Eating Diatomaceous Earth

If you told me a year ago that I would be eating earth right now I would have rolled my eyes. I’ve heard of just about everything – some new mothers eat their placenta, lots of people here in Los Angeles eat only raw food, many people eat only vegetable-based food, but eating earth?

To be specific, earth in this context is actually diatomaceous earth (DE) and I came across it when an old friend told me how much more energetic he’s been feeling since he started taking it daily. Before this conversation, I thought DE was only something used for swimming pool filters.

Being someone curious about anything that helps improve health and well-being for myself, my family and the people I work with, I did some research and discovered some very interesting and exciting things about DE.

What is Diatomaceous Earth?

diatomaceous earthDiatomaceous earth is made up of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. It comes as a fine white powder and it is made up of 80 to 90% silica. There are two types – food grade (safe for human consumption) and industrial grade ( NOT safe for human consumption). While food grade DE is safe to consume, DE of any kind is not safe to breathe.

Some wonderful qualities of diatomaceous earth:

- At a microscopic level, DE looks like a bunch of hollow cylinders with holes punched in the sides (see the picture above)

- Because DE has a strong negative charge, when it’s taken internally it attracts and absorbs positively-charged toxins and pathogens into its cylinder – things like viruses, pathogenic fungi and bacteria, heavy metals, prescription drug residues, pesticides, parasites, radiation – and sweeps them out of our bodies

- DE is very hard (almost as hard as diamonds) and each microscopic piece has sharp edges. It acts to scrub away the packed-on residues we have in our digestive tract and organisms like parasites in our intestines are sliced up and killed then flushed out when we go to the loo

- Remember how DE is 80 to 90% silica? Well, life cannot exist without silica. It’s essential for building healthy bones, teeth, skin, hair and nails. You could call it the beauty mineral and you wouldn’t be wrong. It also helps to strengthen tendons and joints, so it’s very important for active people

And that’s not all, use diatomaceous earth as a safe insecticide

- Do you have ants? Sprinkle some dry DE (wet DE doesn’t work well) along ant trails and wherever they are entering your home. The fine powder absorbs fats from the waxy outer layer of the ants’ exoskeletons causing them to dehydrate and die. We used it very successfully in our home this summer. Toxin-free ant bait, yes please!

- You can use it as a treatment for lice and fleas (it works the same way as in the case of ants), just make sure not to breathe it

Two Simple Ways to Take Diatomaceous Earth

The first is the way I started with DE. Put a tablespoon of DE into a glass, add water, mix well and drink it down quickly. It tastes like chalk so you might want to chase it down with some extra water.

Here is a much more delicious way to take DE:

The Earth Smoothie

INGREDIENTS:  Diatomaceous Earth Smoothie

1/4 cup frozen berries

1 cup almond, rice or hemp milk

1 tablespoon diatomaceous earth

1 tablespoon flax seed (linseed) meal

1 scoop of your favorite protein powder, I use Standard Process Whey

METHOD:

Place all ingredients into your blender. Blend on high. Serve in a glass and enjoy right away.

Below is a link to the diatomaceous earth we have been using (from Amazon,com). If you get the 20lb box they offer free shipping.

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Pepped-up Sweet Potato Pancakes

February 18, 2014 by  
Filed under Articles, Healthy Recipes, Nutrition & Health Articles

Looking for a unique healthy breakfast that doesn’t include cereal, sugar or toast? I created these yummy Pepped-up Sweet Potato Pancakes one day when I had some leftover baked sweet potatoes and I felt like something more substantial for breakfast than eggs on their own but I didn’t want to indulge in the empty calories of toast to fill me up. They are colorful, gluten-free and easy to make. I hope you enjoy them.

This recipe makes 2 servings

Ingredients for Pepped-up Sweet Potato Pancakes

1 medium baked sweet potato, skin on (I usually bake several sweet potatoes at a time and have them ready to use in the refrigerator)

3 whole eggs

2 tablespoons almond meal (you can make this yourself by popping almonds into a blender and pulsing them until they look like course flour)

2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese (I used light feta from Trader Joe’s but any good feta will do)

A couple of handfuls of arugula (rocket lettuce)

Method

Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat them with a fork, add the almond meal then chop the sweet potato and mash it into the egg mix. Stir until everything is well combined. Stir in the feta and arugula.

Heat a frying pan to a medium heat (not too hot or your pancakes will burn), use a little olive oil or a smear of butter then spoon in the sweet potato pancake batter to create cakes about 4 inches in diameter (too large and they are difficult to flip). Flip them once they are firm on the bottom and make sure they cook on both sides.

Serve with a little low fat Greek yogurt, season as you see fit. Delicious!

Super Powered Raw Oatmeal – Healthy Fast Food Breakfast

Here’s the back story of how I came up with my Super Powered Raw Oatmeal recently.

While on a quest to go sugar-free and wheat-free I faced the problem of what to eat for a fast breakfast that didn’t include bread of any kind. I wanted something healthy, organic, and preferably uncooked. I also wanted a healthy balance of protein, fiber, carbs and fats. The other very important factor; it had to be fast food. Fast food in terms of taking very little time to prepare, because we usually have about ten minutes to eat in the mornings.

I found what I was looking for:

Super Powered Raw Oatmeal

This recipe makes 8 servings so you only have to put it together once, then store it in the refrigerator for use at breakfast time throughout the week.

Ingredients

2 cups organic steel cut oats

2 cups organic light coconut milk

1 tablespoon organic chia seeds

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Toppings:

1/8 cup dried cranberries

1 scoop whey powder, or other protein powder depending on your preferences (I use Standard Process Whey protein Complete). You could substitute this for 1/2 cup of almond, hemp, rice or other milk

1/8 cup raw almonds

Method

Make the super powered raw oatmeal the night before you need it. Put all of the ingredients (not including the toppings) in a glass container and mix well. You want to make sure the spices are well distributed. Put a lid on the container (the snap-lock containers work really well for this) and pop it in the fridge.

In the morning, use a butter knife and divide the super powered raw oatmeal into 8 equal servings and then spoon out your serving. Add the toppings (you can get inventive here, these are just my suggestions) and enjoy your healthy fast food breakfast.

Total Calories

With protein powder it is about 230 calories. With almond milk instead of protein powder it is about 220 calories. Not only healthy, but low in calories as well.

Low Calorie Spring Roll Recipe

A few weekends ago I was at a dinner party thrown by our friend Shei Lu. It was a lot of fun, not only because of the great company, but also because Shie Lu had us help her in the kitchen.

That night I learned how to make two new dishes. One, fresh spring rolls, a healthy appetizer. The other, (chocolate ganache), not as healthy although it’s super delicious and a great accompaniment to raw strawberries (which are very healthy).

Great For Bodybuilders and Dieters

Each spring roll nets you about 60 calories so they are great if you’re trying to lose fat. Bodybuilders out there could substitute a couple of these for rice as a taste treat to break up the monotony. You’d probably want to skip the sauce as it does contain sugar and go easy on the sesame oil and soy sauce in the vermicelli noodles.

Low Calorie Spring Roll Recipe

making low calorie spring rolls

A spring roll meal fit for a bodybuilder

Here’s the recipe for spring rolls (I added tofu but you could make it with vegetables alone (which is how we made it with Shei Lu) or you could replace the tofu with cooked and peeled shrimp (or prawns for the Aussies out there).

INGREDIENTS:

1 package of clear edible rice paper (I found a good supply at my local Korean market)

1 package of firm tofu (I used the Trader Joe’s organic sprouted tofu) cut into rectangles about the size of a little finger

1 bunch of fresh cilantro (or coriander for the Australians) finely chopped

2 cucumbers sliced into straws (julienne)

1 large carrot sliced like the cucumbers

1 mango peeled, de-seeded and sliced like the cucumbers

1 package of vermicelli rice noodles cooked according to package directions, drained and cooled

a splash of sesame oil

a splash of soy sauce

INGREDIENTS FOR THE SAUCE:

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

finely sliced chili

diced garlic and coriander

DIRECTIONS:

1. Add a splash each of soy sauce and sesame oil to the cooked and drained rice vermicelli noodles, toss until noodles are all covered evenly and set aside

2. Dip a round of rice paper into a flat pan of clean water. Let it soak until it’s soft then with both hands carefully lay it on a clean surface

making low calorie spring rolls

Lift soaked rice paper gently from water

3. On one edge, lay some chopped cilantro then place a rectangle of tofu (or some shrimp) and some carrot, cucumber and mango then the vermicelli noodles on top

making low calorie spring rolls

Lay cilantro, tofu, vegetables and noodles

4. Roll the rice paper wrapper, tucking in the sides until you have a neat package that doesn’t fall apart. Lay it on a serving dish

making low calorie spring rolls

Roll the rice paper package carefully

5. Continue with this until you have used your ingredients. If you have left overs, cover and refrigerate to make more spring rolls later.

FOR THE SAUCE:

Put the rice vinegar into a bowl along with the sugar. Beat until the sugar is fully dissolved then add the chili, garlic and cilantro

Serve the spring rolls with the sauce to dip. Don’t expect to store left-overs as they tend to go hard in the refrigerator. They really are best freshly made.

For added fun, have your guests help with making their spring rolls.

I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

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The Best Kale Salad – Secret Revealed!

December 18, 2012 by  
Filed under Articles, Healthy Recipes, Nutrition & Health Articles

Whenever I am asked to bring a dish to a party or gathering I always bring my kale salad. It’s become quite well-known in various parts of Los Angeles and I have people asking for the recipe every time they try it because it not only looks fabulous, it tastes amazing! So amazing that most people want second helpings.

Here’s a dish that is as good for you as it looks and tastes. One you can pig out on to your heart’s content and never feel guilty.

Tracey’s Terrific Kale Salad

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch of fresh, organic kale. Remove the stems then clean  and slice

1/3 cup of dried cranberries

1/3 cup of toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds or toasted pine nuts

2 organic Roma tomatoes cut into wedges

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

1/8 cup good olive oil

1/8 cup organic cider vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

Put the salad ingredients into a salad bowl. Put the dressing ingredients into a bottle and shake vigorously to blend.  Add the dressing to the salad at least a hour before serving (this is one salad that gets better the longer you leave the dressing on it) then toss to combine everything.

Serve it up and watch as everyone happily gobbles it up then asks for the recipe (send them to our website to save yourself the trouble of writing it down).

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Spicy Lentil Soup – Really Yummy!

I came across a recipe in the Hopewood cookbook the other day for spicy lentil soup. I made a few alterations because I didn’t have all of the ingredients and came up with what I’d say is the BEST lentil soup I’ve ever eaten. This opinion was backed up by my son and husband and the soup was gone within a day. Luckily it’s easy to make so I can whip it up again without too much fuss.

The good news is that it’s low in fat and a good protein source for vegetarians (and anyone else who likes clean healthy food). The other good news is that it isn’t complicated to make – I’m the kind of cook who likes to keep things simple. We tried it over quinoa for a heartier meal and it worked very nicely.

INGREDIENTS:

1 large onion diced finely

4 large cloves of garlic diced finely

3 large carrots diced finely

4 celery stems diced finely

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 cup of lentils (doesn’t really matter what kind)

8 cups of vegetable stock (you can pick this up at grocery stores if you don’t happen to make it yourself)

1 850g (30 ounces) can of tomatoes (try for one without added salt)

1 tablespoon of tamari (I used a teriaki sauce and it was great)

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

METHOD:

Put the lentils in a container to soak while you do the next step.

Heat a large pot and add the olive oil then add the onions, garlic, celery, carrots and cumin. Stir until onion is soft.

Drain the water off the lentils and rinse them well then add them to the pot

Add the can of tomatoes and vegetable stock

Turn down the heat and allow to simmer for about 45 minutes (test the lentils to make sure they’re soft).

Add the tamari (or teriaki sauce) and the tomato paste and stir.

You can either blend the soup a bit (with a regular or a hand blender) or leave as-is. Blending it makes a thicker consistency, it depends on how you like your soup. Serve with toasted pumpkin seeds and, like we did, over quinoa for a wholesome, hearty and really yummy meal.

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No-Guilt Pancake Recipe

November 17, 2011 by  
Filed under Articles, Healthy Recipes, Weight Loss Articles

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup non-fat cottage cheese                                                                      

1/2 cup oats

2 eggs

pinch of cinnamon

honey (according to your taste)

coconut oil for greasing the pan (you can go with butter for added decadence or olive oil if you want to go the unsaturated way)

frozen berries (for the topping)

low-fat Greek yogurt (for the topping)

TOPPING:

Put a cup or more of frozen berries into a saucepan. Cook on medium high and stir until the berries are warm and the juices are released to form a light syrup. Use this and some low fat Greek yogurt for a delicious topping.

METHOD:

Put the oats into a food processor and grind until powdery then add the cottage cheese, eggs, cinnamon and honey. Mix thoroughly to form a smooth batter.

Heat a pan, smear with coconut oil, butter or olive oil. Once hot, pour some batter onto the pan. When you see bubbles forming, turn the pancake over with a spatula until the other side is cooked.

Make sure your pan isn’t too hot otherwise your pancakes will burn – it pays to be patient. Once you have the right temperature the pancakes cook quickly.

Serve the pancakes topped with the warmed berries and Greek yogurt for a very healthy breakfast treat.

RECIPE MAKES 4 PANCAKES

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