Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Art of Sprouting

It has been a long time since I have posted, and I hope you are all well and happy. I decided that I needed to post again thanks to some friends we had over for brunch today. They came over especially because we had had discussions before about foods that helped improve what they felt was a diet struggling to make them feel really healthy, clean and conscientious of their overall well being. Of course that motivated me to try to share with them all that I know, in 30 minutes. IMPOSSIBLE! But I realized that with all I have experienced since living in New York City, I cannot keep quite about this nutritional beauty any longer.

There is so much to share with you about the art of sprouting that I can only graze the surface right now. The rest is up to you to discover, enjoy and experience for yourself. Here is a link to some information about the science and nutrition behind sprouting. The essence behind this understanding is that it gives you a good understanding of why sprouting might be beneficial to you. I'll give you a couple of reasons here, just for fun:
Soaking and sprouting your grains and legumes releases the Phytic Acid- enzyme prevents the absorption of many of the nutrients found in the food, into your body. When this enzyme is released, the amounts of protein and fiber increase, and the amount of life-building enzymes increase as the sprouts grow. Just like the small sprout of a new seed lives and grows to potentially become a full, complete creation, so do your sprouts also contain all of those beneficial vitamins, minerals, and  the LIFE of that plant- in that tiny little seed. One of my favorite sites: The Nourished Kitchen, can provide you with more answers if you have questions.

So, now that you know what you know, why not try? Get a glass jar or container, and measure 1 cup of your favorite beans. Note: Lentils and Mung Beans sprout the fastest (quinoa is a quick sprouter too, if you have some of that on hand instead!). Pour your measured grain or bean into your glass container. Completely immerse in warm water, with 1Tbsp. of apple cider vinegar (or fresh whey, or kefir- that's another post for another day) and leave to soak overnight (or 12 hours. Whatever comes first). Drain, cover with something that allows the air to circulate but keeps out the flies, and let it sit for about 8 hours. Rinse and drain again. Depending on what you're sprouting, you may already begin to see sprouts after this cycle. If not, let sit for another day. Rinse and drain again, until you begin to see sprouts. Now cook them. The required cooking time is also significantly shorter. Eat them. Enjoy them. They are living. And they are wonderful, tasty, and incredibly good for you. Honor yourself by doing something good for yourself. And for your family. You deserve to have what you are willing to work for.
It's so easy, I promise even your dog can do it- if you have a dog.:-)
Happy Sprouting!
If you have questions, concerns, or comments, speak your mind! I would love to hear from you!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Relief from Tummy Aches

Beginning yesterday, Grace was complaining of a stomach ache that has progressed into unbearable pain today. All this prompted some research- some which I thought was really interesting, and can be helpful for children AND adults; so I thought I would share it with you.

A stomachache can be caused from a number of things, two of the most common being gas, and constipation. There are also many essential and helpful bacteria living in our bodies. However, consuming too much meat (especially undercooked meat), and chemically engineered and processed foods, this bacteria no longer thrives and gives room to other bacteria, more harmful and debilitating than we realize. This bacteria can often include worms, including roundworms and tapeworms. These worms cannot live outside our body, so it is vital that we always keep our bodies clean on the inside as well as the outside! It really is quite simple to do this, but sometimes may take an honest and sometimes painful look at our diet to see if there is a need for change. Eating fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains and limiting our sugar intake is the best, natural way to flush these harmful substances from our bodies, as well as adding exercise to our daily regimen. Yoga is comprised of poses (called asanas) and movements that help not only relieve our muscles of Lactic Acid buildup, but also helps to move these harmful toxins through our bodies. One stretch that I often do is performed by sitting on the floor with your legs crossed. Begin by moving your right foot to the outside of your left leg. Twist your torso to the right, allowing your left arm at the elbow to rest against your right knee as you breathe deeper and deeper into the twist. The best way to describe how I feel while doing this is like a wet towel being wrung out. And literally, this twist helps to wring out the toxins from your body- so drink a glass of water afterwards to flush them out!
Speaking of drinks... here is one that I found on sparkpeople, but also has information regarding this recipe and the background of it.

Homemade Lemonade is a great detox drink for adults and children alike. Recipe is as follows:
2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
1 T. Grade A or B Real Maple Syrup
1/10 t. cayenne pepper (I left this out for Grace's sake!)

The result is a tasty, refreshing drink that helps flush a buildup of toxins from your body. The Lemon juice acts as a purifier and provides some vitamins including potassium. The maple syrup adds the natural sugars for digestion, and the pepper adds minerals as well as speeds up your metabolism. It's great!

Other options include gentle laxatives including 1tsp. sea salt to 30 oz. warm water (add a splash of lemon juice to make it bearable), oils such as castor oil, psyllium husks, or other over-the-counter products. Prune juice is also effective (just ask Grace!) :-)
She is now a happier, more active girl today! Hooray!


One Step at a Time

"That which we persist in doing becomes easier. Not that the nature of the thing has changed, but the power to do has increased." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson