down to an “exact science” to get the color I want. I should have, as the directions say, done a “patch test” first, before I tried it on my whole head and that would have helped my first try come out closer to what I expected/had in mind.

Here’s an excerpt from the Green Hare mud site…..

Q.  What are the 7 Colors of Green Hare Mud, and what’s the most popular?

A.  Our most popular color right now is Green Hare Mud Cinnamon Mosaic a dark warm brown.  We have an amazing golden blonde called Soft Bamboo, a strawberry blonde to light warm brown shade I named Tahitian Tea, two great reds, Canyon Clay, a “born with it” kind of redhead and Merlot Mist for a deeper red with red wine tones.  There is Cherokee Suede (velvety, like suede cloth, not animal skin)  a reddish brown and Espresso Double Shot an amazing super dark coffee brown; it’s truly like looking into a cup of espresso!

Q.  Do you think using only pure and natural ingredients makes it harder to formulate effective hair coloring products?

A.  No, not harder, just different. The way we process the hair color is almost mirror opposite from chemical hair color, because we do not use harsh chemicals, gels or foaming agents. The hair starts freshly shampooed, still  wet, just towel dried and then it is processed covered to prevent the need for wetting agents.

Clients are delighted to know that Green Hare Mud is not only good for their hair, but has beautiful shine and rich color that you cannot get with chemical hair color!

 

# 4 – Emerald Essentials Chocolate Action Whey™ Powder and Emerald Sea™This has been my favorite protein powder for years now. Every time I try something new, I always end up coming back to this. It’s extremely high quality, tastes delicious and comes from a company I like supporting with my dollars.

You can find out more about Action Whey™ and Emerald Sea™, which, I believe, is one of the best sea vegetable supplements out there, on my website.

 

# 5 – David Wolfe’s Longevity Hot Sauce® 

I love this stuff on everything from eggs at breakfast to soup at night. If you like a little kick to your guacamole, salad dressing, soups, or whatever, then this health tonic masquerading as a hot sauce is great to have on hand.

You can find out more about all the health benefits of the ingredients here.

 

# 6 – Simple Mills Rosemary & Sea Salt Almond Flour Crackers

Nutrient dense, grain and gluten free, non-GMO verified and made with almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, cassava, tapioca, organic sunflower oil, organic rosemary, and organic spice blend. These are seriously addictive as far as I’m concerned. Could eat the whole box in one sitting, but forced myself to stop at half a box the first time I tried them. They’d probably be great with dips and spreads, but I may never have them on hand long enough to try them with anything!!

I have also tried the Simple Mills Sprouted Seed Crackers and they’re very good, too, but my second choice. I have a feeling most, if not all, of the company’s other products are well worth trying, as well.

Ingredients: nut & seed flour blend, cassava, tapioca, organic sunflower oil, organic rosemary, organic onion, organic garlic, sea salt, organic pepper, rosemary extract.

 

# 7 – Hope Organic Spicy Avocado Hummus and Kale Pesto Hummus….Hope Organic Kale Pesto HummusThis super healthy spread contains garbanzo beans, kale, extra virgin olive oil, basil, tahini, hemp seeds, onion, garlic, sea salt, lemon juice, citric acid and spices…..all organic! I also like their Organic Spicy Avocado Hummus. In fact, I’ve gotten to where I can’t decide which I like best, so often I have some of each.

My favorite way to eat them in on toasted Food For Life Organic Sprouted Grain Ezekiel with sesame seeds, spread with a thin layer of Follow Your Heart Grapeseed Oil  Vegenaise, then a thick layer of the hummus and topped with sliced tomatoes, and a little crystal salt and fresh-ground pepper,….. and maybe some broccoli sprouts to up the ante. YUM! Makes a great breakfast, snack or quick lunch.

 

# 8 – Hail Merry Caramel Sea Salt Bites

Okay, these are probably not the healthiest thing around, but as the package says “Freedom to Indulge” and that’s the way I feel when I eat them, …….indulgent without breaking the bank, health-wise. Made with almond flour, organic maple syrup, organic shredded coconut, organic virgin coconut oil, organic coconut sugar, vanilla and Celtic sea salt, they are better for you than a lot of what’s out there. Look for them in the refrigerated section of your health food store. The package says 4 servings, but I’m lucky to get 2 out of it. 🙂 Vegan, kosher and non-GMO.

Ingredients: almond flour, organic maple syrup, organic shredded coconut, organic virgin coconut oil, organic coconut sugar, vanilla, Celtic sea salt.

 

# 9 – Siete Grain-free  Nacho Flavored Tortilla ChipsThese are my latest find. If you are trying to avoid or eat less wheat, soy, corn and rice, all of which have their “minuses,” this is a very good option. I first tried them just a few weeks ago and was immediately hooked.  I also like the Lime version, but the Nacho ones have a little more taste and kick , in my opinion. The chips themselves almost seem to have a hint of sweetness, if they didn’t have the seasonings/spices added. Was thinking that if you’re in the mood for a snack that’s crunchy and sweet, the plain chips Siete makes would work well with some melted Kerrygold butter drizzled over them and some cinnamon and a little xylitol or Lakanto sprinkled on top.

Dairy, soy and corn free, gluten-free, paleo and vegan friendly, and non-GMO verified, from a family company I like supporting.

Ingredients (for Nacho chips): Cassava flour, avocado oil, coconut flour, ground chia seeds, sea salt, tomato powder, nutritional yeast, smoked serrano powder, citric acid, jalapeno powder, toasted onion powder and roasted garlic powder.

Okay, now it’s your turn. Got any favorite foods or products to share? If so, leave a comment with the details so other readers may benefit!

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Who Knew Beeswax Has So Many Uses?!

 

I’ve been fortunate enough to take some beekeeping classes recently at the neighborhood community center, and I find that the more I learn about bees and beekeeping, the more fascinated and in awe I am of these winged creatures and the complexity of what’s involved in tending to their needs.

Most of us are familiar with all the health benefits of honey, but that’s just one of the by-products these industrious little creatures create that add to our lives and well-being. Propolis, bee pollen and royal jelly are considered energizing superfoods. and apparently beeswax is no slouch either when it comes to what it can do and the many uses it has…..

 

21 Ways To Use Beeswax That May Surprise You

When we think of uses for beeswax, for many of us, items like candles come to mind. But there are all kinds of handy, helpful ways to use beeswax, and this can help you to maintain a lifestyle in which you’re using as many natural, non-toxic products as possible. Beeswax has many household uses, as well as health benefits. Here are a few ways to make the most of beeswax that you may not have thought of.

Moisturizer

You probably know about Burt’s Bees lip balm. Indeed, one of the most common ways to use beeswax is in these kinds of products. The reason many people enjoy it is because it includes beeswax, which helps to moisturize the lips. But it doesn’t have to stop there.

Itchiness

Some people use beeswax to treat rashes from poison ivy and poison oak, as well as other conditions that cause itchiness. One of the most effective ways to use beeswax for itch treatment is to make a salve. 

Pain relief

Beeswax salves can also be used for pain relief. Recipes will be similar to those for itch relief, but there will likely be some variation with particular ingredients. A 2014 study published in the Korean Journal of Internal Medicine shows that beeswax helped relieve pain caused by osteoarthritis.

Rust prevention

You can coat hand tools, cast iron items and other similar products with beeswax to help prevent rust. If you’re a gardener, for example, this can be particularly helpful during winter, when tools aren’t being used regularly.

Waxing thread

If you’re someone who uses thread to make jewelry or hand-sewn items, you know how frustrating threading a needle can be. But one of the ways to use beeswax is to wax your thread. It can come in handy, and it can make sewing and threading a needle easier. Just rub your thread over a block of beeswax.

Nails and screws

If you’re doing any home improvement work, coating your nails and screws with beeswax can be helpful. This will help to prevent splintering of the wood as you’re hammering. It’s a quick, simple fix that will save you some frustration.

Acne

Beeswax is often recommended as a home treatment for acne, and it can be quite effective. It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, and it contains Vitamin A — all of which makes it an effective acne treatment. And, as discussed above, beeswax makes a good moisturizer, meaning that it is a good choice if you’re looking to improve the health of your skin overall.

Stretch marks

Because it has the ability to protect skin and hold in moisture, beeswax can be an effective treatment for stretch marks. Stretch marks are composed of scars and a thinning of the skin that result from reduced collagen. And since beeswax contains vitamin A, which helps to promote collagen production, it can help to reduce stretch marks.

Combine beeswax with royal jelly, shea or cocoa butter, grapeseed oil and coconut oil for a natural treatment that will help both to diminish and prevent stretch marks. In some individuals, an allergic reaction can actually cause skin symptoms, so be sure you’re not allergic before using more than a very small amount.

Diaper dermatitis

Of course, we want to treat our infants with the healthiest, gentlest, most natural remedies possible. A study by the Dubai Specialized Medical Center and Medical Research Labs Islamic Establishment for Education investigated the effects of a honey, beeswax and olive oil mixture on Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. The study concluded that the mixture could inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause skin conditions like diaper dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema.

Liver health

In 2013, a study published in the Korean Journal of Internal Medicine looked at the alcohols found in honeycomb, and whether their antioxidant effects could help protect the liver. Over the course of 24 weeks, the researchers found that it did, in fact, help normalize liver function in participants with fatty liver disease.

Cholesterol

There’s a lot of talk these days about what really increases “bad” cholesterol, and what we can do to reduce it. Plant waxes contain long-chain fatty acids that can help to reduce lower cholesterol. Indeed, they have been shown to decrease LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by up to 21 percent and increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol by eight to 15 percent.

Furniture joints

We’ve all experienced the annoyance of squeaky doors and furniture joints. Beeswax makes a great lubricant — and it’s much healthier than the commercial products available.

Furniture polish

In addition to its usefulness when it comes to furniture joints, beeswax can also be used as a furniture polish. Melt together beeswax and coconut oil. When it cools, use a rag and apply it to the furniture. Then, with a clean cloth, buff it until there is no more reside. Again, this is much healthier than commercial products like Old English.

Baking pans

If you’re trying to watch your fat intake, you can try “greasing” your baking pans and cooking sheets with beeswax. Because beeswax is edible, this is safe to do. If you keep waxing them over time, they’ll eventually build up a permanent coat of beeswax, and you won’t need to use as much grease — you may not even need to grease your pans at all.

Grilling

Who doesn’t love barbecuing? It’s the quintessential summer dining experience — and for those of us who are more intrepid, grilling may continue into the colder months as well. But cleaning a dirty grill can be a nasty mess. Coating the grill with beeswax before using it can make cleanup significantly easier.

Hair styling

Waxes are often used in hair products, but many of these products contain less-than-ideal ingredients that you may not want to use every day. You can make a natural pomade by melting together beeswax, shea butter and jojoba oil. Of course, the effect may not be exactly the same as the products you’d buy in the store, so you might need to play around with the ratios of ingredients to find the effect you’re looking for.

Envelope seal

Think about all the movies and historical dramas where characters send letters to one another sealed with wax. If you’re sending invitations to a wedding or other formal event, creating your own beeswax seal is a fun and classy extra touch.

Waterproof shoes

To waterproof your shoes, coat them in beeswax. Next, melt the beeswax with a hair dryer and let the shoes rest for about five minutes. Of course, this isn’t something you’ll want to do with your fancy stilettoes or dress shoes. But if you have a pair of sneakers that you slip on when you take the dog out, this can be a helpful trick for those damp days.

Granite countertops

In addition to its effectiveness as a furniture polish, beeswax can also be used to polish granite countertops. It will help to keep them shiny, and may also help prevent staining. Run warmed beeswax into the granite, then wipe it off to get rid of any excess.

Wooden utensils

Just like wooden furniture, wooden spoons, cutting boards, bowls and other utensils need care. Combine beeswax and mineral oil and rub it into the wooden items. Let them rest for several hours, then wipe them off with a clean cloth and put them away.

Canelés

If you’re a baker, you may enjoy making canelés. It’s a French pastry that has a caramelized crust and a custard center, with a bit of a honey flavor. When making them, you create molds with butter and beeswax and freeze them ahead of time. This creates a skin that will prevent the pastries from losing their shape in the oven.

As you can see, there are many helpful ways to use beeswax, and it can be applied to a wide range of purposes. It has health benefits and it can be used to make homemade household products, which will allow you to cut down on the number of toxic, commercial products that you use on a regular basis. And luckily, it is relatively easy to find, and it is readily available online.

However, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects of beeswax. While it is non-toxic, it can have some undesirable health effects (like intestinal blockage) when consumed in large quantities. And, as is the case with many bee products, some people are allergic to beeswax, and this can lead to severe symptoms. If you are allergic to honey or bee pollen, it is advisable to stay away from beeswax as well.

If you have any questions about the use of beeswax for health purposes, or if there is a particular condition you are hoping to treat, it is recommended that you consult with a medical professional. — (by

Source: http://www.thealternativedaily.com/ways-to-use-beeswax/

Related Self-help Health post:

Bee Propolis: Help With Canker Sores, Cavities And More

“Bee” Health Smart With Honey

Salud! 

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Readers’ Choice, Plus A Free Copy Of The Green Body Cleanse

 

Today I want to do something a little different. Usually I focus on one particular topic or article I think readers will find informative and helpful. But I thought it would be nice to give you the choice of what to read today. So I’ve included links to several articles I’ve found that were interesting to ME, but this way YOU get to pick what you spend time reading. 

I hope you enjoy the selection and end up reading more than just one. After all, variety is supposedly the spice of life. 🙂 And be sure to take advantage of the free e-book offer mentioned at the end of the post.

 

# 1 – This first article is about what seems to be a strong link between polio and the pesticide DDT. This is the kind of data that could very well turn the way we’ve thought about this disease upside down…..

Pesticides and Polio

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/everything-you-learned-about-cause-polio-wrong

 

# 2 – Find out how resonant frequencies are being used to combat cancer cells:

http://tv.greenmedinfo.com/shattering-cancer-with-resonant-frequencies/

 

# 3 – For those watching their weight, find out about 5 proven tricks that studies have shown help you eat less calories:

http://www.truthaboutabs.com/tricks-to-eat-less-food.html

 

# 4 – There is now a test for early detection of Alzheimer’s that also shows promise in detecting Parkinson’s, MS and breast cancer:

Alzheimer's Disease

http://news.therawfoodworld.com/detection-test-for-alzheimers/

 

# 5 – I knew using a sauna offered health benefits, but I didn’t realize it could have such a big impact on heart health:

“The researchers found that compared with those who went to the sauna only once a week or less, those who went two to three times per week were 24 percent less likely to die from all causes, 22 percent less likely from sudden cardiac death, 23 percent less likely from coronary heart disease and 27 percent less likely from cardiovascular disease.

The risk reductions among those who made four to seven visits per week were dramatically higher: 40 percent (all causes), 66 percent (sudden cardiac death), 48 percent (coronary heart disease) and 50 percent (cardiovascular disease).

Length of sauna visit also had a striking impact. Compared with those with an average visit shorter than 11 minutes, those whose visits were 11 to 19 minutes long were 7 percent less likely to die from sudden cardiac death. Spending more than 19 minutes per visit reduced sudden cardiac death risk by a whopping 52 percent. Similar benefits were seen for death from cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease.”

http://www.naturalnews.com/051781_sauna_heart_health_disease_prevention.html

 

# 6 – And if you’ve ever used detox foot pads, you know that some of them can be a bit pricey, but here’s an article with a recipe for making your own!

Here’s How to Make Homemade Detox Foot Pads to Cleanse Your Body from Toxins Overnight:

http://www.naturalhealingmagazine.com/heres-how-to-make-homemade-detox-foot-pads-to-cleanse-your-body-from-toxins-overnight/

 

# 7 – Two fascinating posts with information and insights about why certain foods are addictive that bring up points ( e. g. how some of them contain opiates) I’d never considered before….

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/top-20-addictive-foods-are-you-hooked

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/do-hidden-opiates-our-food-explain-food-addictions1

 

And if you weren’t fortunate enough to snag a copy of The Green Body Cleanse e-book last year when Dr. Edward Group of Global Healing Center offered it for free, here’s another opportunity….

What Will You Learn from this e-Book?

  • How to reduce and eliminate toxins from your home, workplace, and body

  • How to restore your body’s natural healing powers

  • How to detoxify your air and drinking water

  • How to choose and maintain an organic diet and lifestyle

  • How to maintain health without harmful drugs or surgery

  • How to perform the best cleansing methods, including: Oxygen Colon Cleansing, Liver and Gallbladder Cleansing, Harmful Organism Cleansing, and Toxic Metal Cleansing

  • How to live a happy, rewarding, healthy life

  • How to do it all efficiently to save money and time!

Here’s what one customer had to say about the book:

5 out of 5 starsStraightforward and Information packed “This is very straightforward and understandable. To switch to green living can be difficult. Major changes may be needed for most people reading this. The best part is how to do it: one step at a time and be patient. As Dr. Group says, it could take 3 to 6 months or longer. My favorite part was how to combine foods. I love the lists of alkaline and non-alkaline foods. The examples are very helpful.” ~ Calvi74

Just visit GHC and use the coupon code ‘Free2015’ at check-out when you are ordering the book and it should bring the price down to zero. You should also check out some of Dr. Group’s other best-selling products while you’re there, like Detoxadine (here’s a blog post about the importance of iodine), O2-Zap, and Oxy-powder, all of which I use personally and highly recommend.

 

Salud!

p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my Evolution Made Easier website and my other blogfor more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, healthcare practitioner and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a trained professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

For Thanksgiving Over-indulging Try This Yoga Routine & Ginger Tea, Plus A Free Tea Brewer AND Qigong Healing Session!

 

It’s hard not to overdo at Thanksgiving…. and during the holidays in general, so this seemed like a great time to feature this yoga series geared specifically to help with digestion “post-feast. “There’s also a recipe for ginger tea, which can be used to calm the effects of too much food. AND an offer for a free brewing system my friend told me about yesterday for making the tea. Not sure how long it will be available, but she has one of the devices and loves it, and you only pay the $4.95 for shipping. So I ordered one myself. It would also make a neat present for a tea lover on your gift list. And finally, there’s a free qigong healing session coming up this weekend, so Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy!

 

 Supta Baddha Konasana

6 Post-Feast Yoga Poses to Help Your Digestion

(by Jenna Saunders) It can be tempting to curl up on couch after a large, decadent holiday meal. However, doing mindful movement after you eat sets up your body to move food along and keep you comfortable. Try these six yoga poses to help stimulate digestion and detoxification.
Twists

Why Twists? Twists are great nourishing and detoxifying poses to help aid digestion. Twists help massage abdominal organs and stimulate Agni, or digestive fire. Your body’s Agni allows you to digest food efficiently, and absorb essential nutrients from your food, according to Ayurveda. By gently twisting your body after a large meal, you encourage fresh blood to flow to your digestive organs. Twists can feel slightly uncomfortable right after eating, so be sure to twist slowly and gently.

How to do them: There are many yoga poses that are considered twists. Below are examples of a seated and supine variation.

Ardha Matysendrasana

Ardha Matysendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose): Sit comfortably with your legs extended straight in front of you. Bend your right knee into your chest and place your right foot on the outer edge of your left thigh. Wrap your left arm around your right knee as you slowly begin to open your torso toward your right. Place your right hand at the base of your spine with your fingers facing the back of your mat. The twist should occur within your thoracic spine, which is the upper area of your spine. Ensure you draw your right shoulder blade down your back as you slowly twist your torso. Eventually, gently gaze over your right shoulder. While in this twist, press your sit bones into the ground and draw the crown of your head to the sky. Repeat on the left side.

Supta Matsyendrasana

Supta Matsyendrasana (Supine Spinal Twist): Lie down on your back with your legs extended straight. Open your arms perpendicular to your body so your body makes an uppercase “T.” Draw your right knee into your chest; then gently draw your right knee over your body and release it down on the left side of your body. Gently turn your head to the right. Ensure both shoulders stay rooted to the ground. Hold for a few deep breaths. Repeat on the left side.

Uttanasana – Standing Forward Fold

Uttanasana

Why Uttanasana? Uttanasana is one of the most therapeutic yoga poses for the body. This pose boasts a full list of benefits, one of the main ones being that this pose helps to improve digestion. This deep forward fold is a great pose to compress the abdominal area while stimulating circulation to your digestive organs. Uttanasana is also calming to your nervous system and provides your upper body an opportunity to fully relax.

How to do it: Start standing with your feet about hips distance apart and both feet firmly pressing into the ground. Ensure your weight is distributed evenly between both feet. Inhale your arms to the sky and slowly exhale as you forward fold. You can rest your hands on the floor if they can reach comfortably. You can also reach for the backs of your thighs or for opposite elbows with your hands. Release all tension in your neck and allow your head, neck, and upper torso to completely relax. Close your eyes and hold for a few deep breaths. Place your hands on your hips and slowly inhale as you rise to a standing position while engaging your abdominals as you rise.

See more of the series at: http://www.chopra.com/ccl/6-post-feast-yoga-poses-to-help-your-digestion

 

Making some ginger tea is another way to help when you have over-eaten and need some digestive support. It’s also good for lots of other health issues….

 

The Health Benefits of Ginger Tea

Researchers say the active volatile oils and pungent phenol compounds, such as gingerols and shogaols, are what give ginger its power, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Tea made from ginger has high levels of vitamin C and amino acids, as well as various trace elements such as calcium, zinc, sodium, phosphorus, and many others.

Drinking ginger tea can:

  • Help the body absorb nutrients
  • Help alleviate the stomach pain
  • Help with irritable bowl syndrome
  • Help with weight loss
  • Help fight cancer
  • Help manage glucose levels
  • Improve circulation
  • Improve the food digestion
  • Increases the production of gastric juice
  • Protect against Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Open inflamed airways
  • Reduce arthritic inflammation
  • Relieve menstrual discomfort
  • Relieve stress
  • Stimulate appetite
How to Make Ginger Tea

To make 1 quart of ginger tea, chop an unpeeled 2-inch piece of whole ginger into coarse pieces and place in a 2- to 3-quart pot with one quart of purified water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, allowing the tea to simmer for 15 minutes. Strain the tea and store in a thermos bottle or glass jar.

To make 1 cup of ginger tea, take a piece of whole, unpeeled ginger root and grate 1 heaping teaspoon. Stir the ginger into a cup of hot water and let steep for 2 minutes. Strain or let the ginger settle at the bottom of the cup.

Read more: http://www.chopra.com/ccl/the-health-benefits-of-ginger-tea

 

And here’s a freebie from Immortalitea one of my friends told me about that would come in handy for making an individual cup of ginger tea. She has one of these brewers and loves it. All you pay is the $4.95 shipping, but it’s a limited time offer……

https://immortalitea.leadpages.co/free-tea-brewer/

 

And if you need more help than yoga poses and ginger tea can provide with Thanksgiving over-indulgence :-), here’s a free resource I’ve mentioned before. It’s a free qigong distance healing session on the 28th offered by Qigong Master Michael Mohoric, former Secretary of the International Tibetan Qigong Assn, who was blessed with a gift for distant energy healing after recovering from a spinal cord injury……

There will be another free distant energy healing for everyone who wants to join and all their friends, families and anyone else who reads this.

The main healing session is SATURDAY NOVEMBER 28th from 6 – 7 pm Pacific Time or 9 -10 pm Eastern Time.

You can join this no-cost distant energy healing session by using your intention to be included. To join, just close your eyes for a minute when you read this and mentally say that you intend to join the session and want to be included. That’s all you have to do to connect with the energy; healing energy can begin to flow to you once you do this .

There will be unscheduled daily energy adjustments leading up to the main session. For those who want to know more about this work, you can go to the website

This is not a telephone or Internet session. All you do is just relax and sit or lie down during the session and notice what is happening in your body. Even if you are busy, you can still get good results. Because there are many people in the session, please do not email to join. There would be too much email to handle unless it is done this way.

You join simply by using your intention after reading this email. Because this is a big group I won’t be able to answer questions before the session and you’ll get the details you need in this email. Please feel free to email your experiences afterwards.

 

And one last tip, the EWG (Environmental Working Group) has come out with its updated version of the ‘Dirty Dozen (it’s actually 15 now :-() and Clean Fifteen.” You can access the lists here.

p.s. Ty Bollinger of The Truth About Cancer: A Global Quest has decided to offer a free replay marathon of the acclaimed docu-series over the Thanksgiving weekend, plus a Black Friday sale on the series. I caught all the episodes and two Q & As the first time, but will probably re-watch some parts again. So enlightening and informative about health in general and cancer in particular. Two thumbs up from me! If you didn’t catch it the first time around (what were you thinking?!), now’s your chance. See my previous post with details about the episodes and where to sign up.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my Evolution Made Easier website’s To Your Health page and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.