What Kind Of Milk Do You Put In Your Daily Coffee?

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Many coffee shops have started carrying alternatives to Cow’s milk. Until recently, Soy Milk was the the only alternative to milk that was offered. Now, you might find options like Almond Milk or Coconut Milk. (How exciting!) You might be curious as to why you would switch over to a milk-alternative if you are not lactose intolerant. Well, I am here to give you 2 nutritional reasons why you might consider making the switch.

1. Most coffee shops do not carry Organic Milk. You may know my recommendations already, however, if you haven’t heard me say this before… “If there is one thing that you should choose to buy Organic, it should be animal products.” Unfortunately, in this country, most of the cows are treated with antibiotics and hormones. That means that consuming non-organic dairy on a daily basis exposes you to high levels of hormones which in turn disrupts your natural hormone levels. By the way, you do not have to be a female to experience changes in your hormones! Shifts in our food system are playing a big role in the increased infertility levels, estrogen dominance in both males and females, and fluctuations in testosterone levels.

2. Dairy is one of the top 7 food sensitivities. That means that dairy can still be negatively affecting your health even if you are no “allergic” to it. If you are “sensitive” to dairy, you may experience symptoms such as gas, bloating, mucus (flem, snot, congestion), itchy throat, eczema or other skin conditions.

Now you might ask, what dairy-alternatives do I recommend?

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I suggest choosing unsweetened Almond Milk and unsweetened Coconut Milk. (Hemp Milk and Rice Milk and Cashew Milk are also good options but they are not offered at coffee shops..yet) If you are getting them at a coffee shop, they may only have the sweetened version. In that case, you may want to consider adding less sweetener or no sweetener at all.

I also recommend steering clear of Soy Milk. Soy is one of the most commonly genetically-modified crops, so it is best to choose organic soy or soy that is marked “non-GMO” when you can. Most coffee shops do not offer organic or non-GMO soy milk. Similar to Cow’s milk, Soy can enhance estrogen levels in the body. Soy is also on the top 7 Most Common Food Sensitivities list.

When you first switch over to a dairy-alternative, it is clearly not going to taste exactly the same as the milk that you have been drinking for years. However, if you give it a chance for at least 1 week, you will begin to adjust to the new flavor. I can speak from personal experience, it does not taste “bad,” it just tastes “different” at first.

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A Simple Tip For Better Digestion

“Between 30-40 percent of us complain about digestive issues, accounting for 104.7 million doctor visits a year. In 2004, about 69% of all doctors visits were for digestive issues and in 2007, 4 of the top 20 drugs were for GI issues. Further more, in 2008, Nexium and Prilosec, both used for heartburn, were the third and fourth best selling drugs in the U.S.” – Digestive Wellness by Elizabeth  Lipski

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So often we are eating at our desks or on-the-go that we don’t take time to recognize how we are eating. We eat so quickly, barely chewing our food, let alone taking a breath and then we wash it down with some liquid. This method of eating creates a very difficult task for the digestive system.

Chewing your food is an essential part of the digestive process that should not be left out.  How you eat is just as important, if not more important, than what you eat.

So the next time that you sit down to eat, take a deep breath and think about chewing your food.   Experiment with chewing between 15-20 times before you swallow and attempt to cut back on the amount of liquid consumed during mealtimes.

Soaking Nuts, Grains and Legumes

Soaking your nuts, grains and legumes is not a common practice in modern day cooking. It is a practice that I would like to share with more people because there are many health benefits and it is really easy to do. The purpose of soaking nuts, grains and legumes is to make the nutrients more bio-available. By using this cooking technique you are granting your body access to important nutrients that it would not receive if you were to skip this step. Nuts, grains and legumes have a coating on them that protect them in nature. This coating is often bitter (specifically on quinoa).

Many people have a hard time digesting nuts, grains and legumes. Soaking nuts can be seen as a “pre-digestion” or break-down phase, making it easier for the body to digest and absorb nutrients.

What does this cooking practice entail?

Place 1 cup of nuts, grains or legumes in a bowl and cover them with cold filtered water. When they are done soaking, strain the water out, rinse them, and you are ready to start cooking.

How long should you soak you nuts, grains and legumes for?

8-12 hours EXCEPT cashews should only be soaked for 7 hours.

This may seem like a long time but all you have to do is put them in a bowl and leave them on the counter overnight or while you are at work.

If you forget to soak them over-night or during the day, soak them for as long as you can. Some soaking time is better than none.

Does this affect the cooking time?

Yes, cooking time is usually a little bit shorter and may require less liquid after soaking. Start with a 1/4 cup less liquid than the recipe calls for and add more if it is too dry.

Any other tips for easier-digestion of carbohydrates?

If you place a piece of “kombu” seaweed in the pot of beans while they are cooking, it removes the “gassy” effect that beans tend to have.

There is also a concept called food combining which recommends to eat your grains and your protein separately  aka not in the same meal. For example, one wouldn’t eat salmon with a side of quinoa or brown rice. It is worth a try to see if it helps with digestion.