What is the best way to cook beans for optimal digestibility?

Beans are a wonderful way to add high-quality, plant based protein to your diet. They are high in iron, B vitamins and fiber, and are versatile enough that you may never tire of them. I will show you how to gain the most optimal digestibility below. Dry beans stay fresh longer when stored in a cool, dark place (rather than on your counter-top). Don’t use beans that are more than a year old, as their nutrient content and digestibility are much lower. Also, old beans will not soften, even with thorough cooking. How to cook beans: Check beans for rocks and shriveled or broken pieces, then rinse. Soak for six hours or overnight, with water covering four inches higher than the beans (filtered water is best). Add a piece of Kombu seaweed to the soaking water for optimal digestibility. Drain and rinse the beans again, discarding the soaking water. Always discard any loose skins before cooking, as this will increase digestibility. Place the beans and the Kombu in a heavy pot and add three to four cups of fresh water (filtered is best). Bring to a full boil and skim off the foam. Cover, lower the temperature, and simmer until soft. Check beans every 30 minutes, beans are done when the middle is soft and easy to squeeze. Beans should be tender when done. About 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, add 1 tsp of Real Brand or Celtic Sea salt, but not before. Rule of thumb: small beans cook for approximately 30 minutes, medium beans cook for approximately 60 minutes, and large beans cook for...

GAPS diet – what to eat

GAPS – Gut And Psychology Syndrome is a temporary diet system. This means it is an elimination diet that rests and nourishes the intestinal tract so that one can later go back on a wide variety of foods without problems. The lists below are long, but well worth printing out when struggling with “What can I eat” on this plan. GAPS eliminates all disaccharides and polysaccharides from the diet, particularly in the introductory phase.  These are the more complex sugars and starches, and eliminating them means avoiding all grains, most beans, seaweeds and dairy foods. The GAPS diet also eliminates soy products and processed foods, foods high in carbohydrates and most sweeteners.  GAPS has a goal to return a person to a “regular” diet and lifestyle, as much as possible, perhaps with the exception of eating grains. It takes roughly 2 years on this plan to heal, adding in Stage 2 foods as tolerated. Seaweed is not allowed in the beginning stages of the GAPS diet due to their polysaccharide compounds. Avoid canned (any) and processed foods. Baking soda and baking powder are not recommended for use in cooking.  Only include yeast based foods if no reaction. Meat and eggs should be organic, farm-raised and free-range whenever possible. Dairy allowances are minimal using organic butter, ghee, or yogurt. Fermented foods each day like sauerkraut, yogurt or kefir are helpful, as tolerated. Fermented vegetables & water kefir are a good substitute if dairy is not tolerated at all. Natural ‘good’ fat with each meal, like avocado, coconut meat, coconut oil, organic meats, butter, ghee, olive oil, almond oil. Homemade bone...

Vitamin D fun facts

We all need vitamin D, so getting outside for a walk in nature is even important in the winter months. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble hormone that is essential for bone growth, while maintaining healthy bones and a strong immune system. Vitamin D precursors are formed in the skin, in the presence of sunlight, then converted into an active form of vitamin D in the kidneys. From there it is carried by the blood to the rest of the body. It is also produced by the immune system cells as part of the body’s defenses against disease. As long as its not 80-100 degrees out, and you are not on a very hot destination vacation, I encourage you to go without sunscreen for 10-15 minutes per day to get the much needed sunlight your body craves from a natural source. It is said that we store up vitamin D in our blood and fat during the sunny months, and draw down that supply through the fall and winter. Many people can synthesize enough vitamin D year-round from 10-15 minutes of midday sun exposure to arms and legs without sunscreen, several times a week. If you are looking for an added boost to your vitamin D levels, and would like the recommended supplement dosage for your age and weight, I highly recommend Dr. John Douillard’s website.   “In all my many years of practice of medicine, I’ve never seen one vitamin, even vitamin C, have such profound effects on human health”. – Soram Khalsa MD.   Some fun facts about vitamin D the healing rays of natural sunlight that generate...

Gluten-free Potato Soup

  Ingredients:   4 medium sized potatoes (red or white) 3/4 cup whole coconut milk *From a can that contains no other ingredients 2 cups water  1 cube of Rapunzel vegetable bouillon  1/2 teaspoon Real Brand sea salt (or more)  1 T butter *Substitute with Earth Balance  3 T olive oil  dash of black pepper 1 uncooked chicken breast, cubed 1/2 small onion (sweet, minced) 1 stalk of celery (minced) fresh parsley for garnish  Preparation:  Serves 3-4 and takes less than 1/2 hour to prepare and cook. Add 1 T of olive oil, the celery and onion to a small frying pan, approximately 1/2 C each of celery and onion. Cook for 1 minute. Add chicken and another 1 T butter or Earth Balance, continue cooking. Stir often to prevent sticking. This mixture shouldn’t get too brown. Add 1/2 tsp salt and a dash of pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, leave in pan and turn off heat.  Boil the water, then combine with the bouillon. Set aside.  Peel and cube the potatoes. Pat dry. In a large pot, add 2 T olive oil and cook the potatoes for 8 to 10 minutes on medium low heat. Stir frequently to prevent sticking, but they will stick a little. Don’t worry, its fine, just keep stirring.   Add the bouillon water to the potatoes, cover, and cook for 10 more minutes on medium low. Remove half of the cooked potatoes, add to a blender with the coconut milk, and blend fully. Return the mixture to the potato pot, as well as the onion, celery, meat mixture.   Season to taste with...