Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Michael Pollan's Food Rules

Michael Pollan has written some great books. If you haven't read them you need to. Food Rules, The Omnivore's Dilemma, and In Defense of Food should be on your must read list. See a full list of his books HERE

Here is a peek of his "Food Rules" that will help you stay happy and healthy:

1. Eat food
2. Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food
3. Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry
4. Avoid food products that contain high-fructose corn syrup
5. Avoid food products that have some form of sugar (or sweetener listed among) the top three ingredients
6. Avoid food products that have more than 5 ingredients
7. Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce
8. Avoid food products that make health claims
9. Avoid food products with the wordoid “lite” or the terms “low fat” or “nonfat” in their names
10. Avoid foods that are pretending to be something they are not
11. Avoid foods you see advertised on television
12. Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle
13. Eat only foods that will eventually rot
14. Eat foods made from ingredients that you can picture in their raw state or growing in nature
15. Get out of the supermarket whenever you can
16. Buy your snacks at the farmers market
17. Eat only foods that have been cooked by humans
18. Don’t ingest foods made in places where everyone is required to wear a surgical cap
19. If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.
20. It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car
21. It’s not food if it’s called by the same name in every language (Think Big Mac, Cheetos or Pringles)
22. Eat mostly plants, especially leaves
23. Treat meat as a flavoring or special occasion food
24. Eating what stands on one leg [mushrooms and plant foods] is better than eating what stands on two legs [fowl], which is better than eating what stands on four legs [cows, pigs and other mammals].
25. Eat your colors
26. Drink the spinach water
27. Eat animals that have themselves eaten well
28. If you have space, buy a freezer
29. Eat like an omnivore
30. Eat well-grown food from healthy soil
31. Eat wild foods when you can
32. Don’t overlook the oily little fishes
33. Eat some foods that have been predigested by bacterial or fungi
34. Sweeten and salt your food yourself
35. Eat sweet foods as you find them in nature
36. Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk
37. The whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead
38. Favor the kinds of oils and grains that have traditionally been stone-ground
39. Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself
40. Be the kind of person who takes supplements – then skip the supplements
41. Eat more lie the French. Or the Japanese. Or the Italians. Or the Greeks.
42. Regard nontraditional foods with skepticism
43. Have a glass of wine with dinner
44. Pay more, eat less
45. Eat less
46. Stop eating before you’re full
47. Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored
48. Consult your gut
49. Eat slowly
50. The banquet is in the first bite
51. Spend as much time enjoying the meal as it took to prepare it
52. Buy smaller plates and glasses
53. Serve a proper portion and don’t go back for seconds
54. Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like pauper
55. Eat meals
56. Limit your snacks to unprocessed plant foods
57. Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does
58. Do all your eating at a table
59. Try not to eat alone
60. Treat treats as treats
61. Leave something on your plate
62. Plant a vegetable garden if you have space, a window box if you don’t
63. Cook
64. Break the rules once in a while

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Alternative Milk Guide: coconut, almond, and sunflower

As far as milk alternatives the very best thing is homemade. The rice, coconut, almond, and other milks have gut irritating ingredients in them like carrageenan, gaur gum, and other preservatives. Home made should really just be nuts and water (and a little sea salt or sweetener if desired).  Synthetic vitamins are often added to these drinks, which our bodies don't recognize or metabolize and can cause nutritional imbalances over time. Carrageenan has been found to be a carcinogen and it causes major inflammation in the digestive tract. I see it in almost all dairy alternatives.

Cheesecloth never worked well for me so I switched over to this nut milk bag. I've never been able to find one in any stores so I just ordered it from amazon. The nut milk will be good in your fridge for a week.

I always add a pinch of sea salt, 1/4 tsp of vanilla, and a little sweetener. Honey, real maple syrup, or a few drops of liquid stevia (I like the nunaturals brand). This is completely optional.

The other thing to remember is to give the milk a little shake before using it. It will separate when sitting in the fridge, this is normal. the pulp can be spread onto a baking sheet and dried in the oven at 170 degrees. Then stick it in your blender and you'll have almond flour. The coconut flour I get makes the best chicken nuggets I've ever had and it's a fast meal to make. Plus you can make extra to keep in the freezer and warm up when you're hungry.

Almond or Cashew Milk: 1 cup almonds, 4 cups filtered water, plus water to soak in.
  • Soak the almonds in water overnight. In the morning drain the water and rinse the almonds. Blend the almonds with 4 cups of filtered water. Pour into nut milk bag and squeeze out the milk.
  • Dry the pulp to use in waffles, muffins, or anything else. You could even add the moist pulp to a batter adn use less liquid.
  • Almonds $6-$8/lb

Coconut milk: 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut (I get mine out of the bulk/bins). 6 cups of filtered water.
  • Add the coconut and water into the blender and let sit for an hour or two. Blend and pour into the nut milk bag and squeeze out the milk.
  • coconut $4/lb

Sunflower Seed Milk: 1 cup raw hulled sunflower seeds, 4 cups filtered water, plus water to soak in.
  • place the sunflower seeds in a skillet and slightly toast on medium heat. Stir the seeds about every 30 seconds. This gives the milk a nice flavor.
  • Place the seeds in a glass bowl or pitcher and soak for 7 hours.
  • Drain the water, rinse the seeds, and place in blender with filtered water. Blend and pour into the nut milk bag and squeeze out the milk.
  • Sunflower Seeds $3/lb