Raw Lemon Almond Macaroon recipe

GSGLife Instructor Amy Erickson in Provo, Utah says her friends and co-workers are raving about this yummy macaroon recipe! Enjoy!

raw lemon almond macaroon pict.Raw Lemon Almond Macaroons

4 3/4 cups shredded unsweetened coconut

2 cups almond flour

1/2 cup cold pressed, organic coconut oil

1/2 cup sliced almonds

3/4 cup raw, light agave

1/2 cup 100% pure maple syrup

1 tsp salt

2 Tbsp vanilla

1 Lemon, zested, and the juice of 1/2 the lemon

Combine coconut oil, agave, maple syrup, vanilla and salt. Add in almond flour, coconut and almonds. I like to crush the almonds a little in my hand as I add them, to create smaller pieces.  Zest lemon over the top and squeeze the juice of half the lemon over the mixture. Stir to combine, it will be loose but should hold together. Use a small cookie scoop to scoop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Refrigerate to set for 30 mins. These are best after a few hours when the flavors have had enough time to blend together.

delicious lemonAmy Erickson

Provo, UT

MyGSGLife.com/amyeerickson

 

Here’s your first healthy TREAT recipe, fabulous No-Bake Bites!

no bake energy bitesNO BAKE ENERGY BITES

By Heidi F. in Ohio, whose kids love these delicious little no-bake energy bites. They are the perfect healthy snack, and they take only 10 minutes to make!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup (dry) Gluten Free quick cooking oats
  • 1/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup any natural nut butter
  • 1/4 cup GSG Tri-Omega (sprouted broccoli / chia / flaxseed) (get some from myGSGLife.com/GSGHeidi)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips or cacao nibs (optional), or raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Product PhotoDIRECTIONS:

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
  2. Once chilled, roll into balls of 1″ in diameter. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
  3. Makes about 20-25 balls.

 

Robyn’s answer to a famous doctor’s anti-green-smoothie claim

green smoothiestraw berries (1)Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn of the Cleveland Clinic is a hero of mine. Former President Bill Clinton cites Dr. Esselstyn, a proponent of a plant-based diet as a solution to cardiac problems, as one of his inspirations to go vegetarian. As you know, President Clinton was triple-bypass survivor who gave up fried foods and hamburgers to “never eat anything with a mother.”

Although I don’t specifically advocate for vegetarianism, I’m supportive of Dr. Esselstyn’s plant-based diet, and none of my recipes in my own 14 books have meat in them. It’s not that I don’t think you can be very healthy eating an entirely plant-based diet. I also think you can be healthy eating reasonable amounts of organic, free range, or wild caught animal flesh. The reason my recipes don’t have animals in them is that you already know how to eat meat—I don’t need to provide you those recipes, because you already have them. We have no lack of knowledge about how to prepare meat, in our culture. My goal is to help you eat more plants—easily, inexpensively, and deliciously.

Dr. Esselstyn argues that green smoothies should be avoided, because their fiber is pureed, destroying helpful properties.

In my research published in The Green Smoothies Diet, one of the top 3 health benefits my 175 participants reported, is improved digestion. We defined that as soft, formed stool, and increased throughput. I cannot find any evidence that fiber is “destroyed” just because we blend it. With all due respect to Dr. Esselstyn—he and I are on the same team, teaching people whole plant foods!—green smoothies are a fantastic way, in a fast-food world, to massively increase consumption of greens, and plant foods in general. I’ve found that while most people won’t sit and plod their way through a plate of kale, chard, and collard greens, they will almost always drink a green smoothie.

Esselstyn also says that fructose in the fruit contributes to inflammation and hypertension.

green-smoothies-diet-book-720x720On the contrary, lots of evidence, including numbers from many GSG Detox participants (we’ve had several thousand since August, 2013) are that inflammation and hypertension often decrease by eating high-fiber, raw plant foods, rather than the many animal foods and processed foods dominating the Standard American Diet.

I just read all of the questionnaires from the past month of people completing the Detox, and one included a participant’s blood pressure dropping into beautiful normal numbers and his cardiologist taking him off meds, after only a week on the Detox. He remains in the low-normal range after completing the program. (While this is an interesting story, it is not intended as advice, so please seek competent medical advice for your own health concerns. Getting off meds should be supervised by a doctor.)

Victoria Boutenko’s research published in Green for Life, with 30 people who started drinking a quart of green smoothie daily, showed that blood pressure decreased and inflammation did, too. Perhaps Dr. Esselstyn’s claim is related to eating concentrated fructose and other sugars (like in corn syrup and agave), rather than the whole fruit, with fiber and micro-nutrients, accompanied by lots of greens in the smoothies I teach.

I calculated how much fiber is in a quart of green smoothie, and it’s about 12 grams. That’s more than the average American eats in a whole day!

Of course, if you make a fruit smoothie with a handful of greens thrown in, that’s not what I call a green smoothie. I agree with Dr. Esselstyn that fruits should be minimized. I don’t agree that fruits need to be eliminated (perhaps except for some Type 1 diabetics or very rare conditions).

I like my smoothies to be REALLY GREEN. I’m not drinking them for entertainment, after all—I’m drinking them for the health benefits. I also love to put a scoop of GreenSmoothieGirl protein, and also our TriOmega (it’s back!)–sprouted broccoli, chia, and flax seed, for their high essential fatty acid content.

shutterstock_216030343Lots of folks have major jaw and dental problems in North America and Europe, after several generations of eating so much processed food. (Prehistoric man had a wide, strong palate and teeth that could grind up nuts, greens, berries, and meat easily.) With these challenges, a pre-masticated green smoothie may be just the ticket. I love Dr. Esselstyn’s work, but I stand by my premise:

A quart of green smoothie a day increases micro-nutrients in the diet by 700% compared to the average American. And that’s almost categorically a good thing.

See my YouTube video HERE for more about the Great Green Smoothie Debate.

I recommend you stock up on raw almonds!

cali droughtThe California drought may have long-term effects. This story is interesting, about the effect on groundwater of several years of drought. This year’s almond crop was actually quite high-yield, but some experts say that almond supply could drop sharply starting next year, and of course prices will soar. I keep mine in the freezer in gallon Ziploc bags. I recommend you stock up in this year’s group buy.

I am not certain if we will do a group buy after 2014, as we are folding most of our business activities into GSGLife.com beginning Jan. 1. But for sure if we do continue the group buy, it will NOT have GSG products in it. Here’s this year’s group buy, with lots of unprocessed, nutrient-dense whole foods kitchen staples!gsgalmonds

We started the group buy because it’s so hard to find unpasteurized almonds anywhere. We get them directly from the grower, and because we are just facilitating your purchase through them, and California law allows 100# per day to any given person, we are able to help you avoid having to eat heat-treated almonds. That’s what they sell in the store as “raw,” but in fact they have been heated well above the temperature that kills enzymes.

We’re taking orders only through Oct. 25, so check it out HERE, and organize your neighborhood to stock up!

Science compared every diet. The winner? Real food!

shutterstock_194081942Dr. David Katz and Dr. Stephanie Meller, at Yale University, completed a survey of the published research on diet over the past decade. The primary finding, surveying thousands of studies?

“A diet of minimally processed foods close to nature, predominantly plants, is decisively associated with health promotion and disease prevention.”

Score one for my mission. This is what we teach. Eat plants, unprocessed ones!

The study compared low carb, low-fat, low glycemic, Mediterranean, mixed/balanced (DASH), Paleolithic, vegan, and many other diets.

Fewer cancers and less heart disease are documented in thousands of published studies. The most effective diets included not just fruits and vegetables, but whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Some other interesting findings:

Katz and Meller found “no decisive evidence” that low-fat diets are better than diets high in healthful fats, like the Mediterranean! Those fats include a lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids than the typical American diet.

shutterstock_212666641Finally, about the very popular fad, the “Paleo Diet”, Katz and Meller wrote:

“If Paleolithic eating is loosely interpreted to mean a diet based mostly on meat, no meaningful interpretation of health effects is possible.” They note that the composition of most meat in today’s food supply is not similar to that of mammoth meat, and that most plants available during the Stone Age are today extinct. [In other words, GSG interpretation, it’s not even possible to “follow” the diet Paleolithic man ate!]

Dr. Katz says, of the “dieting” landscape in the popular media:

shutterstock_136284278“It’s not just linguistic…I really at times feel like crying, when I think about that we’re paying for ignorance with human lives. At times, I hate the people with alphabet soup after their names who are promising the moon and the stars with certainty. I hate knowing that the next person is already rubbing his or her hands together with the next fad to make it on the bestseller list.”

Another GSG teaching confirmed by the Yale study:

Exaggerated emphasis on a single nutrient or food is inadvisable. The result, Katz and Meller write, is constant confusion and doubt. My conclusion, instead, is to just eat a wide variety of whole, colorful, unprocessed plant foods. Greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

Are you a “stress eater?” Here’s what I do about it!

stress eatingHave you noticed that most people line up in two camps, when they’re under heavy stress: the people who don’t eat enough, and the people who overeat?

Nikki, our operations manager, asked me recently to write on stress eating. She’s in the hot-seat in a major new venture we’re working on, and both she and I have been under considerable stress.

So I agreed—it’s an important topic.

I probably can handle more stressors than the average person and seem to thrive in a space of 95-99% capacity and a significant amount of pressure. But there’s always a “too much,” and I’m pretty sure every human being on the planet has gotten into that “red zone.” When I reach that threshold, with stress, where I tip over into “I’m not happy, and I’m not coping well,” my reaction is to NOT eat much.

The reason is, I’m not enjoying the food anyway, since my stomach is tied in knots! So I eat functionally. In these periods of my life, I eat the healthiest. The only food I eat is just to meet caloric needs, so it’s vegetable juices and green smoothies and the like. I usually drop several pounds below my normal weight.

(In periods of my life when I was overweight, it was because I was bored and NOT stressed! A mixed blessing.)

You may be very different than this. I’d love to know what you do, to check yourself, from eating bad foods just because you’re stressed out?

The most helpful thing I’ve come across is a book on “mindful eating” I read many years ago. I think it was called Intuitive Eating. And I didn’t finish it, because it was one of the those books where, 50 pages in, I was like, “Yeah, I got it. I don’t need to read the whole book.”

But the authors taught a method of checking in with yourself. Getting very purposeful about eating. In other words, stopping every few bites to ask yourself a few questions:

“Am I hungry?”

“Do I really want this?”

“Why am I eating right now?” If the answer is not “because I’m hungry,” then ask yourself, “Am I feeling emotional right now and eating to make those feelings go away? If so, is there something else I could be doing to help myself out of this situation?”

It’s important to always stay “in choice,” giving yourself permission to eat whatever you want. That way, when you opt out, you can do it with your chin up:

“I can if I want to, but I choose not to!”

Then it feels like living a purposeful life, rather than denying yourself. Repeatedly denying oneself generally leads to binging later, creating a cycle of sabotage.

Then, if you’re not sure if you are hungry and REALLY want more, wait five minutes to see if you have another serving, or whether you choose the dessert.

Almost every time I require myself to wait five minutes, at the end of it, I don’t even want the dessert, or to eat more of the food.

The book reminded us to plug into the fact that satiety, or the feeling of being “satisfied,” comes 5 or 10 minutes after you stop eating. So, let it catch up. Stop eating sooner, and check in with yourself. If you wait, giving yourself permission to have more in 5 minutes if you still want to, you’ll end up eating less.

Now these ideas aren’t mine, nor are they about choosing whole foods, which is my biggest agenda. (The authors’ premise is, there are no bad foods, but you have to eat them only minimally. I disagree with that, of course. I think living in the “real world,” we all eat things that aren’t good for us, to a greater or lesser extent, but there are certainly bad foods!)

Until reading that book, I was not very mindful about my eating. Now I stop and check myself more regularly. I also try to not eat anything while working at my computer, unless it’s something super-healthy like my quart of green smoothie. If I eat at my computer, I’ll overeat, being consumed in the email I’m writing or topic I’m researching! Suddenly I’ll notice I ate twice as much as I intended to! (I learned this one the hard way.)

The “mindful eating” principles are good, and they’ve helped me significantly. Consequently, my weight is in check and my health is better.