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Better-for-you dairy and grain products

March 6th, 2018 | no comments

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In Universal Truth #6: Some foods are questionable, I discussed a few foods that spark debate in the health industry, specifically dairy, gluten, and alcohol.

If you’re like me and aren’t willing to give up your favorite cheese– assuming you aren’t allergic or sensitive to dairy or gluten–you will benefit from the next guideline:

Nourish Guideline #7: If you choose to eat grains or dairy, select upgraded versions and mind your portions.

Upgraded dairy products include:

  • Full-fat unsweetened yogurt and kefir
  • Pasture-raised, hormone-free, full-fat milk (choose organic when possible)
  • Full-fat fresh, unprocessed cheeses (click HERE for a full list)
  • Grass fed butter and grass fed ghee
  • Cream

Be smart when it comes to portion sizes and frequency of upgraded dairy. A couple of ounces of yogurt, kefir and milk, one ounce of cheese, a couple of teaspoons of butter or ghee, and a tablespoon of cream are all reasonable portions.

Here’s how I personally enjoy some of these upgraded dairy products (this is all in one day):

  • A teaspoon or two of grass fed butter for cooking my morning omelet.
  • Two ounces of full-fat, plain kefir added to my smoothie.
  • A sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan or asiago cheese on my salad.

Upgraded grains include:

Whole, minimally processed, non-GMO grains:

  • Quinoa (which is technically a seed)
  • Steel-cut oats
  • Wild rice
  • 100% sprouted, minimally processed grain products, such as Ezekiel bread.

On any given day, I might enjoy a half cup of cooked Protein-Packed Steel Cut Oatmeal mixed with nuts and berries and a spoonful or two of wild rice or quinoa with dinner.

What does it mean when something is sprouted?

Sprouting involves soaking grains, seeds, beans, legumes or nuts in water until a sprout forms. After it is sprouted, it can be dehydrated and ground into flour, which is then used to make sprouted breads, crackers and corn chips! Studies show that sprouted grains become easier to digest and breakdown for those with diabetes because of changes in the amount of enzymes available, which is needed to properly digest glucose.

Some healthier alternatives to traditional grain-based foods like wheat pasta, white rice, bread, and crackers include the following:

Regarding frequency and portion sizes of the above grains–because certain individuals can eat grains with minimal effect on their blood sugar, while others can only enjoy them once in awhile– I recommend limiting your portions to one or two spoonfuls once a day or less. You will be far better off loading your plate with nutrient-rich, low-glycemic Earthfoods instead.

 

Mel’s weekly food pick:
Wallaby Plain Organic Whole Milk Kefir

Did you know that your gut is home to approximately 100 trillion bacterial microorganisms? This community of bacteria is known as your microbiome.

The quality of bacteria making up your microbiome governs practically everything about you, including your:

  • Body weight
  • Blood sugar
  • Quality of sleep
  • Brain health
  • Immune system
  • Digestive system
  • Mood
  • Food cravings

Probiotic-rich foods and beverages—such as fermented vegetables and kombucha (a fermented tea beverage)—contain “good” bacteria that when consumed, can crowd out the “bad” bacteria in your gut and improve your overall health.

One of my favorite probiotic-rich foods is a fermented milk beverage called kefir. I am particularly fond of Wallaby Plain Organic Whole Milk Kefir, because is contains no added sugar and is rich in fat…which helps prevent spikes in your blood sugar. Be careful, because many fruit-flavored kefir beverages contain added sugar and upwards of 25 grams of sugar per serving. I would much rather you purchase plain kefir and add it to smoothies, or use it as a milk replacement in salad dressings, oatmeal, and pancakes. 

Check out my Gut-Loving Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie recipe below!   

 

Mel’s weekly recipe pick:
Gut-Loving Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Who doesn’t love a good smoothie? My Gut-Loving Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie uses no added sugar (honestly, it doesn’t need it!) and is a rich source of probiotics, which are good bacteria that offer numerous health benefits.

When it comes to strains of bacteria, more is better because different strains support different functions in your body. For example Lactobacillus acidophilus
supports digestion, absorption, and immune health, while Lactobacillus rhamnosus can help with vaginal and urinary health.

Kefir contains a whopping twelve strains of live and active cultures, compared to only three strains in your standard yogurt.

Print Recipe
Gut-Loving Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
This smoothie is a super easy way to sneak some probiotics into your—and your unsuspecting family's—diet. If you like your smoothies a bit on the thicker side, simply reduce the amount of nut milk. You can easily make this up ahead of time and store in the refrigerator for a quick breakfast. 5 Earthfoods per serving: ♥♥♥♥♥
Servings
serving
Ingredients
  • 4 oz. kefir Wallaby Plain Organic Whole Milk Kefir
  • 4 oz. Unsweetened nut milk almond, coconut, macadamia, or cashew milk
  • 1 tbsp. milled flaxseed
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ground peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 medium banana, ripe frozen makes for a creamier smoothie!
Servings
serving
Ingredients
  • 4 oz. kefir Wallaby Plain Organic Whole Milk Kefir
  • 4 oz. Unsweetened nut milk almond, coconut, macadamia, or cashew milk
  • 1 tbsp. milled flaxseed
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ground peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp. raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 medium banana, ripe frozen makes for a creamier smoothie!
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts: Calories: 325Total Fat: 17 g; Saturated Fat: 5 g; Sodium: 210 mg; Potassium: 325 mg; Total Carbohydrate: 30 g; Dietary fiber: 7 g; Net Carbohydrates: 23 grams; Sugar: 12 g (no added sugar); Protein: 12 g

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