Ingredients & Resources

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Here’s a list of ingredients and resources that I use personally and recommend.  This list is always growing, so come back regularly!  I have a ton more to add! I am from Canada but will try to add USA items/brands as well! 🙂

INGREDIENTS

Almond Flour ~ You can make your own almond flour at home using raw organic almonds.  This is the cheapest way to do it.  However, not everyone has time to grind down their almonds.  Here is my favorite brand: JK Gourmet, (http://www.jkgourmet.ca) It’s cheaper to buy in BULK. It will save you a ton of $. (I don’t use Bob’s Red Mill brand. It’s a coarse almond meal). A fine powdered almond flour is a MUST to have the recipes turn out successfully.

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Almond Milk ~ You can make your own almond milk at home from organic almonds and filtered water.  However, we don’t always have time to prepare this in advance or in bulk.  The best brands I have found are “Pacific Natural Foods”, “365 Organics” and “Blue Diamond”.  Some of these are USA & CAN products. You ALWAYS want to purchase the “Certified Organic” version and make sure it is UNSWEETENED.   You can get it with vanilla or chocolate..but the “original” flavor has the least amount of ingredients in it.  You can always flavor your almond milk on your own with organic ingredients that you can control (cocoa powder, pure vanilla, fresh berries, xylitol, stevia, etc…).

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Arrowroot Powder ~  Arrowroot is a natural alternative to cornstarch.  I use it in (soups, desserts, frostings, raw dishes) that need to be thickened.

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Baking Powder ~ Should always be “aluminum FREE

Recent medical reports suggest that ingested aluminum has a direct link to Alzheimer’s, attention deficit disorder, bone degeneration, kidney dysfunction, and even Parkinson’s disease. Studies have also shown that aluminum salts can be absorbed from the intestines and concentrated in various human tissues. Most baking powder products, a staple in some households, contain toxic levels of aluminum.

With all this known, you probably would wonder why aluminum is allowed in baking powder and why anyone would use it. The baking powders that contain aluminum are ‘double-acting’ indicating that although some of the leavening power is released when the mix is prepared, the greater leavening takes place when the item is baked. This produces a very fine, light texture, and is appreciated particularly in commercial baking, where mixes often sit for long periods before they go into the oven. But it is not necessary for your baking. For a lighter texture, just bake the mix immediately.

Also, if you’ve ever experienced a bitter, “tinny” flavor when biting into a muffin, that’s because of the baking powder used—and often the overuse of it. Using aluminum free baking powder not only will keep you from ingesting aluminum, but will also take away that bitter flavor.

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Baking Soda ~ (aluminum-free, chemical-free, make sure it’s water processed and not chemically created).


Butter
~ We use cows milk “L’Ancetre” certified organic. You can get it salted or unsalted. Because I am allergic to “Casein”, “Lactose” and other cows milk products. I have switched to “GOATS MILK” butter. I use “LIBERTE” Liberte Goats Milk Butter. Also to avoid the casein and lactose in dairy you can eat…”GHEE“. You should have it organic and from grass fed cows. Grass Fed Organic Ghee

What is Ghee?
Ghee is a clarified butter used in Middle Eastern and Asian cooking. It is common in Indian cuisine, but you will find it in Middle Eastern recipes as well. 
By heating butter, the fat and moisture are separated, and the butter fat is then spooned from the top – the result is ghee!Ghee has a longer shelf life than standard butter and has a nutty, unique flavor. In Middle Eastern countries, it is used to replace oils and butter in recipes. It makes an excellent oil for sauteing vegetables. You may be able to purchase ghee in your local supermarket in the ethnic food section. It may be labeled as “clarified butter” or “ghee”.
GHEE RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound unsalted butter

Preparation:

Using a medium saucepan, heat butter on medium heat. Allow butter to melt and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. You will notice that the oil will separate itself. The top will begin to froth; remove froth. Allow the oil to become clear. Once clear, remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes. After cooling, strain ghee through a very fine strainer into container or jar, or through 3-5 layers of cheesecloth. Put lid on container and store on shelf.
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Hewitt’s Goats Milk Unsalted Butter
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Cacao Powder – RAW & Organic ~ Unsweetened “Organic Criollo Arriba Cacao Powder”.
♥ Gluten-free, Vegan, Organic, Raw, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Kosher, non- 
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Chia Seeds
~  The chia seed is an amazing food.  Loaded with EFA fatty acids, sugar free, a bit of protein and calcium, and a great source of fiber and manganese. Use them in shakes, desserts, soups, etc to add nutrition and naturally thicken the liquid or filling.

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(In place of EGGS, take 1 tbsp of chia seeds and then add 3 tbsp of water. Let sit for 15-30 mins and you will have a CHIA GEL. 1 tbsp of chia gel to 3 tbsp of water EQUALS = 1 egg)

OR

Ingredients:

1/3 cup chia seeds
2 cups of water

Instructions:

Put the chia seeds and the water into a jar with a tight-fitting lid, such as a Mason jar.Make sure the lid is properly closed.

Shake it up until the seeds are blended with the water. Now what you need to do is…

…Let the jar sit for a minimum of 10 minutes before you start eating the gel. Shake it again or open the jar and whisk the contents before eating. You don’t have to do this every time you eat it – just do it this one time as part of the preparation of the chia gel.

Some people like to leave the gel anywhere from half an hour to overnight before they use it, as they believe this increases the nutrient value of the gel.

Once your chia gel is ready, STORE IT IN THE FRIDGE. It will keep for several days. I’ve read that it keeps for 2 weeks, but I like to use it within 4 – 5 days.

Dry chia seeds do not need refrigeration.

For a smoother gel:

Use the same ingredients but, before mixing the water and chia, grind the seeds into a powder in a clean coffee bean grinder.

How to Use Chia Seeds


CHOCOLATE

Dark Chocolate Drops 74% Cacao ~ DAGOBA CHOCODROPS 

(Nutrititional Info @ Link) DAGOBA CHOCODROPS

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Unsweetened Chocolate For Baking ~ DAGOBA

(Nutrititional Info @ Link) DAGOBA UNSWEETENED CHOCOLATE

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Unsweetened Chocolate For Baking – BAKERS

Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate Squares are 8  individually wrapped 28 g (1 oz) squares.  Unsweetened chocolate is made with solid chocolate liquor with nothing added. Too bitter to eat but lends a great chocolate flavour to brownies and cakes or making your own chocolate chips just add your own sugar to taste. It is made from a blend of fine cocoa beans that are roasted, crushed and ground between large heated rollers. Unsweetened is the purest form of chocolate. It is satin smooth, rich in cocoa butter and best for baking.

I add coconut oil and powdered xylitol for sweetening it into a DOUBLE BOILER. When melted, lay in tray about half centimeter or so thick. Freeze then break into chunks).

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Coconut Butter – I prefer the Artisana Brand, always the raw version.  It’ll be located on your grocery store shelf either next to the coconut oil or the nut butters. Coconut Butter is different from coconut oil, it’s made with the flesh of the coconut as well, so it’s more of a food than an oil. Also the NUTIVA brand is also good! NUTIVA

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Coconut Flour ~ Right now I am using “Bobs Red Mill” brand. (Details @ Link) Organic Coconut Flour

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Wilderness Family Natural Organic Coconut Flour

Wilderness Family Naturals Organic Coconut Flour

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Coconut Milk  ~  In your grocery store, look for the brands “The Thai Kitchen” and “Thai”.  Always purchase the full-fat version (over “lite”) and certified organic.  Make sure to read the ingredients for fillers and chemicals.  And stay away from the refrigerated versions that have been popping up lately.  These contain “carrageenan” (a petroleum product) used as a preservative.

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Coconut OilOrganic cold-pressed extra-virgin

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Grapeseed Oil ~ I use a few different ones at times. “Mantova & Carapelli“. As long as you use products in it’s purest form as much as possible! 🙂

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Hemp Seeds ~ Hemp seeds are one of natures most perfect foods.  In just 3 Tablespoons, you’ll find 22 grams of protein, the prefect ratio of EFA fatty acids, and healthy carbohydrates and fiber.  They are virtually tasteless, tiny, soft seeds that you can add to just about any meal to boost the protein and nutrition!  I add to my Greek yogurt with berries, salads, soups, smoothies, and baked goods.  Be sure to store these in your fridge in an airtight container after opening as they can go rancid quickly at room temp. 

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Himalayan Crystal Sea Salt ~  You’ll want to have a salt grinder for this, but SO worth it!  Not only for the taste, but the purity and health benefits.   Himalayan sea salt comes from nature, the sea!  Over time, the salt was laid down in what is now the Himalayan mountains.  One of nature’s greatest gifts, it contains 84 minerals in the ratios found not only in the ocean, but… guess where else?  Our cellular fluid!  

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HONEY (RAW) ~ RAW organic honey (I use “Dutchman’s Gold RAW Honey” Dutchman’s Gold RAW Honey)

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Kosher Salt ~ contains no additives or sugar. What is Kosher Salt: Kosher Salt

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Olive Oilorganic, cold-pressed, extra virgin. I use 2 brands most of the time “Calamata & Bertolli”.

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Raw Butters ~ As long as they are RAW and unsweetened you are fine. Just add berries, xylitol, stevia etc. to sweeten it. I often use this brand:

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Stevita Stevia  ~ This is THE BEST brand of Stevia.  I’ve tested several Stevia brands, and Stevita ranks supreme and is extremely cost effective.  Stevita prides themselves in using the highest quality of pure organic Stevia (95% stevisoides, where as most commercial companies use 85% or less of pure stevia…).  This prevents that bitter aftertaste, which most people will notice from low quality Stevia brands.  I’ve used all the Stevita Stevia options: liquid, pure powder, spoonableSupreme, and flavors.  They’re all awesome!  It’s always good to have liquid on hand for sweetening melted chocolate, whipped cream, or other frosting/liquid treats. Though I do tend to use xylitol a little more than Stevia at times. STEVIA

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Vanilla Extract ~ PURE, and unsweetened – extracted in alcohol, not propylene glycol!

“Simply Organic” brand. 

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Vanilla  Powder ~
100% Pure Certified Organic Whole Vanilla Bean Powder.   Made from ground whole beans, nothing else added.  This is a pure vanilla product.  Delicious aroma and flavor.

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Xylitol Watch out for common brands on store shelves – such as “NOW” brand – which are derived from corn!  Right now this is the only brand I know of that is  certified non-GMO and only comes from “birch trees”. Xylitol Canada. What is Xylitol read here: What Is Xylitol

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Glycemic Index of Sweeteners found here:  Glycemic Index of Sweeteners

~ There has been some controversy over if the Xylitol from Emerald Forest is actually derived from “birch trees”. Xylitol Canada is a distributor of Emerald Forest. So I wanted to get to the bottom of it because a youtube video was circulating that “Emerald Forest” was not giving the truth about their products. ~

Here is that youtube video:

But I heard back from them and this is what they had to say:

Hi Donna,

 Xylitol is commonly made from corn.  Shortly before we bought out Emerald Forest, they made the decision to switch over to hardwood based xylitol, due to increasing consumer demand.  Emerald Forest/Xyla xylitol is derived exclusively from North American hardwood trees, no corn at all, and made in the United States, not China.  Here is a press release outlining the details: http://newhope360.com/managing-your-business/emerald-forest-sugar-launches-us-hardwood-based-xylitol  Most people don’t experience any stomach upset, but xylitol is something your system adapts to, so as you get used to it any side effects go away.

 As to the processing of xylitol, it is a proprietary process but I can tell you that we have used two methods, one of which is a nickel process, and the other is fermentation.  The nickel is not added to the xylitol in any step – rather, it is used as a catalyst to assist in the hydrogenation of xylitol, and it is then removed  – at no time is it actually present in the xylitol itself.  The hydrogenation is what turns xylose into xylitol (not to be confused with the hydrogenation of fats, which creates a rather unhealthy trans-fat!).  I hope this helps – let me know if you have any more questions!

 Jessica Yates | Sales Team

Xylitol Canada Inc.
160 Davenport Rd | Toronto, Ontario, M5R1J2
Office: 416-288-1019 | Fax: 416-288-0679

Stir Fry ~ With Steak

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STIR FRY ~ WITH STEAK

INGREDIENTS:

1) Asparagus

2) Onions

3) Mushrooms (have fun with different types of mushrooms)

4) Orange, Green & Yellow PEPPERS (I would also add in RED but was out of them this time)

5) Steak (from grass fed cows if possible)

6) Fresh Garlic

7) BRAGGS Soya Sauce (Braggs Soya Sauce)

8) Kosher Salt (coarse)

9) Coriander (fresh is always better)

10) Fresh Herbs & Parsley (dried if you want or fresh)

11) Black Pepper

12) Cayenne Pepper

13) Grapeseed Oil

14) Garlic Powder (not salted and organic)

15) Onion Powder (not salted and organic)

16) Bean Sprouts

Really you can add anything to a stir fry. I added what was available in the house at the time. Normally I would add some Water Chestnuts, Broccoli, Bok Choy & Carrots to this as well..really the possibilities are endless. You can make it vegetarian, vegan, add different meats, even fish.

Have fun with it! 🙂

FIRST: Add grapeseed oil to your pan. Then cook up the mushrooms and onions until browned. Then add in your peppers, cook down a few mins, then add in your asparagus. When veggies are cooked (I like mine with a SLIGHT crunch not to raw, but up to you how well or little you want to cook them down).

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Then I add in some chunkier pieces of FRESH GARLIC and cook down for a few mins. There’s really no exact science to this recipe because some people like things over cooked or under cooked etc. But you don’t want it to be over cooked because it will turn to mush..and you won’t enjoy all the textures to the stir fry.

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Then in a separate pan add some grapeseed oil.

(make sure your veggies & mushrooms etc are ready before starting to cook your steak and that you are all ready to sit down and eat. Steak will cool off very fast and overcook and turn tough when cooked to long. Though still tasty re-heated..you will not have as tender steak. I leave mine slightly red in parts so by the time it hits your plate it is still tender and not over cooked).

Then cook up your steak. Add in these herbs or your own herbs, spices of choice. I use a few dashes of soya sauce but you may want more or less. Taste as you go ..that’s what I do!!!! ♥

  1. BRAGGS Soya Sauce (Braggs Soya Sauce)
  2. Kosher Salt (coarse)
  3. Coriander
  4. Fresh Herbs & Parsley (dried if you want or fresh)
  5. Black Pepper
  6. Cayenne Pepper
  7. Garlic Powder (not salted and organic)
  8. Onion Powder (not salted and organic)

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Then once the steak is just about ready..throw in your BEAN SPROUTS. Let sit on top of the steak for a min or so to steam cook.

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Then stir around the STEAK & BEAN SPROUTS for another few mins on medium to low heat.

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Then grab your veggies and toss them into the pan with the steak and bean sprouts. You’ll want that pan to be larger since you’ll have a ton more food to add to the final pan. 

Garnish with some fresh herbs and you can toss over rice. We only eat long grain brown rice. NO white rice for us! And VOILA! 

As you can see… many of the veggies have caramelized..that is what really helps add a wonderful flavour to the stir fry! 🙂

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Where There Is No Struggle – There Is No Strength

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Where There Is No Struggle – There Is No Strength

Even the strongest and most courageous of Christians/people at some point or another, need to be reminded of God’s infinite strength and bountiful promises.

Many ask…why do we suffer?

1) Suffering gives us opportunity to prove our commitment to God
2) Suffering causes spiritual growth 
3) Suffering keeps us humble and dependent on God

(Psalm 34:19) – Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

God may not remove all the afflictions, but He makes sure we are able to endure them faithfully – “all of them”. 

Faithful Christians will suffer. Yet the Christian life is still the best, because only faithful Christians have the assurance that we can endure, that God will help us, that the result will be for our good, and that in the end we will have eternal life.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me(Philippians 4:13)


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Strawberry Spinach Salad

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STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD

For the salad:

Baby Spinach (washed)

Fresh Strawberries (sliced)
Almonds (sliced)

For the Strawberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette:

1/8 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Olive Oil
6 ripe Strawberries
1/2-1 tbsp Honey (or xylitol or other preferred sweetener for taste. You can also use fresh Mandarin/fresh orange juice)
1/8 tsp Cinnamon

Directions: 
In a blender or food processor, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, strawberries, cinnamon and xylitol (or other sweetener). Blend until well combined. Season with a sprinkle of salt.

To create the salad: 
Toss the spinach with a small amount of dressing. Top with strawberries, and sliced almonds. Add more dressing as desired! 🙂

Healthy Oils

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HEALTHY OILS

The number one disease killer in the United States is heart disease which is partly attributed to unhealthy oils.  Hydrogenated oils and unnatural animal fats aid in the development of heart disease.  Healthy oils such as olive oil, coconut oil and grape seed oil are incredible alternatives that will not only help you avoid heart disease, but keep you healthy and thriving.

Low-Fat Diets vs. Vital Fat Your Body Needs

The fear of weight gain has caused most of us to think that all fat is bad.  Oil is a fat – so many of us avoid it.  However, while it’s true that some fats and oils are dangerous for your health, it’s inaccurate to lump them all together.  Not all fats are bad; some are actually very beneficial.

Healthy Oils ~ include olive oil, avocado oil, raw walnut oil, coconut oil, hemp oil, flax oil, and grape seed oil.  They provide your body with the nutrients it needs to build cell membranes, absorb vitamins, cushion vital organs, protect you from extreme temperatures, build hormones, lower inflammation, and make up 70% of your brain tissue.

Dangerous Oils ~ are those which have become altered in the process of extracting them from their sources, or as they are assimilated by your body, or during the manufacturing process as in the case of hydrogenated oils (trans fats).  These oils have no place in your diet!  Since your body can not recognize or metabolize these fats, they naturally contribute to weight gain by clinging to cell membranes and preventing cellular detoxification.  Beyond the concern of weight loss, these damaged fats also adhere to arterial walls, cause inflammation, damage and contribute to heart attacks and stroke.  Dangerous oils include hydrogenated oils (trans fats) and vegetable oils, specifically canola oil.
 
Hydrogenated Oils ~ the world is waking up to the realization that altering foods is harmful to consumers.  Hydrogen, forced into otherwise non-hydrogenated oils, causes these fats to become more stable at room temperature, thereby extending the shelf life of candy bars and packaged foods.  However, this process also changes the composition of fats from a state that can be recognized by your body, to one that can not be recognized, and as a result may have deadly consequences.  Never purchase any product that reads “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” on the ingredients label.  Beware of labels that read “trans fat free,” because manufacturers can modify serving sizes to meet “trans fat free” standards, while still loading their products with hydrogenated oils.

Vegetable Oil ~ is processed by chemical extraction using solvent extracts that will produce quick, cheap, and high yields of oil to be used in foods.  Vegetable oil’s primary uses include adding texture and flavor to foods.  Vegetable oils are found in nearly every packaged food and salad dressing in the grocery store.  They include soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, and others simply labeled as “vegetable oil.”

Vegetables Are Not Unhealthy ~ BUT their oils become harmful when they are unnaturally extracted from their sources.  Not only do vegetable oils have a very unbalanced ratio of Omega-6 fats to Omega-3 fats, which is associated with elevated inflammation and obstructed blood flow, but they become rancid or decompose easily by exposure to air, heat, or light, causing them to oxidize and form free radicals.  This process is unquestionably related to cancer.  The chemical breakdown destroys the nutrients your body needs, creating a compound that is hazardous to your health.  Vegetable oil belongs in the vegetable, not in your box of crackers or your frying pan.

Canola Oil needs special attention ~ this oil does not occur in nature.  In fact, there is no such thing as a wild canola plant growing anywhere on our planet.  Canola oil is a genetic manipulation of rapeseed oil, altered to reduce its levels of toxic erucic acid.  Originally called “Lear” oil, standing for “Low Erucic Acid Rapeseed” oil, the name was changed to the more consumer-friendly “Canola” oil, meaning “Canadian Oil Low Acid.”  Canola oil is man-made, which negates our first principle of sustainable nutrition, which is to select foods in their most natural state.  Avoid canola oil in your diet at all costs.

Margarine ~ whether your margarine is made from trans fats or vegetable oils, it falls into the category of damaged fats and should be avoided.  Alternatively, butter, which has been consumed by cultures for hundreds of years without any elevated risk of heart disease, contains arachidonic acid and conjugated linoleic acid, vital for brain function and fat metabolism.  Butter is also much closer to its natural source and state – making it a superior choice over margarine.
 
Cooking With Oils:

High heat – Use only coconut oil, olive oil, grape seed oil, or rice bran oil for frying.  The best choice is coconut oil because of its superior flavor when frying food such as chicken, not to mention its health benefits!  Olive oil, while just as healthy, tends to make food soggy rather than crispy.  A word of caution regarding olive oil: it will decompose when heated above 120°F.  If it smokes it has already turned rancid.
 
Medium heat – To sauté foods, use sesame oil, rice bran oil, olive oil, grape seed oil, coconut oil, butter or clarified butter (ghee).  Note: butter has turned rancid once it browns.
 
Baking – Butter, coconut oil, sunflower, safflower or olive oil can be used in baking if the temperature is less than 325°F.  In a hotter oven, only use butter, olive oil or coconut oil.  If coating a pan or cookie sheet use only coconut oil or grape seed oil.

Cooking with flax oil vs. flax seed meal – Cold-pressed oils such as flax oil and hemp seed oil should never be heated or used for frying, but can be added to foods once they are cooked.  These healthy oils can be added to stews, soups, sauces, salad dressings, casseroles, and nut butter, adding nutritional value and flavor.  They should be refrigerated at all times.

Although flax oil, once extracted, should never be heated on its own, numerous studies have shown flax seeds and ground flax meal (aka milled flax seeds) to be very stable when cooked.  Even when baked at 350 degrees for 1 hour, there are no changes to the peroxide values or fatty acid composition – making ground flax meal an excellent and acceptable substitute for flour in our Advanced Plan recipes.

Healthy Oil Supplementation

Clearly, fat is North America’s #1 missing ingredient.  If you’re eating a standard commercial diet that consists of very little grass-fed meat, omega-3 eggs, walnuts, avocado, or fish, then you need to supplement the missing omega-3s in your diet.  You need good fats – and lots of them – in the healthy ratios your body uses for function.  The natural solution for this problem is daily supplementation with healthy fats and oils.

However, beware of two problems associated with omega-3 supplementation:  It’s now common to overdo omega-3 supplementation and end up creating the opposite problem, “omega-3 dominance.”  The other risk of fish oil supplementation is mercury contamination from toxic waters.  Therefore, the best Omega-3 supplements will give your body the ideal ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, and come from a blend of plant and fish sources, having been molecularly-filtered for optimum purity.

This article was written by Dr. B.J. Hardick and Kim Roberto of “Maximized Living” http://www.maximizedliving.com

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

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CHOCOLATE AVOCADO PUDDING  (Dairy, Gluten & Egg Free)

INGREDIENTS:

2 “ripe” avocados (or 1 avocado & 1 banana)

1/3 cup of powdered xylitol (or to your own preferred sweetness – xylitol arrives like crystals/like white sugar but I powder it down with a coffee grinder..dissolves and bakes better: Xylitol Canada)

1/2 cup of organic raw cocoa powder (or less if you wish it to taste less
like “dark chocolate”)

2 tablespoons of softened coconut oil (I use either “Carrington Farms” or “Nutiva” brand)

1 tablespoon unsweetened vanilla extract (Simply Organic Brand – Unsweetened Vanilla Extract)

DIRECTIONS:

Add all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree until
you have a nice smooth consistency. Scraping sides as you go. Then place
pudding into the fridge for 1-2 hrs.

The secret is in whipping the avocado until it gets rich and smooth.

Serve with sliced bananas or other favorite fruit.

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Be Extra-Ordinary

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There are very simple things we can do every moment of every day to live an extraordinary life and create and establish the habit of always being extraordinary.

It is all about getting into the habit and flow of going beyond where we are. This can be applied to absolutely any area of our lives, and it can be the tiniest step.

We each know where our comfort zones are and how willing we are to go beyond them. The smallest step for someone can lead to the biggest breakthrough, the step just needs to be taken!

Whatever is holding you back, BLOW THROUGH IT! Feel and see who you become in the process! xo

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint. (ISAIAH 40:28-31)

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble. (PSALM 46:1)

Don’t Let Your Worries Consume You

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Don’t Let Your Worries Consume You

I will be the first to admit that my greatest weakness is “WORRY”. I worry about everything..even the tiniest of things. It’s not always worrying about my needs but for my family or friends or just about the horrible things that are happening in the world today.

At some point, you have to take a step back and breath. You have to realize you can’t save everyone and you certainly can’t fix every situation/problem.  That does not mean you give up either. But, to often we burden ourselves with to much, that we become run down, weak and defeated.

Thank the Heavens that I have a Heavenly Father who never grows weary, who has the power to give us the strength we need to continue on. When we can no longer bare the heavy load …JESUS can.

When we give our worries & frustrations over to God…that mountain we’ve been trying to climb turns out to be a grain of sand. And all the searching we’ve been doing to find the answers in right there in front of us, and that is, “praying” to a powerful God who loves us and understands our needs”.

Instead of worrying about what you cannot change, (ie: worrying about all the wrong things, the things that really sometimes are so trivial)..we are losing precious time with things we CAN change.

LOVE is all that matters in the end. It sure makes everything else seem so small. 


The following is a report on the practical applications of Dr. Linda Mintle’s book, “Letting Go of Worry”: Finding God’s Plan for Peace and Contentment (Harvest House Publishers – 2011).


Living in a fallen world gives you lots to worry about, but living in a relationship with Jesus can free you from ever having to worry about anything. No matter what happens in your life, you don’t have to worry about it if you choose to rely on Jesus to help you manage it and find peace in the process.

So if you’ve been in the habit of worrying, let go of worry and embrace the peace that Jesus offers you. Here’s how:

1) Recognize how little worry can help you. Worry doesn’t have the power to prevent anything bad from happening in your life. Also, the bad things that you worry about may never end up happening, and many good things can happen instead. So worry is completely useless.

2) Recognize how much worry harms you. Worrying doesn’t benefit you in any way, but it does harm you in many ways. Worry harms your health physically (such as by contributing to high blood pressure, causing insomnia, and suppressing your immune system), mentally (by sending a stream of negative thoughts into your mind), and spiritually (by encouraging fear rather than faith in God). Worry also wastes valuable time and energy that you could be using for better activities.

3) Distinguish between worry and concern. While it’s healthy to be concerned about something, it’s unhealthy to worry about it. That’s because concern motivates you to do something to solve problems or plan helpful ways to cope with them, but worry keeps you stuck on problems and distracts you from planning any helpful ways of dealing with them.

4) Identify what triggers worry in your life. You can begin to worry whenever: you encounter a situation that feels out of control; you feel vulnerable or powerless; you let your imagination run away with negative thoughts about what may happen in the future; or you experience a loss that’s traumatic, difficult, or unexpected. Once you understand what triggers worry in your life, you can begin to guard against worry in those situations.

5) Make a crucial choice. No matter how hard you try, you can’t stop bad things from happening, because you live in a fallen world. However, you do have the choice of how you respond to whatever happens. You can decide to stop dwelling on worrisome thoughts after they enter your mind, and to pray about those thoughts instead, inviting God to work in the situation about which you had been worrying. Choose to pray instead of worrying.

6) Trust God to deal with what worries you. Since God wants the best for you, is always with you, and has the power to do anything, you can trust any worrisome situation to Him and invite Him to work it out for the best. When you struggle to trust God with something that’s worrying you, ask God to reveal whatever unbelief or unhealed wounds may be preventing you from trusting Him completely. Confess those to God and ask Him to give you the faith and healing you need.

7) Change your worrisome thoughts rather than suppressing them. The more you try not to think about something that worries you, the more preoccupied your mind becomes with that thought, which makes you think about it even more. So suppressing thoughts about your worries doesn’t work. Instead, pray for the Holy Spirit to renew your mind and help you evaluate how every thought that enters it compares to biblical truth. When the Holy Spirit shows you that a worrisome thought doesn’t reflect what’s true, you can replace that thought with a new thought that’s based on the reality of what God says is true.


“Carrie Underwood – So Small”

This song truly brings so much into perspective!

Don’t let your WORRIES consume you to the point that it hinders you from accomplishing great things in your life!!! xo


Matthew 6:25-27
 ~ Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

Matthew 6:34 ~ Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 11:28-30 ~ Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

2 Thessalonians 3:16 ~ Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.

Psalm 23:4 ~ Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 56:3 ~ When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

Proverbs 3:5-6 ~ Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.


QUOTES ABOUT WORRY

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.- (Corrie Ten Boom)

I’ll give you some symptoms of a sign that your faith is deteriorating–whenever you face all of your problems and you trust only your plans to get you out–it is a sign that your faith is deteriorating. – (T.D. Jakes)

No one can pray and worry at the same time.- (Max Lucado)

Knowing that God is faithful, it really helps me to not be captivated by worry. But knowing that He will do what He has said, He will cause it to happen, whatever He has promised, and then it causes me to be less involved in worrying about a situation.- (Josh McDowell)

Worry is the sin of distrusting the promise and providence of God, and yet it is a sin that Christians commit perhaps more frequently than any other.- (John MacArthur)

Be Happy & Enjoy The Simple Things In Life

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Sometimes life is so busy that we forget to take time for ourselves. Some quite, sweet, serenity! I know what you’re already thinking..”well when you have kids, and you work all the time there’s never anytime to just sit down and relax”.

There’s always a space in your day/life somewhere. You just have to seek it out. Even if that means having someone come watch your children for an hr so you can take a small portion of time for YOU!!!

Everyone needs time to re-connect with themselves. Place that intention to give yourself some ME time.. and affirm it in your mind.

Failing to take time to recharge your batteries and relax can contribute to some mental health problems such as anxiety or depression or make existing mental disorders worse. You snap more at others/situations then you probably would if you had time to rest and unwind. Even anger can manifest in your body if you are not well rested. REST is crucial, not just for your body …but for your mind. 

Here are 2 techniques that can prevent stress rising throughout the day:

  • Pausing – Take time throughout the day to take a break or a pause. Stop what you are doing, look out of the window, let your shoulders drop, stretch and allow your mind to calm down. Taking several pauses throughout the day can prevent stress from building up. If you encounter a stressful situation such as an upsetting phone call, a busy train ride home, writing an essay, give yourself time afterwards to calm down.
  • Deep Breaths – Often people are told to ‘take deep breaths’ after a stressful situation and sometimes concentrating on your breathing helps the body to relax and can have a calming effect. To aid with this relaxation technique, close your eyes, take deep breaths in and out. Think of your favourite place, maybe somewhere that you like to go on holiday. Focus on that and think about that place and what you might be doing there. You might remember sunbathing on a beach. You can smell sun tan lotion, you can hear the sea. Picturing this ‘nice place’ can help you to relax and take yourself away from the current stressful situation and help calm you down to prevent stress levels gradually rising throughout the day.

For me, I love to sit and listen to some calming music and sip in my beautiful tea cup or sit down in my rocking chair with my tea and watch a relaxing program/show/movie. Sometimes I even pour myself a beautiful cozy bath and will even sip my tea while chilling in the tub!

TEA CUP

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I only take this special china cup out when it’s ME time. It was a tea cup my Hubbies Mom gave me. And I just LOVE IT! For me it just feels like I am pampering myself. And because I do not use this tea cup all the time, I know it’s for special moments. Of course there are other ways I try to relax. This is just one of the ways! 🙂

WAYS TO RELAX

  • Taking up a hobby – people who have stressful jobs often find that taking up a hobby can help them switch their brains off from work pressures once they are away from work. For example, if you are knitting, you are concentrating on what your fingers are doing rather than thinking about that essay that needs handing in next week that is stressing you out. Often when you go back to the thing that you were finding stressful, you can cope better having taken a break from it and switching off.
  • Aerobic Exercise – exercise where the heart rate is increased releases endorphin’s which make you feel good. Exercises could include going to the gym or sport such as football or netball but could also include cycling, skate boarding, surfing, riding a horse, swimming – think about the type of things you are interested in and build your exercise around that.
  • Walking – walking also releases endorphin’s but can also help you to switch off from pressures as you take in the scenery around you and get into a steady rhythm  – and can be a far more pleasant way to travel than on a stuffy tube or busy loud bus which in itself can be stressful. Getting fresh air also helps you to relax and sleep better.
  • Yoga – yoga, tai chi and pilates are designed around relaxation and breathing techniques which can all aid in relaxation.
  • A warm bath – it sounds simple but a nice warm bath helps the muscles relax and encourages a general feeling of relaxation. Aromatherapy candles or bubble bath could also help your mind to relax and some people find listening to chilled music while you are having a soak helps.
  • Watching a film or reading a book – escapism is a great way to switch off from reality for a while and help the mind to relax. But not to the the point where you remove yourself entirely from reality. 🙂
  • Meet a friend – leaving the stressful situation you are in and talking things over with a friend or even chatting about something completely different from what caused the stress can take your mind off things and aid relaxation.

Break FREE…So you can have a HAPPY DAY! 

Psalm 16:9 ~ Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure.

Soaking Beans

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mixed dried beans

(Method 1) The Long Soak

The “Long Soak” method is the most common way to soak your beaners. Just put your beans in a large bowl or pot of water and let them sit submerged for 8-12 hours overnight. Soaking beans overnight actually begins bean germination and promotes enzyme release. The germination process is what breaks down all the complex bean sugars. Breaking down the complex sugar is a good thing as this is what gives us gas. Apparently, soaking beans overnight using the “Long Soak” method can reduce complex sugars by up to 60 percent. I usually use this method of soaking dried beans with exceptional results – no gastrointestinal gusts.

(Method 2) Quick Soaking Beans (The Power Soak)

I haven’t tried the “Quick Soaking Beans or Power Soak” method yet. But basically, just bring a pot of water to boil, add your beans, and then let them boil for about three minutes. After boiling, remove the beans from the stove and let them sit in the hot water for 2-6 hours. This method apparently removes 80 percent of complex bean sugars. How does that toot your horn?

(Method 3) Quick Cook

While most bigger beans like red beans, chick peas, and navy beans do require soaking – some smaller beans and legumes require little to no soaking. Legumes like lentils, mung beans, or split peas can be added to soup (like lentil soup) without ever needing time soaked in water before cooking.

If you’re using smaller beans and legumes, then use the “Quick Cook” or “no soak method” where you just throw your dried beans into a pot and cook the heck outta them. I wouldn’t recommend the “Quick Cook” method for tougher beans like kidney or chick peas cause you will fart your friends into an oblivion. Just saying….

How long can you leave your beans soaking?

Most beans only require about 6-8 hours of soaking to fully expand and soften. I’ve been kinda lazy at times and soaked my garbanzos for two full days without issue. The key is to change the bean water frequently (at least daily). If beans are soaked longer than two days then some fermentation may begin which can change the bean’s flavor after it is cooked. A few readers have asked about soaking beans beyond three days – I’m of the opinion why risk getting sick to save $1, it just doesn’t make cents.

Article By Kerry: How To Soak Beans