Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cold Brew Coffee

Cold brewed coffee produces a product with up to 70% less acid. For some, this coffee may be easier to digest. 

To make it, soak ground coffee beans in cold water for 12 to 14 hours. Strain, heat and enjoy.

For a stronger brew, soak the ground coffee for 24 hours. You'll end up with cold brewed espresso.

Luo Han Guo Tea

Luo han guo tea a.k.a. monk fruit tea is a naturally sweet, zero calorie beverage that is made from this dried Asian gourd. 

Simply break the hard shell, to expose the inner fruit, and place in a pot of water set to boil. Once at a rolling boil, set to simmer for 20 minutes. 

You can enjoy this tea warm or use it as a sugar-free sweetener.

Traditionally, this tea is used for throat-related issues and to boost one's immune system. 

Almond Milk Lattes

Try making lattes by substituting the cow's milk for unsweetened almond milk.

Back Again - A Health Update

Dear Readers,

It has been a number months since I had posted last on this blog. I'm quite grateful that individuals are still interested in the recipes and food information that I had posted over the years. I can tell, because blog hits were kept quite consistent. Thank you!

To give you an update, one of the reasons I stopped writing on this blog was due to the fact that I was dealing with a number of health problems (ironically having to do with my digestive system).

Some of you may know that I was diagnosed with a small intestine infection, which rendered me unable to digest a number of foods. In order to combat this infection, my doctor had taken me off of most foods that were considered "difficult to digest", so that my small intestine could heal. These 'no-no' foods included:
- dairy
- gluten
- fried foods
- alcohol
- raw vegetables
- cruciferous vegetables
- most legumes

As you can probably guess, I couldn't eat much and, as a result, I lost a lot of weight.

As a secondary condition, due to malabsorption, I ended up with osteoporosis and osteopenia.

It took a number of years, but the infection eventually "cleared" and I was left with, what I thought was, a very sensitive digestive system. Certain foods I would eat would aggravate my system, causing painful flare-ups. These flare-ups were not just isolated to my gastrointestinal system. Rather, they would also effect my skin, sleep, mood, glands, etc. There was no rhyme or reason for it. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I noticed, through trial and error, that I was able to eat certain foods which enabled me to control my symptoms, whereas consuming other foods would severely aggravate my system. At some point, I made the connection between my eating habits and body typing using an Ayurvedic system. Ayurveda, in a nutshell, is an ancient Indian way of life which takes into account body types with healthy living practices (including what and how one eats). 

My body type was classified as "Vata". I was surprised to find that foods that were recommended for the Vata group were very similar to the foods on my informal list of foods that were "safe" to eat. The group was also advised to avoid certain foods. To my surprise, the foods on the 'avoid list' were the same foods that would create issues for me.

Generally, it is recommended that individuals in this group consume foods that are:
- warm
- heavy
- dense
- wet
- rich
- sweet

The group is recommended not to consume foods that are:
- light
- airy
- crispy
- crunchy
- dry

Additionally, I found that the following foods were also on my 'no-no' list:
- dairy
- fried foods
- raw vegetables
- alcohol
- cruciferous vegetables
- some legumes
- refined sugars

I was also taking pointers from vegans, raw foodists, paleo dieters, meat-eaters, traditionalists, and clean food eaters.

It was now a whole different ballgame. Even though it doesn't sound like it, it was quite liberating, as my new dietary choices allowed for a lot of flexibility in my life.

Additionally, I was using digestive enzymes in order to be able to eat.

Recently, I found out that I was not quite accurately diagnosed. Through a not-so-routine test with a specialist, I found out that I had been harbouring two different types of parasites in my gastrointestinal system. The infection that I had was actually a long-standing parasitic infection, causing my digestive issues for half a decade. The two types of parasites wreaked havoc on my system and forced me to, essentially, change my lifestyle.

Since then, the parasitic infections have now cleared.

Looking at my life challenges in a positive manner, I have never felt healthier. I no longer have the need for digestive enzymes. The changes I made to my diet allowed me to be creative in food preparation, as well as to increase my awareness of truly healthy foods.

As a testament to my food lifestyle, I was able to combat and beat osteoporosis/osteopenia with my new diet and exercise regime (without the use of pharmaceutical medicines and/or supplements). Yay!

I had kept a bit of a photo journal regarding my food discoveries. The postings on this blog, from this day forward, will take on a different format. Photo journal entries will be highlighted with either simple directions and/or explanations.

Please feel free to comment and share posts as they come. I hope these future posts will be as helpful to you as they were to me!

Happy eating.