Empowered Sustenance http://empoweredsustenance.com Eat well and heal!™ Tue, 25 Nov 2014 00:39:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 Introduction to Tigernut Flour + Tigernut Flour Pancakes http://empoweredsustenance.com/tigernut-flour-pancakes/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/tigernut-flour-pancakes/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 15:55:26 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8310 Tigernuts: tubers with a misnomer Last week in this post, I introduced you to one of my favorite foods: tigernuts! Tigernuts are actually small vegetables with an ill-fitting name. They are more widely known in Africa and the Midde East and are also known as: chufa yellow nut sedge earth almonds Why am I so smitten […]

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tigernut flour pancakes + intro to tigernut flour

Tigernuts: tubers with a misnomer

Last week in this post, I introduced you to one of my favorite foods: tigernuts!

Tigernuts are actually small vegetables with an ill-fitting name. They are more widely known in Africa and the Midde East and are also known as:

  • chufa
  • yellow nut sedge
  • earth almonds

tigernut flour pancakes + intro to tigernut flour

Why am I so smitten with this new food discovery?

  •  Tigernuts are non-allergenic, with no reported allergies in two million years… that’s a pretty good track record! Organic Gemini tiger nuts are produced in an allergen-free facility to ensure that sensitive individuals can enjoy them.
  • When it comes to paleo-friendly foods, tigernuts take the (grain free and dairy free) cake. Research from Oxford showed that tigernuts fueled up to 80% of paleolithic man’s diet.
  • Tigernuts are the highest source of resistant starch, an elusive type of fiber that is feeds for the good bacteria in the digestive tract.
  • Tigernuts are concentrated nuggets of nutrition and include a balance of protein, fats and carbs. Interestingly, the fat profile is very similar to olive oil, which has been heavily studied for its heart-health benefits. (Read more about these benefits in this post)

Whole tigernuts are available here at Amazon.

What is Tigernut flour?

Although I had been familiar with their whole tigernuts, Organic Gemini recently introduced me to their tigernut flour. I was over-the-moon to incorporate this grain-free flour into new recipes.

The only place that I’ve found to purchase this tigernut flour is here from Amazon.

If you google recipes for tiger nut flour, you have really really slim pickings. It seems like a newcomer in the world of grain free recipes. I didn’t have much to use as a jumping-off point for recipe development. So, I decided to grab a couple of bags of tiger nut flour, set aside a long afternoon, and start from utter scratch.

tigernut flour pancakes + intro to tigernut flour

Here are factors to keep in mind about tiger nut flour

  • Organic Gemini, the producers, says tiger nut flour substitutes 1:1 for white flour. In my experience, the only flour that substitutes 1:1 for white flour is white flour. Tigernut flour boasts versatility and a mild flavor, but you can use it in place of white flour and expect the exact same result.
  • Tigernut flour has the same mild, toasty, slightly sweet flavor of tigernuts. I also find hints of vanilla in the flavor. I absolutely love it!
  • Tigernut flour has a slightly grainy texture, which I find pleasant and hearty. It doesn’t necessarily produce dense baked goods, but it lends a very slight grittiness in recipes – neither a good nor bad thing, just something to keep in mind.
  • Tigernut flour is very high resistant starch, which can cause digestive upset when introduced into the diet in large amounts. I encourage gradually increasing your tigernut flour intake, starting with a tablespoon or two a day to make sure you tolerate it.

About the other ingredients

tigernut flour pancakes + intro to tigernut flourCoconut flour – I used coconut flour in this recipe to absorb moisture and provide a bit more structure. I also wanted to stretch the tigernut flour in this recipe, because it is relatively pricey. Blending it with a coconut flour works like a charm. t also stretches the tigernut flour, which is relatively pricey.

Eggs – I can’t tell you if this recipe will work with an egg substitute. I’m in the early stages of tigernut flour experimentation, so I haven’t yet tried variations without eggs. Over the next few months, I look forward to experimenting with egg-free tigernut flour recipes.

Baking soda and apple cider vinegar – I’m frequently asked why I use this combination in many of my baked good recipes. In short, it’s a grain free leavening substitute for baking powder, which contains cornstarch. The vinegar reacts with the baking soda to provide lift. You can use white vinegar instead.

Tigernut Flour Pancakes

Yield: Makes about 12 4" pancakes, for 2 hearty servings

Tigernut Flour Pancakes

These grain free pancakes feature the superfood tigernut flour, which is available here.

Ingredients

  • 4 pastured eggs
  • 1/2 cup tigernut flour (50 grams by weight), available here
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour, available here
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda

Instructions

  1. Properly measuring the flours is key to the recipe. Stir the tigernut flour with a fork to "loosen" it, then dip in the measuring cup and level the top with a knife. Measure the coconut flour the same way.
  2. Combine the flours and the eggs to create a smooth batter. Mixing these ingredients first allows you to smooth out the clumps of tigernut flour. Then, add the remaining ingredients and stir until combined.
  3. Cook pancakes as usual and enjoy with your favorite toppings!

Notes

I store leftover pancakes in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. These leftover pancakes actually make a delicious "bread" for grain free sandwiches!

http://empoweredsustenance.com/tigernut-flour-pancakes/

Are you interested in trying tigernut flour? Have you used it before? 

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3 Benefits of Using a Wake Up Light http://empoweredsustenance.com/wake-up-light-benefits/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/wake-up-light-benefits/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 17:59:38 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8299 What is a Wake Up Light? A few weeks ago, I shared on Facebook that I was trying a wake up light for the first time. I’ve used it for a good three weeks now and am eager to share my experience with my alarm replacement. A wake up light produces an artificial dawn, also called dawn simulation, […]

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Have you heard of a wake up light? They are like nature's alarm clock and support balanced hormones

What is a Wake Up Light?

A few weeks ago, I shared on Facebook that I was trying a wake up light for the first time. I’ve used it for a good three weeks now and am eager to share my experience with my alarm replacement.

A wake up light produces an artificial dawn, also called dawn simulation, to wake you up in the morning. The gradual light – a type of artificial daylight – gently pulls you out of slumber and can support healthier hormone balance throughout the day.

The wake up light that I use is the Philips Wake Up Light with Sunrise Simulation, which I got here from Amazon.

Wake Up Light Benefits

I believe the human body is intrinsically tied to the rhythms of the earth. Now, we have more and more research showing exactly how these rhythms influence our health. For example, earthing – getting skin-to-earth connection – has been shown to reduce stress hormones. Daylight is another way in which nature shapes our wellbeing.

You may have read my post on Lunaception, where I explain how light can shape and balance menstrual cycles. By manipulating the light in your bedroom to mimic the light cycles of the moon, you can help re-align your menstrual cycle with the moon’s cycle to support hormone balance and fertility.

A wake up light follows a similar concept. By replicating sunrise, you can support balanced hormones and a healthy circadian rhythm.

1. A wake up light supports morning cortisol response

Have you heard of a wake up light? They are like nature's alarm clock and support balanced hormonesLight significantly influences cortisol levels. Cortisol levels should follow a circadian rhythm, peaking in the morning and gradually decreasing over the day. Chronic stress causes irregular cortisol spikes, eventually depleting cortisol production. This is frequently referred to as adrenal fatigue (a currently vogue diagnosis but something which is very real).

Do you experience debilitating grogginess in the morning? Do you rely on caffeine to get you going? Those symptoms often point to low morning cortisol.

Exposure to daylight in the morning via a wake up light can support that morning cortisol peak, which in turn supports a healthy cortisol response throughout the entire day (source, source). And because all hormones are intricately tied together, balanced cortisol means better overall hormone balance.

2. A wake up light helps balance melatonin

Light also controls melatonin levels. A light-responsive hormone, melatonin levels should follow an opposite pattern of cortisol – that is, lowest in the morning and peaking at night. I’m not a fan of using melatonin supplements, since they can really mess with overall hormone balance. However, tweaking your light exposure is a powerful way to balance melatonin.

Studies show that exposure to dawn stimulation in the morning supports better melatonin balance throughout the day (source, source).

3. A wake up light may help depression and seasonal affective disorder

Light therapy has been heavily studied as a treatment for seasonal affective disorder. This may make a wake up light more valuable during the dark months of winter, rather than summer. Studies suggest that dawn stimulation may be an effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder (source, source).

My experience with my wake up light

I am a lifelong convert to my Philips wake up light (if you missed the link above, I have this version). Here are a few noteworthy points:

  • First and foremost, I have no more morning heart attacks from my blaring alarm clock. Yay!
  • For the first couple of days, I awoke at the dim light of the sunrise simulation. I have the sunrise simulation set for 15 minutes, and it peaks at the time which you set the alarm. (For example, if you set the alarm for 7:30 the sunrise starts at 7:15). Now, I awaken later in the stages of the simulation.
  • I usually wake up with the gradual light, but I use the soothing alarm sounds as a “back up.” The wake up sounds gradually increase in volume and are very gentle, unlike a beeping alarm clock.
  • Most importantly, I feel much more rested in the morning. I don’t know if I’ve noticed a significant difference in my energy during the rest of the day, but it is drastically easier for me to get out of bed.

Do you use a wake up light? What is your experience? 

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Holistic Hair Webinar with Anthony Morrocco http://empoweredsustenance.com/holistic-hair-webinar-morrocco/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/holistic-hair-webinar-morrocco/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 02:19:35 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8290 Holistic living encompasses all aspects of life. You’ve considered your nutrition, lifestyle and stress management, but have you given the same attention to the ingredients in your hair care? In a search that lasted a year, I weeded through the ingredient lists of hundreds of “natural” and “organic” hair products. None of them met my ingredient […]

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holistic hair webinar with morrocco method

Holistic living encompasses all aspects of life. You’ve considered your nutrition, lifestyle and stress management, but have you given the same attention to the ingredients in your hair care?

In a search that lasted a year, I weeded through the ingredient lists of hundreds of “natural” and “organic” hair products. None of them met my ingredient standards, however. I also exhaustively experimented with DIY hair care, but I was left with an irritated scalp and flat hair.

My life changed when I discovered Morrocco Method, and I am passionate about sharing their message and their products because they take a truly holistic approach to scalp and hair health.

In this webinar, I’m privileged to be joined by Anthony Morrocco, the founder of Morrocco Method. We answer the commonly asked questions I’ve received about Morrocco Method products and give you tips for obtaining the healthiest hair of your life!

What we discuss in the webinar

  • What do indigenous people teach us about hair care?
  •  Is conditioner really necessary?
  • What is the Detox Period and how long does it last?
  • How to shop for hair care like you shop for food
  • Why No Poo and “Just Water Washing” fails nearly all the time
  • What wild animals teach us about deep cleansing our hair and scalp
  • How Anthony and Lauren use No Heat Styling each day

Scroll down for important links to the products and topics discussed in the webinar :)

empower your hair package

Links and Further Reading

  • The Empower Your Hair Package – Click through that link because this exclusive deal is not listed on the Morrocco Method website. It’s only available for three weeks (we decided last-minute to extend it one week), until December 8th. So don’t wait too long before grabbing one for yourself and perhaps a couple for holiday gifts. No coupon is required for this package.
  • Morrocco Method Lunar Calendar – Cut your hair in cycle with the moon to maximize growth and take advantage of the subtle energy cycles of the hair and scalp
  • My tips for using Zen Detox - Get the most out of Zen Detox for purifying your scalp and boosting volume
  • 6 Benefits of Boar Bristle Brushing – The only styling tool I use, and it takes just 5 minutes a day! It’s a styling and deep conditioning treatment in one.
  • Boar brush selection - The Mason Pearson boar brushes available from Morrocco Method

Bonus coupon!

After filming the webinar, I told Anthony that I wanted to encourage people to try a boar bristle brush, because it is such a key part of my holistic hair routine. Anthony generously offered a coupon for 20% off any of the Morrocco Method Boar Bristle Brushes, which are available here. Enter coupon “EmpowerBrush20″ at checkout. This coupon is valid through December 2014.

This coupon can be used in conjunction with the Empower Your Hair Package if you add any boar brush to your shopping cart.

Want your questions answered?

Anthony and I want to answer your questions about holistic hair care! Ask in a comment below and we can address your question in a future webinar or blog post.

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3 Incredible Nutrition Benefits of Tigernuts + A Giveaway! http://empoweredsustenance.com/tigernuts-nutrition/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/tigernuts-nutrition/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 00:12:48 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8147 Meet my new friend, Tigernuts! Recently, I discovered a new food I could eat. It’s crunchy, sweet and altogether delicious. And it has a ton of nutritional benefits. For someone like me, who has to stick to a very limited diet, that’s a big deal! I’m excited to introduce you to Tigernuts from Organic Gemini and […]

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3 incredible nutrition benefits of tigernuts (they're tubers, not nuts!)

Meet my new friend, Tigernuts!

Recently, I discovered a new food I could eat. It’s crunchy, sweet and altogether delicious. And it has a ton of nutritional benefits.

For someone like me, who has to stick to a very limited diet, that’s a big deal!

I’m excited to introduce you to Tigernuts from Organic Gemini and I’m sure that you will enjoy them whether or not you follow a specific nutrition protocol. This giveaway is graciously sponsored by Organic Gemini.

You can find Organic Gemini Tigernuts on Amazon here.

3 incredible nutrition benefits of tigernuts (they're tubers, not nuts!)

What Are Tigernuts?

Tigernuts are a misnomer, because these aren’t nuts. They are actually a vegetable – a type of starchy tuber. Tigernuts are also called chufa, nut grass, or yellow nutsedge.

I call myself a Traditional Foodie, meaning that I believe we can gain vital nutrition insight by studying the dietary habits of ancient cultures. When it comes to traditional foods, tigernuts take the cake. Oxford University recently discovered that tigernuts played a key nutritional role in our evolution from pre-human to human. So tigernuts are about as Paleo a food as you can get!

Tigernuts were a highly valued food in ancient Egypt. Interestingly, there is ancient Egyptian art depicting the careful sorting of Tigernuts.

You may be wondering, What do tigernuts taste like? They taste sweet! Granted, I’ve been off refined sweeteners for years so my palate is very sensitive to natural sugars. I also taste a slightly nutty, earthy, vanilla flavor. I absolutely love the taste.

3 Nutrition Benefits of Tigernuts

3 incredible nutrition benefits of tigernuts (they're tubers, not nuts!)1. Allergen free – Tigernut allergies are probably one of the rarest food allergies ever. Since they are a tuber, tigernuts are completely soy, dairy, grain, nut, seed (etc, etc.) free. Further, Organic Gemini has a dedicated gluten-free, peanut-free and tree nut-free facility to prevent cross-contamination.

2. Resistant Starch – Tigernuts are the highest whole food source of a unique type of fiber called resistant starch. Besides the pleasant flavor and texture, the resistant starch content is why I eat tigernuts on a regular basis. Resistant starch is a highly beneficial pre-biotic, which means it feeds the good bacteria in your digestive tract.

Resistant starch has been a hot topic lately in the health world as more and more research shows the unique benefits of this plant fiber. For example, research indicates that resistant starch could be a powerful component in preventing and/or addressing diabetes and obesity! You can read more in this post on ChrisKresser.com.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that introducing resistant starch for the first time may produce some symptoms of a shift in gut flora. You may wish to introduce tigernuts gradually and see if you experience symptoms such as gas or bloating. If you do, slowly but consistently increase the amount of tigernuts starting at just one or two a day.

3. Healthful Fats – Unlike other starchy vegetable tubers such as potatoes, tigernuts are a good source of healthful fats. Tigernuts have a fatty acid composition similar to olive oil, with the fat composition being about 73% monounsaturated fat, 18% saturated fat and 9% polyunsaturated fat (source). The lower percentage of polyunsaturated fat, which can be highly inflammatory, in contrast to the specific monounsaturated and saturated fats (both nourishing, non-inflammatory types of fat) makes a healthy fat profile.

How I prepare Tigernuts

Ever since discovering Organic Gemini tigernuts a month ago, I’ve created a simple ritual to enjoy them each day for their resistant starch. This is my favorite way to prepare the tigernuts because I love the crunchy texture and sweet flavor of eating them whole. They are very satiating and pleasant to eat. Since I don’t eat crunchy snack foods like potato chips or popcorn, this seems to fill my cravings for something bite-sized and crunchy.

Organic Gemini Tigernuts are dried for shelf-stable storage. As a result, they must be rehydrated in water prior to eating or using in a recipe.

  1. I start by soaking about one ounce (a very small handful) of tigernuts in a small bowl of filtered water for at least 12 hours. It looks like a very small quantity but they expand once soaked. Additionally, a huge amount of nutrition is crammed into each figernut.
  2. In the morning, I drain the liquid and eat the tigernuts with my breakfast. It’s been my daily ritual for the past few months.
  3. After breakfast, I add another ounce of dry Tigernuts to the bowl and cover with filtered water. They will be ready for me the next day.

Some people prefer to soak the tigernuts for up to 48 hours. Experiment and find the soaking time that you prefer. I like the chewy, crunchy texture of a 12-hour soaking period.

3 incredible nutrition benefits of tigernuts (they're tubers, not nuts!)

Tigernut Horchata

tigernut horchataBesides eating them whole, you can also prepare a traditional beverage called Horchata with tigernuts. After soaking, the tigernuts are blended with water and a dash of sweetener to create a creamy and dairy-free drink.

Organic Gemini carries their own line of Horchata, which is available in select Whole Foods locations as well as Dean and Deluca. It’s a creamy, dreamy treat… you’ll be hooked once you try it! Even better, it’s allergy-friendly. The Unsweetened version is just tigernuts and filtered water. The Original gets a touch of sweetness from organic dates.

Want to make your own Tigernut Horchata? Jenny at Nourished Kitchen has a tasty Tigernut Horchata recipe here if you are interested.

Tigernut Flour

Organic Gemini just sent me some of their tigernut flour, their newest addition to their line of tigernut products. It’s available here on Amazon. I’m always on the lookout for grain free flours, so I’m excited for this new option! For me, it will be a welcome alternative to my staple coconut flour.

3 incredible nutrition benefits of tigernuts (they're tubers, not nuts!)

I haven’t had a chance yet to experiment with the flour, since I literally just got it in the mail, but I’m planning to dabble with it this week. Evidently, it substitutes 1:1 for white flour, but I haven’t found this out for myself yet.

Keep your eyes out for my future recipes featuring tigernut flour, because I know I will have fun playing with this new ingredient.

Where To Buy Tigernuts

  1.  Get Organic Gemini Tigernuts here on Amazon and their Tigernut Flour here on Amazon.
  2. Select New York Whole Foods locations carry Organic Gemini Tigernuts.

Organic Gemini Tigernuts Giveaway

Organic Gemini is giving away a package of both tigernuts and tigernut flour to 5 winners! 

We’ve kept the entry as straightforward as possible with the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

Want to win
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Natural Mascara Showdown: What works, what flops http://empoweredsustenance.com/natural-mascara-review/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/natural-mascara-review/#comments Sat, 08 Nov 2014 18:39:29 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=7366  Your eyes are windows to your soul… and a chemical sponge! You know that everything you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream. But did you know that the skin around your eyes is the thinnest skin, and so it more readily absorbs the chemicals in your cosmetics? If you are transitioning to […]

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Great list and reviews of natural mascaras - what works and what doesn't!

 Your eyes are windows to your soul… and a chemical sponge!

You know that everything you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream. But did you know that the skin around your eyes is the thinnest skin, and so it more readily absorbs the chemicals in your cosmetics? If you are transitioning to non-toxic makeup, you should detox your eye makeup first.

Mascara may not seem like it can be absorbed into the skin because it coats the eyelashes. However, when is the last time you applied mascara without it touching the eyelash roots, where the lashes meets the skin? The rule “if you wouldn’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin” definitely applies to mascara.

Over the years, I’ve searched high and low for a truly natural mascara that rivals the performance of conventional mascara. I met with many disappointments but also discovered a couple of standouts. Here is my Natural Mascara Showdown!

Natural mascaras that I won’t repurchase

Beauty Without Cruelty Mascara, found here at Vitacost – This didn’t work for me. The words that comes to mind? Gloopy. Sticky. I think the formula boasts high potential to be extremely volumizing and lengthening if paired with a different applicator, but the wand picks up too much mascara and distributes it to heavily.

Lavera Volumizing Mascara, found here at Vitacost – I’ve used other Lavera cosmetics with success, but for this price of this natural mascara, it didn’t meet my expectations. When I used it, the brush picked up too much mascara, which went on overly wet and tended to clump. The formula is extremely gentle – designed for the most sensitive eyes – and washes off easily.

Natural mascaras that I enjoyed

Great list and reviews of natural mascaras - what works and what doesn't!Revita Labs mascara, found here at Vitacost – This was my mainstay natural mascara for the past four years. I repeatedly came back to it because it is cheap ($8) and lasts all day without smudging. It has a brush-type applicator that applies too much mascara when the tube is brand new. It veers on the side of wet and sticky rather than dry and clumpy. It is not buildable (once it dries, it’s dried), but it looks great if you get the first coat done properly. One caveat is that it is slightly more stubborn to wash off, be sure to use an oil-based makeup remover such as my DIY Makeup Remover.

Tart Amazonian Clay Mascara, found here on Amazon – This is a drier formula and I enjoy the definition and volume it gives. All in all, I liked it. It’s on the pricier end, so if I’m going to spend that much on mascara, it’s going to be my new favorite natural mascara which I discuss below.

Josie Maran GOGO Instant Volume Argan Mascara, found here on Amazon – I was pleased but not blown away. I thought it created fluffy, natural-looking volume but it did flake if I got sweaty. I wouldn’t say it delivers dramatic results, but lovely if you are looking thickness and definition.  It didn’t clump and is buildable.

And finally, what you’ve all been waiting for… the two natural mascaras that are keepers in my book!

The natural mascaras that blew me away

1CMmascara-2100% Pure Mascara, found here at 100% Pure – I’m a long-time fan of 100% Pure, which offers lovely formulations of fruit-pigmented cosmetics. My top three products from them are the Under Eye Concealer, their lip glazes, and their wonderful mascara. The wand is a hourglass shape with plastic-type bristles, and it lengthens and volumes without clumping or flaking.

 

w3ll-people-expressionist-mascara-pW3LL PEOPLE Expressionist Bio Extreme Mascara, found here at Spirit Beauty Lounge – At $23, it’s pricier than the some other options. But I’ll happily pay that price to experience the spiritual rapture of coating my eyelashes with this gloriously lengthening and volumizing formula. The brush is the plastic comb type, and works perfectly. From my first swipe, it delivered the perfect amount of mascara and is highly buildable. The one caveat is that the results were best for the first month or so, then the tube seems to dry out a bit.

Have you tried any of these natural mascaras? Is there another brand that you recommend?

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5 Ways to Boost Nutrition With Real Food http://empoweredsustenance.com/increase-nutrition-with-food/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/increase-nutrition-with-food/#comments Mon, 03 Nov 2014 20:00:09 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8235 So much food, so little nutrients Have you heard the phrase, “Overfed but undernourished?” Unfortunately, it accurately describes a large percentage of the Western population. We face skyrocketing levels of obesity, yet the foods we consume are stripped of crucial nutrients, such as fat-soluble vitamins and minerals. Some of the staple foods we consume as a nation, such […]

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5 ways to increase nutrition with real food

So much food, so little nutrients

Have you heard the phrase, “Overfed but undernourished?” Unfortunately, it accurately describes a large percentage of the Western population. We face skyrocketing levels of obesity, yet the foods we consume are stripped of crucial nutrients, such as fat-soluble vitamins and minerals.

Some of the staple foods we consume as a nation, such as white flour and bread,  are enriched with vitamins. However, these synthetic vitamins are poorly absorbed and lack the naturally-occurring cofactosrs needed for assimilation. Americans chronically lack nutrient-dense foods.

Fake nutrients vs. real nutrients

Many doctors, dieticians and pediatricians recognize some of the signs of nutrient deficiency. They frequently recommend products such as Boost, Ensure, and Pediasure shakes. However, this can compound the problem of nutrient deficiency since these beverages contain not only poorly-absorbed synthetic vitamins but also a host of unsavory ingredients.

For example, the ingredients in vanilla-flavored Pediasure are:

Water, Sugar, Corn Maltodextrin, High Oleic Safflower Oil, Milk Protein Concentrate, Canola Oil, Soy Protein Isolate, Pea Protein Concentrate. Less than 0.5% of the Following: Short-Chain Fructooligosaccharides, Natural & Artificial Flavor, Cellulose Gel, Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Phosphate, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Tuna Oil, Potassium Phosphate, Cellulose Gum, Choline Chloride, Ascorbic Acid, Soy Lecithin, Monoglycerides, Salt, Potassium Hydroxide, m-Inositol, Carrageenan, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, dl-Alpha-Tocopheryl Acetate, L-Carnitine, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Niacinamide, Manganese Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Lutein, Cupric Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Folic Acid, Chromium Chloride, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenate, Sodium Molybdate, Phylloquinone, Vitamin D3, and Cyanocobalamin.

Holy cow, that’s a scary list!

The most important way to up your nutrient intake is focusing on unprocessed, real food. Most people will thrive on fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, grassfed animal products, and starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes.

But sometimes you need a real food nutrient boost, especially when faced with certain health challenges. Increasing your nutrient intake can be a crucial part of:

  • healing male and female infertility naturally
  • addressing chronic disease, such as autoimmune disease
  • supporting endocrine disorders, such as hormone imbalance and thyroid dysfunction
  • supporting healthy growth and development of toddlers, children and teens

Here are 5 ways you can increase nutrition with a higher concentration of vitamins, minerals, and cofactors.

1. Homemade Bone Broth

Grandmothers throughout the centuries and across the globe all seemed to share one natural remedy: bone broth. “A good broth can raise the dead,” the saying goes, and it may have more truth in it than we expect.

Don’t confuse homemade bone broth with store bought stock, and certainly don’t confuse it with vegetable broth. Homemade bone broth is ideally cooked for 24 – 48 hours in order to leach the minerals into the broth.

Some of the unique benefits of bone broth include:

  • Bone broth, when cooked over low heat for a significant amount of time (24 – 48 hours) provides a well-absorbed form of minerals. This prolonged cooking infuses the broth with calcium, magnesium, and trace minerals from the bones. Bone broth in an excellent way to get calcium for those who avoid dairy.
  • Bone broth provides an excellent source of amino acids proline and glycine, which support healthy sleep and soothe the digestive tract (read more here).
  • Bone broth is rich in gelatin, which can aid in hormone balance and digestion. You can read about the benefits of gelatin for hormone balance in my post here.

Here’s how to get the benefits of bone broth:

  • Use your slow cooker to easily make a batch of nutrient-dense bone broth. I throw in a pastured chicken carcass or a couple of pounds of grassfed beef bones. Then I add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. The acidity helps leach the beneficial minerals from the bones into the broth. I cook on low for two whole days (yep!), strain, and store in the fridge.
  • If you find it palatable, sip a mug of warm bone broth, seasoned with sea salt. My daily ritual with my cup of bone broth is nurturing, rejuvenating and peaceful.
  • Reap the benefits of bone broth in homemade soup. I love making mixed vegetable soup with broth, then pureeing it with a immersion blender to create a creamy vegetable soup.

2. Pastured eggs

small egg yolkEggs have been considered the perfect food for a reason. Packed with protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, our ancestors intuitively knew that eggs where a healing food for children, the ill, and the elderly.

When it comes to both nutrients and human animal treatment, go the extra mile to source eggs from pastured hens.

Contrary to the belief of mainstream (or, as I say, mislead) nutrition, the yolks – not whites – are the most nutritious part of the egg. Take a look at the nutrition highlights of eggs:

  • Minerals – Egg yolks are an excellent source of iodine and selenium.
  • Fat-soluble vitamins – the egg yolk contains all of the fat-soluble vitamins in the egg, including A, D, E and K2.
  • B Vitamins – B vitamins support blood sugar balance and energy levels. Egg yolks are particularly high in choline, which supports the detox pathways and hormone balance.
  • Cholesterol – Cholesterol has been demonized by scientists with poor research habits, but it’s actually a crucial nutrient for wellbeing – especially mental health. I’ve already extensively discussed and de-mythed cholesterol here.

Here’s howto get the benefits of pastured eggs:

  • Custards, enjoyed for dessert or even breakfast, offer a decadent way to reap the nutrition profile of egg yolks. Try this Blend and Bake Custard, made with eggs and coconut milk.
  • Throw a couple of pastured egg yolks into your smoothie. Worried about salmonella? The risk of salmonella from pastured eggs is extraordinarily low – read why here.
  • Try this Strawberry Mango Soft Serve, which is a dairy free “ice cream” enriched with fresh egg yolks.
  • Stir an egg yolk or two into a bowl of hot soup to add nutrients and a silky texture.
  • You can even add a fresh pastured egg yolk into your coffee! It doesn’t add much flavor, just richness.

3. Bone Marrow

What do our hunter-gatherer ancestors and wolves have in common? Both immediately feasted on the marrow inside the bones of their fresh prey. Marrow is primarily fatty acids, packed with the essential omega-3s required for healthy brain development and anti-inflammation.

Weston A. Price, a nutrition pioneer who studied the diets of traditional cultures, found a special emphasis on bone marrow in the Indians living in the Rocky Mountain Range. He wrote in his landmark book Nutrition and Physical Degeneration,

An important part of the nutrition of the children consisted in various preparations of bone marrow, both as a substitute for milk and as a special dietary ration.

In his practice, Dr. Price used marrow as an important nutritional supplement for undernourished children.

Here’s how to get the benefits of bone marrow:

  • First, find marrow bones from grassfed cows. You can ask your local butcher or natural foods store – they will usually be able to set some aside for you.
  • Cook the bones to extract the marrow. Here are directions for roasting marrow bones.
  • Warm roasted marrow is delicious eating with a sprinkle of salt! It’s rich and silky. Store leftover marrow in the fridge for a few days.
  • One of my favorite ways to enjoy bone marrow is in this Sweet Marrow Custard.
  • I love to enrich soups with cooked marrow. I stir the marrow directly into the soup and it melts without leaving a discernible texture or flavor.

4. Liver

You’ve heard of chia seeds, goji berries and kombucha… but perhaps the superest of all superfoods is liver. Gram for gram, liver is the most nutrient-dense food on the planet.

  • Liver provides the highest source of vitamin A, one of the most valuable vitamins to balance hormones and support healthy growth. Contrary to popular belief, we cannot obtain vitamin A from vegetables (here is why).
  • Traditional cultures considered liver a sacred food and put great stock in it’s revitalizing properties. In particular, liver was used to promote fertility. It should be consumed on a regular basis by couples trying to conceive.
  • Liver contains an unidentified “anti-fatigue factor.” In a famous animal study, liver consumption prevented rats from exhaustion, even after swimming for two straight hours (read more)

Here’s how to get the benefits of liver:

  • The liver filters toxins, but doesn’t store toxins unless the animal is overburdened by a toxic lifestyle. As a result, source liver from the healthiest animals you can find. Ask your butcher or local farmer for grassfed beef liver or pastured chicken liver.
  • Optimally, enjoy 2-4 servings of pastured liver each week.
  • If you abhor the taste of liver, I recommend taking these grassfed desiccated liver capsules daily. 2-6 capsules per day is recommended.
  • You can also make your own easy DIY Liver Pills!
  • Add ground liver to your hamburgers, meatballs and meatloaf for a nutritional boost. Try this recipe for Kid-Approved Liver Bacon Meatballs.

5. Grassfed Butter and Ghee

I thought the best magazine cover of this year was the 2014 June cover of Time Magazine. It announced, “Eat butter. Scientists labeled fat the enemy. Why they were wrong.” Traditional cultures have long revered butter as a sacred, health-giving food. For example, in Ayurvedic medicine, ghee (clarified butter) is used medicinally, both internally and topically.

5 ways to increase nutrition with real foodHere’s what you need to know about the health benefits of butter:

  • Butter is not created equal. While conventional butter has a poor nutrient profile, butter from grass-grazing cows boasts fat-soluble vitamins. Look for grassfed butter from your local farmer or try Kerrygold butter, available in many grocery stores.
  • Butter is low in lactose, and can be enjoyed by many who are dairy intolerant. Ghee is an even better choice, because it is both casein and lactose free. You can make your own ghee or purchase grassfed ghee here.
  • Grassfed butter/ghee provide an excellent source of fat-soluble vitamin A… remember, that’s a vitamin you can’t get from plants.
  • Grassfed butter/ghee contains vitamin K2, which works synergistically with calcium to strengthen bones. K2 is the “shuttle” that carries calcium into the bones.
  • Grassfed butter/ghee is the highest source of conjugated linolenic acid (CLA), which is an elusive anti-cancer factor!

Here’s how to get the benefits of grassfed butter and ghee:

  • Try a batch of my Healthy Buttermints! They are a healthy alternative to candy, packed with the goodness of grassfed butter, and they bust sugar cravings like nobody’s business.
  • You can add a 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of High Vitamin Butter Oil, available here,  to your smoothies if you have a high-powered blender to prevent clumping of the oil. Add the oil after all the ingredients are blended, then whip on high speed briefly to emulsify the oil.
  • Stir a spoonful of butter or ghee into your coffee or tea.
  • Use ghee for sauteeing. Unlike many oils, ghee is heat-stable and perfect for cooking and baking.

Do you use any of these foods to increase your nutrition?

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Paleo Pumpkin Raisin Cookies {With Coconut Flour} http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-pumpkin-raisin-cookies/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/paleo-pumpkin-raisin-cookies/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:33:24 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=4810 I admit, Martha was my inspiration… The first time I made Iced Pumpkin Raisin Cookies, I was 10 and got the recipe from a Martha Stewart magazine. Chock full of white flour, refined sugar and dairy – all the ingredients my body no longer obliges – they tasted like a warm hug. I think I made four […]

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paleo pumpkin raisin cookies, make with coconut flour!

I admit, Martha was my inspiration…

The first time I made Iced Pumpkin Raisin Cookies, I was 10 and got the recipe from a Martha Stewart magazine. Chock full of white flour, refined sugar and dairy – all the ingredients my body no longer obliges – they tasted like a warm hug. I think I made four batches in the course of a week. I also proudly brought a batch to our family Thanksgiving gathering, cradling them tenderly in my lap the whole ride to my grandma’s house.

I developed these Paleo Pumpkin Raisin cookies last year to indulge my seasonal craving. They are just as tasty as the original version, featuring warm spices, chewy raisins and a silky vanilla icing.

paleo pumpkin raisin cookies, make with coconut flour!

 About the Ingredients

Coconut Flour – Coconut flour is my flour of choice for grain free baking. You can find it here or in any health food store. Unlike almond flour, which contains problematic enzyme inhibitors and inflammatory fatty acids (read why I avoid almond flour here) , coconut flour provides only healthy fats as well as fiber and protein to fill you up.

Eggs – Every time I post a recipe with eggs, I’m asked about a substitute. Because this recipe uses 100% coconut flour, it’s probably not going to work with an egg substitute unless you do some serious tweaking and experimenting. If you’re looking for an egg/dairy/nut/grain free cookie recipe for fall, try my Banana Ginger Cookies.

Coconut Butter – The key to the creamy icing is coconut butter, a puree of coconut meat. Don’t confuse coconut butter with coconut oil… think about the difference between almond oil and almond butter.  You can make your own coconut butter in a food processor (directions here) or purchase it (I recommend this brand).

Iced Coconut Flour Pumpkin Raisin Cookies

 

Iced Coconut Flour Pumpkin Raisin Cookies

paleo pumpkin raisin cookies

Paleo Pumpkin Raisin Cookies

Yield: 10 - 15 cookies

Paleo Pumpkin Raisin Cookies

Moist and flavorful, you won't believe these cookies are grain and dairy free. If desired, use 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice in place of the cinnamon and nutmeg.

Ingredients

    For the cookies
  • 2/3 cup coconut flour, available here
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbs. coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup raw honey or pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. raw apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of unrefined salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup organic raisins
  • For the frosting
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter (not coconut oil), I recommend this one
  • 1/4 cup raw honey or pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. coconut milk or milk of choice
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. To measure the coconut flour, fluff flour with a fork then scoop the measuring cup and level. Don't pack the flour, or the cookies will be too heavy.
  2. Have all ingredients at room temperature and then stir together until well combined. If ingredients are not at room temperature, the batter will not combine because the coconut oil will clump. You can melt the coconut oil to help it mix together well.
  3. Flatten balls of dough on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. I recommend making them smaller than the cookies in the picture - the bigger the cookies, the more fragile. I suggest using 1 Tbs. of dough per cookie and just flattening it slightly.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden around the edges. Cool cookies completely before frosting.
  5. To make the frosting, have the ingredients at room temperature. Stir together until creamy. You may need to add another teaspoon or more of coconut milk for a spreadable frosting. Frost cookies before serving. Cookies and frosting should be stored separately. These cookies freeze relatively well.
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10 Ways to Support the Lymphatic System http://empoweredsustenance.com/support-the-lymphatic-system/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/support-the-lymphatic-system/#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 15:13:08 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8210 You’ve got your vitamin C and echinacea… It’s cold and flu season, so you’re prepared with your arsenal of immune-boosters such as vitamin C and specific herbs. But if you’re ignoring your lymphatic system, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to support your immune system and overall health. The lymphatic system, a system of […]

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support the lymphatic system for healthy immune function and weight loss

You’ve got your vitamin C and echinacea…

It’s cold and flu season, so you’re prepared with your arsenal of immune-boosters such as vitamin C and specific herbs. But if you’re ignoring your lymphatic system, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to support your immune system and overall health.

The lymphatic system, a system of lymph fluid and lymph nodes, is vital for

  • Elimination of toxins. The lymphatic system can be aptly described as the garbage disposal of the body and is responsible for filtering and eliminating toxins.
  • The immune system. The lymph nodes house a high concentration of white blood cells that increase when the body is fighting off illness or infection.
  • Weight loss and weight management. Toxicity is a huge part of the weight loss puzzle. If you don’t support your lymph system, you will have even more trouble losing weight and gaining muscle tone.

The most important thing to remember about the lymphatic system is that it relies on our movement. Unlike the cardiovascular system with the heart automatically pumping fluid, the lymph system relies on our body movements as a pump.

Here are 10 ways to support the lymphatic system and, in turn, boost your immune system. But you don’t need to wait until you feel under-the-weather… start supporting your lymph today!

1. Rebounding

My #1 suggestion for improving the lymphatic system? Get on a trampoline for 5-10 minutes each day. The bouncing helps pump and decongest the lymphatic fluid in the entire body. It’s simple but profound way to support the lymphatic system.

I have this mini trampoline, and I take a few minutes each morning and afternoon to bounce. If you don’t have a trampoline, you can also sit and bounce on an exercise ball (it’s not as effective but works in a pinch). I find that rebounding gives me a boost of energy, so I need to avoid it before bedtime.

2. Near Infrared Sauna Therapy

Along with nourishing foods and a rebounder, I would say that the most important tools in which you can invest for better health is a near infrared sauna. I’ve covered this topic in detail in this post, which explains the unique benefits and how it compares to a far infrared sauna. Daily therapy in your own near infrared sauna is one of the most effective ways to detox the body, support the immune system and improve the lymphatic system.

Sauna therapy allows the body to sweat while in parasympathetic nervous system mode, so toxins are being sweated out. The circulation/release of toxins, the regeneration of tissues, and the heat all work together to improve lymphatic flow.

I use a Sauna Fix and can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s currently $50 off while supplies last and if you use my coupon code here you’ll also get free sauna safety glasses (a $25 value). It’s excellently designed, portable, effective and highly cost effective for the quality. You need to follow specific directions for using it, which I explain here.

3. Yin Yoga

In the deeply restorative practice of Yin Yoga, poses are held for at least 3 minutes, and up to 10 minutes. The pressure of your own body in these prolonged holds can help release areas of lymphatic congestion. Additionally, many of the poses reverse the flow of gravity and twist the body, aiding in lymphatic flow. You can also focus on poses that stretch the hips, since the groin area contains a concentration of lymph nodes.

I highly recommend this Yin Yoga video on Youtube.

4. Walking

While all movement engages the lymphatic system, walking is an accessible exercise that nearly everyone can fit into their day. If you don’t have the opportunity to walk around outside, take occasional breaks to simply walk in place.

5. Legs Up The Wall

In this pretty self-explanatory yoga pose, lymphatic circulation in the lower body is maximized. By reversing the flow of gravity in your legs, you circulate the lymphatic fluid and encourage the elimination of toxins.

Here’s a picture to show you what the pose looks like – it is suitable for every body type and fitness level.

6. Lymphatic drainage massage

Manual lymphatic drainage and lymphatic drainage massage are highly efficient in releasing toxins and lymph congestion. Since lymph nodes are close to the surface of the skin, it only requires a light touch – not deep tissue work – to activate the lymphatic system.

You can seek out a massage therapist who is trained in Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD). Alternatively or in addition, you can do your own effective Facial Lymphatic Massage as shown in the video below. It takes just a few minutes and is the first step I take when I feel a cold coming on or when I experience swollen lymph nodes.

7. Use a Standing Desk

Have you heard of the modern epidemic called “Sitting Disease?” Studies show that prolonged periods of sitting correlate to an increase in degenerative disease. Research shows that exercise doesn’t reduce the risk of sitting… the only way to reduce the risk is to not sit as much.

Perhaps one factor influencing the correlation between sitting and disease is lymphatic function. Movement engages lymphatic flow, but sitting creates stagnation of lymphatic fluid. Remember, the lymphatic system doesn’t have a pump so you have to be the pump!

A standing desk is a simple way to avoid the lymphatic stagnation of prolonged sitting. The option that I use and highly recommend is this Workez Standing Desk. It’s budget-friendly, portable and takes up minimal space. Most importantly for me, it allows the monitor to be at head-height with the keyboard on a separate level, for the best posture alignment.

8. Hydrotherapy Showers

support the lymphatic system for healthy immune function and weight lossHydrotherapy (not to be confused with colon hydrotherapy/colonics) stimulates the lymphatic system by constricting and expanding blood vessels and activating the immune system. In a hydrotherapy session, hot water treatments are alternated repeatedly quickly with cold water.

In a hydrotherapy spa, you can alternate dips in hot and cold baths. At home, a simple solution is hydrotherapy showers where you switch between hot and cold water. They are an “acquired taste” and not exactly comfortable, but now I enjoy the invigorating practice.  This is a helpful instruction guide for hydrotherapy showers.

To reduce the toxic load when your body is detoxifying, make sure you are showering in chlorine-free water. I use this chlorine shower filter, which is easily installed and costs only $30.

9. Dry Skin Brushing

As I’ve mentioned, the lymphatic system is pretty close to the surface of the skin. It doesn’t take deep pressure to help release lymphatic congestion, which is why dry brushing your skin is so helpful. This process requires just a few minutes before your shower and stimulates lymphatic flow. You simply brush your body with a stiff, dry brush like this one, and this activates the lymphatic system.

Here’s a tutorial that was helpful to me when I started dry brushing

10.  Lymphatic Deep Breathing

This is my newest discovery on how to support the lymphatic system. Deep breathing through the diaphragm creates pressure and expansion that helps pump the lymphatic fluid. When paired with a simple movement of the arms and hands, it is an effective way to encourage toxin drainage from the lymph.

Follow the very simple 4-step lymphatic breathing technique here on a daily basis. You may only be able to do a few breaths in the beginning, but you can work up slowly to a few minutes.

Have you used any of these ways to support the lymphatic system? 

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Cinnamon and Sugar Coconut Chips Recipe http://empoweredsustenance.com/coconut-chips-recipe/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/coconut-chips-recipe/#comments Mon, 20 Oct 2014 15:49:33 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8048  Coconut chips – a quick and easy snack! Struck with a craving for something salty, sweet and crunchy? Try these superbly healthy and easy coconut chips! I don’t usually buy packaged snack foods, even paleo-friendly options due to my limited budget and even more limited diet. However, I recently bought a bag of Dang Caramel Coconut […]

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Cinnamon and sugar coconut chips recipe - easy and healthy!

 Coconut chips – a quick and easy snack!

Struck with a craving for something salty, sweet and crunchy? Try these superbly healthy and easy coconut chips!

I don’t usually buy packaged snack foods, even paleo-friendly options due to my limited budget and even more limited diet. However, I recently bought a bag of Dang Caramel Coconut Chips on a whim while at Whole Foods. The ingredients were totally acceptable: coconut flakes, coconut sugar and sea salt. But the price tag was not something I could justify on a routine basis- $5 for 3 ounces.

Making coconut chips at home couldn’t be easier, and it is much more affordable than the store bought version. Also, making it from scratch allows you to tweak the ingredients. If you don’t want the sweetener, you can leave it out and the natural sweetness of the coconut will shine through.

About the Ingredients

Unsweetened flaked coconut – Packed with beneficial medium chain fatty acids, flaked coconut is a nourishing and satiating snack. Not to be confused with shredded coconut, flaked coconut are larger pieces of coconut meat that become divinely golden and crunchy when baked.

These chips are substantial and nutrient-dense. Don’t go crazy eating these, because the high fiber content may cause some digestive distress.

To make this Coconut Chips recipe, you will need large flakes of unsweetened coconut. You can find this at your health food store or online here.

Coconut sugar – Coconut sugar is a mineral-rich, paleo-friendly unrefined sweetener. You can find it in most health food stores in the baking isle and sometimes in the bulk bin section. You can also get it online here.

I don’t frequently use granular sweeteners in my recipes, relying instead on fruit or raw honey. In this recipe, coconut sugar adds a slight molasses flavor to compliment the cinnamon and coconut flavor. It also adds sweetness while allowing the coconut to become toasted (which is why a liquid sweetener will not work in this recipe).

If desired, you can completely omit the coconut sugar. The result won’t be sweet, but the combination of coconut and cinnamon is still tasty.

Cinnamon – Cinnamon adds a pretty golden color and a warm, fragrant spice. I highly recommend sourcing organic spices including cinnamon, since conventional spices are frequently irradiated. I just don’t like the idea of my food being zapped.

Cinnamon and sugar coconut chips recipe - easy and healthy!

Cinnamon and Sugar Coconut Chips

Yield: Makes about 4 cups

Cinnamon and Sugar Coconut Chips

Lightly spiced with cinnamon and sweetened naturally with mineral-rich coconut sugar, these coconut chips satisfy your sweet tooth with healthy ingredients. Make sure you cool them completely before enjoying, which allows the texture to become crispy.

Ingredients

  • 4 heaping cups unsweetened flaked coconut, available here
  • 1 Tbs. coconut oil
  • 2 heaping Tbs. coconut sugar available here
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch of unrefined salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
  2. Melt the coconut oil and stir in the coconut sugar. Pour onto the lined baking sheet. Add the coconut flakes, add a pinch of salt, and toss with your hands to gently combine. Work gently to avoid breaking the coconut flakes. Sprinkle with the cinnamon.
  3. Bake for 5 minutes, then stir. Bake for another 5-7 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes. The coconut chips are done baking when they are golden brown and smell toasty. The baking time varies depending on oven temperature fluctuations and the position of the baking sheet in the oven, so keep a close eye on it to prevent burning. They turn from golden to burned quickly.
  4. Cool completely before eating - this allows the chips to become crispy. Enjoy!
  5. Although these are best the day they are made, they store in an airtight container for a few days.

Notes

There is no need to be precise with the ingredient measurements, this is one of those easy "eyeball it" recipes. You can always add another pinch of salt or sprinkle of cinnamon after the chips have baked.

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Have you made coconut chips before? 

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Why I Use an EMF Bed Canopy http://empoweredsustenance.com/emf-bed-canopy/ http://empoweredsustenance.com/emf-bed-canopy/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 01:06:27 +0000 http://empoweredsustenance.com/?p=8189 As I’ve discussed, I recently transferred to a natropathic/holistic health college called Bastyr University and I’m currently living in their on-campus housing. Two weeks ago, in this post, I shared a campus and dorm tour, and showed you how I outfitted my “holistic dorm room.” One of the most unique features in my room is […]

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benefits of an EMF bed canopy

As I’ve discussed, I recently transferred to a natropathic/holistic health college called Bastyr University and I’m currently living in their on-campus housing. Two weeks ago, in this post, I shared a campus and dorm tour, and showed you how I outfitted my “holistic dorm room.”

One of the most unique features in my room is an EMF sheilding bed canopy. I promised a post discussing this unusual product and here it is!

What is an EMF bed canopy?

An EMF bed canopy is made with a special fabric that blocks virtually all electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs, for short). EMFs and electropollution is a topic which I’ve researched passionately for the last year. I believe understanding the dangers of EMFs plays a crucial part in 21st century health.

Since I’ve discussed the science behind EMFs and health problems in my previous posts, I will not go into details here. Instead, I will point you to the following resources where you can learn more about the effects EMFs if you are interested:

  •  What is Electropollution? I wrote this post to discuss sources of electropollution, how it affects you health, and simple steps to reduce your EMF exposure.
  • 5 Ways to Reduce Cell Phone Radiation Exposure. I know you don’t want to live without your cell phone, so I shared steps to use it more safely.
  • Full Signal Documentary. Everyone should watch this documentary! It’s a thoughtful discussion about EMFs and the corrupt politics involved. You can stream it on Amazon here for just a few dollars.
  • The 2012 Bioinitiative Report. This references 1,800 new studies showing that EMFs cause biological damage at varying levels of exposure.

Things I considered when getting my canopy

In a dorm room, I can’t take the EMF-reducing steps that I practiced at home. For example, in my house we use corded phones instead of high EMF cordless phones. We also turn off our cell phones and the internet router at night. These small steps significantly reduce the EMF burden.

Bastyr has a cell phone tower on campus… yikes! I’m not against cell towers per say, but I don’t think they should be in such close proximity to where people are living and sleeping. Cell towers emit pulsed radio frequency radiation, which has been shown in thousands of studies to cause damage to cell functions. (Check out the links above for more info.) If I didn’t have the option of an EMF canopy, I would have seriously reconsidered my plan to live on the campus.

The body is most vulnerable to the damaging effects of EMFs while sleeping. When we are sleeping, the body is in parasympathetic nervous system mode. This means the defense mechanisms of the body down while the repair processes are going full-throttle. It’s more important to protect your sleeping environment from EMFs rather than your daily living environment.

I don’t think an EMF bed canopy is a priority for everyone. Is reducing EMF exposure beneficial for everyone? Absolutely. But I don’t think everyone needs to start saving for an EMF bed canopy, especially if one practices stress management and excellent nutrition. These aspects help bolster the body against EMF damage.

My health is profoundly sensitive and is my top priority. I’m on the recovery path from a very severe autoimmune disease (ulcerative colitis), and I’m also trying to address another autoimmune disease (Hashimoto’s) and other health issues at the same time. My health challenges, at various points in my life, have left me bedridden for months and in the hospital for weeks. Through the healing power of food and mind-body medicine, I’m healing my body… even though doctors said it wouldn’t be possible! My point here is that supporting my health is my most vital priority and I’m eager to do whatever it takes to continue on my journey to wellness.

I’m hypersensitive to just about everything. My poor parents… I was one sensitive baby. And one sensitive kid. And now I’m one sensitive adult. Sound, flavors, light, food, clothing, temperature, environment, emotions, energy… I’ve always been super sensitive to everything. I believe this is partly a personality/genetic trait. Sure, it’s presented challenges, but it also makes me who I am. I do not consider myself an electro-hypersensitive person, since I don’t have chronic symptoms such as tinnitus when I’m around computers. However, I think that the combination of my sensitive personality and sensitive health issues makes it prudent for me to be cautious with EMF exposure.

This is a lifetime investment, and there is no better investment than supporting my health. I got a Queen size canopy to fit my XL twin dorm bed, so I can use this canopy to fit a larger bed when I move out of a dorm. When I have a family, I can use this EMF canopy around my kids’ crib/bed. Children are most susceptible to the damage of EMFs because their brains are developing.

How I set up my EMF Bed Canopy

Note about the cost: An EMF bed canopy is a big investment and not something everyone can – or needs to – consider. I saved for this purchase for a very long time and made significant sacrifices elsewhere in my budget.

1. First, I ordered the canopy. My EMF consultant Scot Appert recommends getting a canopy from Safe Living Technologies. It comes in Twin, Queen and King sizes. Like nearly all dorm beds, mine is an Extra Long Twin, so I needed to get the Queen Size canopy to have enough length.

There are two fabric options for the canopy: Daylite and Naturell. Both are made with actual silver thread, which is what blocks the EMFs. (It’s also the reason for the price tag.) The Daylite is polyester/silver and the the Naturell is cotton/silver. I choose the Naturell option because I’m sensitive to polyester in clothing and I believe it could potentially offgass chemicals.

If you have living space beneath your bedroom, you will also need a floor mat of the same fabric to block EMFs from the room below you. I got the Queen size to fit under my XL twin bed.

2. The canopy is designed to be hung from the ceiling with some hooks and wooden dowels you can purchase at any hardware store. However, since I’m in a dorm room, I cannot screw anything into the walls. So, I needed to create a frame over which I could drape the canopy.

I called Scot Appert at Bio Health Homes to help me set up the canopy and take some EMF measurements in my room. Scot is based in Seattle (and he was already familiar with the Bastyr campus) and he specializes in EMF mitigation as well improving water and air quality in homes.

I wanted the frame to be made of non-offgassing, natural materials so Scot brought in some pre-cut cedar 2x2s and build the frame around my bed. When I am ready to dismantle the frame and move out, I just need to remove some screws and take out the cedar beams.

Scot is a wealth of knowledge and it was a privilege to work with him. He does work around the Seattle area but he has also traveled across the world to help people create safe and healthy living spaces. You can contact him here.

3. It’s recommended to take measurements inside the canopy, to make sure it is properly set up. Scot took the measurements for me and the results were incredible to see on his meter. In the room, the reading was about 400 microWatts per square meter (µW/m2). That’s not considered dangerously high by “normal” standards, but it would be problematic for electrosensitive individuals. Inside the closed canopy, the meter read 5 microWatts… that’s considered a virtually negligible level of EMF!

canopy frame

scot appert

Do I notice a difference with my EMF bed canopy?

Regardless of whether I feel a difference, I know that at my bed canopy is protecting my health at a cellular level. I’m sleeping in a virtually zero EMF environment, which allows my cells to repair and regenerate without the interrupting buzz of electropollution.

Interestingly enough, however, I do feel like I am experiencing unusually deep sleep. This surprises me, because 1) I struggle with insomnia, especially when I’m stressed 2) I’ve just made a huge transition and have a ton of new things on my plate and 3) My dorm and the campus is pretty quiet, but still louder than my old home.

Can I credit my EMF-free sleeping environment to improved sleep? It seems to me like reasonable part of the picture! Of course, there are also other variables to consider. Perhaps I’m just super exhausted with my new schedule. Also, I have an IntelliBED non-toxic mattress topper which has also greatly improved my sleep. Whatever the case, I’m happy to be sleeping so well and I’m happy with my bed canopy.

Also, I forgot to mention… the canopy makes my room look bohemian and beautiful! I get compliments on it from everyone who sees my room.

Would you be interested in trying an EMF bed canopy? Do you take steps to reduce your EMF exposure? 

The post Why I Use an EMF Bed Canopy appeared first on Empowered Sustenance.

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