Flax Hot Breakfast Cereal

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image taken from alldayidreamaboutfood.com

½ cup coconut milk, unsweetened almond milk
½ cup ground flaxseeds
¼ cup mix-ins which could be unsweetened coconut flakes, cup slivered almonds, chopped walnuts or pecans, sliced berries. (or you can do 1/4 cup of each)
1 rounded Tbs coconut cream (optional)
Ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and heat until warmed through or microwave for one minute. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired or for some added crunch poppy or chia seeds.

Sprouting Beans…How to do it and why you should!

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Legumes are an extremely important part of a vegetarian or vegan diet providing a very healthy protein and carbohydrate source while at the same time giving the body what is known as the “second meal effect” or “lentil effect” which blunts blood sugar surges the day after consumption – something that can be very important for those who are vegetarian or vegan because they tend to consume more carbohydrates – which raise blood sugar – than their meat eating counterparts.

With that said legumes also contain anti-nutrients (compounds that interfere with nutrient absorption). As well as natural insecticides and enzyme inhibitors that can cause us digestive problems. That is why raw beans should be soaked before consumption (especially kidney beans!), but sprouting can be even better. Sprouting neutralizes those hard to digest compounds and can make nutrients and vitamins more bioavailable.

Dried beans are far more nutritious than their canned counterparts and are best sprouted but if you can’t sprout then soak!

The instructions below are taken from vegitariantimes.com and have never let me down!

HOW TO SOAK BEANS

PLACE in a large glass bowl or mason jar, and cover with warm, filtered water (about a 2:1 ratio) and about ½ tsp. Celtic sea salt. Cover with a light cloth for desired time.

RINSE food thoroughly and drain.

 

HOW TO SPROUT BEANS AND LENTILS

GET a quart-sized (or larger) mason jar. Remove the solid middle insert of the lid, and cut a piece of cheesecloth or breathable mesh to fit inside.

FILL one-third of the jar with beans, and fill the rest of the jar with warm, filtered water and about ½ tsp Celtic sea salt. Screw the lid on with cheesecloth or breathable mesh screen in place.

SOAK For soaking times, see table below.

DRAIN/RINSE Remove the mesh insert of the lid, and replace with metal insert. Pour the soaking water out of the jar, fill with fresh water, replace lid, and rinse well by shaking jar. Replace the metal insert with the mesh lid again, and drain.

INVERT the jar and lay at an angle so that air can circulate, and the water can drain off. Allow to sit in the light.

REPEAT this process, rinsing every few hours, or at least twice daily.

WAIT In 1 to 4 days, the sprouts will be ready. When ready, rinse sprouts well, drain, and store in a jar (with the solid part of the lid replaced) in the fridge.

ENJOY within 2 to 3 days cook as you would canned beans.

****you need not wait for the sprouts to grow as soon as they begin sprouting use them!

FOOD SOAKING TIME (hours) SPROUTING TIME (days)
Adzuki Beans 8-1 4
Black Beans 8-12 3
Chickpeas/Garbanzo 8 2-3
Lentils 7 2-3
Mung Beans 8-12 4

Add Some Spice to your Life

Satisfy your palate with real flavor!

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When our palate starts craving some interesting flavor all too often we take the easy way out and give it sugar. We all know sugar tastes really nice but so can spice!

 

If you’ve gotten in a meal rut and your bored with the same old flavors try a new spice or spice combination, instead of carbs and sugar. Wouldn’t you rather have flavor and satisfying complex taste instead of the low quality fats and sugars that we turn to when we lose inspiration in the kitchen.

 

For a couple of fun combinations try…

Cinnamon, nutmeg and black pepper on chicken. (recipe later this week)

Yogurt with rose extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and golden raisins (recipe will posted tomorrow)

Lemongrass with ginger and coriander on veggies ( Safeway sells a nice lemongrass paste.)

Yoga Pose of the Day – Hip opening, Hamstring sequence

Gentle Hip and Hamstring Openers

The rain has finally arrived in California and the North West and that got me thinking many of us all over America (especially in the east) have been inside a lot more lately. Most of those outdoor activities we love are on hiatus – meaning we are probably spending a lot more time that we should sitting down. All that sitting is a recipe for tight hips and tighter hamstrings, Even for those of us that are avid skiers and snow-sport lovers tight hips are still a winter concern if your looking for optimal performance on the mountain.  

1) Warm up with a few sun salutations

http://www.yogajournal.com/video/267

2) Reclining Pigeon

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Hold this pose for 10 good breaths rocking gently back and forth (only by a few inches) to deepen the stretch.

3) Reclining Pigeon with extended bottom leg.

If your right leg is crossed over the left then extended the left leg straight and rock slightly for 10 breaths. To deepen the stretch grab hold of the left leg big toe with the left hand peace fingers, holding the right leg open with the right forearm.

4) IT Band Stretch

Release the right leg down keeping the left one extended arms out to a T similar to the bellow picture.

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From this position (but without the strap) turn the big toe in towards the center line of the body and let it drop across the midline by a few inches. The further you turn in the toe the more it will stretch.

5) Knee into chest

Draw your left knee into your chest and hold for 10 breaths.

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release the leg down and spend a moment to see if one leg feels longer than the other.

Repeat all steps on the other side.

Cooking Oils Part 2

So what oils should we be cooking with?

Well that depends on what your doing with them. These oils are listed roughly in descending order based on their oxidation potential with the “no heat” oils being less stable and more easily oxidized. Oxidized oils deplete the bodies antioxidants and can lead to damage and inflammation, so don’t make your bodies clean up crews work overtime if they don’t have to! Just switch cooking oils.

image take from recipe-finder.com

image take from
recipe-finder.com

Cooking oils and recommended usage:

For very high heat I’d recommend a little…
Coconut oil
ghee
butter
tallow
Avocado oil (cold pressed is best)
palm oil (preferably red palm because of its high CoQ10 and vitamin E content)

These are most stable at higher heats and when frying (which in general I would recommend sparingly because of the increased production of AGE’s [advanced glycation end products] in the foods being fried – AGE’s fittingly enough make you age faster and have been linked to cancer and inflammation related diseases).

*It is important to keep in mind that carnosine found in meat has some protective effects against AGE formation.

For lower heat

any of the high heat oils
olive oil
macadamia nut oil
fish oil

To use on special occasion and at low heat (or better yet NO heat)
walnut oil
sesame oil
flax seed oil

Please store all your oil in dark bottles (glass is best) in a cool, dry, dark place to prevent oxidation and rancidity.

As a reminder from Part I and a quick reference we especially want to AVOID all industrial seed oils and oils high in omega-6 fatty acids. These include
safflower
sunflower
canola
rapeseed
cottonseed
vegetable
soy

*These statements have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA.

Yoga Pose of the Day: Reclined Twist

Reclined Twist to Cleanse, Align and Relax

Whether you just had a weekend warriors three day weekend or you just had a long weekend of sitting driving and stressing followed by a week of more of the same, this pose can really help you loosen up, relax and cleanse the digestive system.

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To begin lay flat on your back legs down arms by your sides. Draw your right knee into your chest, open your arms into a T with both shoulders down and then bring the right knee across the body and onto the floor on the left side of the body. From here look over the right shoulder keeping both shoulders against the floor. 

If your knee cannot touch the floor feel free to put a bolster or block under the knee for support so that you can keep your shoulders in contact with the floor.

For more of a stretch extend the right leg as shown below.

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If you are still having trouble relaxing into this pose you can instead from the starting position draw both knees into the chest and drop both of them to the left side as show below.

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Taking the proper variation for the way your body feel today and using bolsters and blocks where necessary will make this a relaxing and enjoyable pose for most anyone.