Category Archives: recipe

Review of Garden of Life Perfect Food RAW Apple

Several of you recently asked me to continue doing more reviews of foods and supplements. I am happy to oblige! I often Perfect Food Raw Applerecommend “green powders” to people who are looking to detoxify, improve energy levels, alkalize and more. The problem with green powders is that they taste like grass. I was therefore thrilled to find one that has a crisp apple taste but which is still loaded with nutritional power. This review is for Garden of Life Perfect Food RAW Powder – Apple Flavor. (You can click the link to view it on Amazon.)

I received a canister of this powder last December from Garden of Life. I owe them a huge apology for not posting this review sooner. Other topics seemed to be more pressing, life got in the way, and the powder tasted so good my husband and I consumed it in less than two weeks. Please note that although I did receive free product in exchange for this review, I was under no obligation to provide a positive review. The information shared in this post is purely my opinion, based on my experience with similar products and on my years of training. Since I use the product myself, I feel qualified to share my opinion of both its positive and its negative qualities.

Here are the qualities I love about this product:

  • It’s ORGANIC!!!
  • It contains no fillers or artificial ingredients
  • It contains an unusual blend of nutrient-dense powders from grasses, fruits and vegetables
  • It’s sweetened with Stevia and contains no harmful artificial sweeteners
  • It tastes amazing – nothing like most green powders
  • The grass, fruit and vegetable powders are obtained at low temperatures so their enzymes remain viable
  • It’s dairy and gluten-free
  • It contains no herbal additives that could interfere with prescription medications
  • It’s low glycemic, with only 3 net carbs per serving
  • It contains sprout powders and probiotics
  • If apple isn’t your thing, Garden of Life Perfect Food RAW is also available in Plain and Chocolate flavors

As we used this powder, we found it blended easily into smoothies and other drinks. (I shared a recipe below.) It tastes good enough to blend into plain water. We enjoyed adding cinnamon and nutmeg to it for an added kick. The bottom line is that this product is an excellent source of trace minerals, enzymes, probiotics, vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants, all provided in a great tasting powder.

It’s price point is under $30 for a 30-day supply, another factor that makes it a winner in my opinion. You can view the product on Amazon here:  Garden of Life Perfect Food RAW Apple.

The only negative comment I can make about this green drink is that it absorbed moisture out of the air and solidified in the container after being opened. I recommend storing it in a sealed container of some sort.

Here’s a copy of the nutritional information so you can see how truly loaded this product is:

Raw Apple Ingredients

Please note that people with gluten sensitivity CAN consume wheat and barley grasses. The grasses do not contain the proteins that are problematic for people with Celiac and/or a wheat or barley allergy.

Here’s a recipe using this product:

Good Works Wellness Perfect Food Apple Spice Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop Garden of Life Perfect Food Apple Powder per serving (recipe makes 2-4 servings)
  • 1 diced avocado
  • 2 cups coconut water (may use milk alternative, purified water or aloe vera juice if preferred)
  • 1 diced organic cucumber (use half a cucumber for a single serving)
  • 1 handful organic spinach
  • 1 diced organic Honey Crisp apple (use half an apple for a single serving)
  • 1 teaspoon organic cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon organic nutmeg powder
  • Optional:  Stevia to taste

Blend all ingredients well in a high-speed blender. This recipe makes enough for 2-4 servings. This smoothie is delicious and is loaded with healthy fat, trace minerals, enzymes, probiotics, antioxidants and a great blend of vitamins and minerals. It’s very energizing but is extremely low glycemic.

Have you tried Garden of Life’s Perfect Food Raw Apple Powder? What did you think?

Perfect Smoothie Formula

Smoothies are a great way to pack a lot of nutrition into a small package. They are also a potential way of packing an excess of sugar and other unhealthy Smoothie Ingredientsingredients into a tiny serving. (Please read The Joy of Fruitless Smoothies for more information on how to create smoothies having zero glycemic impact.)

Here are my top five recommendations to keep smoothies healthy:

  • Don’t add too much fruit or other sugar-packed or artificial ingredients.
  • Always add at least one serving of dark leafy greens or other vegetables.
  • Freeze your fruit or make ice cubes out of organic dairy or milk alternative, veggie juice or herbal tea to avoid needing to use ice cubes made out of unpurified water.
  • Use filler veggies such as cucumbers or zucchini to add bulk without adding sugar, taste or calories.
  • Use a liquid that provides more nutritional value than water. More information on that is shared below.

Here is my Perfect Smoothie Formula. After the formula, I share more details on unique ingredients to use for each part of the formula:

Good Works Wellness Perfect Smoothie Formula

For a perfect smoothie, combine the following:

  1. 1 portion of a thickener
  2. 1-2 portions of liquid
  3. 1-2 portions of dark, leafy greens or “filler” vegetables
  4. 1/2 portion of healthy fat
  5. 1 serving of protein
  6. Optional: 1 portion of low-glycemic impact fruit
  7. Optional: Other enhancements as desired

Ideas for each part of the formula follow. Please note most ingredients in the formula – other than the liquid – are optional. All ingredients referenced are organic. Some ingredients appear more than once throughout the list of options. Please only choose each ingredient once. Please also note this formula typically creates two servings.

To create your smoothie, select your desired ingredients. Add the liquid to the blender first, followed by the other ingredients, sliced and diced as needed. Blend well and serve.

1.  Thickener Options

  • 1/2 a banana (if there is no need to keep the smoothie low glycemic)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 – 1 cup organic chia seeds (allow to soak 5-10 minutes before blending)
  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1/2 cup nut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground psyllium seed (allow to soak for 5-10 minutes before blending)
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed (keep refrigerated to ensure the fats don’t go rancid)
  • 1/2 cup organic yogurt (dairy or dairy and soy-free)

2.  Liquid Options

  • Aloe vera juice (use conservatively, as this can have a laxative effect)
  • Coconut water
  • Water or Dairy Kefir
  • Kombucha (limit if Candida is an issue – read Why Kombucha and Candida Don’t Mix for more info)
  • Yogurt (dairy or non-dairy)
  • Green Tea or other herbal tea
  • Milk alternative (almond, coconut, hemp, etc.)
  • Vegetable juice
  • On a wild and crazy day … coffee!

These liquid supplements may also be added in much smaller portions. Please be careful to use the recommended amount:

  • Herbal extracts
  • Colloidal Silver
  • Bach Flower Remedies
  • Chlorophyll
  • Trace minerals
  • Any other liquid vitamin, mineral or supplement

3.  Dark Leafy Green and Filler Vegetable Options

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Beet, Mustard, Collard, Turnip or other greens
  • Radicchio
  • Romaine
  • Mesclun
  • Arugula
  • Swiss Chard
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli (chop finely)
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchini
  • Peppers of any color, sweet or spicy     Smoothie Options
  • Tomatoes
  • Summer Squash

4.  Healthy Fat Options

  • 1-3 tablespoons organic extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup nut or seed butter
  • 1/4-1/2 cup nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, pistachios, etc.)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup seeds (sunflower, chia, flax, hemp, sesame, etc.)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup Tahini

5.  Protein Options

  • 1 serving protein powder (I recommend avoiding a soy-based powder.)
  • 1-2 organic eggs
  • 1/2 cup nuts, seeds or nut/seed butter
  • 1 serving spirulina
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup quinoa (cooked or raw)
  • 1/2 cup sprouted beans or lentils (or cooked)
  • Organic dairy kefir or yogurt

6.  Low Glycemic Impact Fruit Options

Adding fruit is completely optional and is NOT a necessity. Use less than one cup if you choose to add it.

  • 1/2 cup any form of berries
  • 1/2 apple or pear
  • 1/2 grapefruit
  • 1 cup cherries (raw, not canned)
  • 1 pear (raw, not canned)
  • 1 orange

7.  Optional Enhancements

 Any of the following can be added as optional enhancements. Please follow label instructions for supplements:

  • 1 serving green powder
  • 1 serving bentonite clay
  • 1 serving liquid B complex 
  • Herbal extract(s)
  • Bach Flower Remedies
  • Spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, turmeric, Himalayan sea salt, etc.
  • Stevia
  • Colloidal Silver
  • 1/4-1/2 cup kefir grains or probiotic grains
  • 1/4-1/2 cup fermented fruits or veggies

Top 20 Quick and Easy Healthy Snacks

This article contains product links for which I may receive a very small amount of compensation if an item is purchased. Please know I only share links for products which I use or have used personally and which I feel are worthy of recommending

Many people trying to eat healthier are stumped by what good options are for snacking. Eating a sensible snack between meals is a good way of maintaining energy and stable blood sugars throughout the day. For some people, it may also be a way of encouraging the metabolism to kick into a higher gear.

Following is a list of my favorite snacks. As always, please note that all ingredients mentioned are organic:

  • Make or buy dehydrated veggies to use as a great portable, no-mess snack. Make your own using a food dehydrator to Appleensure no added chemicals were used.
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  • Make a custom blend of nuts, seeds and goji or acai berries.
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  • Slice a zucchini into slices and top them with hummus, almond butter, salsa or guacamole.
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  • Slice veggies and dip in pesto.
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  • Slice an apple and dip the slices in almond butter or other nut butters.
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  • Blend one part chia seeds into two parts green tea and two parts coconut milk. Add stevia to taste if needed. Cinnamon or other spices also liven this up. Allow to sit for about ten minutes, then drink it down. It is very filling and provides powerful nutrition!
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  • Make a veggie pate from soaked nuts, soaked seeds, leafy greens and soft veggies. Eat it by the spoon or spread on veggies or gluten-free crackers.
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  • Spread roasted garlic on zucchini slices or on a few gluten-free crackers.
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  • Stir cacao chips and sunflower seeds into vanilla coconut yogurt.
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  • Wrap slices of organic turkey around tomato boats, fermented pickles or other veggies.
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  • Wrap wasabi seaweed snacks around avocado slices.
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  • Stuff dates with almonds. Dates are incredibly high in sugar, so it only takes a few of these snacks to be very filling and energizing.
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  • Load toothpicks with a cherry tomato, mozzarella cube and basil leaf.
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  • Make guacamole to eat on veggies or by the spoonful.
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  • Stuff celery or mini-peppers with hummus, almond butter or guacamole.
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  • Make a plate of avocado slices and tomato slices.
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  • Make a smoothie with 1/3 dark leafy greens, 1/3 veggies and 1/3 fruit.
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  • Stuff half an avocado with a small scoop of chicken, egg or tuna salad.
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  • Pop organic popcorn in organic extra virgin coconut oil and top with a bit of Himalayan Sea Salt and Organic Garlic Powder.
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  • Dip non-GMO corn chips into homemade salsa.
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  • Pack a salad in a jar. Place chopped veggies on the bottom of a Mason jar, top with a variety of mixed greens, then place a dressing on top. Shake when ready to eat. (Don’t forget to pack a fork.)

Oops. That was 21 instead of 20. Oh well!

What snacks would you add to the list?

Top 11 Low Carb Breakfasts

Yesterday I was asked to share what a “normal” day’s meals are for me. I thought I’d start by sharing a few of my favorite Simple Summer Marinarabreakfasts. Please keep in mind my eating style is what works for me. It may not be appropriate for anyone else. As someone who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1967, I eat very few servings of carbs per day and try to stay away from foods which have a high glycemic impact. I also tend to avoid foods which are known to exacerbate autoimmune issues.

Most people in the US eat 3-5 servings of carbohydrates before they even leave the house. High-carb breakfasts don’t sustain the body and often lead to mid-morning hunger, fatigue and/or blood sugar crashes. My goal in choosing breakfasts is to incorporate adequate protein and fat, both of which help maintain and sustain energy and blood glucose levels 

Following are a few of my favorite breakfasts. Please note that everything I mention is organic:

  1. Chia Seed “Pudding:” Blend 1/4 cup of Chia seeds into 3/4-1 cup purified water (or milk alternative). If desired, add cinnamon, cloves or pumpkin pie spice to taste. Let the blend sit overnight. In the morning, you will have a delicious “pudding” that is loaded with nutrients. It is also very filling. Feel free to stir in 1/2 cup of blueberries for extra antioxidants and a light amount of added sweetness.
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  2. Omelet “Muffins”: Whip eggs and blend them with a wide variety of chopped veggies and spices. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full with the blend and bake until firm. (I don’t usually add cheese or meat, but both are viable options.) These make great grab-n-go meals that store well and are nutritionally dense. Reheating them is optional, but they heat well in a toaster oven.
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  3. Tex Mex Scramble:  Scramble eggs with diced veggies, avocado chunks, onions and cayenne pepper to taste. Top with homemade salsa.
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  4. Hummus and Veggies:  Use purchased organic hummus or make your own. Use a wide variety of veggies. The hummus provides a good blend of carbohydrates and protein that will sustain you until lunch.
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  5. Leftovers:  Yes, leftovers. Combine last night’s meat with some fresh veggies and you’re set!
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  6. Smoothies: I blend an avocado with leafy greens, protein powder, nuts or seeds (or nut butter) and an assortment of vegetables. I try to use foods that are high in Vitamin C (such as tomatoes, peppers, lemon/lime juice, etc.) to help improve absorption of the iron in the leafy greens. I add stevia and sweet spices to provide just a hint of sweetness.
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  7. Stuffed Peppers:  Cut the top off of red, green or orange bell peppers and remove the seeds. Cook and drain bulk breakfast sausage. Fill the peppers 1/2 full with the breakfast sausage, add some chopped onions (and garlic and mushrooms, if you like) and break an egg over the mixture. Top with the pepper “lid” and bake at 350 degrees until firm. Makes a quick and easy breakfast that even kids love!
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  8. Sausage Bowls:  Mold small “bowls” out of bulk breakfast sausage and bake until meat is completely cooked. While cooking, blend equal parts almond butter and Greek yogurt (coconut yogurt works well, too). Stir the seeds of one pomegranate (or diced blueberries) into the mixture, fill the sausage bowls with the mixture and serve. It may sound unusual, but it is delicious and packs a nutritional wallop without raising glucose levels too much.
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  9. Cauliflower Fritters:  Cut one head of cauliflower into florets and steam until soft. In a food processor, blend the cauliflower with 1-2 eggs, diced onion and 2 tablespoons of coconut flour. (If mixture is too crumbly, add 1-2 tablespoons purified water.) Form into patties and fry in extra virgin coconut oil until heated through. Top with guacamole or salsa. Any combination of veggies can be added to these fritters. They are also great made with coconut flakes and diced cashews.
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  10. Guacamole:  Make your favorite guacamole, but stir in one serving of unflavored protein powder. Serve on veggies, eat our of the bowl, or use as a topping for any of the dishes shared previously.
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  11. Salad: Yes, salad!! Salads make wonderful breakfasts, especially when loaded up with nuts and seeds for protein. (Bacon, eggs or meat work, too.) Instead of dressing, I use extra virgin olive oil combined with fresh herbs and lemon or lime juice.

What’s your favorite breakfast combination?

An All-Natural Deodorant Recipe that Actually Works!

An ongoing experiment of mine has been to come up with an all-natural deodorant that actually works. By now you know I am extremely particular about the ingredients in my body care products. After many experiments with making an all-natural deodorant bar and many disappointing trials of natural commercial deodorants, I was still unable to find one that worked well and was practical to use. I am therefore very excited to share this recipe with you.

This is a spray-on all-natural deodorant that works incredibly well. It does not contain any harmful chemicals or ingredients known to be toxic. It also uses natural ingredients as its preservative. Toxin-free and effective is a win-win in my book!

It is an effective blend of antibacterial and antifungal ingredients combined with essential oils that are

Spray Bottle of Natural Deodorant both antibacterial and deodorizing. For those of us who are tired of feeling self-conscious when wearing polyester clothing, I added a few ingredients designed to stop odors even when we wear polyester. Best of all, this can be easily sprayed on and does not require any elaborate application steps. It is also non-straining.

This recipe doesn’t use any products which are highly unusual, and it can be very easily made. I highly recommend it!

Good Works Wellness All-Natural Deodorant

Ingredients:

*Contrary to what several sites have claimef, alum is NOT a source of aluminum. Alum has a different chemical structure, different chemical bonds, and is metabolized and eliminated much differently. 

Blending Instructions:

  • In a glass jar, combine the essential oils and the vodka. Cover and allow to blend for two weeks, shaking daily.
  • After two weeks, blend the water and hydrogen peroxide together in a separate glass jar.
  • Stir in the baking soda, sea salt and alum (if using). Stir until dissolved.
  • Pour the vodka and essential oil blend into the jar, blend well.
  • Pour into a 4-ounce glass spray bottle. Store the remainder in a glass jar in a dark location.

Instructions for Use:

Spray the deodorant onto clean armpits as needed. Please note this deodorant may sting a bit when sprayed onto freshly shaved armpits, but the sting disappears quickly.

If you try this, please let me know what you think!

Natural Sunscreen Recipe

I have received many requests to share a natural sunscreen recipe. I developed this recipe several years ago because I wanted to be able to protect myself from sunburn without exposing myself to the harmful chemicals found in most OTC sunscreens. I have found it to be very effective. Please note you may need to apply it more frequently than other sunscreens.

This time of year, it’s not uncommon to hear many frightening warnings about the “dangers of sun exposure.” These warnings make me cringe. The truth is that sun exposure is very beneficial to our health. Severe sunburn is not. Recent research found skin cancer is not caused by simple sun Sunshineexposure but is caused by severe sunburn. In addition, several studies found the most common ingredients in OTC sunscreens actually CAUSE skin cancer. Even newer research discovered sun exposure (without sunscreen) increases the levels of nitric oxide in our system. Nitric oxide is known to lower blood pressure and improve heart health. Please read Shining Light on the Truth About Sun Exposure for more information about the necessity of sun exposure.

What’s the solution? Here are my tips for allowing sun exposure to improve health:

  1. Get 10-20 minutes of unprotected sun exposure every day. After you have a good base tan, it’s fine to spend longer periods of time in the sun as long as you do not burn.
  2. Use a natural sunscreen. See links at the end of this article to a few pre-made versions I really like.
  3. Keep a close eye on how much sun you’ve gotten. If you think you’re in danger of burning, take time to put on more clothing or to apply a natural sunscreen.

My sunscreen recipe follows. This is easy to make and has ingredients which are easy to find. I included links to make it easier to find the ingredients. Each of the oils used has a natural SPF ranging from 6-30. I added zinc oxide powder to the recipe to provide added protection. This sunscreen is very effective, but may need to be applied more frequently. You can feel free to add a few drops of essential oil to add fragrance if you like.

Good Works Wellness Natural Sunscreen Recipe

Ingredients:

o 1/2 cup beeswax pastilles
o 1/2 cup unrefined shea butter
o 1/2 cup organic extra virgin coconut oil
o 3/4 cup combination of organic hempseed, macadamia nut or wheat germ oil(s)*
o 5 tablespoons zinc oxide powder
o Optional: 1/2 tablespoon essential oil

*You may use a single oil or a combination of oils to total 3/4 cup. Note you can make the natural sunscreen thinner by adding more liquid oil or thicker by adding less.

Instructions:

Gently melt the beeswax over a double boiler, then whisk in the other oils until all oils and butters are melted. Gradually stir in the zinc oxide powder and blend until well blended. Add essential oils after that if desired. This is best stored in a glass container.

Pre-Made Natural Sunscreens

If you don’t have time to make your own sunscreen, I recommend the following, some of which are water-resistant:

Photo Courtesy of Rhys Asplundh

References:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/09/29/sun-exposure-vitamin-d-production-benefits.aspx

Benefits of Moderate Sun Exposure, Harvard University

Scientists Say Benefits of Sun Exposure Far Outweigh Risks

Simple Marinara Recipe

I wanted to share a quick, easy marinara recipe that is delicious and loaded with nutrition. Every ingredient in this marinara is raw, including the noodles, so the prep time is quick and the dish makes a very refreshing meal on a hot summer night. The recipe provides many beneficial enzymes and nutrients yet tastes delicious and can be made in less than 10 minutes. It is also high in magnesium, potassium, lycopene, zinc, antioxidants and more. It’s a win-win! Please try it and let me know what you think!

For those who are concerned, this marinara recipe is very low carbohydrate and uses low-glycemic ingredients. (I can eat a very large serving without needing to take insulin and without seeing a rise in blood glucose.) For more information on easy ways to reduce carbohydrate consumption, read: Simple Ways to Cut Carbs from Your Eating Habits.

This marinara is also Paleo and is a great option for Simple Summer Marinaraanyone on a Candida cleanse. It makes a fantastic after-workout meal because it provides a wide range of trace minerals, healing enzymes and vitamins. Serve it as a main dish or serve as a side with meat of choice. I’ve been known to skip the zucchini noodles and make a smoothie out of this recipe. It’s delicious!

Simple Summer Marinara Ingredients:

  • 2 organic tomatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 1 organic garlic clove
  • 1 organic red pepper, cored and seeded, cut into large chunks
  • 1 small organic red onion, cut into large chunks
  • ¼ cup organic sundried tomatoes, soaked in purified water for 2-3 hours
  • 2 tablespoons organic Italian seasoning blend (or 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, thyme and marjoram)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh organic basil + several whole leaves for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh organic oregano
  • ¼ cup organic, cold-pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – Tropical Traditions’ is my favorite)
  • ½ teaspoon Himalayan Sea Salt, to taste
  • Optional: Add 2-3 servings of a tasteless organic protein powder. I like organic Hemp Protein in this recipe.

Directions: Please note I refer to a food processor in the directions, but a blender works just as well. If you don’t have either, chop everything finely and stir together. No need for appliances with this marinara!

  1. Place chopped tomatoes in a colander set over a large bowl to drain while preparing other ingredients.
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  2. While tomatoes are draining, chop other ingredients and place in food processor.
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  3. Drain sundried tomatoes and place in food processor. (Save juice from chopped tomatoes and soak water from sundried tomatoes to use in other recipes such as smoothies, soups, etc.)
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  4. Add chopped tomatoes and remaining ingredients to food processor.
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  5. Pulse repeatedly until ingredients are fully blended. Mixture may be blended more for a smoother sauce, or less for a chunkier sauce.
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  6. Use a spiral slicer to slide zucchini or summer squash into “noodles.” If a spiral slicer is not available, slice zucchini or summer squash into very thin slices using a food processor or mandolin slicer. Zucchini and summer squash may also be shredded for a texture similar to rice.
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    My favorite spiral slicers include:
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    Joyce Chen Spiral Slicer – I own this one and love it! It can be used for many different things.
    GEFU Spiralizer – This is a new one on the market which I’m considering getting. It appears to be simpler to use and have less clean-up

To serve, ladle the marinara sauce over the zucchini noodles and top with basil leaves for garnish. Serve as is!

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