Why soak nuts, grains and seeds?
1. To remove or reduce phytic acid.
2. To remove or reduce tannins.
3. To neutralize the enzyme inhibitors.
4. To encourage the production of beneficial enzymes.
5. To increase the amounts of vitamins, especially B vitamins.
6. To break down gluten and make digestion easier.
7. To make the proteins more readily available for absorption.
8. To prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss.
9. To help neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean.
10. To prevent many health diseases and conditions.
Recommended Soaking Times
Make sure all nuts are raw before you begin.
Almonds*: 8-12 hours
Cashews*: 2 hours
Buckwheat: 6-8 hours
Hazelnuts: 6-8 hours
Macadamia Nuts: The verdict is out on this one, some say soak, some say don’t. It won’t hurt to soak them a couple f hours
Pecans: 6-8 hours
Pine Nuts: 6-8 hours
Pumpkin Seeds (aka Pepitas): 6-8 hours
Sesame Seeds: The verdict is out on this one too!
Sunflower Seeds: 6-8 hours
Walnuts: 6-8 hours
Lentils: 8-12 hours
Green Peas: 12 hours
Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans: 12 hours
Quinoa: 6-8 hours
Do not soak
Flax Seeds: become mucilaginous when mixed with water, and are often used as an egg replacer in vegan baking recipes, but flax is very sensitive to heat. The EFAs (essential fatty acids) in flax seed can break down and become toxic when heated. You also need to grind up flax seed (coffee grinder) to assimilate the nutrients—their husk will make them pass right on through your system undigested. Always store flax seed in the fridge or freezer to keep the delicate omegas intact. I use soaked chia seed for baking, because it can stand up to heat, has similar nutritional benefits and the same egg-white like properties.
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Hulled Hemp Seeds: note that these are also sensitive to heat and light, like flax seeds. Best used in salads, smoothies and other cooler temp recipes (low temp dehydrated recipes should be ok).
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Brazil Nuts: No need to soak, little to no enzyme inhibitors. Store in the fridge.
Recommended Dehydrating Times
Make sure that you fully dehydrate your ingredients so no moisture is left. You don’t want them to mold, you want them tasty and crunchy. 12-24 hours for all nuts, seeds. legumes and grains. Just taste them every 6hrs to see if they are dry and crunchy enough.
First off, optimal gut health is necessary for physical and mental well being. Healing your gut and taking probiotics either as a supplement, or eating fermented foods is an investment in you, and in your future health and wellness. You are comprised of about 7 lbs of bacteria that live in your body. Our gut flora helps in digestion, protects us from pathogens, detoxifies, produces vitamins and other nutrients, and balances our immune systems (70% of our immune response is located in our gut), and is the seat of our emotional well being and response to stress. There is a reason why our gut is referred to as our second brain. Many emotional imbalances stem from our gut. What many people do not understand is that serotonin also plays a role in gastrointestinal disorders. In fact, the majority of our serotonin is produced in the gut, roughly 95%. GABA receptors for Benzodiazepines and Sleeping Pills are also located in the gut! Nearly every chemical that controls the brain is also located in the stomach region, including hormones and neurotransmitters such as Serotonin, Dopamine, Glutamate, GABA and Norepinephrine. The gut contains 100 million neurons – more than the spinal cord! Unfortunately the staples of the modern day western diet, grains and white flour, processed foods, sugar, coffee, alcohol, cooked foods, meat, dairy, medications, antibiotics- all have wreaked havoc on the gut and that is why we find a host of symptoms and conditions that modern medicine further treats with a bandaid effect. So the short answer is take your probiotics, the higher the amount the better, eat fermented foods, a diet that plant centers the plate, with nutrient dense foods that are high in fiber, and have a low glycemic load. Limit your intake of processed foods, grains, gluten, dairy, alcohol, sugar, coffee…anything that is acidic to the body. Drink a ton of lemon water and your ‘self’ will thank you! If this feels too hard, start with small manageable steps, one green juice or green smoothie a day, educate yourself and pay attention to what you put in your body and ask yourself is this feeding my cells or is this empty nutrition? Consider what an 80/20 plan would look like for you. 80% health and wellness based and 20% of indulgence. Also, it is important to note that pregnant women always pass their flora to their babies, therefore I always recommend infants be put on a decent probiotic.
Why take reishi and who should take it? The primary benefit of Reishi is its ability to support and modulate the immune system to an optimal level. Hence, Reishi is beneficial even for a healthy person. It is best to make red Reishi a part of your daily routine for preventative health. There is a long list of all the benefits of Reishi mushrooms. Reishi can help with immune issues, stress, cancer, hepatitis B, HIV, insomnia, fatigue, asthma, coronary heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and type two diabetes. Reishi is anti-bacterial, an antioxidant. Red Reishi contains these major ingredients: Water-soluble polysaccharides (lowers blood pressure, maintains immune system, fights tumors), ganoderic acid (helps fight against common allergies), beta and hetero-beta-glucans (anti-tumor, stimulates the immune system), and Ling Zhi-8 protein (anti-allergenic, modulates the immune system). Reishi is an adaptogen, therefore it does not become toxic in one’s system like too much echinachea would! One of our Wolf Zen babies has been raised on reishi from 6 months and has never been sick!
SPROUTING: The Ultimate living food! Below are ten reasons why you should be eating sprouts! We started sprouting in our house and the pleasure and awe I feel from watching sprouts grow is exponential! It is such an effortless process! I started with a very basic 4 tray seed sprouter. The process involves soaking the seeds for the recommended amount of time, laying the seeds in the tray and watering 3 times a day. There are thousands of seed choices out there. pictured above is a very basic alfalfa. I ordered a bunch of exotic seeds from sprout people as I have become obsessed!
1.There is up to 100 times more enzymes in sprouts than uncooked fruits and vegetables. Enzymes are special types of proteins that act as catalysts for all bodily functions. Extracting more vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids from the foods you eat ensures that your body has the nutritional building blocks needed.
2.The quality of the protein in the beans, nuts, seeds, or grains improves when it is sprouted. Proteins change during the soaking and sprouting process, improving its nutritional value.
3. The fiber content of the beans, nuts, seeds, or grains increases substantially, which is critical to weight loss. Fiber binds to fats and toxins in our body to escort them out, it ensures that any fat our body breaks down is moved quickly out of the body before it can resorb through the walls of the intestines (which is the main place for nutrient absorption into the blood).
4. Vitamin content increases dramatically. This is especially true of vitamins A, B-complex, C, and E. The vitamin content of some seeds, grains, beans, or nuts increases by up to 20 times the original value within only a few days of sprouting.
5. Essential fatty acid content increases during the sprouting process. Most of us are deficient in these fat-burning essential fats because they are not common in our diet.
6. During sprouting, minerals bind to protein in the seed, grain, nut, or bean, making them more useable in the body. This is true of alkaline minerals like calcium, magnesium, and others than help us to balance our body chemistry for weight loss and better health.
7. Sprouts are the ultimate locally-grown food. Free of chemicals, pesticides and the like!
8. The energy contained in the seed, grain, nut, or legume is ignited through soaking and sprouting.
9. Sprouts are alkalizing to your body. Many illnesses including cancer have been linked to excess acidity in the body.
10. Sprouts are inexpensive. People frequently use the cost of healthy foods as an excuse for not eating healthy. But, with sprouts being so cheap, there really is no excuse for not eating healthier.
adapted by: Green Living
So, I have heard a lot of people asking about Agave lately and many renouncing it. We only use one brand called Xagave and love it. I think most importantly you have to go with what feels right in your body. Here is an article they posted with their companies response to some of the anti-agave rhetoric backed with scientific data and a full explanation on their methodology. There is also a response to Dr. Mercolas article. I will let you decide for yourself http://blog.xagave.com/
Coconut water is an amazing way to hydrate and replenish your body with essential nutrients. But baby coconuts are a whole new level of deliciousness! Their water is milder tasting and clearer than what you’ll find sold in stores, and the meat is soft – soft enough to blend with chia and goji berries for a quick and easy pudding that even my toddler loves!
-More Nutritious than whole milk – Less fat and NO cholesterol!
-Healthier than Orange Juice – Much lower calories
-Better than processed baby milk- It contains lauric acid, which is present in human mother’s milk
-Naturally sterile — Water permeates though the filtering husk!
-Universal donor– Its identical to human blook plasma
-Natural Isotonic Beverage – The same level we have in our blood.
-Coconut water has saved lives in 3rd world countries thru Coconut IV.
So, the question of using whey in smoothies came up in our workshop the other night. While we generally advocate for using other protein sources, Dr. Mercola wrote this great article on the differences and considerations of Whey.
When you hear the words WHEY PROTEIN you might often think of the bulk muscle building powders in many bodybuilding stores. The truth is that many of these brands (and even many of the natural brands in health food stores) are using an inferior source of whey protein which has resulted in giving this nutritional powerhouse a bad wrap.
In this article we want to set the record straight on whey protein plus offer some tips on what you should be looking out for in order to gain its maximum health benefits.
Whey protein is derived from milk during the making of cheese through a natural fermentation process. Cow’s milk contains two types of protein, one that consists of 80% of casein protein and the other 20% of whey protein. When cheese is created, the casein is the part of the milk that makes up the cheese, and the whey protein is the liquid that is left over after you separate out all the milk solids.
You might have also noticed the liquid on top of natural yogurts when you open them at home. That is whey protein in it’s original form and you can separate it using a cheese cloth, which we explain how to do in the Food Matters Recipe Book. The liquid whey then goes through a drying process to remove all the water to turn it into powder.
The RAW Processing Difference
When whey protein is low-temperature-processed (raw or cold-processed) it retains many of its fragile immune factors and nutrients leaving it loaded with the ideal blend of easily-absorbed amino acids, anti- inflammatory immune factors and metabolism-boosting peptides, along with potent antioxidants and alkaline minerals.
Naturally produced whey is loaded with protein and when it is kept as pure and unprocessed as possible and made from the milk of pasture-fed cows, it is also loaded with antioxidants and important amino acids.
Most commercial whey powders are high-heat-treated, acid-flushed, and stripped of vital nutrients, creating an imbalanced, acidic “whey isolate” that’s frequently contaminated with synthetic additives, chemical detergents, and heavy metals. It’s no wonder that many of these whey products are hard to digest and have to cover up their acidic aftertaste with unhealthy sweeteners and artificial flavors.
It is important to use a brand that is free from pesticides and is made from the milk of cows that have not been treated with hormones and antibiotics. Plus, some popular leading brands of protein powder may contain dangerous levels of heavy metals. A Consumer Reports’ test showed that 3 of the 15 protein drinks tested contained risky levels of arsenic, cadmium, and lead. All these factors render them inferior from a health perspective.
Protein Isolate Vs. Protein Concentrate?
Most commercial whey protein powders are made from protein isolate, which means that it goes through more processing and filtering. The manufacturers like to claim that this results in almost pure protein content, which they say makes it a better product. The problem is that the extra filtering and processing removes a good deal of the important immune factors from the whey protein.
Whey isolates remove the fat, which actually removes important components of its immunological properties, such as phospholipids, phosphatidylserine and cortisol. Additionally, all of the IgG immunoglobulins, which are an excellent source of glutamine and cysteine, are also bound to the fat globule. Fat provides not just calories. In fact, most food rich in healthful fat, including nuts, seeds, chia and almonds are carriers of antioxidants, such as vitamin E and phytosterols. Dairy also contains lipoic acid, which is a carrier of enzymes and immunoglobulin. Therefore, if you take the fat out you’re left with a clearly inferior whey protein. That’s why it’s important to select a protein concentrate over a protein isolate product to receive the maximum health benefits.
The Health Benefits Of RAW Grass-Fed Whey Protein CONCENTRATE
Raw whey protein concentrate has been found to have a variety of health benefits, including:
Helping your insulin work more effectively, which helps maintain your blood sugar level after a meal — This is important as research suggests lowering your blood sugar levels after meals may be more beneficial for your health than lowering fasting blood sugars.
Promoting healthy insulin secretion, which is imperative for optimal health. This is one of the foremost reasons for avoiding sugars and grains, as overconsumption of grains and sugary foods has a negative impact on both, and is a prime factor in developing type 2 diabetes.
Helping to promote your optimal intake of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals needed for your overall wellness
Supporting your immune system, as it contains immunoglobulins
Helping you preserve lean body tissue (particularly during exercise) as it delivers bioavailable amino acids and cysteine
Maintaining blood pressure levels that are already within the normal range
Pasteurized Vs. Raw Milk Whey
When selecting a whey product, it is strongly recommend to make sure it’s made from raw, grass-fed milk, in order to obtain the majority of its immune-enhancing benefits.
Unfortunately, most of the whey protein sold on the market is made from pasteurized milk, including whey protein concentrate and New Zealand whey. The New Zealand whey does come from grass-fed cows. However by New Zealand law the whey must be made from pasteurized milk, which negates many of the inherent health benefits, even though it’s grass-fed.
There are, however, a few good sources of high-quality whey protein, made from the raw (unpasteurized) milk of grass-fed cows.
Ori Hofmekler is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to fitness and how to use food to burn fat, build muscle, and optimize your health. He says “When you look at raw grass-fed whey protein concentrate you can immediately tell the difference in the smell and the taste. It tastes creamy and good by itself. It’s water soluble and it gives you the full mineral component.”
Fortunately, manufacturers in the US are allowed to process whey from raw milk. “In my opinion… in America, you can find some of the best whey in the world. You just need to know where to look for it and how to process it.” Ori says.
The 7 Essentials To Look For In Your Whey Protein Powder
1. GRASS FED
All-natural, pasture-fed cows’ whey, NOT pesticide-treated, grain-fed cows’ whey. Comparred to grain-fed cows, pasture-fed cows produce whey that:
Is nutritionally superior to grain fed
Contains an impressive amino acid and immuno-supportive nutrient profile
Is rich in healthy fats–lipolic acid and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid)
Grass-fed cows are good source of Protein
Choose whey made without GMOs.
Look for raw or cold-processed as most whey is heat processed which:
Makes the whey acidic and nutritionally deficient
Damages the immuno-supportive micronutrients and amino acids
Makes whey inadequate for consumption
Cold processed whey protects the nutrients in their natural state
4. ACID FREE PROCESSING
Acid / Ion Exchange Processing is cheaper than acid-free processing, but it denatures the amino acid profiles by using acids and chemicals to separate the whey from the fats.
5. CONCENTRATE NOT ISOLATE
Protein isolates are proteins stripped away from their nutritional cofactors. There are three problems with that:
All isolates are exposed to acid processing.
Your body cannot assimilate proteins in isolated form.
Due to over-processing, isolates are deficient in key amino acids and nutritional cofactors.
6. NATURALLY SWEETENED NOT ARTIFICIALLY SWEETENED
Most whey products are artificially sweetened making them useless if you have sugar sensitivities, or just don’t want to put artificial sweeteners or flavors into your body. Your whey should be low glycemic, low carb and should not contain any artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohol, glycerin, fructose, sugar or gluten.
7. FREE FROM HEAVY METALS
Many protein powders both whey and non-whey could contain dangerous levels of heavy metals like mercury, lead, cadmium, and arsenic. A Consumer Reports’ evaluation showed some leading brands of protein powders exceeded United States Pharmacopoeia’s (USP) recommended safety limits for certain heavy metals. You want to avoid these products at all costs because any high concentration of heavy metals taken over time could lead to serious health consequences.
Chia pudding has become a staple in this house. It is so easy to make and can be made numerous different ways. This simple version is my all time favorite. Chia seeds are immensely healing and restorative for anyone with digestive issues. Additionally, chia seeds are a complete bio available source of protein with a myriad of nutritional benefits!
I make our pudding directly in a mason jar. I use one cup of chia seeds to 4 cups of milk. My favorite milk to use is a homemade brazil nut milk, although sprouted almond milk is a close second. You can use any milk you desire, or spring water.
I use a fork to stir immediately after adding the milk to prevent any clumps. You’ll want to stir the pudding after adding all the ingredients and then a final time about 15-20 minutes after all ingredients have been added.
I then add-
1/4 cup grade B maple syrup
1/2 cup cacao nibs
1 TBSP maca powder
1 Tbsp vanilla powder (can use extract)
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of Himalayan salt
You can add any ingredients you want including fruit, nuts, goji berries, coconut, cacao etc. Something about the maple-vanilla, maca combo leaves me craving more!
Refrigerate until up to temperature and eat and eat and eat and eat!