Monthly Archives: July 2011

Coconut Water Taste Test

While shopping a while back, I saw a display of coconut water.  I had only heard of coconut milk, and I was intrigued. I bought a few brands to see how they would taste and then did a little research…

Did you know that coconut water is:

  1. The clear liquid inside a young coconut
  2. A natural sports drink, perfect for re-hydration. It has more electrolytes than your average sports drink, without the added sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives or dyes.
  3. Gluten-Free
  4. Loaded with Potassium, Magnesium, Vitamin C, Iron, Calcium (depending on the brand).
  5. Low Sodium
  6. No fat, low calorie
  7. No cholesterol
  8. And get this…It’s been used as IV fluid in the tropics when medical saline was low in supply

These were the three I picked up:

I made sure that they were good and cold (I’ve been told they taste MUCH better chilled.)

And then I wrote A, B, C on the bottom of my very fancy cups:

Yup. Those are cookie monster cups. I was out of Elmo.

Then I mixed them up well as I answered a telemarketing call.

The results?

C2O (A) was a very strong coconut flavor, pretty sweet, a little nutty, and was a little syrupy

Vitacoco (B) was more delicate, just the right amount of coconut flavor, almost like fruit juice, lighter

Blue Monkey (C) very similar to A

I’m not a particularly huge fan of a strong coconut flavor, so Vitacoco was my favorite of these three.

I looked at the labels, and A and C both had roughly the same amount of potassium (290mg), 2% calcium, no Vitamin C, and some iron.

B had almost double the potassium (515mg), slightly more calcium (4%), a whopping 175% of Vitamin C and 8% magnesium.

So go out and try some.  If you decide to follow the Phase 1 diet, this is a great alternative to water.  I’ve heard it’s great with a wedge of lime (but we didn’t have any in the house so I can’t speak from experience).  Or if you’re just trying to make smaller changes to your diet, switch out the soda or sweetened iced tea for coconut water.

Let me know what you think of coconut water AND if you can recommend another brand that’s yummy!

Recipe: Crispy Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower was always one of those vegetables that would get passed to me at the table at Thanksgiving and it wouldn’t stop near my plate. Just kept on going.

I think it was a consistency issue. Rather mushy.

Then I started roasting vegetables and thought I’d revisit the one I had ignored for so long.

And after researching, I found out that cauliflower:

  1. Contains sulforaphane which a study showed reduced breast cancer tumors in rats by 40%.  It also helps to flush toxins that may harm healthy cells so they don’t become cancerous.
  2. Contains indole-3-carbinol (abbreviated to 13C) which is an anti-estrogen. High levels of estrogen has been shown to promote tumor growth.
  3. Is a powerful antioxidant containing Vitamin C and Manganese
  4. Is anti-inflammatory
  5. Supports cardiovascular health
  6. Promotes digestion

Here’s a recipe I made one day and it was so yummy, I made it the next day too. (And then I remembered the research about cauliflower containing purines which will break down to produce uric acid…you may develop gout with too much uric acid.) So I didn’t make it again that week.

1 head of cauliflower, florets cut in bit site pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper

Mix spices separately. Place cauliflower and olive oil in a bowl to coat.  Sprinkle spice mixture in and mix together. Place cauliflower on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 425° for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.

This was my snack this afternoon. Crunchy. Healthy. Yum.

The Diet That Made Me Healthier

Have you ever gotten so excited about a diet and all its claims for weight loss and improving your health, only to realize you couldn’t stick to it long enough to lose weight and your health issues haven’t actually gotten better?

Luckily, I haven’t had to diet for weight loss.  But with a whole mess of health problems, I needed one that would work from the inside out. Address the symptoms as well as get down to the root cause of those symptoms.  One that doesn’t include processed food or artificial sweeteners as a substitute for sugar. And one that explains how the foods we eat directly affect our bodies.

Well, I found one!

It is essentially an anti-fungal diet. If fungi starts taking over in your body, and sugar and carbs feed the fungi, then it makes sense to starve those pesky buggers (a more eloquent explanation is on the Know the Cause website).  Fungi produce a toxic by-product (mycotoxin) which is directly related to disease. Kill the fungi, clear out the toxins, and it would stand to reason that you’ve gotten down to the cause of the illness.  Interesting stuff (even for someone like me that managed to get through high school without taking Biology!)

There is a reason you have cravings for certain foods. Do you crave sweets? Potato chips? Bakery items? Ice cream? What do all of these things have in common? Sugar, flour, and carbs in general are what the fungi are living on. They are trying to control your body into thinking you need them.

On this diet (and with a few supplements), I was able to get rid of my asthma after 30+ years of being asthmatic. I’m off all of the inhalers and prescriptions.  I was able to make my PCOS symptoms disappear (as reported from an ultrasound tech who said she would never have guessed I had ever had PCOS). And best of all, my infertility issues were resolved after just 2 months following the diet (and exercising more) and I found out I was pregnant. I was amazed!

So what is on this magical diet you ask? Whole foods. Most items need refrigeration, have no preservatives and don’t come in a box. Back to basics.  Use simple ingredients and add spices.  Basically this diet consists of meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, some fruits, nuts, seeds, certain oils and some dairy.  The complete list of “approved” items can be found on his website.  Quinoa is also ok, and listed in his books, but for some reason isn’t on his website.  And thank goodness for that.  I eat it everyday to fill up!

It seems limiting when you’re used to going out to eat, ordering take-out, and imagining all of the family recipes based on pasta, but I will be the first to say it is doable. Plus preparing meals with fewer ingredients takes less time.  And it makes you feel REALLY good.

I’m sure there will be future posts about the Phase 1 diet and I’ll be adding recipes too. I can’t say enough good things about it.  If you’re still unsure, poke around Mr. Kaufmann’s website and educate yourself.  Talk to your doctor and see if it’s something that would be right for you. (Although most “regular” doctors aren’t up up-to-speed on fungus as it relates to illness.) Then try it for 4 weeks. See how you feel. Are the aches and pains gone? No more random stomach aches? Migraines better? Sinus issues resolving themselves? Curious………

[Disclaimer: I’m relaying my own experiences and I cannot tell you if you will reap the same benefits. Talk to your doctor to see if this would be a good diet for you to follow.]

Recipe: Baked Kale Chips

I always walked by the kale/collard greens section in the grocery store and made a beeline for the spinach. That’s the safe one that I understand well.

And then my sister made some kale chips one day and I (rather unwillingly, I might add) nibbled on one. And then finished off an entire baking sheet. They’re that good.

If you’re trying to cut out the chips and pretzels, and want something salty, make these. They’re super easy. You won’t be disappointed.

1 bunch of kale, washed and thoroughly dried
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper

Remove the leaves from the center rib and cut into chip sized pieces. Toss pieces in a large bowl with the olive oil.  Spread them in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper. Bake at 325° on a middle rack for 12-18 minutes (until they are crispy, but before they start to brown.

Sure, potato chips have that amazing instant gratification feeling, which quickly turns to “Why did I just polish off the entire bag of chips? Ugh.” Kale chips don’t make you feel that way. You’ll get your salty fix and be able to move on with your day. Plus kale has so many health benefits–they are cancer fighting, high in antioxidents, anti-inflammatory, support cardiovascular health…and the list go on.

Go ahead and make a batch. Eat them in front of your kids. Chances are, they’ll ask you for a bite. But…you may not want to share!

A Natural Cough Remedy

Have you ever looked at the ingredients for cough syrup?  High fructose corn syrup. Some red dye. Sucralose (an artificial sweetener). HFCS and an artificial sweetener seem like overkill, but what do I know.

So I set out to find a recipe for a natural cough remedy.  One that didn’t make me gag and actually made the coughing stop.  This is the one that worked best for me:

2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar*
1 tablespoon Honey
1 teaspoon Lemon juice
1/4-1/2 cup warm water

Put the warm water in a small glass.  Add the other ingredients (the warm water will dissolve the honey) and stir until completely mixed. 

* There are several kinds of apple cider vinegar.  The one you should find for this recipe is Organic Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar with The “Mother” (I use Braggs.)

The kids aren’t too fond of the vinegar, so I either add more honey for them, or a little apple juice.  Honey is very soothing, so I often give them some right off the spoon before bed.

Pigs Are Flying

My name is Kim and I used to be a sugarholic.

Butterfinger bar instead of breakfast?  You bet.  Pepsi instead of water? Everyday.  Any positive feelings toward the vegetable food group? Not a chance.

My body wasn’t showing wear and tear on the outside.  The inside was a whole different story.

Fast forward a decade. Infertility.  PCOS.  Asthma.  Lots of prescription drugs offered for my ailments. Invasion treatments suggested for the infertility.

But then a light bulb went off.  I could be more responsible for my health. See how the adventure unfolded here.

I got pregnant by following a certain diet and exercising.  I’m not taking any medication for my asthma because I don’t seem to have it anymore.

And now I’m sitting at my laptop, writing a blog about good health.  I’m about to share some of the simpliest ways to eat healthier, and what I’ve learned about natural remedies and treatment alternatives.  Surely pigs are flying somewhere.