GENIE APPROVED PRODUCTS
- Native Forest Coconut Milk
- JuicePlus (Whole food supplement)
- Cod Liver Oil
- Dandy Blend (Coffee substitute)
- Annmarie Gianni Aloe-Herb Facial Cleanser
- Amazing Grass GreenSuperfood
- Bio-Kult (Probiotic)
- Natural Deodorants (Celadon Road, Primal Life Organics)
- Ancient Grains (Jovial, Silver Hills Bakery)
1 Native Forest Coconut Milk
I love adding coconut milk to smoothies or using coconut milk in place of milk in some recipes (since I’m lactose intolerant). This brand has BPA-free cans for their coconut milk. BPA (Bisphenol-A) is an endocrine-disrupting hormone that you should avoid. For a list of other canned foods without BPA, click here.
I have been taking JuicePlus since 2006 and in my experience, they are the best supplements you can get for the price. I took them my whole pregnancy as they were recommended to me by a doctor and I've never stopped! Juice Plus is a totally natural, whole foods supplement (nothing synthetic) made from 17 organic fruits, vegetables and grains. Over 20 studies have been published in scientific journals showing the positive benefits. Even though I eat really healthy, it's even hard for me to eat the recommended 7-13 vegetables a day. So JuicePlus is a good way for me to ensure I am getting all the nutrients I need. By the way, I do not recommend that you take a multi-vitamin, as these are usually full of synthetic vitamins which can actually be harmful to your health.
They are now offering 4 years of the children’s vitamins FOR FREE, as long as a sponsoring adult is taking them. My daughter loves them! Contact me if you’re interested in getting more info.
3 Cod Liver Oil
This is the other supplement I take (in addition to JuicePlus) which I highly recommend. Cod liver oil is rich in vitamins A & D, and omega 3 fatty acids, EPA & DHA, all essential nutrients which are hard to obtain in sufficient quantities in our modern day diets. For more information on the health benefits of cod liver oil, read this article. Green Pastures Blue Ice is a wonderful product of very high quality which I have been taking for years. In my family, we take the fermented cod liver oil.
4 Dandy Blend
I gave up coffee for a variety of reasons, but I still love the taste of coffee. DandyBlend is the best coffee substitute I’ve tried. It taste just like coffee! And has tons of health benefits as well. Check out their website for more info: www.dandyblend.com
Stevia is an all-natural sweetener derived from the stevia plant in South America. It is extremely sweet and does not raise blood glucose which is what makes it such an attractive sweetener. You can buy it in powder or liquid form. I use it to sweeten my Dandy Blend (see above) coffee drink. The artificial sweetener, Splenda, is harmful to your beneficial gut bacteria and I recommend avoiding it.
This is the brand that I find at my local Whole Foods, but there are other ones out there that you can use. Just makes sure they don't have additives (FOS is ok as it's a pre-biotic).
6 Annmarie Gianni Aloe-Herb Facial Cleanser
Although it’s a little more expensive than what I usually buy, it’s totally worth the price. This cleanser is one of the few I’ve found that doesn’t dry out my face. Your skin is the largest organ of your body and it absorbs whatever you put on it, so I am very careful in choosing my skincare products. This one is pH balanced and free of harmful chemicals.
7 Amazing Grass GreenSuperfood
This raw powder has tons of antioxidants and includes nutritional powerhouses such as spirulina, wheat grass, chlorella, maca, mangosteen and acai. One serving has 15,000 ORAC value. ORAC values measure antioxidant capacity and this powder has a lot! I like the berry flavor and my daughter likes the orange dreamsicle flavor mixed into her milk. I gave this to my parents too since they tend to not have a lot of variety in the vegetables they consume.
8 Bio-Kult (Probiotic)
In our modern day diet, it's absolutely essential to supplement with a good probiotic. Probiotics are the good bacteria that live in our gut and make up over 70% of our immune system, help with digestion and even produce vitamins. Unfortunately most of the probiotics on store shelves have low potency and only a few strains of bacteria. I was pleased to hear that the probiotic product I have been using for years, Biokult, recently won the Best Supplement and Herbal brand in the 2014 Natural Pharmacy Business Awards.
Available on Amazon
9 Natural Deodorants
The active ingredient in antiperspirants is aluminum. While effective at blocking odor, aluminum is a known neurotoxin and has been linked with breast cancer and Alzheimer's. While occasional exposure may not be detrimental, antiperspirants may be problematic because we lather them on our armpits every single day, sometimes multiple times a day, for our entire life. I tried natural deodorants years ago and gave up because they didn't work at all. But now, about 10 years later, I'm happy to report that they have drastically improved and now there are so many more choices on the market.
My personal favorites are:
10 Ancient Grains
Whole grains can be a part of a healthy diet but they contain phytic acid (blocks absorption of minerals like iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium), and enzyme inhibitors (interfere with digestion). In order to neutralize these effects, all grains should be soaked or sprouted prior to consumption. Unfortunately, todays grains are not typically treated this way unless the packaging specifically says so. The other problem with grains is that the modern-day wheat plant has been modified so many times that it is now a completely different wheat than what it was originally. It has fewer nutrients and more chromosomes, which many experts believe has led to the increase in gluten-sensitivities.
I don't have time to properly prepare my grains at home so I'm happy that quality products are finally hitting the market shelves. These two products take care of both problems. They are sprouted or soaked and are made from ancient grains (einkorn and khorasan). And they taste really good!
As a side note, some people with gluten sensitivity, do fine when consuming soaked/sprouted ancient grains. In the end, they are sensitive to modern-day wheat, not gluten. This does not apply to those with Celiac disease.
- Roasted Curry Cauliflower
- Salad Dressing
- Homemade Chicken Stock
- Conrad's Chocolate Milk
- Coconut Whipped Cream
- Green Smoothie Magic
- Thai Chicken Salad with Peanuts and Lime
- Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream
- Chocolate Coconut Pudding
1 Roasted Curry Cauliflower
I was never a huge fan of cauliflower until I discovered the magic of roasting. When roasted, cauliflower develops a delicious taste that anyone will enjoy. Plus, it only takes a few minutes to prepare, something all of us can appreciate on busy weeknights.
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 Tb lemon or lime juice
- 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 2 Tb olive oil
- salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Chop cauliflower into florets, discarding the leaves and tough stem. The more surface area you have, the more roasting you will achieve. Place on baking sheet. Pour olive oil and lemon juice on florets. Sprinkle curry powder, salt and pepper. Mix with your hands so that all florets are coated. Place in oven for 45 minutes.
*If you use a toaster oven instead (for smaller portions), pre-heat to 350 degrees.
2 Salad Dressing
Investing 5 minutes of your time to make homemade salad dressing is one of the wisest health choices that you can make for yourself and your family. Store bought salad dressings are usually made with cheap canola or soy oil (neither of which I recommend as healthy oils) plus stabilizers, preservatives and other junk.
Here's my favorite basic salad dressing.
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
(lots of antioxidants)
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup vinegar, preferably raw
- ¼ cup raw honey
(tons of enzymes and minerals)
- ¼ cup mustard
- 1 tb flax seed oil
(omega 3 essential fatty acids)
Combine all ingredients except olive oil. Slowly add the olive oil in while stirring until the oil is well mixed
You can experiment with different vinegars such as apple cider vinegar, coconut vinegar, balsamic vinegar. Make a large batch and keep it in the fridge to use as needed.
3 Homemade Chicken Stock
Homemade Chicken Stock is vastly superior to the kind you can purchase in the grocery store, although in a pinch, by all means do use the store bought variety (the kind in a box- not the canned or bouillon cubes). Homemade stocks are high in minerals, contain nourishing gelatin, and are anti-microbial. And last but not least, homemade stock will make your food taste much better.
Making chicken broth at home is very simple and requires very little preparation. You can even make it in a crock pot and leave the house all day. This is the recipe I use from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.
- 1 whole free-range chicken or 2-3 lbs of bony chicken parts such as heads, backs, breastbones and wings
- gizzards from chicken (optional)
- feet from chicken (optional, but will give you a rich gelatin which is very health promoting)
- 4 quarts cold filtered water
- 2 Tb vinegar
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch parsley
If you are using a whole chicken, cut off the wings and remove the neck, fat glands and the gizzards from the cavity. Cut chicken into several pieces. Place chicken pieces in a large stock pot (or crock pot) with water, vinegar and all vegetables except for parsley. Let stand for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bring to a boil and remove scum that rises to the top*. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6-24 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be. About 10 minutes before finishing, add the parsley. This will impart additional minerals to the broth.
Remove chicken pieces with a slotted spoon. Let the chicken cool and then remove chicken meat from the carcass. Reserve for other uses, such as chicken salad, enchiladas, sandwiches or curries. Strain the stock into a large bowl and put into your fridge until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your fridge or freezer.
The stock will last for about one week in your fridge and for many months in your freezer. I like to freeze the stock in one cup containers (to make soups) and as ice cubes (to toss into almost everything I cook).
*If you use the crock pot, you can first boil the chicken in a stock pot, remove scum, then transfer to the crock pot. Or you can put it directly into the crock pot and leave it on for the longest amount of time your crock pot will cook (mine will cook for 10 hours) and forget about the skimming. Don't forget to add the parsley at the end.
4 Conrad's Chocolate Milk
I haven't had a cup of milk to drink in years due to my lactose intolerance. When I tasted this chocolate cashew smoothie, I was transported back to my childhood days of drinking chocolate milk. This smoothie is so creamy and yummy, you will never miss the real thing again!
- 1 C. cashews*
- 3 C. water
- 1 banana
- 3-4 dates
- 3 Tb raw cacoa nibs
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extractc
- dash of sea salt
- dash of ground cardamon (optional)
- dash of cinnamon (optional)
Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix or Blendtec) and blend. You can add more water for a thinner consistency.
*Cashews, like all nuts and seeds, have enzyme inhibitors which are irritating to the digestive tract. Soaking neutralizes these enzyme inhibitors. Place 1 C of cashews in a glass bowl, add 1 tsp of sea salt, and cover with water. Let them soak from 1-6 hours. Do not go past the 6 hours as the cashews will get slimy. Drain and use immediately . If you won't be using them immediately, dehydrate them (if you have a dehydrator) or set them on the lowest rack of your oven and turn on the oven light. Allow them to dry for around 12 hours and stir every once in awhile. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
5 Coconut Whipped Cream
I absolutely LOVE whipped cream- give it to me on ice cream, in coffee, on berries, pancakes, anything, you name it! But since I'm lactose intolerant, it a guilty pleasure that I pretty much gave up years ago. Until now. I found this recipe for making whipped cream with coconut milk. No, it doesn't taste exactly the same- it's richer and creamier and absolutely decadent! Try it out, even if you can tolerate the regular stuff.
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 drop cinnamon oil (optional)
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1-2 Tb honey to taste
Refrigerate unopened can of coconut milk for at least two hours. Scoop out thickened coconut cream on top and place in bowl. Drink leftover coconut water or toss into your next green smoothie. Add vanilla extract, honey and optional cinnamon oil. Blend with blender at slow speed for about 2 minutes. Store in airtight container in fridge for up to 7-10 days.
6 Green Smoothie Magic
Here is the recipe for the very first green smoothie that I ever made. It’s from a children’s book called Green Smoothie Magic. Everyone in the house loved it. It’s on the sweet side so it’s a great one to start out with. As you progress, you can add more vegetables and less fruit
- 3 C. spinach
- 2 C. apple juice
- 1 C. water
- 1 ripe mango
- 1 banana
- 1 orange
Rinse and peel produce. Toss all ingredients into blender and blend.
Note- Although I made this with the apple juice the first time, for subsequent times I have omitted the apple juice and added one apple plus more water. This decreases the sugar content and increases the fiber. I leave the apple unpeeled.
Note- If you are not using a high speed blender (such as a Vitamix or Blendtec), you should chop the produce first before blending.
7 Thai Chicken Salad with Peanuts and Lime
This recipe uses leftover chicken and comes together in a matter of minutes. It’s super easy to make and with a dressing made with mayo and PB, you just can’t go wrong! This recipe comes from Robin Miller’s Quick Fix Meals, but I add fermented carrots, Brazil nuts, and kelp granules to make it even healthier. The fermented carrots add probiotics, two Brazil nuts give you your daily dose of selenium, and the kelp granules supply necessary iodine
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 2 leftover roasted chicken thighs or breasts (I prefer thigh)
- 1/3 C. mayonnaise
- 2 Tb smooth peanut butter
- 1 Tb soy or tamari sauce
- 1 Tb lime juice
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 3/4 C. diced celery
- 1/4 C. chopped scallions
- 4 C. chopped lettuce
- 1/4 dry roasted peanuts
- 1/4 C. fermented carrots (optional)
- 1/4 tsp kelp granules (optional)
- 2 Brazil nuts (optional)
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Cut the chicken into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mayo, peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, and sesame oil. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Fold in the celery and scallions until well combined. Toss with the chopped lettuce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the peanuts just before serving.
Note- Make sure you buy mayonnaise that is not made with canola or soy oil. Use natural peanut butter only.
8 Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream
Homemade ice cream is simple to make with an ice cream machine and the varieties are endless. In the past we have made banana, coffee, banana & peanut butter, and peach ice creams. It’s a fun activity that you can do with kids. Here is a Ben & Jerry’s recipe with 6 simple ingredients versus store bought ice cream full of modified corn starch, polysorbate 80 and other junk. I use raw milk and raw cream. If you don’t have access to these, make sure that you use organic milk and cream.
Ingredients (Makes 1 quart)
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1/3 C. sugar & 3/4 C. sugar
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 large eggs
- 2 C. heavy cream
- 1 C. milk
Combine the strawberries, 1/3 C. sugar and lemon juice in a mixing bowl, combine and let sit for 30-60 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the 3/4 C. sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend. After the waiting period, mash the strawberries to a puree (you can use a blender or fork for this) and stir into the cream and milk mixture. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
9 Chocolate Coconut Pudding
While I would never say that dessert is actually healthier than eating fruits or vegetables, this recipe does have health-promoting ingredients. 70% dark cacoa has an incredible amount of antioxidants and is actually considered a superfood! Coconut milk has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, and consists of medium-chain fatty acids which are burned preferentially in the body. This recipe comes from Paleo Comfort Foods.
- 3 Tb cacoa powder
- ¼ C. arrowroot powder (a natural thickener)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 4 oz. good quality dark chocolate
- 2 Tb honey
- 2 large egg yolks
In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder, arrowroot powder and vanilla. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring coconut milk to a low simmer. Add in the honey and dark chocolate to melt them, stirring often. Mix in the arrowroot/cocoa/vanilla mixture, and whisk continuously. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks to break them apart, stir in a little bit of the warmed coconut milk mixture, then pour all the contents back into the saucepan, and return to the heat. Whisk all until smooth and the mixture coats the back of a spatula. Pour into small bowls and refrigerate.
You can put plastic wrap over the bowls if desired, but I prefer not to let it touch the pudding.
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It's time for the fourth annual Whole Foods Beauty Week.
For some of us, walking into a Whole Foods is kind of like walking into a Target: You know you’re going to end up spending way more money than you intended on stuff you didn’t “need.” That’s because the Whole Foods addiction is real, my friends.
One of the easiest places to go nuts in Whole Foods is, of course, the beauty aisle. If the smell from the stacks of fresh-made soap bars alone doesn’t suck you in, all the pretty packaging most certainly will. But good news, my friends! Starting next week, from March 21 through 27, is a little-known holiday called Whole Foods Beauty Week.
Now in its fourth year, Whole Foods Beauty Week gives WF devotees the chance to shop the beauty aisle — meaning all facial care, makeup and makeup brushes, nail polish, and hair products — at a 25-percent discount. Can we get an AMEN?