The wonder of almond milk

About four months ago I became fed up with the way Samuel (my 22 month old son), was in a permanent state of “snottiness”.  He had become accustomed to living with two green stripes protruding from his nostrils and a chest that sounded like it was about to take off.  He had been to the doctor a number of times for an infected chest and at 18 months he was admitted to hospital with bronchial pneumonia and told that he had “chronic rhinitis” (an allergy to dust mites).

It is common knowledge that dairy products are mucous forming but I think that we have become so accustomed to eating dairy that the thought of removing it completely seems far too mammoth a task.  I decided that it was time and I have never looked back.

I have called this blog post “the wonder of almond milk” as I’ve discovered something that has literally performed wonders.  After only one day of taking Samuel off cows milk and placing him on the delicious home made almond milk, my little man is totally snot free.  The recipe (see below) is super easy and fuss free.  It is full of nutrients and digestive enzymes that help one digest the milk properly.  The most rewarding part is that he loves it as it is creamy and delicious.

Lactose intolerance occurs when your small intestine doesn’t produce enough of an enzyme (lactase) to digest milk sugar (lactose).  Normally, lactase turns milk sugar into two simple sugars — glucose and galactose — which are absorbed into the bloodstream through the intestinal lining.  If you’re lactase deficient, lactose in your food moves into the colon instead of being processed and absorbed. In the colon, normal bacteria interact with undigested lactose, causing the signs and symptoms” like the one’s Sam was experiencing.

One of my best friends has a little boy who is extremely lactose intolerant and would, as a result of his allergy, suffer from extreme stomach cramps.  She referred me to an amazing blog.  This tasteful and aesthetically appealing food blog is called “shades of cinnamon” and is where I found my almond milk answers.  I highly recommend that you follow this beautiful food blog!

The post that has helped me was a post called “a guide to soaking and activating nuts and seeds”.

Please see our newly adopted, delicious almond milk recipe below:

 

ALMOND RECIPE

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup of raw, unsalted almonds

5 cups of filtered water

A clean stocking or nut bag

A large jug and high speed blender

1 tsp of salt

1 tablespoon of raw honey (or more if you want a little more sweetness)

METHOD:

Soak one cup of rinsed almonds with the salt, overnight in a jug of water (4-5 cups will suffice).  In the morning blend the almonds with the water in a high speed blender.  Pour the blended almonds through a stocking into a large glass jug.  I place the stocking over the lip of the jug.  The milk left in the jug is your milk which you can sweeten with honey if you wish.  It is creamy and delicious and will last about 3-4 days in the fridge.

I take the pulp in the stocking and dehydrate it in the oven at 50 degrees for about two hours (it’s important not to go over 50 degrees as the nutrients will be destroyed).  I then take the dehydrated almond pulp and put it through my kenwood “mini mill” to make almond flour.  I have made some awesome almond flour pancakes with this flour but of coarse, the flour can be used for making breads, biscuits and more.

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I am of the belief that one should experiment with ones health, in order to find answers that work.  We are all completely unique and so what works for one may not work for another.  It’s about finding what works for you.  If you, or your children are battling with sinus problems and chest infections, why not give this a try?  There’s nothing to loose.

If for some reason you have run out of almond milk and need it before your almonds have soaked overnight, I can recommend a product called “Koko”.  It’s a delicious coconut milk drink found at Dischem and is naturally sweetened.  It is quite pricey and so I only resort to this, or woolies oat milk in emergency situations.  Be warned -the almond milk from woolworths is expensive and tastes horrendous!  It also only contains a minuscule amount of “almond pulp” and a bunch of other nonsense ingredients.

To read more on the health benefits of almonds, click here.  You will be amazed at the incredible health benefits of this “wonder” food.

Enjoy!

A delicious green smoothie recipe, for two (and a half)…

I’ve been asked by a few people to help when it comes to information on healthy eating as a result of the journey I’ve been on, as well as the “searching” I have done.  In response, I’ve decided to share some of the little healthy lifestyle choices I have adopted, on this blog.  To those who have asked, I have a long way to go in terms of being really healthy but anyway, hopefully I can help?

I was recently given the privilege to work on the development of an exciting new health brand, know as Harmonie (which in German means “balance”).  Working with this client has been inspirational.  They have taught me an enormous amount, especially in our time spent unpacking the meaning, purpose and vision of their business in preparation for establishing a name and identity.

In one of our meetings, I asked the question “what do you eat for breakfast?”.  With eloquence and grace, Liesel rattled off a list of green smoothie ingredients that she thought was perhaps “over the top” in terms of quantity but highly beneficial in terms of nutrient value.  This is the kind of smoothie she “throws” together for her family in the mornings.

I retained the information and quickly ran home to give the recipe a try… it was delicious!  I have now adopted this smoothie recipe, along with a few other favourite smoothie recipe’s (I will share them soon), as a part of my morning routine.

After having this smoothie I am left full and satisfied.  I also know that I am giving my growing baby girl (I’m 21 weeks pregnant) all of the nutrients she needs as well.  Oh, and Mila ( four years old) and Samuel (two years old) both love this smoothie too.

In a high-speed blender mix together the following ingredients.  I will mention the benefits of each of these ingredients below the recipe.

SUPER GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPE

(Serves two – in my case it’s two and a half)

1 teaspoon of barley grass powder

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

2 bananas

1 Avocado

3 dates

1 teaspoon of raw honey

1 kiwi fruit

1 handful of spinach ( mine is freshly picked from my herb garden)

roughly half a cup of filtered water or coconut water (great for adding electrolytes)

Ice (as much as you like)

 

 

THE BENEFITS:

  • Dates: Dates are a good source of various vitamins and minerals. It’s a good source of energy, sugar and fiber. Essential minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc are found in dates. It also contains vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and vitamin K.  (taken from Organic Facts Blog).
  • Raw Honey: Has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It promotes body and digestive health, is a powerful antioxidant, strengthens the immune system, eliminates allergies, and is an excellent remedy for skin wounds and all types of infections.
  • Fresh, raw spinach:   A super food loaded with tons of nutrients. Dark leafy greens like spinach are important for skin and hair, bone health, and provide protein, iron, vitamins and minerals.
  • Coconut oil: The Lauric acid in coconut oil can kill bacteria, viruses and fungi, helping to stave off infection.  Coconut oil can increase your energy expenditure, helping you to burn more fat.  The fatty acids in coconut oil can boost brain function in alzheimer’s patients.  Coconut oil is known to curb hunger and help you lose weight.
  • Avocado: Avocado’s are incredibly nutritious; they contain high levels of potassium; they are loaded with heart-healthy fats and can lower ones cholesterol; they have loads of fibre;  the fat in the avocado helps one to absorb nutrients from plant foods, they contain powerful antioxidants and are a force against cancer.  Believe it or not, they can also aid in weight loss.
  • Banana’s: An amazing source of vitamins, minerals as well as fibre.  They are rich in potassium and great for those doing sport.
  • Kiwi Fruit:  Kiwifruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K as well as a very good source of copper and dietary fibre. It is also a good source of vitamin E, potassium, folate, and manganese.
  • Coconut water (or filtered water) Naturally refreshing, coconut water has a sweet, nutty taste. It contains easily digested carbohydrate in the form of sugar and electrolytes (taken from Web MD blog).

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When I start to ponder on the powerful effects of food on our bodies, I cannot help but want to make adjustments to include more goodness in my diet.  The pace of life as a working mother makes it really hard though and so I slip up as a result of poor planning.  I find when I plan well, I eat well and therefore feel well.  I’m sure most people feel the same way?

 

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”- Hypocrites

Wild At Heart- A Trip To Hluhluwe

Last weekend we were given the opportunity to join Dylan’s side of the family on a trip to the Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Game Reserve.  It was a much needed break as Dylan has been studying for the past 16 months and we have not had the chance to recoup for months.  We stayed at the luxurious (4 star) Hluhluwe River Lodge, just outside the reserve and it was awesome!

To anyone wanting to visit the bush I can highly recommend Hluhluwe River Lodge.  The rooms are spacious and comfortable, with air-con, a fridge, mosquito net’s, a large bathroom, 4 beds and more.  Every meal was delicious and the service…outstanding!  I think that above all, the kind and attentive staff were what made this lodge “shine”.  The setting is rustic, with eleven log cabins set in a forest, covered with tree’s and indigenous flora.  I truly got the feeling that I was in the middle of the bush; a perfect escape from the concrete jungles I have become accustomed to. The activities on offer at the lodge and just outside the lodge are abundant- it is a perfect hideaway for adventurous couples and young families wanting to go on walks, mountain bike rides, game drives and more.

What we loved most was the fact that our children were beside themselves they were so excited to be there.  They had plenty of room to run around and the lodge catered for their every need.  They had separate meal times and were served the most incredible, healthy and age appropriate meals.  In the evenings the lodge offered us an amazing baby sitter named Nomsa so that we could enjoy our dinner peacefully with the adults.

On the Saturday we went out in search of wild animals.  Our high hopes were satisfied when we came up close and personal with rhino, a troop of babboons, giraffe, a myriad of plains game, buffalo and more.  To top it all we came right in-between an enormous heard of elephants (about 100 for sure).  I must be honest it was petrifying as they were extremely close to our car. Click here to see the video I posted on Instagram of me nervously whispering to Dylan to GET GOING!

Here are some of the pic’s from our very special time there.  Spoil yourself and visit Hluhluwe River Lodge for a down to earth and humble getaway in the bush.

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Health is Wealth- 5 Wellness Essentials

I am an ardent “healthy” living, clean eating activist. I prefer to feed my family organic, preservative free, additive free, whole and unrefined food.   Natural products, attire and items in general tick the boxes.   I believe it is good to be disciplined but not to beat oneself up when one doesn’t eat exactly how one should- life is too short for that and toddlers are not easy to control.
The 70%/30% rule always applies- eat well 70% of the time and leave the 30% to live a little…

The wellness category of this blog will showcase amazing products and ways of wholesome living I have come to discover.  I will also tell you about my healthy friends the ones that support this way of life.

Here are some snippets of some healthy “must-haves” in the home.

1. Barley Green www.theaimcompanies.com

Aim Barley Life
Aim Barley Life

My children drink it as if it were a sweet delicacy. There are hundreds of health benefits to consuming a whole food supplement but here are some of the benefits and features I can testify to.
– Because it is in juice form the body is easily able to absorb the nutrients. The majority of chemically produced vitamins cannot be absorbed by our bodies and are therefore eliminated into the toilet.
– The product offers unique and powerful plant antioxidants and helps to alkalinise the body therefore balancing hormones and increasing energy whilst building ones immune system.
– I feel way more energetic on BarleyLife. When I don’t take it, my body craves it!
It is definitely an acquired taste. I vomitted the first time I tried it but I pressed through and now I love it.

2. Kombucha (aka Scoby juice according to Mila)
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I grow my own Kombucha. It Aids Digestion and Gut Health. Because it’s naturally fermented with a living colony of bacteria and yeast, Kombucha is a probiotic beverage. This has a myriad of benefits such as improved digestion, fighting candida (harmful yeast) overgrowth, mental clarity, and mood stability.

3. “Perfect Health” the Natural Way by Mary-Ann Shearer http://www.naturalway.co.za

Healthy Kids The Natural Way by Mary-Ann Shearer
Healthy Kids The Natural Way by Mary-Ann Shearer

Mary-Ann Shearer has written a couple of books pertaining to ” Perfect Health, The Natural Way”. What has now become trend, she has been speaking about for almost 30 years. I truly believe that her research is sound and that her guidance is wise. My view on health and wellness was transformed after reading “Perfect Health The Natural Way”. “Healthy Kids” sheds incredible light on issues such as allergies, constant ear infections, tonsillitis and a host of other problems accepted as “normal” childhood ailments.

4. Natures Choice Apple Cider Vinegar http://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za

Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar

There are a myriad of benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar which I will touch on in the future. I have a teaspoon in a glass of water about three times a day. The enzymes found in the vinegar have been proven to have weight loss benefits, lower blood sugar levels, kill bacteria and infections, detoxify the body.

5. Lindt- any https://www.facebook.com/LindtChocolateSA

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Here’s where being real comes in.
Let’s be honest, who could live without chocolate every now and again… especially Lindt.
Soon I will post some amazing raw chocolate recipe’s from my friend Cath.