Vegan Purple Yam Filipino Dessert (Ube Halaye)

Vegan Purple Yam – Filipino Dessert (Ube Halaye)

How to make Vegan Purple Yam (Ube Halaye), a popular Filipino dessert with only three (3) ingredients

Vegan Purple Yam – Filipino Dessert (Ube Halaye)

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium purple yams*** (good source of vitamin A, C , B6 + magnesium + potassium +fiber )
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar (optional)
  • coconut oil (optional)

Directions:

Step 1: Wash and cut yams in small squares and boil in one cup of water until soft (add water if required).

Step 2: Once purple yams are soft mash with a hand blender or potato masher.

Step 3: Pour coconut milk in a cooking pot and bring to a boil.

Step 4: Once the coconut milk starts to boil add the coconut sugar (this is optional, I find the yams sweet enough for my taste buds :) If you do add coconut sugar, stir until it gets completely diluted.

Step 5: Add the mashed purple yams to the coconut milk pot. Continue to cook on low medium heat until the texture gets thick. This part will take 20-30 minutes. Be patient, your taste buds will thank you for it.

Step 6: You can grease with coconut oil if you want to mold the ube halaye into a shape or just leave it like displayed in photo. Sprinkle with shredded coconut or raw unsalted sunflower seeds.

Prep time: 25-40 minutes

Serving size: 4-6

***Purple yams are native to Asia. One-cup serving of boiled yams has a glycemic index of 35  and an overall low glycemic load. Yams have been a staple food in the Okinawan diet, which is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich diet. See link for study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20234038

I have also read consuming ube (purple yam) on a regular basis helps with asthma. I have not found any western published studies however there might be studies in the east and I will further look into this at some point.

How to make a vegan chocolate mousse in 5 minutes

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Things You Need to Know About Hormones, Estrogen and Birth Control

Things You Need to Know About Hormones, Estrogen and Birth Control

Hormones are powerful messengers that direct and control every function in your body and influence cellular activity.

An imbalance in hormone levels affects your sleep, libido, weight and temper, just to name a few.

Such imbalances can be caused by too much estrogen in relation to progesterone or by environmental estrogen creating estrogen dominance in your body.

Like a lock and key, hormones should fit their receptors. If they fit properly, your body uses them and actually removes them in 12 hours.

Synthetic hormones, like birth control, don’t fit the lock and stay in your body almost 3 times longer.

Remember, estrogen is not necessarily the “bad guy”, BUT synthetic estrogen is.

Synthetic estrogen found in the birth control pill, fertility drugs and other hormone therapies is a major contributor to estrogen overload.

A woman might be prescribed synthetic hormones like oral contraceptive pills to treat acne, PMS or menstrual cramps, to prevent unwanted pregnancies, or to address other medical conditions.

However, several studies are finding the use of synthetic hormones can lead to serious health concerns like DNA damage (1), which can lead to many serious imbalances in the body.

Also, it is well known that combination contraceptives containing estrogen increase the risk for blood clots (venous thromboembolism = VTE) and the risk increases with smoking. Relatively little data has been published on progestin-only contraceptives; until recently, it has not been clear whether they increase the risk for VTE or not.

Birth control also depletes B vitamins, water soluble vitamins which are vital for energy production, nervous system activity, cell growth and so much more.

Therefore, you need to make sure you supplement adequately.

If you decide to get off birth control and come off all this estrogen, you will most likely get heavier periods and notice an increase in risk of clots and fibroid growth. It is rare but at times, a hysterectomy may be required as treatment.

It is important to note that it will roughly take 3-6 months to balance hormones after stopping use of the pill. Many women have successfully gotten off birth control with proper guidance.

References

(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27382200

What are xenoestrogens and why you should care

Squash Soup

Easy Squash Soup recipe

Easy Squash soup recipe

With 5 SUPERFOODS to Make you Feel SUPERGOOD

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil (antiviral + antimicrobial + protects against heart disease)
  • 2-4 cups of butternut or pumpkin squash (vit A = beta-carotene = eye and skin health + AO + B3 = niacin = brain function + fiber)
  • 1-2 medium onions (vit C = antioxidant [AO], collagen + chromium = blood sugar management)
  • 1” fresh turmeric** or 1/2 tsp. ground (powerful anti-inflammatory + AO)
  • 3-4 cups filtered water
  • 1/2 cup lentils (soak overnight) (protein + cholesterol-lowering fiber)
  • 1/3 tsp. allspice (AO + good for digestion + prevents gas build-up)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

Over medium heat, melt coconut oil and sauté onions for 1 min. Add spices and sauté 1 min. Then add squash and sauté 1 min. Add water, bring to a boil. Simmer over low-medium heat for 20 min. Add washed lentils and simmer 15-20 min; add coconut milk and salt to taste. Blend with hand blender. Serving size 4-6

**Interesting info: Studies show turmeric not only helps lower cholesterol, but also prevents the oxidation of cholesterol, which is what damages blood cells. Studies also show curcumin slows the progression of Alzheimer’s.

Want some vegan cheddar cheese with your soup?

Gaia_nutrition

GAIA’s Low Budget High PROTEIN Dinner

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil (antiviral + antimicrobial)
  • 1-2 medium onions (vit C = antioxidant [AO] + collagen + chromium = blood sugar management)
  • 1/3 tsp. allspice (AO + good for digestion + prevents gas build-up)
  • 2-3 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup brown, black or mixed lentils (soak overnight) (protein)
  • ½ cup brown, black, red or mixed rice (soak overnight) (protein)
  • 3-4 cups fresh spinach (Ca, Mg, K, Mn, vit A, B9, K)
  • 1 red sweet pepper (vit C)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Read more

b

GAIA’s HOLIDAY SUPER SALAD

HIGH ANTIOXIDANT + CALCIUM + OMEGAS

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 cups organic mixed greens (Ca + Mg + K)
  • 1-2 pomegranates (AO, fiber + protein + reduces inflammation)
  • 1-2 raw shredded beets (Ca + iron + vit A & C + folic acid + fiber)
  • 1-2 Granny Smith apples (fiber, vit C, pectin = helps remove chol.)
  • 1 avocado (monounsaturated fatty acids + K + fiber)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup hemp seeds (protein + omega-3 and 6 + AO)

Dressing:

  • 1-2 avocados
  • 1/3 cup filtered water
  • 6-10 strawberries and/or raspberries (AO + vit C + fiber)

Directions:

Toss in a large bowl: salad, cleaned pomegranates, shredded beets, apples, sliced avocados, and hemp seeds.

Blend the avocados, water, strawberries and/or raspberries. Pour on tossed salad & enjoy :)

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Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs): Sources, Risks, Policies, Prevention

Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs): Sources, Risks, Tips

The human body and the earth itself create EMFs, which are invisible electrical and magnetic forces. In this case, they are very low-level. However, many recent technologies—if not all—create artificial EMFs. These are much more powerful and dangerous. We are exposed 50 million times more than our grandparents were, if not more.

Top sources of man-made EMFs:

  • Smartphones
  • Cell phone towers
  • Power lines
  • Computers and laptops
  • Microwaves
  • Airplanes and airports

We are getting more and more exposed to man-made EMFs, which can change the naturally occurring frequencies in our body to unhealthy frequencies. This in turn causes unhealthy tissue and disease.

There are not many studies on this subject as of yet, perhaps because we have been exposed to this high level of EMFs for only the last 30 years, and studies on such topics get published only decades later.

EMFs increase risks of:

  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of libido
  • Brain cancer (1)

Cellphones:

  • Emit two kinds of EMFs – microwave electromagnetic radiation from the antenna, and more EMFs from the phone body – both are harmful.
  • 20-80% of the radiation from a phone’s antenna penetrates up to 2 inches into the adult brain.
  • Studies have shown that people who sleep with a cellphone by the bed have poor REM sleep, leading to impaired learning and memory. Long-term effects remain to be seen.
  • When the cellphone signal is held next to the head, brainwaves are altered a full 70% of the time.

Despite the growing number of emerging studies, the evidence for any effect remains highly controversial. However, policies and advisories have been passed in certain parts of the world and make you wonder…

Policies and Advisories:

  • SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: First city in the US to pass cell phone safety legislation in July 2011 (2)
  • BURLINGAME, CALIFORNIA: On August 15, 2011, the Burlingame city council voted to include cell phone guidelines as part of their Healthy Living in Burlingame initiative (2)
  • FRANCE: Laws require Specific Absorption Rate posting, headsets, and protection of children (3)
  • ISRAEL: (2008, 2011) The Ministry published a set of guidelines that called for limiting children’s use of cell phones, avoiding cellular communication in enclosed places such as elevators and trains, and using wired earpieces (Azoulay 2008), and limits use of cell phones in schools (2)
  • EUROPEAN ENVIRONMENT AGENCY: A policy statement made in 2009 advises against regular use of cell phones by children and proposing precautionary actions to reduce the general public’s radiation exposure (2)

I don’t know about you, but my motto is “better safe than sorry”. I am all about reducing my risks of imbalances.

Prevention:

  • Load up on the raw fruits and veggies (high in antioxidants + micro-nutrients)
  • Don’t buy GMO foods and try to avoid them when eating out
  • Buy organic (I buy organic pending pesticide levels and GMO, click here for more info)
  • Drink immune boosting teas 
  • Avoid putting cell phones on your body
  • Use the speaker or wired headsets to talk
  • Unplug Wi-Fi on most nights, and especially when traveling
  • Have a couple of crystal salt lamps in key rooms, as they are believed to neutralize EMF radiation

In conclusion, the only things we can do is try to minimize our exposure to man-made EMFs and mainly practice preventative medicine by loading up on antioxidants and keeping our immune system at optimal levels.

 

References:

  • (1) http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs193/en/
  • (2) http://ehtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/WorldwideCellphoneSafety_Oct12pm_BP.pdf
  • (3) https://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?cidTexte=JORFTEXT000022915383&dateTexte=&categorieLien=id

 

B12

My Personal Experience with Vitamin B12 as a Carnist vs. as a Vegan

Vegan friends and those looking to make the progression to a whole food, plant-based diet alike, a lot of you have been asking me about my take on vitamin B12.

I have heard some vegans and vegetarians say you don’t need to supplement B12, unless you have an underlying issue.

From the studies I have read, as a vegan, I would take the supplement because the damage is IRREVERSIBLE.

I recommend you have blood work done once a year to see where your numbers fall.

Please note a meat-eater can also be B12 deficient.  At times, malabsorption can be an underlying issue.

Once upon a time, before embracing veganism, I actually had lower B12 levels. The following photo shows my levels from 2002, at a count of 197 pmol/L. Back then, I would eat a lot of red meat with zero processed foods in my diet. Therefore, it’s a myth that carnivores CANNOT be low or deficient in B12.

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2002

The photo below is from 2015, and you can see that my B12 levels are at 445 pmol/L.

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Typically, these tests are used as the first stage of testing—very low levels (<148 pmol/L) are normally considered to be indicative of deficiency. Sub-clinical deficiency (148–221 pmol/L) requires further testing.

I don’t supplement every day because I have optimal levels, and I understand the principles of orthomolecular medicine (what cells need on a cellular level), so I know exactly what I need to do for myself.

The morale of the story: You need to weight the pros and cons in life and, for mere pennies a day of a B12 supplement, I would not risk the long-term IRREVERSIBLE damages caused by deficiency.

Also make sure you keep copies of your medical records. YOUR BODY, YOUR RESULTS, YOUR LIFE :)

Sign up to become a member and receive a B12 summary sheet of things to know

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All You Need to Know About Xenoestrogens: Risks, Sources and Tips

Xenoestrogens are the technical name for a class of man-made chemicals that mimic the effects of estrogen. When absorbed by the body, xenoestrogens are highly cancer-causing and hormone disruptive, as they are estrogen dominant.

Xenoestrogens increase the risk of:

  • Breast cancer (1, 2, 6)
  • Uterine cancer (3)
  • Fibrocystic breast disease
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Prostate and testicular cancer (4, 5)
  • Male and female fertility problems (4)
  • Heavy periods

Sources of xenoestrogens:

  • Pesticides (used on animals, farms, produce, lawns, golf courses)
  • Beef (cattle in Canada and US are given zeranol or estradiol, which are estrogenic and convert to estrogen)
  • Dairy products; strong association between cheese consumption and testicular cancer (5)
  • Cosmetics that use phthalates and parabens (6)
  • Plastics mainly use BPA and phthalates, that leach into water and food
  • Cleaning chemicals
  • Fabric softeners containing benzyl acetate, ethanol, camphor, linalool, pentane
  • Bleach when used to whiten tampons, pads and toilet paper
  • Pharmaceuticals that contain synthetic estrogen, which is toxic estrogen and gets stored in fat cells

Tips to minimize xenoestrogen exposure:

  • Buy local produce and get informed on your local farmers’ practices
  • Buy organic pending pesticide levels and GMO factors on certain produce (click here for more info.)
  • Avoid all dairy products. Choose alternatives like almond milk and nut cheese
  • Avoid meat products. Choose a plant based diet for optimal health
  • Avoid plastic (use a reusable glass bottle for your water, glass containers for food)
  • Use natural cleaning products (like vinegar, baking soda, lemon essential oil)
  • Buy cotton tampon or pads
  • Avoid synthetic hormones
  • Increase your daily fiber intake at least by 35 grams

 

 

References:

helllooo

Top 10 Fruits to Combat the Aging Process

Good nutrition is one of the key foundations of a youthful, vital body that is able to thrive.

The right foods are the key to staying young, inside and out. Nature provides these plant-based foods in abundance. The results show in how you look, in how you feel and in the quality of your life.

Here are the top 10 fruits to combat the aging process:

  • Raspberries:
    • Packed with red/purple antioxidants called proanthocyanidins = most abundant in the plant kingdom
    • Vitamin C = collagen production + antioxidant (AO) + helps with bone and teeth formation
    • High percentage of weight consists in fiber = as important as AO, as it removes aging toxins from the body
  • Peaches:
    • Orange fruits are high in carotenoids = AOs that protect fatty areas of the body: liver, skin, heart, and brain, which is 60% fat
    • Fatty areas in our body require fat-soluble fatty acids to slow down degeneration and aging
    • Boron = shown to promote new bone growth and reduce risk of prostate cancer in men (1, 2)
    • Gentle laxative effect helps maintain bowel regularity, ensuring the removal of aging toxins
  • Strawberries:
    • Contain more fiber than the equivalent weight of whole bread
    • Lignans = bind with bile acids in the liver to help regulate cholesterol and stop the build of gallstones, and may prevent colon cancer (3) + helps to reduce the risk of mammary tumors (4)
    • Strawberries contain phytoestrogens = foods that balance female hormones by binding excess estrogen to a protein in the blood
    • The seeds on the outside contain cleansing fiber, zinc (AO) + B vitamins
  • Papaya:
    • Contains papain, a protein-digesting enzyme that counteracts digestive disorders and inflammation, thus reduces the aging factor
    • Arginine (amino acid) = supports heart function
    • Great source of calcium and potassium
    • Seeds have antibacterial properties
  • Watermelon
    • Balances fluids in the body = helps prevent water retention and promotes well-hydrated, youthful skin (92% water)
    • Sugar in watermelon gets diluted and does not negatively affect blood-sugar levels, but instead helps pull water into cells, keeping skin and organs well hydrated
    • Diuretic effect helps clean out the kidneys, supporting revitalization and detoxification
  • Kiwi:
    • Contains a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids for a fruit = helps with heart and brain health
    • Seeds contain all the enzymes and nutrients needed for a plant to grow; taking them into our bodies will help with our growth and rejuvenation as well
    • Potassium content comparable to bananas
    • Contains more vitamin C than oranges
    • Did you know you can eat the skin of kiwis? Just like an apple.
  • Purple grapes:
    • Purple grape skin and seeds are the best source we have of resveratrol = bioflavanoid
    • Contain malic acid, which assists in energy production to revitalize cells and repair damage
    • Seeds contain oils that are powerful natural antibiotics, which help protect the structure of skin and veins
  • Tamarind:
    • Has natural preservative qualities when added to food, preventing aging damage from bacterial infection
    • The dark color indicates an abundance of anti-oxidants
    • Is a bitter, which helps stimulate gastric juices and bile flow to foster digestion, nutrient absorption and removal of toxins
  • Bananas:
    • Ripe banana contains high amounts of fiber
    • Source of prebiotic inulin, which feeds beneficial bacteria (probiotics)
    • High levels of potassium, vitamin C + B6
  • Passion fruit:
    • This highly alkalizing fruit helps with fluid balance and detoxification, which is important for maintaining a youthful appearance
    • High in orange spectrum of antioxidants
    • High levels of potassium, fiber and vitamin C

 

 

 

References:

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Protective and Purifying Foods, Herbs and Spices for the Lungs

Protective and Purifying Foods, Herbs and Spices for the Lungs

Without breath there is no life. More and more people have become mindful of how important taking a deep breath is, especially in times of stress and high anxiety. These days we are exposed to so many toxins from the air we breathe, the water we drink and the foods we eat.

Our lungs are constantly filtering out toxins, but we still need to do our part to help and support them. Below I have listed some of the most common lung imbalances and the foods, herbs and spices to consume and avoid.

Phlegm in the lungs, to help reduce and expel phlegm

Consume:

  • Fennel
  • Fenugreek
  • Flax seeds
  • Horseradish
  • Fresh ginger
  • Radish
  • Nettles
  • Sprouts

Avoid:

  • All dairy foods
  • Mammal meats
  • Peanuts
  • Soy products (including tempeh, miso)
  • All sweeteners (stevia is ok)

 

Chronic Lung Infection / Inflammation (dry cough)

Consume:

  • Seaweed
  • Spirulina
  • Chlorella
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Watermelon
  • Bananas
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Flax seeds
  • Marshmallow root
  • Slippery elm bark

Avoid:

  • Spicy foods
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs

 

Weak voice, limited speech, coughing and shortness of breath

Consume:

  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Carrots
  • Mustard greens
  • Sweet potato
  • Potato
  • Fresh ginger
  • Garlic
  • Licorice root
  • Primarily cooked foods

Avoid:

  • Citrus foods
  • Salt
  • All dairy products
  • Spinach
  • Seaweeds
  • Micro-algae (chlorella is ok)

 

“Health is your biggest asset. Invest in it and it will pay dividends.” NM