I don’t want to call this a shake review because this is not really a shake, but you can add it into shakes if you want. 😉 I love Amazing Grass products and this is no exception. This is pure 100% organic, whole leaf wheat grass powder. One serving of this equals 5-6 serving of veggies and fruits, but I would never use this to replace your veggie servings. Do. Not. Do. That!
If you have ever tried to juice wheat grass, it is a bit of a pain the the behind, you need a special juicer that can slowly extract the juice and clean up can be tough. While drinking freshly juiced grass is preferable, this is a great alternative.
Here are the product highlights from the Amazing Grass website.
- Increases & sustains energy naturally
- Detoxifies and cleanses your body
- High alkalinity helps balance acidic pH levels
- Strengthens immune system
- Complete food with enzymes & all essential amino acids
- Natural source of antioxidants to help repair damaged cells
- Field grown outdoors through winter
- Vegan, Gluten Free and RawPer
8 gram serving, Amazing Grass Wheat Grass offers:
- A naturally balanced source of Phytonutrients & Carotenoids
- 2x more dietary fiber than an 8 gram serving of oat bran
- 2x more iron than a 30 gram serving of fresh spinach
- Excellent source of folic acid, beta carotene & vitamin C
I like to add it to a glass of low sugar lemonade or Yamamotoyama iced green tea. You can also freeze it in ice cube trays and add to smoothies or for parties (which you will get plenty of questions about. lol). I can’t say enough good things about this product. A 30 serving canister runs around $25.00.
Here are some great recipes using Wheat Grass powder:
I love when my mom makes this soup. This is comfort food at it’s best and very easy to make. Mom uses cornish game hen and whatever vegetables she has in the refrigerator. Here was today’s version:
Chicken Veggie Soup
- 4-5 cups of water
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 cornish game hen, gizzards removed and cut in several pieces
- 4 zucchini, cut into spears
- 2 chayote squash, skin removed and cut into chunks
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 2 pieces malanga root (similar to taro root), cut into chunks
- 1 piece yucca root, cut into chunks
- 1/2 head of cabbage, sliced
- 1 can of soy beans
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- salt to taste
- fresh oregano
- lemon wedges
In a stockpot over medium-high, heat olive oil and add the hen, brown on all sides. Once chicken is browned, add 4 cups of water to stock pot over medium heat. Season with salt, apple cider vinegar and tomato sauce. Add root vegetables and carrots. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. Lower temp to low heat, add zucchini, chayote, soy beans and cabbage and let it simmer for an additional 15 minutes (or until you feel chicken and veggies are cooked to your liking).
Add fresh oregano and squeeze fresh lemon juice once you serve. (don’t skimp on the fresh oregano it really adds great flavor)
I’m currently having a bit of an IBS flare :(, I believe it’s just a hormonal shift that normally occurs during the month. I have to take all my medication and probiotic supplements religiously. As you know, this can get pricey. I currently alternate between two supplements, but I’m going to narrow it down to one. Right now, I’m taking Renew Life Ultimate Flora Critical Care & Align Probiotic. The Ultimate Flora supplement I have been taking for a while and I feel that it helps quite a bit. The problem is that it’s around $55 for a 60 day supply. The Align was recommended to me by two gastroenterologists. I bought it when I was in extreme distress last year and it seemed to be effective when alternating it with the Ultimate Flora, but I digress.
With all that said, I was thinking about what people eat when they couldn’t rely on supplements. Surely, this wasn’t a big problem in the past. Our bodies most likely made to function optimally when consuming food with a certain amount of spoilage. However, in modern times, we know we tend to eat less spoiled and fermented items. 🙂 So while less people are dying from food poisoning and parasites, more people are getting digestive issues due to lack of good bacteria in their guts. Now we are trying to reintroduce this bacteria in capsule or powdered form.
What about natural methods of eating probiotic foods? I’m all about convenience and cutting costs,this way I can be less reliant on supplements and still get the same benefit. The good thing (for me) is that most probiotic foods are among my favorite foods. The downside, is that you have to make the foods yourself to *truly* get the best benefit.
Here is a list of great probiotic foods
- Yogurt – Of course. Most doctors recommend yogurt if you need more good bacteria in your system. If you choose to by store-bought yogurt, make sure it has live cultures – Stoneyfield has the most. If you want to try to make your own yogurt, there is a great tutorial here
- Sauerkraut – I could eat a whole jar of kraut. I love it, but again, stay away from the store-bought variety that has been pasteurized and either make your kraut yourself or buy from the deli. I know people that have had success making sauerkraut using a Perfect Pickler. Alton Brown has a good recipe for homemade kraut.
- Kimchi – very similar to sauerkraut, but with added spices and ingredients, like carrots, ginger, peppers, etc… Again, don’t buy the pasteurized shop. If you are lucky enough to live near a Korean grocery, buy it fresh there. Great Kimchi recipe here.
- Miso paste/soup – buy the unpasteurized miso paste. It tastes better and is better for you. Don’t buy instant. I happen to live near a Mitsuwa Markeplace (Japanese Grocery) and I get the Miko brand from there. I like Shiro miso the best. You can dilute miso in hot water for soup, use it in salad dressing, marinade, the possibilities are endless.
- Tempeh – Fermented soybeans. I’ll admit to not eaint this very often, only at Indonesian restaurants, but I’m going to change that. Tempeh has a smoky flavor similar to a mushroom. If anyone has any good tempeh recipes please let me know. 🙂
- Kefir – This is what I’ll give my son in smoothie form. It is made by adding kefir grains to milk and letting it ferment for about 24 hours. I think it’s great with enzyme-rich fruits, like pineapple.
In my opinion, it’s best to combine probiotic foods with prebiotic foods. Essentially, prebiotics are the main source of food for your gut flora. This is what will keep them happy and healthy, allowing them to multiply and raise beautiful families. Combinations such as yogurt & honey, miso with edamame on the side are excellent choices.
Here are a couple of great articles on probiotic foods:
Top Probiotic Foods You Are Not Eating – The Conscious Life
WebMd -Top Foods for Probiotics
The latest protein shake I decided to try was Jay Robb egg white protein. I’ve heard great reviews on the whey supplement, but I’m trying to limit dairy and would rather not give up my yogurt ration, so I gave Jay Robb’s egg white protein a try.
One scoop contains 120 calories and 24 grams of protein and various amino acids. Jay Robb is purely a protein supplement, so you aren’t going to find added vitamins and minerals here.
It is easily mixed with water in a blender bottle, and has a great chocolate taste. The dowside, for me, is that Jay Robb contains stevia, so the great chocolatey flavor was followed by this sickeningly sweet chemically taste. This was the final time I was giving a stevia product a chance. No more stevia for me, I just can’t take it.
That said, I think that Jay Robb makes a GREAT post workout supplement, if you can handle the taste of stevia.
PBJFF stands for Peanut Butter, Jelly, Fruit & Flax. My son loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and this adds an easy nutrition boost. Just add ground flax to the peanut butter (you can mix it up if your child is super picky) and finely slice up the fruit of your choice ( I used fresh strawberries here). Lightly spread jelly on your bread (I use Whole Foods 360 brand fruit spread and Limpa brad from a local baker) and add sliced fruit. Add peanut butter/flax mixture to other slice of bread. Slap the two pieces together and eat it up.
I ate a little bit bad last night. I admit it. I had a piece of lasagna, some ice cream and about 3 glasses of wine. It was NYE and I couldn’t say no to bad for me eats. This morning I was determined to make my first meal of 2012 healthy. I love Isreali style breakfasts and I had enough veggies in the fridge to make it work. 😉
A classic Israeli breakfast usually contains a salad of finely chopped fresh vegetables, scrambled or fried eggs, a soft cheese or yogurt and fresh bread. I was too groggy this morning to finely chop most of the vegetable aside from the cucumber, but here you have it my “California-style” version:
- pickled tomato
- slices of avocado
- grape tomatoes
- chopped cucumber
- baby carrots
- sugar snap peas
- Wasa crispbread
- 2 fried eggs
- Greek yogurt mixed with garlic.
Very filling and very good for you!
What do I do when I don’t have the time or motivation to make myself breakfast? Sometimes I’ll make a protein shake, but when I feel like eating, I’ll turn to a few trusty items in my pantry and fridge:
- 1 small container Greek yogurt – Greek yogurt is a type of yogurt that has been strained, giving it a firmer consistency. It is also higher in protein and lower in carbohydrate than non-strained “traditional” yogurt. The brands I like are Fage or Chobani 2%. I really tend to limit my dairy intake, but Greek yogurt does not give me any digestive issues. You can also use coconut yogurt if you prefer.
- Ground Flaxseed – High in fiber and Omega-3. The taste reminds me of ground almonds. Very inexpensive to buy as well. I can find a container at the local Ethnic grocery store for about $2.50. This Spectrum package was $4.00 and will last me a very long time.
- Honey – Normally I’ll buy from a local beekeeper that sells at my neighborhood farmer’s market, but I didn’t get a chance to get to the FM over the holidays. Miller’s is a good brand though and local to me. I bought this at a nearby health foods store.
- Fruit – Use whatever fruit you want. I had raspberries on hand. Bananas are great in this, especially with a little bit of PB2 powdered peanut butter mixed in.