aloha every day

aloha every day

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Livin' Life Whole

What comes to mind when I tell you the words:
Whole Foods

More often than not, when I tell people that hubs and I are trying to eat a primarily
Whole Foods Diet,
I hear,
"Isn't it expensive to shop there?"

My answer?
"Yes, it is,
But I don't normally shop there."  

Oh, the confusion.
What I am speaking of is not a store.
It's eating WHOLE FOODS.
Foods that are less processed (our aim is NOT processed),
and more 

In our life together, 
we have always aimed to leave a 
small footprint
on the earth.
Our wedding followed this goal:
We give back to mother ocean:
...and I could go on for days.
It's just how we are.
Everyone has different priorities in the way they live.
This is just ours.

So, we were recently thinking about the seeming rise in disease and other health related issues,
and we realized:
What kind of footprint are we leaving on ourselves? 

Now, I've yet to dig into actual research on any of this,
  it seems that the rise of processed foods
and added non-whole food ingredients
   directly parallels 
the rise in health issues in the general population.

I could research,
or I could just do what I know to be true.
Eat whole foods.
The way they were meant to be.
Eliminate as many processed/refined/enriched
food-like products
as possible.

Okay, now on to the good stuff.
My challenge therein 
is to find recipes to make many of my favorite foods at home.
I've trialed quite a few, and now I have three that are now a consistent part of my weekend routine.

1. Almond Milk

 MMMMmmmmm.....almond milk. 
Happens to be my favorite milk.
If you look at the ingredients on a carton of almond milk, though,
it is similar to this:
INGREDIENTS: Almondmilk (Filtered Water, Almonds), Sea Salt, Natural Flavor, Locust Bean Gum, Sunflower Lecithin, Gellan Gum.  
I just want almondmilk.
Not locust bean gum and sunflower lecithin.
maybe those are harmless ingredients,
but I don't know what they are 
and I simply don't want them.
PLUS (and this is a BIG PLUS for me)
I don't want to spend my money on buying a carton
that is ONLY going to end up as waste* after I drink my locust bean gum.
 The recipe above is the BEST one I've found.  
 I strain it through a clean kitchen towel 
and the consistency is so smooth!!
 I have these kitchen towels:        
  After straining the milk, 
I funnel it into the container in the picture above the recipe link. 
p.s. This milk makes an EXCELLENT coffee creamer
p.p.s. Did I mention that the hubs is now roasting our own coffee beans?  What a man!

2. Granola
Found the original recipe here: (really nice website with many whole foods recipes!)

Have you ever noticed how much SUGAR is in boxed granola!?! 
It is sugar dressed up as health food for Halloween.
Not to mention the extremely high price per box at the grocery, as well as the ever-compounding issue of buying more waste (*see note above).

The recipe above is extremely easy-to-make.  All ingredients into one bowl, mix, and bake!
What I LOVE about this recipe is that the granola doesn't burn to a crunchy state of break-your-teeth existence.
If you've ever experimented with granola recipes, I'm sure this is familiar to you.
I play with this recipe quite a bit.
I've tried it without the honey/pure maple syrup, which I love (because I'm trying to cut back on all sweeteners).
I've also tried it with added flax seeds (I add a few TBS), as well as omitting the dried fruit (I simply don't like food stuck to my's a texture issue for me :)

Whatever you do, 
give it a try! 
I'd be surprised if you went back to the 
store-bought granola    
which is in a bag*
which is in a box*. 

3. Bread

Are you "up" on all of the recent bread controversies?
The "yoga mat" about it
  high-fructose corn about it
 the list goes on. 
There are MANY ingredients in a typical store-bought loaf of bread that I cannot pronounce, and therefore care not to ingest. 
I've been experimenting with bread recipes for years now.
  I'm the first one to vouch for Julia Child's french bread recipe.
most weekends I don't have 24 hour waiting periods for my bread to rise (there are 3 different rises in her recipe).

 I found the recipe above and have been playing with it to make it exactly what I want.
My favorite version is to include three cups of different kinds of flour (1 cup unbleached flour, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup brown rice flour).
I love it, 
my hubs loves it, 
I haven't bought bread in a bag* for months.  

Alright that's just the start. 
Those are my top three.
Critics may say that some of my ingredients are still processed:
Ex.: coconut oil (in granola), flour (in bread) has to be processed.
Critique away! 
I hold firm that my recipes are a huge jump in the right direction toward eating whole foods to the GREATEST EXTENT POSSIBLE.

It also helps to have a hubs with a green thumb.  He just turned over our garden for summer:

Now, go pour yourself a (proper serving) bowl of homemade granola with homemade almond milk.
I promise you won't regret it.